I just moved into a building with three apartments, all of which split an internet subscription. There is only one router, however, in one of the other apartments. For security/privacy purposes, I'd like to set up some way to prevent my neighbors on the same network from viewing or accessing any of my online information.

I have an old router with me, which I'm hoping to use as a wireless extender. I already know it's compatible with DD-WRT, so I'm fairly certain this will work, as long as I get the MAC address from the main router. Unfortunately, I don't have physical access to the main router though, since it's in another unit of the building. If I do this, will I be able to use my router to prevent traffic from potentially being viewed by other users on the same network? And if not, what other security options would you recommend? Would a good VPN service be more effective?


  • Please edit and remove the question about VPN provider as such questions get closed on SE. – techraf Jul 15 '16 at 0:57
  • Please google around and check the meaning of "wireless extender" and "router". If you still had concerns ask about a given aspect, ask in a way which would make it relevant to other users. Your current question can be (auto-)resolved by using the correct terminology. – techraf Jul 15 '16 at 1:02
  • It's also important to note that even if all your neighbors use the same passphrase, that doesn't mean that they use the same encryption key. So if the network is password protected, your data is as protected as it would be with a second router that has the same security controls. – Julie Pelletier Jul 15 '16 at 3:09
  • I believe @JuliePelletier 's comment to be incorrect. Wireshark can decode this traffic with the WPA/WPA2 handshake which occurs when the wireless connection is made and the known WPA/WPA2 PreShared Key (PSK). If WEP, then of course just the key (stop using that anyway if you are!). WPA-Enterprise would be different, but then you have different passwords and that's not the scope of this question. – Matthew1471 Jul 16 '16 at 20:09
  • @Matthew1471: You're right about WEP but the WPA key generation is the result of a four way key exchange protocol. Of course the more advanced security protocol you choose, the more secure it gets, but you can not extract the encryption key with Wireshark in any WPA configuration. – Julie Pelletier Jul 16 '16 at 21:48

I have this problem.

I solved it by using a WiFi media bridge to connect to the existing WiFi, connected that to a firewall, then could connect another device behind the firewall (another AP with a different password if necessary).

It protects things like my file stored on my NAS and prevents users from directly connecting to my devices.. however as the Internet activity still goes over the main WiFi link you have to assume that could be read by others.

Of course it depends what you're trying to protect and what your risks are, for me it was the data that was on my devices, not my Internet activity.

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