Laptop as temporary Wireless AP and router.

I have a Laptop with a Wireless NIC, Wired NIC and a Wireless EVDO Broadband card.  I want to be able to have others access My EVDO service via either my Wired or wireless NIC.   I am using XP Pro SP2,  I no not want to use ICS or cause the other PC's to whitch to adhoc mode.

Suggested use.

A client looses their wireless router.

I step in and as an emergency repair do something to my laptop to cause it to act as a wireless router on the existing SSID.
Thomas GrengaOwnerAsked:
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Paul_HoodCommented:
Hi,

I have been put in a similar situation before now and I have mastered a technique that works for me.
(I have not tried it with a Broadband card - I assume it appears as a NIC on the Laptop)

I have a laptop with PC LAN card / built in LAN / Wireless, I needed to create a router FAST!

On my laptop I have Windows XP Pro and VMware (http://www.vmware.com/) you could also use Microsoft Virtual PC... (VMware runs in the background better)

Within the VMware I created a Virtual Machine called Smoothwall Express (http://www.smoothwall.org/) this is a Firewall / Proxy / VPN / Router product, this is a free download as an ISO format so can be imported in to VMware as a virtual CD Drive.

Within the VMware I created 3 virtual NICs and mapped them to the correct NICs on the laptop.

Once Smothwall was installed in the VMware I set it up with the 3 network cards RED (external) / Orange (network 2) / Green Interface (network 1).

You then have turned your laptop in to a virtual router! and you are still able use Windows XP! (all you would need to do is fire up the VMware and set up the IP addresses!)

I also use this scenario to cache windows updates when updating many PCs

Note/Tip:
1. Static IP addresses are a quicker way to get this up and running...
2. Smoothwall Express is not intended for corporate use but please test see it if works for you and purchase Smoothwall Corporate Edition.
3. VMware / Virtual PC require a nice amount of RAM and a bit of free space!.

I would also like to know how others would do this!


Regards

Paul Hood

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Thomas GrengaOwnerAuthor Commented:
Paul hood,
Before I dig into your suggestion I have one question?

Do the PC's on the wireless network see the laptop wireless card as an access point with WEP encription and a configurable SSID???

Thanks,

Tom
Paul_HoodCommented:
I would personally carry around a Wireless AP re-config it to set up the infrastructure (gateway to the VMware on your laptop etc).

I don’t think a Windows XP Pro would accept any more that 10 connections (about 6 PCs) so a Wireless AP would be the answer.
(as ad-hoc and ICS have been ruled out)

It’s all possible and depends on how much time you have to prefect it.


Also we maybe looking far too deep - they is some sort of basic router software out there than can replace the whole of the vmware/smoothwall aspect; such as Kerio WinRoute Firewall (http://www.kerio.com/kwf_home.html) off the top of my head.

But a Wireless AP would still be needed to get around the wireless part.


Regards

Paul Hood
Thomas GrengaOwnerAuthor Commented:
That's what I do now (carry an A.P.).  It is just a P.I.T.B. to keep all of this hardware with you and then the customer never has enough electrical outlets or some other snag.

Thanks for your responce though.  I will leave the question open for a bit.  With the new year maybe someone will check in with an eligant answer.


Again thanks.

Tom
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