• Hey guys, I was wondering if it would be possible to turn my old laptop into a Wi-Fi Repeater using pfSense, with absolutely no hardware addons?

    The laptop I want to use is a HP Pavilion dv5-2040ca, if that's any help.

    I barely get signal across my house and really do want my wifi to extend all throughout my house, and seeing as though I have little to no money to spare, this is my best option. I did a bit of searching, but found no solid answers to attempt this.


  • Sell the laptop and put the cash towards proper equipment.

  • Seriously, you can buy a decent repeater for around $20.


  • Why buy new equipment if you have a laptop sitting around, don't mind the extra energy usage, and the potential decrease in network performance?

    In all seriousness, over the years I've a few times done something similar to what the OP is asking.  I think the earliest was with a FreeSCO floppy + p1 32mb Toshiba Portege and an early wifi pcmcia card.  The most recent was a thumbdrive a couple of years ago loaded up with dd-wrt x86 so I could use any older laptop (w/certain chipsets) as a wifi bridge/repeater.

    It might make sense to first investigate whether moving the current WAP would be more effective, and/or check for channel interference, etc..  But building a zero-cost repeater this way is fairly trivial, too.

  • But building a zero-cost repeater this way is fairly trivial, too.

    I'm going out on limb when I say I think the consensus here is: define "zero-cost".

    The hardware may cost you "nothing" (you already have it and it's doing nothing else for you) but the time to implement and more importantly, the time to debug/workaround/worry about hidden issues is not worth the time "cost" in my experience.  Even if you factor in the "learning" value of exploring the issues, it's cheaper to not do it at all.

    I've done lots of "fun" little projects like this trying to get value add out of old hardware.
    pfSense is an excellent piece of software that definitely works well with tons of older tech.
    Unfortunately wireless is a different kettle of fish and the newer solutions are way cheaper and much more capable/effective than trying to resurrect something.

    Just my $.02