Well, That Was Fun – R.Pi routing WiFi to HotSpot

My DSL died some week or so ago. AT&T had been working in the area (installing new fibre for their fast service called Uverse or some such). I finally got tired of waiting for it to automagically fix and made a service call.

After a while of attempted debug over the phone, it was suggested that I swap to the new service as the “legacy” DSL over copper was kind of going away anyway and the new service was much faster. After another 1/2 hour with a sales person, I was “upgraded” to a Very Fast Uverse package… It was to be installed today.

The install guy came out and “discovered” that the wires didn’t work. I knew that… Then he left and the wires guy showed up. He climbed the pole and reconnected something and my DSL signal was back, but then swapped it over to the new stuff… and I’m waiting for the reschedule of the box guy to come back and plug in my new router.

So Still on the T-Mobile Hotspot.

Getting tired of not using my ‘no wireless dongle’ computers like the Evo, I decided to do something about it. Now, about 5 hours later, I have my Raspberry Pi Model 2 acting as a router to the HotSpot. Then, just for grins, I took my home WiFi router (that had been talking to the old DSL modem) and put it on the Pi (with NAT and routing configured and all).

Yes, WiFi router to wired Pi to WiFi to LTE Wireless…

Well, the only real hangup was that I needed to add a static route to get the return traffic back to the eth0 (wired ethernet port). The rest was more or less ‘cook book’ from a “how to make an Acess Point router from the Pi” page. I did need to swap eth0 for wlan0 in their directions, since I was backwards from the usual desire…

But the bottom line is that I now have the most glorious odd network you could immagin.

My WiFi router connects via wire to the R.PiM2, that then uses a WiFi dongle to talk to the T-Mobile hotspot. So my tablet can connect to the WiFi through the Pi to more WiFi to the T-Moble hotspot via LTE to the world… Such fun ;-)

Oh, and the WiFi router has 4 wired ports in the back in addition to the uplink to the Pi, so my wired boxes can connect through it too… They had been on the old DSL router ports, but it is now powered down…

Tomorrow the landline network box ought to be installed. Maybe.

But for now, I’ve got a full network back and it routes via the hotspot.

If anyone wants the sordid details, I’ll add them…

The post I modeled on was:

https://alwaystinkering.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/basic-raspberry-pi-home-wifi-router/

I used a different WiFi dongle, so didn’t need those bits, and it came up via Wicd. There was a bit of excitment finding out how to get it to take the password for the HotSpot (one hovers or clicks over a dropdown and it presents the box…)

I also downloaded and installed the hostapd software since someday I am going to make the Pi a “WiFi Access Point” (i.e. WiFi router) but it isn’t needed for this use.

Then there was the issue of the /etc/network/interfaces not being quite right and needing to put a static route in. Why it wanted to send packets out the WiFi when it had an interface up on the wired ethernet with that address range is beyond me, but it did. Oh Well, one IP ROUTE command later and pings made it to and back from the other end of the ethernet wire. Then it worked. Even a reboot and it was all persistent.

This is also decent practice for the eventual end game where I give the Pi 2 WiFi dongles and set it up as a portable isolation boundary router and Access Point. Then, at places like Starbucks, it can sit in a lunch bucket with a battery, descretely giving me a private WiFi with encryption and firewall protection and then sending that traffic on via the host WiFi. Eventually to include an encrypted tunnel to a VPN provider in some other land. So even my “Public” sessions will have encryption and firewalling and NAT isolation. But that is for another day. (Why do it? So that I don’t need to configure the ‘device du jour’ to do the VPN, and know how to quash DNS for advertizing, and… Just one place I always connect to and it sorts out the rest…)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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7 Responses to Well, That Was Fun – R.Pi routing WiFi to HotSpot

  1. E.M.Smith says:

    Sigh.

    Yesterday the wire guy confirmed good Uverse signal on the wires… Today I called ATT for clue as to when the datacom guy comes back to plug in the box.

    MONDAY!

    So almost a week after scheduled install.. 5 days after wires fixed. Maybe.

    Looks like I’m going to hit the GB limit on the LTE and be dropped to modem speeds. Oh Well.
    Somehow I’m thinking I ought to have just stuck with the “repair” call on service outage…

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    I remember the ham radio days when they linked digital repeaters for DX cluster BBS systems together.
    If the internet was out for a long time in the whole neighborhood you could build a stand alone mesh of wifi routers which could provide connectivity to someone outside the outage area.

    Big hassle but a fun project to see how many devices would be needed to cover a square mile or so.

    Hmmm materials list — a couple high gain antennas for a long hop to a working internet connect then local nodes from that primary node to cover the neighborhood.

    Major problem would be finding the high ground to make a long hop practical, hill top or tall building for the long hop link out path.

  3. Sandy McClintock says:

    After years of waiting it looks like we are going to get VDSL (Fiber-to-the-node). With 100/4 Mbps max speed. We are about 400 m from the ‘kerbside-box’ so should get close to the touted 100/4Mbps. Has anyone used VDSL? Any comments? Its got to be better than our current woeful ADSL1+ at 6/0.3Mbps.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sandy:

    I think I’m getting VDSL. Fibre is “near”, there is a short copper run, and speed is supposed to be 45 Mb/s IIRC.

    I’ll let folks know how it works out… eventually…

    @Larry: I did a posting on that…

    Cantenna on a TV antenna pole works nicely. See the DIY router link above and he has a link back to a cantenna link…

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/rise-of-the-mesh-ings/

    http://jacobsalmela.com/raspberry-pi-cantenna-ultimate-2-4ghz-wardriving-and-long-range-wifi-access/

    I set up a microwave ethernet link from Cupertino to Santa Clara from a building roof. It was about 6 stories. IIRC. All line of sight and parabolic dishes. (For Apple, about 1985ish) That’s about all it takes.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh Joy! I have high speed networking again…

    First tests with YouTube video (A Lady Gaga collection) says it does HD video for most thing fine (one not so much, or the youtube was dodgy…) and nonHD is always fine (and sharp enough I don’t see the difference…)

    Now I just need to rebuild my internal network and repoint routes and default gateways and… then I can post more again…

    Provided I run out of brandy and Gaga videos soon…. :-)

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