Need Router/ Repeater to bridge WPA2 Enterprise to WPA Personal

Hi Guys,
I need a router or repeater that is able to repeat a wifi signal with WPA2 Enterprise encryption (with certificates etc.) to a WPA Personal network.
I read somewhere that it is possible to do that, if the router has 2 radios inside.
I don't care much about speed, the enterprise network has only about 10 mbit/s, but the router shouldn't be too expensive.

If it's not possible to combine this into one device, than I would need 2 devices:
One that is used as a WLAN (WPA2-E)-to-LAN Bridge and is able to connect to a WPA2-E network (is this possible via luci)?
And another one that works as a simple WPA2 AP, which shouln't be too complicated to find.

But I would prefer the solution with only one router, because it will be running on a battery, so powerdraw is important.
Thank you very much :slight_smile:

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2.4 GHz or 5 GHz?

Two radios are only important if you either need both bands, or are pushing bandwidth close to that of the link (the repeater function roughly halves the bandwidth, if on a single radio).

If only 2.4 GHz, take a look at the GL.iNet AR300M-Lite at about US$18 I measured the current draw there to be ~250 mA at 5 V.

If 5 GHz is also required, I have the GL.iNet AR750S-Ext ("Slate") that I'm very happy with, but it runs around $70 and draws ~400 mA at 5 V. Not surprising with twice as many radios and a more powerful SoC.

Edit: Check the instructions and on the GL.iNet forum to understand what the current firmware supports with "turn-key" Enterprise auth. It looks like Enterprise WPA2 support requires using the "advanced" (LuCI) configuration GL.Inet's firmware is recent OpenWrt with mainly just some utility packages / GUI on top of it.


Oh nice that was really fast.
2,4 GHz should be sufficient, because the host (?) wifi also is only 2,4 GHz.
The GL.iNet AR300M-Lite look really good, but i need an external antenna to receive the signal from outside.
Ideally i would like to repeat the signal inside my room with another antenna. Would this be possible with that router?

At US$18, give it a shot -- it's a well-designed unit, in my opinion, with two patch antennas on the board. You're only talking a couple of dB difference with external antennas, generally not enough to be significant.

You could go for the AR300M-Ext, which adds 128 MB NAND flash and external antennas, but runs US$45. At that price, I'd personally go for the Slate and get 5 GHz as well.

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Of course, i am sure the router is worth its price.
The thing is, i would like to connect beam antenna, because the wifi signal is not that strong.
So it doen't matter for me, if a external antenna is installed, but there must be a port to connect one.
The slate is a bit to expensive for me, i would like to stay under 50 €, and the slate costs about 90 € at Amazon Germany.

I've read the thread in the GL.Inet's forum and if i understood them right, connecting as a client to a WPA 2 enterprise network is possible if I replace wpad-mini with "full" wpad.
This would be really nice.

Edit: I found the GL.iNet GL-AR300M-Ext for 40 € on ebay, i think that's a reasonable price :slight_smile:

If you want to connect a high-gain antenna (and I'd go for a dish from a reputable manufacturer along with a real feed line over an "eBay" beam and cable), then you should look for something with an external antenna jack.

Be aware that anything that is truly a significant gain over a stock antenna is going to be 30€ for the antenna, and another 30€ for a feed line. Most "eBay" cables are so lossy at these frequencies to negate any gain that an "eBay" antenna might have.

Edit: See, for example


Hmm this seems to be quite expensive, in fact the antenna and cables would be more expensive than the actual router... :roll_eyes:
So would it be possible to first check out the signal with the shipped external antennas and, if the connection is not that great, later switch to a high gain antenna with the AR300M-Ext?
I'm not sure, but i think it has two 'jacks' to connect external antennas

Edit: i mean the description says "External antenna support Yes". But nevertheless thank you very much for your help :smiley:

From it looks like there are connectors there, so it might be possible.

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Yes I'm also confident, that it will work.
I'm a bit scard of setting up the whole thing, but it's great to know that there is such a great community here.
I will reply again if i received the router.

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Ahh sorry that i have to ask again, i read everywhere that bridging from WPA2-Enterprise to WPA2-Personal is not possible because it breaks the protocols ...?
So maybe that is the reason why the article i read stated, that i need two radios.
Can you confirm that?

You can't repeat a WPA2-Enterprise (IEEE8021X) network, with your local clients transparently appearing in the WPA2-Enterprise subnet/ broadcast domain, but you can configure your router to connect to the WPA2-Enterprise network as client (STA/ WWAN) - and then do masquerading/ routing and spawn a WPA2-Personal AP interface for your clients. This means only your router will be accessible from the WPA2-Enterprise network (with port-forwardings being possible), but your clients behind the router can access the WPA2-Enterprise network (or internet, if available).


Okay thanks for the explanation, but i think that's just what I need for my setup.
So i guess (aside from my power limitations) there should be no special requirements for the router right?

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