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I live in the dorms of my University, that has a public WiFi for each building.

I have several computers in my apt (+ a RPI, a Chromecast Audio, and a WiFi printer) which I want to connect to my own secure network that would have access to the internet through the public WiFi.

I don't have any ethernet ports in my apt, or anywhere around it - just WiFi access based on routers scattered throughout the building.

I am currently using my Raspberry Pi as a wifi bridge, but it works quite poorly.

I'm looking for some hardware that could do the job. I know that any windows pc can do the job (using connectify, or some new feature in windows 10 that allows it), but I want a dedicated low-energy router to do it, preferably one that could create a 5GHz network.

I looked all around the internet, but aside from Traveler Routers, which hold many functions that I don't need like batteries, power-banks or a small size, and are therefore pretty expensive, I did not find ANYTHING that I could clearly interpret as something that could do what I need it to.

What kind of hardware can I get to get this done? What features should I be looking for?

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  • cantenna? ...654321 – user657451 Nov 10 '16 at 23:56
  • I don't need to extend my wifi reception, I want to create my own network with a SSID and password, that will give away local IPs and will access the internet using the public WiFi I have in the apartment. – Rosti Talis Nov 11 '16 at 6:52
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    You are asking an off-topic question (hardware shopping). Please read On-Topic, How do I ask a good question? and What types of questions should I avoid asking?. Try Hardware Recommendations. but please first read What is required for a question to be 'high quality'?". – DavidPostill Nov 11 '16 at 22:05
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    I do this in hotels all the time with an Asus RT-N66 router, picked it up for $50 refurbished and installed DD-WRT. 2.4Ghz is client to hotel/public WiFi and ethernet ports and 5Ghz WiFi are for my stuff. It is exactly what your trying to do, works very well. Any DD-WRT compatible dual band router should be able to accomplish the same thing. – acejavelin Nov 24 '16 at 18:12
  • An interesting question, but as written it already has attracted multiple close votes since it reads as a product recommendation, which is off-topic here on Super User. How do I do this rather than with which product does this is an interesting question though. – Hennes Nov 27 '16 at 8:29
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Ugly hack

With Linux a WiFi card can be client and AP simultaneously, see Can a Linux machine act as both a wireless client and access point simultaneously using a single physical WLAN interface?

It looks like the Raspberry Pi can't do it but some routers compatible with OpenWRT can, see https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/recipes/ap_sta and http://lechacal.com/wiki/index.php/Repeat_a_Wifi_Hotspot

Performance will suffer as there will be only one WiFi module sharing one frequency for everything, or using 2 frequencies and spending half the time in each.

Some routers allow for a separate guest network (which is 2 access points so not the same, but still 2 simultaneous profiles for 1 WiFi module) so stability should be OK - in some cases at least, it depends on the drivers.

Hackish

Use 2 routers one client and one AP, connected with an Ethernet cable and with routing setup between them. It's still low power and having two devices doesn't really matter here as it's a fixed installation. WiFi performance will be normal as there will be two physical WiFi modules.

One router needs to be able to act as a WiFi client, the other needs to be able to use Ethernet for WAN. You can use 2 Raspberry Pi or 2 WiFi routers.

Clean

Buy something like a RB433 from Mikrotik and 2 WiFi modules, it's built for the job.

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  • Well, actually the Pi does work, but it gives me bad latency and occasional crashes. I will look and see if I can find a router that supports OpenWRT. I am looking for a low power consumption solution, so a regular pc on linux will probably not do... Thanks! – Rosti Talis Nov 24 '16 at 17:59

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