Recently I learned that my netbook (a 2012 Acer Asprire One) could be configured as a home WiFi access point, with very little effort.
This trusty little computer with a really awful keyboard saw me through the hard times when my untrustworthy Thinkpad broke down. These days it is hooked to the ISP's router via ethernet, and is always on, functioning as a mediatomb and owncloud and what not server. It runs Debian stable.
The ISP's router plays rather quite poorly with Windows computers and Windows phones – which is really surprising. Running hostapd in the netbook and using that as the access point solved that problem nicely.
I needed some tiny changes in
/etc/network/interfaces for a bridge
auto lo br0 iface lo inet loopback allow-hotplug eth0 # Bridge setup iface br0 inet dhcp bridge_ports eth0 wlan0
This is what
/etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf looks like:
interface=wlan0 driver=nl80211 bridge=br0 logger_syslog_level=3 country_code=US ieee80211d=1 ctrl_interface=/var/run/hostapd ctrl_interface_group=0 ssid=<whatever> hw_mode=g channel=1 wme_enabled=0 macaddr_acl=0 auth_algs=1 wpa=2 wpa_passphrase=<whatever> wpa_key_mgmt=WPA-PSK wpa_pairwise=TKIP rsn_pairwise=CCMP
A few things of note:
- If you want to try this out, you might want to run "
/sbin/iw list" and make sure that
APis listed under "Supported interface modes". Mine has these lines:
[...] Supported interface modes: * IBSS * managed * AP * AP/VLAN * monitor [...]
- To verify that hostapd configuration is error-free, this command
/usr/sbin/hostapd -d /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf
- The Android app Wifi Analyzer helped in scanning the WiFi "neighborhood" and picking up an interference-free channel.
- Arch wiki has a lot of details.