Monthly Archives: August 2021

Wifi Router as a Range Extender (Repeater Bridge)

Problem.  2800 square foot home and 1.5 acres with a path into the woods and a deck.  No way one single WiFi router can cover all this turf.

The other day I saw a Netgear XR700 Router on Facebook Marketplace for $100.  The XR700 is a rebranded Netgear R9000 aimed at gamers.  It is also a LOT cheaper than the R9000 which tips the scales at about $450.  But again, except for the case…….it is the exact same router.

Netgear XR700

Believe it or not it does cover almost all the turf in my big home but there is ONE dead spot in the house that I suspect has one too many walls and doors in the way of the wifi signal.

And when I set on the deck in the woods the wifi signal is “seen” but simply not usable at all.

So I decided to pull an old trick out of my hat.

 

I used DD-WRT firmware on my Netgear XR700 and I installed it on my old router which is a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router.  I used something called a Repeater Bridge on the Wireless Interface to extend the range of my current router.

Let’s go over how this is done:

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Network Security with PfSense

I haven’t written anything for a while because I retired and sold and bought a house and moved at all the same time.

During setup of the new home though I had to redo my internet setup and start fresh with a newly mapped network.  If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times………If you hook a store bought router to your Cable Company modem you are begging to be hacked.  Your security is non-existent. 

This is not just my opinion.  It’s a stone cold fact.  To have any element of actual security you need a hardware firewall or a router with custom firmware such as DD-WRT or OpenWRT.  OR BOTH.

This is where PfSense comes in.  It is a hardware firewall which routes all your internet traffic through its very capable interface.  And it is far from being just a firewall as well.  It is a full fledged network Operating System.

The easiest way to get some decent network security is to buy a pre-configured appliance.

Netgate 1100

This is the Netgate 1100 and it comes in at a cost of about $179.

Yeah, that’s a little bit of cabbage but do you really want to protect your network or not?

You can build your own appliance and there is no shortage of mini computers built just for hardware firewalls.

PfSense is a free download and there are several other firewall OS’s out there that are free and also Open Sourced.

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