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8 Ways to Recyle Old Wireless Gear - page 2

Extra Access Points, Legacy Support, Repeaters, Repeaters, Build a Bridge

  • July 30, 2009
  • By Eric Geier

5) Offer VPN connections or connect offices together

Another feature provided by some firmware replacements is a built-in VPN server and client. This lets you set up the router for secure remote connections, so you can access files and services or secure your Wi-Fi hotspot connections. Plus if you have multiple locations, you can securely connect them via the Internet. You can find this functionality in the DD-WRT or Sveasoft firmware replacements.

6) Turn it into a hotspot

If you have a business, you could convert your old router into a hotspot gateway. Though you can simply plug in a regular wireless router to offer wireless Internet, you should implement the hotspot features. A captive portal makes users see a disclaimer or advertisements, or make payment, before getting Internet access. Plus some hotspot gateways can manage user accounts if login is required.

Both DD-WRT and Sveasoft include hotspot features. You might also want to check out the CoovaAP firmware replacement and all their free services. Sputnik offers a modified version of DD-WRT along with their paid services.

7) Make it a RADIUS server

If you want to use the enterprise mode of WPA or WPA2, but don't have a RADIUS server to do the authentication, you may be able to convert your old router into one. If you have a supported router, you can flash it with the TinyPEAP firmware replacement.

8) Do your own brainstorming

We've discussed many ideas on how to use your old gear. Now you can review the features and documentation of the firmware projects to see if there are even more features that interest you. If all else fails, list your equipment on eBay���

Eric Geier is the author of many networking and computing books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft�� Windows Vista (Que 2007).

Article courtesy of Wi-Fi Planet

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