I need a powerful external Wi-Fi adapter for a couple of days. I heard that some types of router support this mode, allowing me to connect the router to my notebook and just use it as an external Wi-Fi interface.

Is it possible to connect a router as an external Wi-Fi adapter?

How can I determine it?

Updated: My purpose is to set the router to monitor mode and check networks around through my notebook to provide better configuration for my network (power, channels, etc).
My internal notebook Wi-Fi adapter is too weak for this purpose.

Should I use special drivers for that? If yes, can someone describe, step-by-step, how to do it?


I want to use ASUS RT-N56U (with Linux-based firmware and root access to CLI) as an external Wi-Fi adapter on OS X or Ubuntu.

If someone have info about support this feature of OpenWrt firmware - it also be helpful.

  • After seeing your update: this idea is kind of backwards. Why not use the portability of your laptop or mobile phone, and some software like wifi Analyzer, wi-spy, or inSSIDer? This way you can just move around the perimeter of the network and grab all the signals. – Digital Chris Jun 13 '14 at 12:28

If you're trying to perform a monitor mode capture then you're going to need to use a direct attach WiFi device, something like a USB WiFi dongle. OS X by default does offer the ability to put the built-in Airport card into monitor mode, but if the signal is not strong enough, and you can't relocate to a better vantage point, then an external USB device with an attachable high-gain antenna is the only option.

Most USB devices don't have the necessary driver's for OS X to toggle monitor mode on, so you'll be better off using some form of *nix (aka, Debian, Kali, Ubuntu) where you can use open source drivers to get monitor mode going wit the USB device -- virtualization works great for this (https://www.virtualbox.org). Most of the newer kernel's work with almost every major card out there, but you're now diving into a new world when it comes to monitor mode captures. Check out this page to get started: http://www.aircrack-ng.org

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