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I need to set up a network with ten or more wifi connections in a motorhome with a bunch of iDevices, apple TVs etc. and want to have an outside web connection for all those devices. Most of the bandwidth will be internal data and not to/from the web. I can set up a personal hotspot but am limited to 5 connections. Is there any way to set up something like an airport express for all the wifi connections and have an ipad on the system as the only Internet connection, since the 10/100 of the hub will not be connected?

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Unfortunately none of Apple's routers can use the iPhone or iPad tethering as a source internet connection.

It looks like it might be possible using certain builds of the DD-WRT custom firmware with the Linksys WRT160NL, but based on that link, it looks like it will likely require a fair bit of hacking, beyond just installing the custom firmware (i.e. it needs to be certain versions, and it looks like further drivers need to be compiled/installed).

If you have a Mac handy, you could tether the iPad to it (with USB or Bluetooth), then use the Mac's Internet Sharing to share to the other devices over Wi-Fi.

Alternatively, you could look into getting a 3G/LTE hotspot device from your wireless provider. It would likely entail some additional cost, but it would be most suited to what you're wanting to do. Some providers offer some data plan sharing amongst devices as well, so the additional costs might be minimal.

  • Thanks, Using a Mac computer seems like it would work, but id rather not dedicate a computer for full time use while traveling... how many users can connect to a Mac? – Jerry Jul 12 '13 at 12:46
  • I can’t find any definitive source, but I believe there’s no hard limit. – robmathers Jul 12 '13 at 15:58
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I would recommend the Airport Extreme for 10 or more access points, not the Airport Express (since Airport express has a limit of max 6 access points).

Please read this comparison of Apple products.

Since you mentioned outdoor use, you might want to look at a range extender.

  • Thank you, the comparison page lists both the extreme and express at 50 users. In reading a couple articles on using airport as an access point, is it possible to 'wirelessly join an existing network'... an iPad personal hotspot? Or using the range extender you mention, which has a 10/100 port... Would it be possible to extend the personal hotspot, then plug an extreme into the port of the range extender? Range will not be an issue since most use will be inside the motorhome. – Jerry Jul 12 '13 at 12:47
  • Here is a good article that explains that support.apple.com/kb/ht4517 – Ruskes Jul 12 '13 at 16:03

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