Ask Engadget: share a single muni-fi account with multiple devices?

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Daniel Cooper
September 1st, 2013
Ask Engadget: share a single muni-fi account with multiple devices?

We know you've got questions, and if you're brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here's the outlet to do so. This week's Ask Engadget inquiry is from Zoe, who needs to help out her mum (she's in the UK) with a tricky WiFi problem. If you're looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

"My mum's retirement community offers a municipal WiFi service for £130 per year, but only provides a login that can be used on a single device at a time. More annoyingly, that device has to use a web browser, which means that you can't access it using an Apple TV at all. To get around that, I've leant her my Mac Mini, and then I share the WiFi connection over Ethernet to an Airport Extreme. Unfortunately, this only works for short bursts at a time before the DHCP or connection sharing goes screwy and needs to be reset. My question, therefore, is what can I buy that will connect to this crappy WiFi and share that connection to the other wireless devices around the home? Would it be possible to use Raspberry Pi or some other small device to do the job? All it has to do is be stable and have an uptime longer than 2 hours. Thanks!"

This is the sort of question that most geeks love getting their hands on, because it's a good old-fashioned problem. You'll just have to ignore all of the people who tell your mom to move house instead of coming up with a useful solution. Either way, we did think that perhaps there was a way to share this connection using a hotspot device, but they primarily use Ethernet. As such, we're going to turn this question open to our community for some sage advice. Surely there must be a simple way to do this without depriving Zoe of her Mac Mini?

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