STEAM classroom teacher's guide (1) How to set up WIFI access point for group of student
- 23 March 2018
In our Python + IOT class, each student use laptop to remote connect to Raspberry Pi , so it will not require to connect the monitor / keyboard / mouse (which can be quite mess), this method is very convieniant.
But one of the biggest challenge is from the WIFI connection, since most of the WIFI router has some hard limitation (such as 40, or 50) of maximum devices it can connect simultanously, it will be quite hard for both Raspberry Pi and laptop (sometimes cell phone) to connect to the same router without overload it. In our class case, from time to time, the student complaint that there are inconsistent WIFI connection, sometimes, no connection at all. And without WIFI connection, the remote access Raspberry Pi is impossible.
To resolve this critical issue, after try multiple different methods, finally, we decided to bring in one more router, and hook to the main router as access pointer.
The router we choose is the Asus RT-N12, which has the high reputation, and one of its biggest advantage is that, it is very easy to set up as access pointer.
Here it is the desription from Asus website.
Multiple SSID for Flexible Wireless Access Control
Share your internet connection with your guests with no need to share your personal password or network resources. ASUS Guest Network supports up to three separate guest networks, each with its own usage limits and password. Guests cannot access your primary network or any other connected devices.
It has the EZ switch feature, which can use software EZ switch provides a quick and easy way to change between router, repeater and AP modes. Instantly select router, range extender, and access point modes with extra-quick settings in the user-friendly interface. No delays and no hassles – whatever your situation, take your pick and get connected.
Here it is the short 30 seconds video for set up the router.
But, if you like to understand the difference between a wireless router and a wireless access point, here are some of the nice explaination (source from ligowave.com).
What is a Router? A router is a network device that serves two primary functions: (1) it connects multiple computers, phones, tablets, or other devices to form a managed local area network, and (2) it provides Internet access to all of the compatible devices that are connected to the router.
A local area network (LAN) can be set up by simply deploying a router and connecting one or several devices to it. Modern routers allow users to connect devices both via Ethernet cables or wirelessly (using Wi-Fi).
However, in order for the router to distribute and deliver data to the devices within the local area network, it must be connected to an Internet service provider’s customer premises equipment (CPE) via an Ethernet cable.
What is an Access Point? An access point is a wireless network device that acts as a portal for devices to connect to a local area network. Access points are used for extending the wireless coverage of an existing network and for increasing the number of users that can connect to it.
A high-speed Ethernet cable runs from a router to an access point, which transforms the wired signal into a wireless one. Wireless connectivity is typically the only available option for access points, establishing links with end-devices using Wi-Fi.
In next project, we will show you the result of our access pointer setting, and how we set up it properly, so only the access pointer will be detected first (before the main router).