Is it better to use a small computer like a raspberry pi or use a router like a tp-link device, for a pirate box?

Posted by adrianstone 
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Hello Everyone, I had a question that I can't seem to find an answer too, So I thought I'd ask here; I apologize if this has been answered but I did try my best to look.

Is it better to use a small computer like a raspberry pi or use a router like a tp-link device, for a pirate box? What are the pros and cons of each?
It seems like the router is the easiest option at installing and is also a lot easier to power for long periods of time (my opinion) , and would be up and running once its turned on, after it has been turned off.

I did read a website where the person used Ras-pi because he couldn't use php or sql on open wrt, he used it for a concert in an area where internet coverage was little to none. This is from the site--> "I installed the PHP/MySQL based forum “Phorum” on a Raspberry Pi and the OpenWRT based PirateBox software onto a TP Link TL-3220 3G wireless router." ..."The original idea was to just use the PirateBox router for the whole service but due to the issues with running PHP and MySQL on a wireless router I used the Raspberry Pi. If I get a chance to do this project again I would use the Pi to host and serve the files as well as the forums and also use a more powerful wireless router." (taken from this link []).

However, it also seems that the first iteration of the pirate box by David Darts used a small computer and a wireless router then after in the second iteration it used just the router. I saw it this video (

I'm assuming it had to easy of installation, portability, and ability to power the device. Since in the video David Darts mentions the berlin hacker who built the router version and comments on the simplicity of it( due to it not needing a separate computer) and the installation package that was made for it.

Thanks to anyone who replies

if I want to buy a device for just one use case like the piratebox, I would go with the tplink solution.
Quick start and you don't need to think about linux distributions, which wlan dongle to use, ...

On the other hand - I like to do all those experiments and to tinker with raspberry pi boxes.
I wanted to know how to setup a raspberry pi cluster and learned how to do it. Later I try to solve different things and the next project is just a few weeks away.
This is what raspberry pi is for. To toy around and learn. Try, fail, do it again, until it works.

If you want a robust solution for your piratebox and you don't want to play with Linux -> go, get a router and convert it into a piratebox.

It is up to you which way to go.
Thanks for the reply. I also have a raspberry pi but I'll go with the tp-link option given that I want it for this one use for an extended period of time.

basically what you said is true. A RPi is more versatile, it has a much stronger CPU, more storage on the SD card (ok you can install on the USB with a router as well) so you can tinker more with it, install additional services, perhaps have more connections.

A small router like the MR3020 on the other hand is easy to set up and it just works. If you cut the power to it for any reason, it will boot perfectly and run. A thing that I for example cannot say about RPi. It has weaker CPU and the built-in storage is also rather limited, however you can install packages on the USB as well. And don't worry, there is a lot to learn about OpenWRT as well so if you want, you can play around with that too.

I have run some small flash games on my PB from an MR3020, although only for a single user. Maybe a Pi would be able to do more.

If you have a Pi around, it probably won't hurt to give it a try! If you like it you can still get a small router that can be your "main" PB afterwards.

Ubuntuhak, playing and tinkering with Ubuntu!