Random Thought: Why hasn’t anyone made an Android powered WiFi router?

by: ŠtefanNovember 27, 2012

Consumer networking equipment doesn’t get a lot of attention, frankly because no one really cares. You buy a router, it works, and you forgot about it because it’s hidden behind a table. Once or twice a year you have to reboot it, but other than that … why bother upgrading? Sure, there was the transition from 802.11b to 802.11g, then 802.11n after that, and now we’re waiting for 802.11ac to become a standard, but I’d like to propose something a bit different. I want to see someone make a WiFi router that runs Android.

Think of all the things you could do if you had a box that could run applications all day, every day. Geeks call such a box a server. Some of you probably already have a network attached storage device. But I’m thinking big here. Take a look at this Kickstarter project called “AdTrap”. It’s a box that sits between your modem and your router. Instead of installing an ad blocker on your computer, AdTrap removes ads before they even touch your WiFi router. It’s a great idea, but isn’t it just software? Why does such a feature require additional hardware?

Think of all the other things you could install on a router that could run apps. Your torrenting app is the first obvious example. Dropbox could make an app that replaces your NAS. Someone could make a peer to peer social network that doesn’t require a massive server farm. Opera could make an app that routes all your network traffic through their compression algorithm. Facebook could make an app so that all your friends can use your WiFi network should they happen to be visiting. The possibilities are endless!

How would one even install and configure apps on such a router? In much the same way that it’s done today. You type in an IP address, username, password, and you’re in. If Chinese companies can make sub $100 Android phones that have 3G and GPS, then surely someone could make an Android powered WiFi router.

Am I insane or do you think there’s something to this idea?

  • DanielCCM

    I totally agree with you… In fact… ANY current android phone is ALREADY a router (WIfi zone?)…. someone has to just plug into it a few RJ45 ports and you got the DSL/Cable router….. Don’t you agree?

  • saurabhaj

    Android powered WiFi Router,wtf,
    does any one knows wifi error problem on android device,
    Wifi error,no way.

  • shaurz

    Because that would be a dumb idea, that’s why.

  • This is actually a pretty good idea. If it also had an on-device touchscreen interface, that would perfect.

  • MasterMuffin

    Android phone could work as a wifi router ’cause it can already share its network with other devices without cables, wifi router smartphone would be nice

  • Graham Twine

    why??? there is absolutely no need in fact one could argue that there already is in that Android is a busy box port :D

  • Leif Ostring

    I think you ARE insane… I love it!
    And even if 70% never used any of the possibilities other then as a router, the value of stamping “Android” on it would help increase sales! :-)

  • There are plenty of Linux based routers already, having an actual Android powered one could be fun, but I think a bit over-the-top! Unless someone builds a router with a built-in touch screen… Now there is an idea… Anyone know a good patent lawyer!!!

  • We are onto something here

  • VicMatson

    Lynksys got hammered some years ago when they were abusing free software, I’ll bet the thought of Android (and it’s migraine headaches) sends the into a black Hole!

  • Adam Outler

    I’d rather trust Linksys to make my networking equipment… Someone who specializes in it. I don’t want Android running my network. not at all.
    That said, I have an android connected and monitoring my network.

  • Stephen Yang

    Technically, Android is a fork of Linux already. If you wanted to use an open source router, there are Linux based routers that run “apps” already. For example, Untangle. :)

  • Ahem, Android was made primarily for interactive devices with 1GB+ RAM … routers are usually non-interactive devices with < 128 MB RAM. Doesn't quite add upp. Simply run Linux + Finit + Quagga + some other networking daemons and you're done. No need for "bloated" Android.

  • flamencoguy

    There is already Open Source router software called Tomato. It is very good.
    How will it benefit Android? Or benefit from Android.?

    • nathan

      By having apps that sit on the edge and do magic?

  • RickJames

    Securifi has a touchscreen router with Apps like Weather, Time, etc.. Not exactly Android but its as close as it gets. Interestingly its the best rated router on Amazon.com currently.


  • Samwise

    There is already a touchscreen router on Amazon now called Almond. I think its based on Linux.

  • nathan

    Superb idea and was just thinking the same when I realised the potential. Think about it, you have a connection with a forever changing IP address so you want to be able to use a dynamic DNS service. With the current generation of routers you are limited in choice and have to install any IP updating sotware oin a PC that stays on. With the router running a non thirsty Android port you could install whatever front facing software you like to manage your DNS updates as well as do millions of other clever things not possible with todays black box routers…………………APPS!, that’s why we need an Android router!