Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

how to make wireless router into access pointDo you have some reason to offer free wifi to others? Maybe you own a business and you want to share your Internet with the customer waiting room.  Perhaps Uncle Fred is over for a while and he needs WiFi but you don’t need him snooping around your home network.  Or you could just be benevolent and want to share your Internet with neighbors and wardrivers.  There may also be ways to actually make some money from sharing your WiFi but we’ll get into that.

OK, so here’s the situation.  You want to share the Internet but not your personal stuff.  There are actually several different ways of doing this.

Get A Router That Supports Guest Browsing

how to make wireless router into access pointWhat’s that?  They actually make routers with this ability already built in?  Yes they do and some of them are really easy to use.  You may think that it would have to be one of those extremely expensive routers but you’d be wrong.  For instance there is Cisco’s Valet which costs about $100 and is supposed to be quite easy to set up and use.

Finding a router with the ability for guest browsing is the easiest way how to make a wireless router into an access point and keep your own network secure.  However, money is involved and we all know how we feel about that around here.

Use One Non-Wireless Router & Two Wireless Routers

You may be asking why I would suggest such an answer when the previous tip fits the bill with only one router.  What if you have some extra  hardware sitting around and you don’t want to go out and buy one of those new-fangled routers that support guest browsing?

Ads by Google

OK, so the idea here is to run the Internet connection through the non-wireless router and then connect the two wireless routers from their WAN ports to LAN ports on the non-wireless router.

wireless access point router

As long as you don’t add any static routes to the non-wireless router, you will actually be running two wireless networks that can’t “see” one another.  Use one as your own secure wireless network and the other can be the public access point.

Install Firmware On Your Wireless Router That Supports Guest Browsing

wireless access point routerFirmware is basically the program that runs on your router that allows it to do what it does.  There is an open source firmware that is compatible with many routers called dd-wrt.

In Jorge’s article about how to turn an old router into a wireless bridge How to Turn an Old Router Into a Wireless Bridge How to Turn an Old Router Into a Wireless Bridge Not sure what to do with your old router? Try turning it into a wireless bridge! The process is surprisingly straightforward. Read More , he is kind enough to explain the process of installing the firmware on your router.  I will caution you the same way he did and say that you really need to follow the instructions for your router type very carefully because it is possible to render the router useless.

There are tutorials out there to show you how to configure the public access point feature (this one is quite easy to follow).  Once finished, you should have a public access point similar to those coffee shop connections with a splash screen and all.

Get Fonera 2.0 & Make Some Money With Your Public Access Point

wireless router access pointVisit Fon.com and get an idea of what they are trying to do with their router offerings.  Built in is the ability to make a a few bucks by sharing your wifi signal.  The idea is that when a non-Fon user logs on, they have to pay and this is when you get paid.

Fon spots (what they call their public access points) are free to other Fonera owners so just purchasing one gives you access to any of the one million other Fon spots in the world.

Check out the video introduction.

Now you have no excuse to leave your wifi open and insecure for the world to use.  I gave you four methods how to securely make a wireless router into an access point and I even included one way to possibly make some money doing so.  So tell me, how will you securely share your wifi?

  1. Jack Cola
    August 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    No worries,
    I have what is called "Bob" so it's custom bad with the ISP http://www.iinet.net.au/bob/

    EDIT:
    Just reading through the instruction manual now and I see this, so obviously it's most likely what I am after

    "VLAN Access Control:
    In this table you can enable or disable the communication between the VLAN bindings by ticking (enable) or un-ticking (disable) the corresponding name in the table."

  2. timmyjohnboy
    August 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Good link!

    And it does seem that it would keep them separate. What kind of router do you have?

  3. Jack Cola
    August 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Tim, another suggestion could be to install something like http://www.tomizone.com/ as firmware on your router (if it's supported). You even have the ability to make money out of it.

    Also, is it possible to do the same share your internet connection and keep your personal network safe if your router supports multiple VLAN's? Eg. My router has two separate WLAN, so if I assign WLAN to VLAN 1, and WLAN2 to VLAN2, that would keep both networks separate?

  4. Jack Cola
    August 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Tim, another suggestion could be to install something like http://www.tomizone.com/ as firmware on your router (if it's supported). You even have the ability to make money out of it.

    Also, is it possible to do the same share your internet connection and keep your personal network safe if your router supports multiple VLAN's? Eg. My router has two separate WLAN, so if I assign WLAN to VLAN 1, and WLAN2 to VLAN2, that would keep both networks separate?

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      Good link!

      And it does seem that it would keep them separate. What kind of router do you have?

      • Jack Cola
        August 5, 2010 at 10:49 am

        No worries,I have what is called "Bob" so it's custom bad with the ISP http://www.iinet.net.au/bob/

        EDIT:
        Just reading through the instruction manual now and I see this, so obviously it's most likely what I am after

        "VLAN Access Control:
        In this table you can enable or disable the communication between the VLAN bindings by ticking (enable) or un-ticking (disable) the corresponding name in the table."

    • Aibek
      August 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      I think it's possible but to be honest never tried it myself. In case you will need an assistance I suggest posting this on MakeUseOf Answers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *