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gtechwi

WHS 2011 as router / access point

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gtechwi

Hello,

 

I have a Netgear router and range extender that are very old, and are starting to have issues, and need to be replaced. I need fairly high power, as my internet connection is in the garage, and I need good wireless in the house. I currently use a range extender in the house, which has been very stable, albeit very SLOW. I have been using consumer grade routers for many years, and am open to a change. I have looked at products from EnGenius, Ubiquiti, etc....and am open to using one of those, but I am curious about another path....using my always-on server as a WIFI access point.

 

Does anyone have expereince or thoughts regarding installing a high power WIFI card in the WHS 2011 machine (n54L) and using it as an access point?

 

Also I would be happy to eliminate a router entirely and use the server for DHCP, with something like http://dhcpserver.sourceforge.net

 

I am open to any thoughts.....am I on a valid path, or should I stick with conventional routers?

 

Thank you

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ikon

re: WiFi. I would not use an add-in wireless NIC in the server. My experience with these is that they're underpowered and it's hard or impossible to place the antennas optimally. I would be tempted to use a USB device.

 

re: DHCP. I'm not sure why you would want to use a 3rd party product when WHS2011 has a DHCP server built in.

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oj88

Personally, I'd rather run a separate VM and load it up with Sophos Free UTM, Untangle or pfSense (choose your poison). I wouldn't want WHS2011 to be exposed on the Internet and doing the NATting, routing or firewalling.

 

Looking for a quality wireless NIC that is compatible with the above UTMs can be a challenge. You'd probably want a dual-band 802.11n or ac that supports multiple RX/TX streams. It should be something that can be plugged into a PCI-e slot and has multiple external antenna connectors.

 

If you opt for a USB wireless adapter, make sure that both the adapter and your server supports USB 3.0.

 

It would probably be more practical to just re-task an old but still-functional wireless router for access point duties.

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gtechwi

re: WiFi. I would not use an add-in wireless NIC in the server. My experience with these is that they're underpowered and it's hard or impossible to place the antennas optimally. I would be tempted to use a USB device.

 

re: DHCP. I'm not sure why you would want to use a 3rd party product when WHS2011 has a DHCP server built in.

 

Re: DHCP.....I believe I heard of the built-in DHCP, but have not looked into it. Is it as simple to use as setting up the DHCP in a regular router? I am familiar with setting up DHCP scopes in a normal server, and that is more than I want to pursue for my home setup.

 

Re: WIFI....I can concur with the thoughts on the wireless card,  although the plan was to use one with detacheable antennas, and use third party high gain antennas. Can you elaborate on how you would do this with a USB device? Would you use the built-in internet sharing tab for the network connection, or is there good software for using a network connection as Hotspot?

 

OJ88....my ISP supplied modem is actually a Netgear router, and would handle the NAT, firewall, etc. The WHS box would sit on the network and only handle the DHCP, and access point funtion. Perhaps this is only a pipe dream....?

 

I have toyed extensively with all of the Unix/Linux based routers/UTM's, and they are certainly impressive. Maybe that is the way to go, my hope was to trim down my hardware devices for the sake of simplicity at the moment.

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oj88

OJ88....my ISP supplied modem is actually a Netgear router, and would handle the NAT, firewall, etc. The WHS box would sit on the network and only handle the DHCP, and access point funtion. Perhaps this is only a pipe dream....?

 

I have toyed extensively with all of the Unix/Linux based routers/UTM's, and they are certainly impressive. Maybe that is the way to go, my hope was to trim down my hardware devices for the sake of simplicity at the moment.

Fair enough. Thanks for clearing that up. Though, I think the title is a bit misleading.

 

If you have the time and resources for it, you can convert your physical WHS2011 to a VM and re-use the physical server as a VM host. In that VM host, you can run both WHS2011 and a UTM of your choice in separate VMs. I know it's easier siad than done, but at least it will not take any more server footprint than what you have right now.

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gtechwi

Fair enough. Thanks for clearing that up. Though, I think the title is a bit misleading.

 

If you have the time and resources for it, you can convert your physical WHS2011 to a VM and re-use the physical server as a VM host. In that VM host, you can run both WHS2011 and a UTM of your choice in separate VMs. I know it's easier siad than done, but at least it will not take any more server footprint than what you have right now.

 

You're right, the title is misleading. Sadly I realized that after posting....can someone change the title for me? :wacko:

 

Maybe something like "WHS 2011 as DHCP server / Wireless AP"

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gtechwi

thanks for your input..........and happy new year to all

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