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Thread: Turn my laptop into a router?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    753

    Turn my laptop into a router?

    My home router uses WPA2 for my Wi-Fi, but I'm experimenting with homebrew programs on my Nintendo DS and it requires an internet connection. However, the DS's current firmware (and even all the custom homebrew firmware I could find) only supports the WEP protocol. I do not want to downgrade my router from WPA2 to WEP however. So is there a way for me to turn my laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot serving WEP, while being itself connected via WPA2? I want it to be able to connect to my WPA2 router, but transmit WEP to my DS, preferably with a different passkey for security (I was able to crack a WEP key in under 40 seconds with aircrack on a laptop, so I don't trust WEP with the same key that I use for my router). Is there a way for me to do this?

    Router-------WPA2---X--->DS

    Router-------WPA2------->Laptop-------WEP------->DS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Beans
    2,050

    Re: Turn my laptop into a router?

    You could buy a 2nd wireless card for your laptop, a little USB dongle you can get for under $10 on Amazon or eBay. I think the newer versions of Ubuntu have a built-in feature in Network Manager to make a hotspot out of a 2nd wireless card in the way that you seem to want.

    Can your Nintendo handle a wired/ethernet connection instead of WiFi? Then you could turn an old router into a WiFi bridge of sorts (connected via WPA2) but you would plug an ethernet cable from one of the LAN ports into the Nintendo.

    Or - just get a 2nd router that is dedicated to the Nintendo and is attached to the 1st router; 2nd router does only WEP. Maybe you make it static IP with a weird subnet no one would be able to guess easily. Unplug the spare router when you aren't on the Nintendo...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    753

    Re: Turn my laptop into a router?

    I can't buy anything new (I have to use my laptop) and no, a Nintendo DS cannot connect to an Ethernet cable. It supports WEP connections and unsecured connections.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Beans
    12

    Talking Re: Turn my laptop into a router?

    If you are going to use your laptop as shown in your diagram, you will have to install a second wireless adapter in it somehow, or hardwire via enet to a dedicated wireless router. Either way you will have to spend some money or go scrounging with your freinds

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    753

    Re: Turn my laptop into a router?

    So there aren't any software solutions?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    1,333

    Re: Turn my laptop into a router?

    You can create a virtual network interface to go on top of your physical one, to give the illusion of two cards.

    I don't know the details of WEP or WPA2, whether your hardware can support both protocols, but the idea is sound at least for entertainment or education.

    What is NOT viable is to separate security between the two networks. The packets for both "networks" travel through the same space, and if they are routed by your laptop then those routed packets might be "secure" on the one side but not secure on the other, making your secure side no better than the less secure side.

    So if your desire to not "downgrade" your router is for security reasons, your laptop router project will be the security hole you're afraid of, at least for the packets being routed and if your laptop can be compromised, the entire traffic can be had.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Beans
    753

    Re: Turn my laptop into a router?

    So then is there a way to use a laptop to boost the signal strength of an unsecured hotspot and make its range longer?

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