I live in an RV full time and travel the US and Canada, usually stayin a month or two in each park. We have a variety of devices that connect to each other and the internet including a work computer (hard wired), a laptop (wireless), printer, 2 phones, 2 tablets, DirecTV Genie and a couple more. The computers are running Win7 and the portable stuff is Android.
I get my connectivity either from the wifi commonly available in the parks we stay at or from a Verizon hotspot when the park either doesn't have wifi or it's too weak to get at the trailer. Sometimes the park wifi is strong, fast and reliable, but far more often, the signal is weak and the speeds slow. I'm willing to put up with that because using Verizon is very expensive. Unfortunately, the park wifi is seldom strong enough to connect individual devices, so I have to boost the signal somehow. The park configurations are all over the map, too. Usually 2.4gHz, sometimes 5. Different security protocols, some with passwords, some wide open. Some require going through a web page to reach the internet.
Currently I'm using a Netgear EX6200 wifi extender with an 8db external omni-directional antenna to connect to the park/hotspot. While it works ok, I have a couple of issues with it. First, it has very little in the way of security and I have to treat its network as 'public'. Second, it uses the park/hotspot's DHCP for my local devices meaning the NAT address the connected devices use is constantly changing. Every time we move I have to mess with configuration issues. The printer, in particular, gets really snarly if its address changes. Finally, the EX6200 has basic security, ie, it creates a secondary network with a password and it has to be configured every time we move. A small PITA.
Finally, my question. In an ideal world I'd have a router that all my devices connect to. Its configurable subnet would form a private wired/wireless network that only my devices can connect to and it would be firewall protected from whatever I use as my WAN connection. No router I've looked at can use a wireless WAN connection as far as I can determine. So, what I need is a 'box' that will sit between a router and a wireless WAN. I think the range extender I have will do that, but I'm not sure a router will be happy using it as a WAN even though it would be hardwired to the router's WAN port. I also have read about wireless hubs, access points (not the right thing, I think) and bridges. I think a wireless bridge might be ideal since it wouldn't require additional configuration, but it's really hard to find enough detail about how they work to tell for sure.
Can you make a suggestion or point me to a place that explains how these various pieces for hardware work in enough detail that I can figure it out for myself. I've found a lot of info about what each device does. What I really need to know is how they connect to each other and what configuration they expect.
Thanks in advance.