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Wireless Networking Software Hardware Linux

Open Source Hotspots 206

darthcamaro writes "Not that long ago it was a serious pain to get an 802.11b card to work on a Linux machine. [ed note: We love you Jean Tourrilhes!] Wi-Fi Planet has a story where they do an overview of a wad of open source Wi-Fi projects. Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point? - standard Linux routing is enough to create your own access point, with a few other tools like Public IP's Zone CD or the Less Networks Hotspot server, you can freely create a hotspot and manage it all in minutes. I guess all this means that both Wi-Fi and open source are literally 'everywhere'."
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Open Source Hotspots

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  • Jean Tourrilhes (Score:3, Informative)

    by untermensch ( 227534 ) * on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:18PM (#9249765)
    [ed note: We love you Jean Tourrilhes!]

    As you may have known, or guessed from the context, Jean Tourrilhes is involved in all things Linux/Wifi. He has written a great deal of code and documentation on the subject, not to mention research papers.
    See more at his page [hp.com].
    • Re:Jean Tourrilhes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dukeluke ( 712001 ) *
      Indeed - with the vast number of open-source projects out there - there is no legitimate reason why any business should have their WiFi at a security risk.

      The community is committed to quality - and most importantly, community. (yeah, yeah - play on words). We work together to make the 802.11x standards as bullet-proof and understood as possible.

      • Re:Jean Tourrilhes (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Minna Kirai ( 624281 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @02:43PM (#9250823)
        We work together to make the 802.11x standards as bullet-proof and understood as possible.

        There is no need to add security to 802.11x. To do so would be a waste of effort, or even counterproductive.

        Adequate networking security already exists for the application-layer that runs on top of whatever physical communication mechanism you have. (It has names like SSL, SSH, VPN, and PGP).

        If you extend Wifi to be "secure", then people will depend on it, and may ignore other measures that would protect them not only from radio sniffers, but also from eavesdroppers at the ISP or promiscuous PCs on the local ethernet.
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:21PM (#9249807)
    "Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point? - standard Linux routing is enough to create your own access point"

    Please explain how Linux software and transmit data via a wireless network without any hardware. While that sure would be a neat trick, I'm going to have to file this under the "you dont need to spend 90$ on a wireless acess point! Just spend 300$ on a computer, 50$ on a WAN card and install Linux for FREE!!!" brand of zealotry.

    • by RogueProtoKol ( 577894 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:25PM (#9249863) Homepage
      Not accusing you of not RTFA, you probably just overlooked this bit by accident;

      Guess what? You don't always necessarily need a fixed wireless router device to create your own WLAN. You can do it with two machines that both have Wi-Fi cards, and leave more expensive APs out of the picture.

      There are a number of different ways to accomplish this with freely available GNU/Linux based open source software. A typical Linux distribution will generally allow you set up a Linux box as a 'wired' router, so turning it into a wireless router isn't really that big a leap.
      • Yeah, don't buy a $900 Cisco AP. Just use an old Linux system with some WIFI cards in it. Then watch it as it crashes and burns when some Windows XP user put their wifi card into Power Save Mode.

        I even switched to FreeBSD, and it also has the bug. I have read that FreeBSD 5.x has a fix for it. But still, I would have saved a bunch of head aches if I just spend $300/ea more and bought Cisco equipment, but I wanted to save $900 total and went with Linux/FBSD on Soekris boxes.

        (HostAP mode only. PTP work
    • Please explain how Linux software and transmit data via a wireless network without any hardware. While that sure would be a neat trick, I'm going to have to file this under the "you dont need to spend 90$ on a wireless acess point! Just spend 300$ on a computer, 50$ on a WAN card and install Linux for FREE!!!" brand of zealotry.

      I'd file it under 'get an old pc from work/take one you allready have, slap in a wifi card and voila, you have something you can play with', unlike the stupid prefab access points
    • by m1a1 ( 622864 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:34PM (#9249970)
      I can't believe this got rated insightful.

      The author of the parent post should really sit down and think for a minute about what he's saying. Sure the post didn't point out that you need a wireless card in the computer you plan to have act as the access point, but come on. I think most people here could figure that much out.

      As far as spending $300 on a computer just to be the access point... BS. Nobody suggested such a thing. The point is that you probably already have a primary computer hardwired to some kind of WAN connection. Why not let it also be the access point. People who do this using windows aren't labelled Windows zealots. It's just being smart with your resources. If the computer is going to be on anyways it's cheaper (or at least it used to be cheaper) to grab a usb 802.11b antennae than it is to buy an access point.

      Bottom line is you are looking for a reason to call someone a zealot. Especially seeing as the post was rather non-zealful. There was no pushing you to use linux or use of phrases like "M$" and "Winbloze". The author simply pointed out that wireless is no longer a problem with Linux. Oh geez, he must be a zealot.

      Dumbass.
    • Please explain how Linux software and transmit data via a wireless network without any hardware.

      There: RFC1149/CPIP [linux.no]

      By the way, WAN has nothing to do with wireless, it means "wide area network". I seem to recall the official wireless acronym/hip term is "WiFi" (which is a bitch because it always reminds me of my divorce. That's why I call them "802.11b", or *gasp* "wireless" cards).
    • It's a pretty safe bet that if the user is reading /. they already have a computer. Plug the cable modem into the computer, purchase a wifi NIC, and they're set to supply the internet to anyone who drives by within broadcast distance.

      I had thought about doing this but I still needed to buy another wifi NIC for my second system. The choice was $40 for the wifi NIC or $80 for the wireless AP. I currently use the wireless AP as a hub. Certainly iptables can do everything that it can do but it gives me a l
    • Find an old 486 with a working CD in the trash. Boot up LiveLINUX CD Router and voila - you've got an access point without spending any dough.

  • and to think, when they finally get those tiny microdust processors working, we might even be able to cover the planet in wifi... Imagine that.... But would we have to suffer with the grey dust and wear versaci breathing masks?
  • what about... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bobsalt ( 575905 )
    NoCat.net????

    I love the Albert Einstein quote -lol


    • Re:what about... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Alan Hicks ( 660661 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:48PM (#9250155) Homepage
      Seriously, nocat is a great piece of work. I had the opportunity to test nocat with some SMC WAPs recently and I was impressed. The setup was a little difficult (had trouble getting the latest stable to work, nightly opporated fine however), but once it was up and running I had no trouble accomplishing exactly what I wanted.

      The company I was working for was trying to install wifi access in downtown Macon GA. We got beat to the punch by Cox Communications (who has a many time inferiour setup, but I won't go into that). NoCat basically lets you firewall off all ip traffic until a user opens their web browser. Upon doing that, their session is captured by nocat and redirected to an https page where they have the option of signing in, or using the system anonymously.

      The benefits of this are incredible. Coffee shops can use it to broadcast out a TOS that one must agree to before using their wifi, large scale networks can offer web page advertising that everyone must go through sooner or later, and universites can require students to sign in to use the free service. It's a great way to offer 'contractual' service to users without having to distribute wifi keys everywhere.
  • by tbase ( 666607 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:22PM (#9249826)
    Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point?

    They have Open Source hardware now?
  • Location? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drewzhrodague ( 606182 ) <drew@noSpaM.zhrodague.net> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:22PM (#9249828) Homepage Journal
    Did you know that you can find the locations of some of these projects, by searching for SSIDs [wifimaps.com]? Also, if you know part of the MAC address (for the vendor), and the location, you can pair it down, and see maps of their coverage. Of course, this is all from wardriving data, uploaded by our users -- go out and wardrive!
    • I found an access point that used to be here where I work on that list. Its SSID changed *ages* ago. A lot of the information on there seems to be a few years old - stuff changes quickly these days.
      • Yah, we've been working on a couple of different ways to check that the AP has either moved, changed SSID, or has been taken out of service. The SSID name should have changed if any wardrivers found the unit with the new name, however. Same for WEP charachteristics.
        • I suppose that it's difficult to keep an accurate map. It's quite possible that a lot of the "default" SSIDs changed as soon as the owners read the FM. :)
          • WiFi Defaults? (Score:2, Informative)

            Actually, not. You'd think that consumers would read the snippets of documentation that come with the box, understand what they're doing when they turn this thing on, and pipe their computers into it. This is not the case. ~70% is unencrypted, and about 30% are totally default. What's the best way to get users to understand this?

            I figure, shipping the unit with the factory defaults as nothing working, and make the user read/configure the thing first.
            • Dude, I just found my AP. I think I need to turn on WEP.
            • Users don't read instructions. It seems to be a primarily computer-based thing. A desk, that seems simple enough, but since they're not exactly sure which piece is for which, they read the instructions. A computer, on the other hand, is black magic. Black magic comes with instructions?

              I can't count the number of times I've been doing friendly (read: free) tech support for someone and they ask me to, say, come and get their printer working. So I get there, ask them for the instruction manual, which half the
  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) * <.richardprice. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:23PM (#9249832)

    Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point?

    Really? Who is giving away mini-itx systems these days then? My $40 Netgear access point is silent and very small and has all the features I want, Id like to see someone put together a linux based wifi router for that sort of money. The whole point of an access point is that its small and discreat enough to be wall mounted, ceiling mounted, crawl space mounted or whatever. Yes this statement may be true if you are looking to reuse old PC hardware, but then you loose much of the point of an AP.

    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by johnpaul191 ( 240105 )
      let alone the electricity use and heat that a PC produce compared to an AP. it might not be a lot, but when you consider you will keep the machine running mostly 24/7 it adds up..... unless you live somewhere like Las Vegas where electricity costs virtually nothing.
      • Access points really only get "warm" from what I've seen. Well, at least mine. I have a netgear wireless router that is on 24/7 and you dont really feel any heat coming off of it.

        Though I should mention that it's enough heat to be annoying. I had a small box of mini-reese cups and had unknowingly placed it on top of my router only to find the entire box melted the next day.

        So I put the box in the fridge and had a Reese's Brick. :)
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wakkow ( 52585 ) *
      It seems the whole point of this type of system is to be able to control who gets to access the AP and what those people can/can't access.

      I have no need for a Linux-based wireless AP, but there are many applications that do.
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by tji ( 74570 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:35PM (#9249988)
      My $40 Netgear access point is silent and very small and has all the features I want, Id like to see someone put together a linux based wifi router for that sort of money

      Actually, there are some Linux based AP's for not much more than that. I'm not talking about x86 boxes, with a Wifi card and software to act as an AP. There are cheap hardware AP's that use Linux, and can be extended & modified.

      The one I use is the Linksys WRT54G [linksys.com]. It's an 802.11G AP, running Linux, and there are several open projects creating firmware updates with nice feature extensions. At the minimum, it allows you to ssh into the box and modify the firewall settings to do exactly what you want.. which is a bit leap over closed AP's.

      Some good info on mods for this AP are here: http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/LinksysWr t54g [seattlewireless.net]
      • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sahib! ( 11033 )

        Soekris Engineering [soekris.com] produces 486-based routing hardware that will run your choice of Open Source OS. They aren't quite as cheap as a Linksys or Netgear router, but they are hackable and upgradable, since the network interfaces are PCMCIA or Mini-PCI cards and they have Compact Flash interfaces for storage.

    • ok no problem

      linksys pci 802.11b card.... $19.00 newegg..
      RACK MOUNT Pentium 133 computer with 64 meg of ram and other junk in it... $0.00 - $9.00 at a local hamfest, computer store, flea market, etc... Yes I find Pentium 133-233 machines all day at free to $10.00 each recently I found a bunch in rack mount cases...

      so I'm at $28.00 + $0.98 for an expensive blank CDR for the bootable ISO image that installs and set's up a custom Accesspoint that does things that you can NEVER EVER do with your netgear. (Li
      • You have *got* to be kidding me...

        $40 wirelss router [pcconnection.com]. A single computer on the back end running NoCat/Squid/Etc. to handle authentication/filtering/etc.

        Which is better? Saving $10 to use an 8-year-old computer with an 8-year-old power supply that consumes 10x the power and takes 5+ times the space, or a small, silent, cool device that is UNDER WARRANTY and has no moving parts?

        And in case you missed the "but I can't redirect the initial connect to a different page!", I can do exactly that ON THE BACK

    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Funny)

      by m1a1 ( 622864 )
      The whole point of an access point is that its small and discreat enough to be wall mounted, ceiling mounted, crawl space mounted or whatever.

      Incredible. And all along I thought the point of an AP was to allow wireless network connectivity.
    • Unless of course you already have a building full of PCs (office for example?) and want to be able to load up some software to create an instant full mesh of access points.

      A USB WiFi adaptor that works with HostAP is around $10-$15 in bulk, and you will get much much better coverage with one in every third desktop on your network than with one or two APs per office.

      You can then also get other advantages, such as pre-cached handover (great for VoIP), more granular connection tracking, more complex firewall
    • http://wiki.personaltelco.net/index.cgi?Node172

      I took an old Compaq laptop (p2/333, 196MB RAM, 6GB HD) that I got for $50 from a company sale. Added a Senao ($80) 200mw wifi card with external antenna connections. I'm currently using a 5.5 dBi omni ($20) with plans to upgrade to a 12 dBi roof-mount.

      Additional security has been provided by the already-in-place Cisco 1900 Catalyst switch. VLAN2, which is what my AP & main linux-based server are on - can not talk to VLAN1, which is what the rest of th
    • I have a computer in my basement right now running a webserver. That machine is essentially unloaded, and needs to always be on. Using it as an access point would save money. Not just the cost of a dedicated access point, but also the 4 watts a dedicated access point would use. (yes I know that machine is using 70 watts or so, but it is going to do that with or without adding AP functionality)

      Your arguments for a dedicated AP turn against the AP when you add in all the other things you do with the AP

  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:24PM (#9249844)
    Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point? - standard Linux routing is enough to create your own access point, with a few other tools like Public IP's Zone CD or the Less Networks Hotspot server, you can freely create a hotspot and manage it all in minutes.

    So what is the difference between an Access Point and an access point? This says I don't need one, all I need is Public IP's Zone CD. But one of the requirements of that is an access point.

    I guess in short - huh?

    • AFAIK, an access point is any wireless device in "Master" mode. An Access Point (capital letters) is a consumer device that fills this role.

      There are three modes that a wireless device can be in:

      1. Ad-hoc (communicating with anyone and everyone)
      2. Managed (communicating with a single access point)
      3. Master (An access point)

      So, to build your own access point, you need a card and driver that supports Master mode. Again, this is all AFAIK.

  • My homebrew router (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j0hndoe ( 677869 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:24PM (#9249849) Journal
    I've had an iPaq 3650 in a dual-pcmcia sleeve, running handhelds.org Linux as my wireless router for several years. I've never had to reboot it, either. It's silent, fits on my windowsill, and has a built-in UPS. :)
  • fun with orinoco (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:27PM (#9249883)
    Not that long ago it was a serious pain to get an 802.11b card to work on a Linux machine.

    Don't worry. If you miss the pain of the good ol' days, try getting monitor mode working properly with an Orinoco card on a 2.6.x kernel. Fun times. For some reason the owners of the orinoco driver will not include monitor mode by default, and you have to patch it in. Super annoying.
  • Any WiFi compliant wireless router or access point
  • by ack154 ( 591432 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:27PM (#9249893)
    Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point?

    So is this like when you can share the Airport on an Apple without having an actual base station? For example, I can just open up my iBook and create an access point with my airport card (presumably to share the ethernet connection, or dialup, if you dare).
    • Yeah. It's great that Linux can now do what Apple did back in 1999.

      (this isn't a dig on Linux, btw...I'm really impressed that wireless works so well on it...so much as an "hey apple has cool stuff first" post. i've been burning DVDs on my powerbook lately and have been very pleased with how painless it's been -- so long as you're willing to give up a little control).
    • I'm not versed in Apple but I suspect you are missing the point. The idea isn't that you can create an ad hoc network, you can do that with just about any wifi cards on any platform. The joy of this is you can set up your linux box to behave just as a wireless router would with more powerful tools. It's the TOOLS that make this fun. Everything you can set up for a linux gateway you can apply to your entire wireless AP without spending the money for a commercial version.

      Yes, your generic AP for $40 will
      • Well that's kind of why I was asking, I know that the Apple version is pretty simple and basic, though I think that you can get at least a couple more of those services (than the most basic). But I wanted to be sure that it may have been that there was more to it.

        Personally though, the most I need can be had with the "generic" access point - but I can definitely see the need for more control.
  • It's nice to see that Linux is helping some folks out with their connectivity issues. However, the article doesn't address the number one problem I've seen on most Linux user forums - which is how to get the dang card recognized and configured in the first place.

    Myself, I have a Linksys WUSB11 v 2.8 wireless device. Linksys, the consumer arm of Cisco, is not exactly a small player. But to get my card to work I have to go to the Berlios.de site, do a CVS checkout (if I want 2.6 kernel support), and make sure I have kernel source around to build the driver.

    Someone who can simplify THAT is going to make a lot more headway with the average user.

    My .02 worth...
    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:37PM (#9250025) Homepage
      Get anything with a Prism chipset, and you're usually golden. The hostap stuff works with Prism 2/2.5/3, and the prism54 stuff (for g) works with Prism GT. Anything advertising Intersil chipsets are generally Prism. I've had good success with Orinoco stuff, but anyone who licenses Intersil's chipset will work, as I've tried some of the off-brand stuff too with good success.

      Prism-based cards are plentiful and cheap, and the drivers, although initially flaky, have really improved over the last couple of months.

      Try it, you'll like it. You know you want to.
      • Would anyone be so kind as to make more specific hardware recommendations? I mean, it's great to know which chipsets are compatible, but there are a great many linux users who would like to move to wireless but have neither the time nor the patience to do the research. It would be greatly appreciated if people could post what wireless hardware they have had success with. A few good vendor recommendations would be helpful as well...
      • Well, this has certainly been a sticking point for me. I have a linksys card and d-link card, and I can't get either of them to work correctly in my laptop. The linksys card will only work if I configure the thing *before* I insert it for the first time, and then only for those exact settings. For some reason, I can't change settings on the fly. If I go to a different hotspot, I have to totally uninstall everything and re-install with new settings. Yeah, there's probably a better way, but I'll be damned if
  • I know I am going to get flamed for this, but can't you already do this with Windows(internet connection sharing) and OSX?
    • Yes you can. The point is you can now easily do this with linux using a host of third party tools and native linux routing. No one ever said you couldn't do the same thing with windows or Mac OSX. Go back to your hole, troll.
  • by eechuah ( 30147 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:29PM (#9249917)
    Hi,

    I'll probably get modded to oblivion for this, but the support of wifi for linux is dismal. Many cards don't work, and those that work, many features don't work (like WEP!!). This is obviously no fault of the community, since they're doing their best to reverse engineer hardware, but asking people to create AP's using Linux when most cards don't even FUNCTION is a little weird.

    (I know what I'm talking about. I've bought 2 wifi cards for my Mythtv box, and both only work partially, even though they're reported as "working" by the HW compatibility list).
  • So within minutes, my stuff can be available over wireless... or, within minutes, my cable modem can be saturated with pringles cans from miles(?) away! Wheee! That sounds like a plan. Hey, all I need is that 92 TB router, and then I just uncap my cable modem and watch as time warner's bw usage goes to the moon.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My question is, what mode are these networks running in? Last I checked, you couldn't put just any network card into infrastructure mode. I haven't seen anything says it's possible with 802.11g cards at all. You can create a router using a wireless card in ad-hoc mode, but the performance is going to be very suboptimal. If your router can't manage infrastructure mode, it just isn't as good as a commercial access point.
  • Yup (Score:4, Funny)

    by tomhung ( 781558 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:33PM (#9249969)
    Did you realize that you don't even need to spend the dough for an Access Point?

    Duh, I've been leaching off my neighbors for years.

  • AFAIK, these wifi thingies have antenna's. My casemodded Asus p4p800, does not. However, it would look cool, so where can I get one?

    "/Dread"
  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:36PM (#9250003)
    If you're using the same computer both as an access point and a, well, computer (ftp/mail/www/whatever else server), this makes sense. But I would think that reusing old hardware as a dedicated AP would pull 150-200 watts, while a commercial AP would draw less than ten...
  • Not that long ago it was a serious pain to get an 802.11b card to work on a Linux machine

    Still is, your lucky if your card is supported, if linux support is important to you make sure there is a driver availiable for any card you choose.
    • So, any links? I've been trying to find one for months. Not that they're not out there, just that I can't find one. I can say that the crap at Best Buy does not work.
      • So, any links? I've been trying to find one for months. Not that they're not out there, just that I can't find one. I can say that the crap at Best Buy does not work.

        There is a list on the net, google for linux wifi drivers or something similar...

        And avoid the linksys wmp11 v2.7 (broadcom chipset) which is what i have, annoying other wmp11 cards with different chipsets do have drivers, just colour me unlucky i guess.
        • Well, with the aid of tips from some other posters here, I was able to find a card that seems like it will work.

          Specifically, the Cisco Aironet 350 series cards have native linux drivers available directly from Cisco's site. The card is a little pricey ($130 - $200), but probably worth it and is probably what I'll get. Now, if I could just find a local retailer I'd be happy. Probably though, I'll need to order it from the internet.
  • Mini-ITX solutions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArcRiley ( 737114 ) <arcriley@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:38PM (#9250032)
    If your goal is just a home WIFI AP and you want to save money, this isn't the way to do it. You can pickup a decent 802.11a (or g) AP from Pricewatch [pricewatch.com] for under $100. Linksys even makes a 802.11g AP that runs GNU/Linux and allows you to load your own software onto it.

    However, if you're looking for something custom, there's just no better way than building it yourself. I recommend picking up a nice VIA EPIA 800 from CWLinux [cwlinux.com] preloaded with their LinuxBIOS [linuxbios.org] and toss in one or two WiFi cards (one A, one G).

    Some examples of the kind of flexibility this gives you is offering IPv6 support, packet tunneling to hide your upstream, or setting up a custom website which all new users of the hotspot will be given when they try to access any website until they've activated their service (EULA, payment, whatever).

    The minimum the hardware for this is going to run around $350. With only a few extra features, it can easily run over $500. That $40 802.11a AP from Pricewatch sure looks like a good deal now, doesn't it?

  • by pjkundert ( 597719 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:43PM (#9250098) Homepage
    Remember...

    Most poeple running Linux already have a computer...

    What they don't have is a Wi-Fi hotspot...

    You can pick up an used Prism 2.5 802.11b card (such as a Dlink DWL-520) for $30 (probably less, before this story hit!). That's it! You've got a wireless access point. Done. No extra hardware to "hide", not more crap to plug in. Just compile in the kernel "hostap" patches, and away you go!

    Since you're running a firewall already (you know about Shorewall, right?), it is reasonably easy to set up a firewalled NAT subnet to contain your wireless LAN traffic. Don't bother with silly WEP, use ssh or ipsec for secure access, or just route access from unsecurable Windows boxes directly out to the open internet (use MAC filtering, if you feel vulnerable to losers driving by using your open AP to surf for porn...).

    • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:50PM (#9250178) Homepage Journal
      Remember...

      Most poeple running Linux already have a computer...

      What they don't have is a Wi-Fi hotspot...


      Hmm. Yes, but an awful lot of people running Linux have a, singular, computer. And they'd kind of like to use it in different places without running wires everywhere. IE: the normal use of a wireless internet connection.

      This is only useful as you point out if they have two computers, one of which they want to leave right where its it. Oh, and they're willing to pay about the same amount of money to get a wireless card as you can pay for a decent WAP. Which is fine, if you get your jollies hacking on your WAP ... personally, that falls into the "Just make it work" category for me - there are more interesting things that I can do with my time, even while coding.
    • "Just compile in the kernel "hostap" patches, and away you go!"

      you mean I'd have to compile my kernel??? I've managed to go 5 years now with Linux without ever having to compile a kernel...

  • not an AP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Space ( 13455 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @01:47PM (#9250141) Homepage
    the sites linked do not create an AP from your PC. They merely handle authentication for an access point. The requirements list two ethernet cards, one to connect to your AP, one to connect to your lan/internet connection. This has nothing to do with setting up wireless on Linux.
    • Re:not an AP (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aquabat ( 724032 )
      The first link describes using one of the computers in your house as a wireless access point.

      The idea is that the computer that has the wired internet connection gets a wireless NIC added to it, and this NIC is set up as the "wireless" access point for any other wireless NICs in the area.

      Kinda like how you may have set up a linux box to be the house router via a wired hub in the past, only now the house side NIC is wireless and you don't need the hub anymore.

  • by rfg ( 163595 )
    An access point serves as a bridge between your wired LAN and your wirelessed computers. A router will break that functionality as the network address will change. Useless for business.
  • by agent ( 7471 ) <heatskr2000@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @04:45PM (#9252426) Homepage Journal
    Too bad he did not mention the MeshAP project by locustworld.com [locustworld.com]
  • you know, if you want to do it for a hobby so you can learn about WiFi, cool. Otherwise, the benefits of "rolling your own" access point on Linux are minimal. Dedicated hardware access points are really a miracle of engineering--they're full-featured yet cheaper than dirt (you can often pick them up for less than $30).

    Unless your time is worth *nothing* most people would be better served by simply purchasing a dedicated hardware access point (most are powered by Linux anyhow).

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