Setup a wireless home network with wireless internet access

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QUESTION :

My apartment building provides free wireless network connection to the internet, included with the rent. The wlan has no password protection.

I would like to setup a wireless router in a way it uses the apartment building’s wlan as the route to the Internet, but the wireless router would also create another, a private wlan for me to use within my apartment.

I am paying for a secure VPN connection to ensure some privacy for my internet connection. So I would like to setup the router to route all traffic to the VPN so I wouldn’t need to setup the VPN to every device I want to use.

I currently own Buffalo AirStation WHR-G300N and Asus RT-10+ wireless routers. Can I use these to build this kind of setup or do I need something else?

ANSWER :

This can be done with routers running special software, called DD-WRT, or OpenWRT. They are both excellent, with OpenWRT being, IMHO, less suited to novices.

The configuration you are searching for is the Client Mode Wireless, not to be confused with a wireless bridge. The Client Mode Wireless does exactly what you are asking for, i.e., it connects as a client to your house’s wifi network, but acts as a router, i.e. it creates a LAN-side subnet which differs from the WAN-side network, and separates them so that people on the WAN side of your router cannot access components on its LAN-side.

Also, DD-WRT and OpenWRT can be easily configured to act as VPN clients (or servers!) and to route all the traffic from their LAN-side through the VPN, increasing the privacy and the security of its clients.

Many routers sold commercially can be flashed (the technical term for endowed with) DD-WRT and OpenWRT; you can easily find via Google which routers are suitable for this operation. However, you may also wish to consider Buffalo routers, some of which come with DD-WRT conveniently pre-installed.

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