Has anyone used a Raspberry Pi ZeroW (or another Pi, plus a USB WiFi adapter) as a WiFi router?
As my existing WiFi router already connects to the internet using a USB mobile broadband modem, this might suit me more than most people, but there is an OpenWrt image for the Raspbery Pi:
My cause for looking down this path is that I want to set up a HTTPS to HTTP proxy on the router to serve all HTTPS connections to computers on my local network via unencrypted HTTP. This is because all the stupid websites forcing HTTPS (when it isn't needed) are making it difficult to keep all the software on my various computers compatible with the various and ever-changing encryption protocols required.
Currently I'm using a Netgear DGN2200 router, with OpenWrt installed. However for starters there insn't enough Flash storage space (8MB) to install all the software required to run the proxy, and beyond that it's doubtful that the 32MB RAM and 300MHz CPU would be able to do the job without slowing everything down.
The Raspberry Pi ZeroW with a 1GHz CPU and 512MB RAM should be fast enough, and as I'm only using WiFi and USB in the existing router, it should have all the hardware that I need built in. It would use less power as well.
The main thing that I'm worried about though is the WiFi range. I should be able to solder on a connector for an external antenna as described here:
However looking deeper it seems that my existing router may have more transmitting power (28.11dBm) than the Pi ZeroW (17.0dBm).
I don't really want a significant drop in my WiFi range, so would it be better to use a Pi Zero (non-W) and a USB WiFi adapter? In which case, which WiFi adapters should I look for to suit this application?
Years ago I compared the WiFi transmitting power specifications from FCC tests for various different WiFi routers in order to get an idea of what's "good". As noted above, the Pi ZeroW compares poorly to the router that I chose before based on this comparison. However I'm not sure if I might be failing to consider other important figures from the tests (besides the antenna, which will be changed for the Pi ZeroW).
In case it helps, or to satisfy any curiosity, here is the list of router transmitting power with the Pi ZeroW added:
Raspberry Pi ZeroW -17.0dBm maximum WiFi (any channel/standard) -2017
Netgear DGN2200 -28.11dBm on chn. 6 802.11g, 22.56dBm on chn. 6 802.11b -Two antennas -2010
Linksys WAP200 -18.51dBm on chn. 6 802.11g, 16.55dBm on chn. 6 802.11 -2007
D-Link DIR300 A1 -24.98dBm chn. 11 802.11b, 23.19dBm chn. 11 802.11g -2007
Billion BiPAC 7300G -21.07dBm chn. 6 802.11b, 15.14dBm chn. 6 802.11g -2007
Motorola SBG900i -16.05dBm chn. 1 802.11b -2003
Apple AirPort Extreme A1034 -18.4dBm chn. 11 802.11b? -2003