Many users have asked if it's possible to create a second wireless access point on the same device. The answer is "yes" with an AP-capable external wireless adapter and the correct settings. The Edimax EW-7811Un USB adapter works without additional drivers on many devices, including the Raspberry Pi. For this reason it is used in this walkthrough.
In this setup, we will use an external Edimax 2.4GHz USB adapter together with the onboard wireless chipset of the Raspberry Pi 4 operating on the 5GHz band. The end result is displayed in the WiFi network scan below.
It is not currently possible to create this configuration with RaspAP's UI, so these manual steps are provided below.
This tutorial assumes that you have followed the Quick start or manual installation instructions. If an 802.11 AC 5GHz wireless mode is desired with the RPi's onboard chipset, you must first configure a country that permits wireless operation on the 5GHz band. Refer to this FAQ for more information.
Create the hostapd configs
The simplest method to achieve this is to use RaspAP's Hotspot > Basic tab to create the base configurations. Configure an AP for the onboard
wlan0 interface with the settings shown below. Choose Save settings to write this to the filesystem.
Open your preferred terminal program and enter the following command to copy this as a new
sudo cp /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf /etc/hostapd/wlan0.conf
Next, configure a second AP for the external
wlan1 interface with the settings shown below. Again, choose Save settings to write this to the filesystem.
Enter the following command to copy this as a new
sudo cp /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf /etc/hostapd/wlan1.conf
Note: If you decide to create two APs on the same band, for example 802.11n 2.4GHz, be sure to select two different channels for each interface.
RaspAP's default settings includes a preconfigured
wlan0 file for the
dnsmasq service. Execute
cat /etc/dnsmasq.d/090_wlan0.conf to display its contents:
# RaspAP wlan0 configuration interface=wlan0 domain-needed dhcp-range=10.3.141.50,10.3.141.255,255.255.255.0,12h
Next, we will copy this file and make some modfications to it:
sudo cp /etc/dnsmasq.d/090_wlan0.conf /etc/dnsmasq.d/090_wlan1.conf sudo nano /etc/dnsmasq.d/090_wlan1.conf
Edit this file so it looks like the example below, then save it and exit your editor.
# RaspAP wlan1 configuration interface=wlan1 domain-needed dhcp-range=10.4.141.50,10.4.141.255,255.255.255.0,12h
dhcpcd service is preconfigured with RaspAP's default settings. Open this file in an editor by executing
sudo nano /etc/dhcpcd.conf, then add a
wlan1 block to the end of the file:
# RaspAP default configuration hostname clientid persistent option rapid_commit option domain_name_servers, domain_name, domain_search, host_name option classless_static_routes option ntp_servers require dhcp_server_identifier slaac private nohook lookup-hostname # RaspAP wlan0 configuration interface wlan0 static ip_address=10.3.141.1/24 static routers=10.3.141.1 static domain_name_server=22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 # RaspAP wlan1 configuration interface wlan1 static ip_address=10.4.141.1/24 static routers=10.4.141.1 static domain_name_server=188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206
Note: RaspAP only manipulates
/etc/hostapd/hostapd.confso your custom hostapd configs won't be touched. The version 2.6 release lets you manage the
dnsmasqconfigs from the UI, while also preserving any manual changes.
Finally, enable the Log DHCP requests toggle on RaspAP's DHCP Server > Logging tab. Be sure to restart the
Starting the hotspots
hostapd is not already running before proceeding. You may stop the service with
sudo systemctl stop hostapd.service or by using the Stop hotspot button in RaspAP's UI.
Now we are ready to run
hostapd interactively with the configurations we've created above. The debug switch
-dd is optional but useful for troubleshooting:
sudo hostapd -dd /etc/hostapd/wlan0.conf /etc/hostapd/wlan1.conf
Connect clients to each AP and monitor the output. You may stop
hostapd from the terminal with the
CTRL+C keystroke. Alternatively, you may send the process to the background with
CTRL+Z and restore it to the foreground with
With RaspAP's DHCP logging option enabled, it can be useful to monitor this service's activity from the terminal. Execute
tail -f /tmp/dnsmasq.log and try associating and disconnecting client devices from each AP.