A Raspberry Pi wireless access point is a great way to extend the length of your Wi-Fi coverage, and provide an additional access into your network.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to setup a wireless access point, and how to configure the multiple packages that allow users to connect to your access point as if it was a router itself.
You will need to keep in mind that a Wi-Fi dongle most likely won’t be able to handle as much traffic as a normal router. This means you should avoid allowing too many connections to the device to stop it from becoming too overburdened and slow.
While you can use any Wi-Fi dongle that supports being enabled as an access point our tutorial will directly focus on how to set this up for the Raspberry Pi 3’s Wi-Fi Module. If you are using an earlier model of the Raspberry Pi you can purchase a Wi-Fi adapter that supports being utilized as an access point from numerous websites, make sure you research prior to purchasing to make sure it works on the Raspberry Pi.
This tutorial can be combined well with our VPN Access Point tutorial, you can find the tutorial on how to set that up located directly after this tutorial. Basically, it will show how to setup a OpenVPN client and redirect all traffic through that client.
Below are all the bits and pieces that I used for this Raspberry Pi Wireless Access Point tutorial, there is nothing super special that you will need to be able to complete this.
Raspberry Pi 2 or 3
Wifi dongle (The Pi 3 has WiFi inbuilt)
Setting up the Wireless Access Point
As with most tutorials I do, this one just uses a clean version of Raspbian that has been updated to the latest packages.
To setup the Raspberry Pi wireless access point we will be making the use of two packages. These two packages are hostapd and dnsmasq. hostapd is the package that allows us to utilize a Wi-Fi device as an access point, in our case we will be utilizing this to turn the Raspberry Pi 3’s Wi-Fi into our access point.
The other package, dnsmasq acts as both a DHCP and DNS server so that we can assign IP addresses and process DNS requests through our Raspberry Pi itself. As a bonus dnsmasq is very easy to configure while being somewhat lightweight in comparison to isc-dhcp-server and bind9 packages.
Remember for this specific Raspberry Pi tutorial we will need to be utilizing an ethernet network connection and not the Wi-Fi connection.
For more detail: Raspberry Pi Wireless Access Point