How can I turn an old desktop into a WiFi encryption system?

Igor October 11, 2014
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I like PC security. So I was wondering:

I have an old desktop PC (dual-core Intel 2.5GHz,4GB RAM and integrated graphics) which I don’t use, since I have bought my new laptop.

Is there any program, solution or idea, so that I can transform that old PC into an encryption system for my WiFi data between my laptop and the router?

I have Windows 7 and can install Linux.

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  1. Oron J
    October 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Just to add to what the others are saying, even if you set up the PC as some sort of encryption device (VPN, LLTP or whatever), you'd have a hell of a job integrating it into your home network.

    If you're really security minded, you could set it up as a security appliance, which is essentially a router with a number of security packages (packet inspecting firewall & antivirus, intrusion detection system etc). The PC would effectively replace your router, so you'll need to set it up as a WiFi access point and either connect it to a broadband modem, or disable WiFi on your router and configure all traffic to go through the appliance.

  2. dragonmouth
    October 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    "How can I turn an old desktop into a WiFi encryption system?"
    If you mean turn an old PC into a hardware firewall, then there are several Linux/BSD distros that will do the job: m0n0wall, SmoothWall, pfSense and others.

  3. DalSan M
    October 12, 2014 at 6:01 am

    The other option I can think of, especially if you are really into security, is using a RADIUS server network. It would incorporate user authentication to connect to the server and network, and then to the internet. However, this is way beyond the scope of my knowledge so far, and may not offer exactly what you are wanting. You can find more indignation here: http://www.nowiressecurity.com/articles/radius_8021x_wireless_authentication_servers.htm and http://mobile.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsp/article.php/3557251/FreeRADIUS-and-Linux-for-Your-WLAN.htm.

  4. Jan F.
    October 12, 2014 at 1:04 am

    WiFi already comes with it's own encryption ~ WEP, WPA, WPA2. So there is no reasonable point to do anything more using your left-over desktop system.

    You could setup a VPN server and connect to it from your laptop. But that's a bit of an overkill.
    It will introduce additional latency, a possible source of problems (VPN not working, routing) and it costs additional money over time duo to power usage.