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I am looking for a single modem/wireless router (or just a wireless router) that can create/share three Wi-Fi networks, each of which are to separate connections?

See below for context.


My requirements are such that I need to have a minimum of three Wi-Fi networks available in a particular building. More specifically, these networks would be as follows:

  • Wi-Fi Network 1 provides a direct connection to the internet (so that three users can browse the web, check email, etc)
  • Wi-Fi Network 2 provides a connection to VPN 1 (using Network 1 above) so that two users can connect to their work VPN
  • Wi-Fi Network 3 provides a connection to VPN 2 (using Network 1 above) so that one user can also connect to their work VPN

The catch is all three Wi-Fi networks need to be available simultaneously, each with their own passwords so that the VPN 1 network can only be accessed by its two users and likewise the VPN 2 network only accessible to its one user. Wi-Fi Network 1 can be accessible to all, but still needs to be secured.

The two obvious options are:

  1. have an ADSL modem/router connect to the internet and wirelessly share this, and then have two separate individual routers physically connected to that via ethernet to connect to and share their respective VPNs, or
  2. have an ADSL modem/router connect to the internet and wirelessly share this, and configure each individual device (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc) to connect to their respective VPNs (using OpenVPN for example).

However, I'm looking for a more elegant solution as multiple devices need to connect at various times and none of the users are tech savvy. In other words the best user experience would be to just have all three networks available around the clock and for users to just switch Wi-Fi connections on their devices as required. Also, having multiple modems/routers is overkill as the building is not that big and at most we're talking six simultaneous users.

If no single modem/router (or even just a router) can create/share three Wi-Fi networks, then what is the closest solution? For example, with Option 1 above, is there a router that can be configured to simultaneously connect to and share two separate VPNs so that I only need the one router connected to the ADSL modem/router rather than having two?

Note: - The Wi-Fi networks do not all need to be on the same band (e.g. one could be on the 5GHz band and two on the 2.4GHz band, etc).

Finally, I am also open to other suggestions to achieve the overall setup.

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With DD-WRT, anything is possible! Try a live demo here. Note that the demo is outdated and many features have been disabled on it.

DD-WRT is a custom firmware available for a variety of routers that adds many additional features such as supporting multiple different wireless networks connected to different vlans, hosting a VPN server, and much, much more! There are other solutions such as Tomato, OpenWRT, and LEDE, but I haven't used those and I know for a fact that DD-WRT does what you're asking.

Simply take a router that works with DD-WRT (compatibility can be checked here, see [] for a list of current recommended routers) and flash DD-WRT onto it (A general installation guide is available here, google for a router-specific guide as each router is slightly different.)

Warning! incorrect installation of DD-WRT can Brick your router, so be careful and follow a router-specific installation guide.

With your fresh DD-WRT head to 192.168.1.1. There you will be prompted to set the web interface's login info. Do so and head to the Wireless->Basic Settings submenu. Here you can edit the default SSIDs and add more under the "Virtual Interfaces" list.

You use different VLANs for separate networks, but I'm not familiar enough with networking to tell you how to do that.

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  • I know it's been 4 months but better late then never. – J. Rich Nov 16 '17 at 4:41

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