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My current WiFi router broke, so I thought, why spend another $50 on a new one when I can make use of my old netbook?

I have an old EEEPC-701 4G that has a pretty nice Atheros wireless radio. Unfortunately it has only one ethernet port but it has 2 USB ports. So, I need to have at least 1 additional ethernet port to connect to my desktop box.

I play online games so using a wireless interface on my PC is a no-no.

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Your Internet connection is most likely to be WAY slower than your Wifi (which is 54 Mbps)... so that's not a reason. – m0skit0 Feb 15 '12 at 12:05
And you will end adding a $50 switch to your laptop. Not really a good solution (event though it is a good exercice). – Ouki Feb 15 '12 at 12:10
at the risk of pre-judging your solution, i've done similar setups when equipment breaks, the outcome is nearly always more hassle than just buying the hardware designed to do the job. I would seriously consider doing that rather than taking this route. – Sirex Feb 15 '12 at 12:11
What exactly are you trying to achieve? You can connect the netbook to your modem, and then start an ad-hoc wireless network connecting your netbook to your desktop (the desktop needs to have a wireless card though). But then, if you're going to do that, why not just connect the modem directly to the desktop? – ADTC Feb 15 '12 at 12:45
@LiudmilMitev - If latency is going to be a problem for you then your solution will not work. – Ramhound Feb 15 '12 at 14:51

I am not sure if all of the hardware would be supported, but you could look into pfsense. Its actually a firewall, but can do all of your basic home router functions (plus more). Although I I haven't personally used it for this, there are some wireless possibilities.

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yes, you can do this: AFAIK and without getting into security issues, one can turn off the dhcp server within pfsense and allow another device in the LAN handle that, essentially turning the laptop into a WAP. You will need one interface for WAN, and one for LAN, and possibly a crossover cable. I agree that this is a waste of time however: get a dedicated device. – horatio Feb 15 '12 at 22:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I bought myself a USB Ethernet adapter to use for the internal network. I might add a switch to it if I need more internal ethernet connections.


After installing OpenBSD I configured the Atheros radio to work in AP mode and used the netbooks's on-board NIC to connect to WAN and the USB NIC to connect to my desktop PC. Also being a full-featured x86 system I can configure it to double as a NAS and a BitTorrent seed box.

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