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RPi Wifi Access Point Guide

Adding WiFi Access Point to your Raspberry Pi


Turning your pi into an access point is a useful step. It allows the pi to be used as a bridge between networks and allows your pi to be accessed directly from a client device. This is useful for IoT devices.

This guide assumes that 2 WiFi adapters will be used, one for access point service and one for Internet access. The information presented, with minor modifications, would also apply for an Ethernet Internet connected and for a non-Internet connected access point.

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After reading this guide, you may be interested in reading:

Parts List


Start with a Raspberry Pi image. This is an image saved after following the RPi Initial Setup Guide. The image may be either Lite or Full depending on your needs. If you do not have such an image, start with a Raspbian image and follow the aforementioned guide before returning here.

  1. Write the image to the MicroSD.
  2. Connect to the Pi.
  3. Connect to your WiFi.
  4. Install new packages.
  5. Setup the DHCP server.
  6. Set a static IP on wlan1.
  7. Set the Pi as an Access Point.
  8. Configure NAT.
  9. Connect and Test.
  10. Conclusion.


Write the image

Write the image to the MicroSD as described in the RPi Initial Setup Guide. Insert the MicroSD into the Pi.

Connect to the Pi

Attach the USB to serial console cable and allow the system to boot. Connect to the pi using a PuTTY terminal to the COM port or from Linux using sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200.

It should also be possible to connect to the pi using SSH over the network connection. Your wlan0 connection should be fully functional unless you are not on the same access point.

Connect to your WiFi

This guide assumes that wlan1 is used for the access point and wlan0 is used for the network connection. If your pi is not currently connected on the network, use NetworkManager, nmcli. See the RPi Initial Setup Guide. Check your connection using ifconfig.

4 Install new packages

5 Setup the DHCP server

6 Set a static IP on wlan1

7 Set the Pi as an Access Point

8 Configure NAT

9 Connect and Test

For the steps 4 through 9 follow the procedures given by Adafruit's guide to Setting up a Raspberry Pi as a WiFi access point. Read my Comments and additional references before following these steps as there are a few minor changes.

Comments and additional references

  • Ubuntu Community isc-dhcp-server
  • The Domain Name Servers are Google Public DNS
  • A valid private IPv4 address range is -
  • File /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server The setting is INTERFACES="wlan1"
  • Static IP on wlan1 not on wlan0
  • Alternate Access Point setup using a ralink chipset wifi dongle.
    • In /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf the driver should be nl80211 instead of rtl871xdrv
    • Do not update or compile a new hostapd
    • It may be necessary to review Which Wifi USB adapters in order to set the correct loading of USB devices
    • Overall this is an easier setup
  • iptables rules Change eth0 to wlan0 and wlan0 to wlan1
  • iptables rules Add to the current rules table.
sudo nano /etc/iptables.test.rules


# Allow Access Point NAT

# BEFORE THE COMMENT # Reject all other inbound # ADD

# Allow forwarded from wlan1 to permit NAT and Access Point
-A FORWARD -i wlan0 -o wlan1 -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
-A FORWARD -i wlan1 -o wlan0 -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables-restore < /etc/iptables.test.rules
sudo iptables -L
sudo -i
iptables-save > /etc/iptables.up.rules
  • update hostapd The binary version available for download from Adafruit is a little old. It will work but I recommend compiling hostapd. The Adafruit tutorial covers this on the last page.
  • Realtek download The version listed on Adafruit is no longer available. Instead, try the version for Linux found on this Realtek page
  • hostapd compile File locations are a little different. Try these instead.
mv RTL8188C_8192C_USB_linux_v4.0.2_9000.20130911 rtl
cd rtl
cd wpa_supplicant_hostapd
tar -xzvf wpa_supplicant_hostapd-0.8_rtw_r7475.20130812.tar.gz
cd wpa_supplicant_hostapd-0.8_rtw_r7475.20130812
cd hostapd
  • Do not remove WPA-Supplicant


Well done, you now have a working wifi access point. From here you could turn it into a hotspot, a Tor router, or an IoT controller.

Remember to save your image file.