DIY – Build a Pro Grade Router Using a Spare Netbook

Router

Heavy use of Photoshop was required to make this look more interesting than it really is

A lot of my tech projects are born more out of curiosity than necessity but this one is as practical as it is inexpensive (assuming you have some spare parts). Netbooks are a perfect fit for this job as the rise of the tablet has made them obsolete and available for re-purposing.

But why? You ask, would anybody want to do this? Let me enumerate the ways:

  1. Better security through router based virus/spam/ad/phish/spyware blocking
  2. Better network performance – A dual core Atom is better than the CPU in your DLink
  3. Upgrading your wireless network requires only a new Access Point
  4. Business class router features (OpenVPN, IDS, QoS, Captive Portal)
  5. Content filtering (my daughter will be online before I know it)
  6. More blinky lights to corroborate your self proclaimed Geek status

Ingredients required:

  • Netbook with a LAN Port
  • USB 10/100 NIC
  • Your existing wireless router (to become the Access Point)
  • Some spare network cables, a USB memory stick, and the Untangle install file

The high level HOWTO steps, may vary slightly depending on your netbook/router:

  • Set your old Router to Access Point mode, disable DHCP
  • Reset your old Router’s IP address to 192.168.2.2
  • Plug your USB NIC into the Netbook
  • Plug your cable modem into the USB NIC, power cycle your cable modem
  • Connect your Netbook’s LAN port to one of your Access Point’s LAN Ports (NOT THE WAN PORT!)
  • Turn on your Netbook and go into the bios
  • Disable your Netbook’s wireless adapter to prevent interference (optional)
  • Write the Untangle .img file to a USB memory stick use (use Image Writer for Windows)
  • Plug the USB memory stick into your Netbook
  • Save your Netbook’s BIOS changes and restart
  • Go into your Nebook’s boot options screen (usually F11 or F12 on startup)
  • Select the USB drive option
  • Run through the Untangle setup process
  • Install the free apps that are available in Untangle (the Lite Package)
  • Test it out on another computer at http://192.168.2.1

Since you didn’t change your wireless password, you should still be able to connect to your network without any changes to your client devices. This could be a good gift for your non tech savvy friends/relatives who run into a lot of viruses/malware. And if you have kids, you can block content without worrying about them figuring out how to disable browser based filtering (because they will). I tried PFSense but it didn’t properly support my hardware so I next tried Untangle. I’ve used IPCOP before but it’s a much less beginner friendly setup.

Untangle has already

Untangle has blocked 38 pages due to spyware on my computer since I installed it a few days ago.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll update this post with answers and your suggestions.

4 thoughts on “DIY – Build a Pro Grade Router Using a Spare Netbook

  1. Katherine

    Greetings! I’ve been following your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout
    out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

  2. Www.Gameswizardx.com

    Brain Age group: Train Your Brain inn Moments
    a Day showcased several brief games that desikgner Doctor Ryuta Kawashima claimed might increase blood flow to the prefontal cortex.
    Whilpe they maake a dinner feast for their plaything and stuffed animals,
    you will definitely get hours of ejoyment watching thjem figure outt hhow
    to be innovative. The other issue is that We’ve wasted about 4 hours previously week playing this.

    This is a page to arrange the video games I’ve developed or revised significantly with some
    notes regarding content. The house inn Eliminated Home” is filled with nods to the style of video games that motivated it; 1 subtopic challenged students to gather the hidden references.
    There are many different games that can be efficient when used bby tthe
    right instructor for the correct group of students, ” Husøy explained.
    When I look for online games to put in the particular classroom, I use the same approach as any various other media.
    They are destroying the normal values and lexicon that will allow all of us to
    get in touch with each other plus hold us together being
    a society. Thhe majority of games using a sexual theme featture a
    man character and a lot of naked ladies.
    A new series of games appear regularly and therefore you
    do not get bored playing the same video games again and again, these people gget a brand new variety of onliine
    gamje every time ech goes online. The newest series of video
    games these day’s aree escape games to have to emerge from the
    snare solve the puzzle, find tthe keys pus score a lot more as possible.

    Give consideration though, because the game speeds up as you go.
    If you love Code Lyoko games you will discover others on mygames4girls.

    This is a web page to organize the games We’ve created or even modified considerably with some records about articles.
    The house within Gone Home” is full of nods towards the genre associated
    with gamess that inspired this; one subtopic challenged college
    students to collect the hidden referrals. There are plenty of various
    games which can be effective whenever used by the best teacher for the right group of students,
    ” Husøy explained. Whenn I look for gmes to setup the classroom, I usee the same approach as any other mass media.
    They are wiping out the common values and lexicon that permit us in order to communicate with each other and
    hold us jointly as a community. Thhe majority oof online games
    with a lovemaking theme have a male character and lots
    of nude women.
    The particular legacy still left byy Russia’s first wintertime Gaes is one of sparkling purpose-built arenass with little or no post-Games
    use, a massive overhaul of facilities at the Black
    sea holiday resort and a record price tag that triggered adjustments for long term Olympics.

    Simply by blaming the particular Euripean crisis on wages and the price of
    labor and ignoring the role of creddit fpows within the monetary union, economists are
    letting Biig Banks off tthe hook, absolving them rom any kind of responsibility, keep alone fault – annd unjustifiably so.

  3. Aaron

    Hi, what kind of USB NIC did you use? Will any work? And why didn’t you install directly to the netbook? Was it due to drive size? I have seen netbooks with larger hard drives now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>