Adam O'Grady

PirateBox RaspberryPi

So the reason I needed to back up one of the SD Cards from my RaspberryPi earlier (and I wrote a tutorial about it) was I wanted to explore PirateBox, a free software implementation of a private network for users to anonymously connect, chat and share files.

I utilised the tiny, 802.11n USB adaptor that I got with my RaspberryPi and a 16GB thumb drive I had lying around to build it. The instructions are pretty simple and clear and it takes about 15 minutes to get up-and-running. If you have a wireless card with a RTL8188CUS you’ll need to follow Dave Conroy’s tutorial to get hostapd working properly, but make sure you use the conf file located at /opt/piratebox/conf/hostapd.conf when adjusting your hostapd configuration settings to get it working (and make sure you have ieee80211n=1 on one non-commented line to allow wireless-n use).

Overall the system is pretty cool, I’m thinking of leaving it on at home for neighbours to connect to and maybe taking it with me on adventures for nearby folk to hook in to and connect.

EDIT: Alright, after setting it up and getting it running I did some tests on the wireless range and it might be since I’m using a tiny USB adaptor (limited antenna/power perhaps?) that the range is pretty dismal. It might still be okay for setting up in a public area on a semi-permanent basis but that’s for another time perhaps.