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[Q] Long-range Wifi repeater with auto hotspot authentication?

OP tcrimsonk

1st September 2014, 09:13 PM   |  #1  
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Hi All,

At this point, I'm just brainstorming, and would like some input. (I hope this thread is in the right place)

I'm trying to find a setup to connect to free wifi hotspots that are far away, and share that connection to a group of devices locally. For example, this solution may be useful in a boat or an RV, when you're not particularly close to a free access point.

There are commercial solutions like the Rogue Wave however, this doesn't do anything to authenticate through the Terms of Service (TOS) pages that are frequently used at free access points.

This is what brings me to using Android. There are Android apps which automate the process of accepting the terms of service. My favorite right now is WebWifiLogin (I'm familiar with the security risks involved in using public wifi; and may also have the Android device to also establish a VPN connection when doing this.) (I can't find an equivalent macro-authentication solution that will run on a PC, which would make this much easier.)


So here's my proposed solution:

1. Start with a powerful omnidirectional wifi antenna (Possibly add an in-line amp if needed. Also perhaps a directional antenna may be better for non-mobile use.)

2. Connect the antenna to any Android device that supports an external Wifi antenna. I found several Android TV devices which should work. Like This, or possibly this.

3. Set up some kind of local access point/bridge. One option may be to use fqrouter2 which supposedly uses the same Wifi radio for the local WLAN, while it also connects to the remote one. Another option may be to USB or Ethernet tether to a DD-WRT Router.


Result:
The Android device has a range to connect to a free hotspot up to a mile or two away, then automatically accepts the TOS using the WebWifiLogin app, and shares that connection locally to a handful of devices.


So am I crazy? Is this too complex to work correctly? Is there a simpler solution that I'm missing?
Last edited by tcrimsonk; 1st September 2014 at 09:23 PM.
2nd September 2014, 05:19 PM   |  #2  
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Can anyone confirm whether I've posted this in the correct sub-forum?

Thanks.
2nd September 2014, 10:45 PM   |  #3  
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I use a slightly different method which yields the same results.

I have a Linksys WRT54GL router (with high gain antennas) which runs DD-WRT and a script called AutoAP. The script scans for unencrypted WIFI access points, makes sure they're live, and automatically connects to the strongest one in range.

I set up a second WPA2 encrypted WIFI SSID in the router which I connect to with my Android tablet. Once WebWifiLogin on the tablet handles the TOS login, the remote access point allows web access for any device that connects to the WRT54GL router (either by WIFI to the secondary SSID or through one of the ports)! This happens because the remote access point usually checks/remembers TOS acceptance by the MAC address of the connected device. Since it only sees the MAC address of my router, anything behind the router now gets access.
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7th September 2014, 11:28 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssenemosewa

Once WebWifiLogin on the tablet handles the TOS login, the remote access point allows web access for any device that connects to the WRT54GL router

This is great information; thanks!

I would not have thought WebWifiLogin would work when connecting through another router. When WebWifiLogin is running, its status says "Listening for WiFi events" (Or something similar) so I was under the impression that WebWifiLogin would only work if the connection to the AP is made directly by the Android WiFi interface, and not through a intermediary router.

This makes things much easier.
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