I want to make an AP from a Linux PC with an USB Wi-Fi adapter.

My attempts until now weren't really successful; either the driver missed the AP capability feature, or the signal strength was negligible even from the next room.

I would be really glad to reduce the costly buy-try-throw cycle, anybody has a good experience with such a thing?

If it is impossible (for example the power is not enough on the USB bus), PCI card would be also okay (I've tried one with an Atheros chipset, but the signal strength was with it also negligible).

If it needs a little bit of SW/HW hacking, it is not a problem.

  • It sounds odd that you'd find a PCI card with a "negligible" signal strength. So I suspect your notion of what is a good signal strength might need to be described in more details. In most cases the signal strength mostly depends on the antenna more than the card itself. – Stefan Nov 18 '15 at 15:32
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    @Stefan Ok. From around 50cm distance it has the same signal strength as the wifi of my neighbors (they are 10m distance, behind at least one concrete wall). I use the antenna I've got from the manufacturer with it, have a direct visibility with the device, and I've tried the antennas in every possible orientation. Maybe it is a bad card, but if it is so, it would be sooo happy if I shouldn't buy a similarly bad hardware again. These buy - doesn't work - throw out - money lost loops are very, very embarrassing. Warranty isn't always applicable, and has also administrative / postal costs. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '15 at 18:10
  • @K7AAY It does not depend on the distro, specifying the distro would be an uneeded (misleading) part of the question. But I use Debian (Buster now and probably Stretch at the time). It depends on the kernel. I use recent stable kernels. My current experience is that the station mode works pretty well, but the AP mode still don't. Meanwhile I used other solutions for the problem, however I am still quite interested, what is going on the AP front in the Linux kernel. In my opinion, an AP should be able to do everything what we can do on an ethernet cable. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Mar 18 at 20:59
  • vitux.com/make-debian-a-wireless-access-point is excessively cheery to a skeptic, but have you tried it? And, when you refer to PCI, are you aiming at a mini-PCIe card to mount in a laptop, or a PCI bus card for a desktop? What WiFI HW do you have at present, BTW? – K7AAY Mar 18 at 21:14
  • @K7AAY At the moment I use an old belkin usb (050d:845a). Earlier I tried numerous devices and the results were... well... not very good. I had luck if station mode worked. Many devices did not even have a working driver. Now the case is much better (nearly all the devices can work in station mode). The old belkin usb uses the staging driver r8712u, I have the most hope in it, although the driver does not yet follow the 80211 api in the kernel (it was developed by the manufacturer before that api appeared and nobody ported it to that). – peterh - Reinstate Monica Mar 18 at 22:37

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