- Windows 7/8.1/10 laptop,
- USB Wi-Fi adapter (dual band preferred).
Most of times this cases are with Internet while camping living:
In most cases, while start connection to a public access point, need to make some actions within interactive forms named "Captive portal". As rule, captive portals tuned for use browsers on laptops or mobile devices in order to access Internet after them.
Here the easiest but expensive (Windows laptop is required) method of a much distance public Wi-Fi access is described. In later articles will published other method (with a Linux mini-PC usage), more difficult in realisation, but more flexible in customization.
EDUP EP-AC1621 dual band USB Wi-Fi adapter was used here. Looks like any other with analogous Realtek 8814AU chip will works in this manner without any changes. For example Alfa Network AWUS1900, Comfast CF-939AC and CF-917AC and some other likely has Realtek 8814AU chip.
Note: As test results, the EDUP EP-AC1621 dual band USB Wi-Fi adapter was equipped with passive cooling radiator on top the RTL chip additionally.
All settings were made via Windows PC. In some cases will need switch off the PC firewall while settings.
On the laptop was installed drivers Realtek 8814AU for EDUP EP-AC1621. This was no the install utilities that distributes with the drivers package, because this utilities was conflicts in the laptop with other ones used for the Wi-Fi extending. But was used Windows Device Manager when EDUP EP-AC1621 is first time attached to the laptop via USB. The easy way to lunch Device Manager on a PC is press Windows key and then enter command devmgmt.msc.
In some cases, depends on laptop's devices, if the laptop has integrated Wi-Fi board, then this board need to switch off within Windows Network Connections. The easy way to lunch Network Connections on a PC is press Windows key and then enter command ncpa.cpl. Then click right mouse key on the icon of integrated wireless board, and then click Switch off them.
On Windows 7 laptop, that have no inner utilite for makes Wi-Fi hotspot, utility Mars WiFi was installed. On Windows 8.1 or 10 which both haves inner utilite for makes Wi-Fi hotspot, no necessarily to install any utilite like Mars WiFi. But, as tests shows, work with Mars WiFi more comfy than work with Windows 8.1 or 10 inner utilite for makes Wi-Fi hotspot - Mars WiFi can manage more clients for connection, haves autorun while the laptop starts, haves no limit of working time while no one client attached to organized hotspot.
Next settings was trivial:
Connect to a public AP using the PC laptop.
On Windows 8.1 or 10 via Windows Settings, then Network & Internet, then Mobile hotspot tab, is only need to edit name (here is CA-WFE) and password of the new hotspot and switch on.
From this point, on the laptop works Wi-Fi hotspot and the camper’s router can attach to this hotspot via router's web face. Need to keep in mind that if no one client will attached to a new Wi-Fi hotspot (deployed with Windows inner utilite for makes Wi-Fi hotspot) while 5 minutes, this hotspot will switched off automatically.
Now camper's crew gadgets can attach to the camper's router (AP of this router). In this case all assistants in the camper and all crew's gadgets will in one network and discoverable to each other.
If no the camper's router was deployed yet, the crew's gadgets can attach to Internet via access point CA-WFE described here.
At each new place need only connecting to a public AP using the PC laptop. The connections of crew's gadgets and of camper's assistants no will need new settings.
Four 6 dBi antennas of EDUP EP-AC1621 provides works at long-range distance up to public AP. And antennas of the camper's AP (router) provides works at long-range distance up to camper's crew gadgets.
When Wi-Fi antennas of the camper's AP (router) and of the USB Wi-Fi adapter will being placed on sites, this considerations need take in account:
Attention! There are many USB Wi-Fi adapters on a market. When buying an adapter in one country from an official dealer, no questions about the use may arise. But while traveling with this adapter to different countries, need to comply with the regulatory rules of these countries for the use of Wi-Fi. This rules can very differ. Some adapters have characteristics that provide all countries regulatory rules. For other ones need to change settings in some countries (usually this is adapters with extremely powerful Wi-Fi radios, and/or has use abnormal Wi-Fi channels as 12 or 13, 56, etc). This settings can be done in drivers parameters of this adapters, but almost in every country by the road. While choosing a Wi-Fi device (adapter, router, etc) for use in a journey, need to keep in mind this aspect.
Troubleshooting: If all settings made on the laptop as here described, but Wi-Fi hotspot is not start work in Windows, in most cases can help the resetting of Windows network before repeated settings. For this need to make on the laptop (all applications need to be closed as laptop will rebooted here):
click right mouse key on appeared "cmd.exe"
select "Run as administrator"
'Yes" in next pop-up window
Then in open terminal for Windows 10:
Or in open terminal for Windows 7, 8.1:
netsh winsock reset