Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


How To Add Free Filtered WiFi To Your Network

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Update: Untangle recently released a very affordable "home" complete package. I'm going to reevaluate it, and update as necessary.

Well, like the title says. If you have a business or church that wants to have freely accessible (and filtered) wi-fi for guests, it's not as daunting a task as you think. In fact, I can show you how to do it yourself... with stuff you probably already have laying around! You'll need some computer skills, but nothing fancy. If you can use a screwdriver and know how to hook a computer up, you can probably do this yourself. Interested? Read on! Much thanks to the file people at who made this software package freely available for people like us!

First, we put together a list of things we'll need.

  1. An old or used (preferably functional!) computer. You want something with at least 512MB of memory, a hard drive (10GB or more is fine) and a CD-Rom for installing the OS. 
  2. Wi-Fi access point (you may be able to use an old router if it supports AP mode)
  3. Small network switch (only needs to be 4 ports, but use what you can find)
  4. Some Cat5 ethernet cables
  5. Two PCI ethernet cards (preferrably Intel or 3Com, but use what you can find)
  6. A blank CD-R (or a 1GB thumb drive)
  7. Another computer with a CD burner
  8. Someplace to set the computer up and work on it (keyboard, monitor, mouse, etc.)

Once you've assembled your stuff, you're going to want to give the old computer a check-up to make sure it's in good working condition. If possible, blow it out with compressed air. Make sure all the cables are connected. Make sure it has two open PCI slots for the network cards!