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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 239735 1-Aug-2018 16:03
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New Broadband Router

 

When a shiny new Broadband Modem arived in the mail (NetComm Wifeless NF18ACV),   I decided to use the old Broadband router(a NetComm NF4V)  to extend my wifi Network to remote parts of the house where the Wifi signal was week.  This document describes how to do this.

 

 

 

Broadband Router as Switch

 

The term "Router" is not an accurate description of a Broadband Router. A btroadband router actually contains three capabilities all rolled into one:

 

     

  1. Broadband Modem
  2. Switch
  3. Wifi Access Point

 

The trick to setting up the old Router as a Wifi Extender was to disable Capability #1 above and basically just use the old Router as a Switch and Wifi Access Point.   So how did I do this?

 

 

 

Step 1: Physical Connections

 

I connected my new NF18ACV Broadband Router to the new fibre connection point which is in the hall  cupboard at the front of the house.  I got the new Broadband router completely configured and working - including the Wifi and phone line. 

 

 

 

I then connected a Powerline Adaptor to LAN Port 4 of the NF18ACV Broadband Router.  I also plugged in  another Powerline Adaptor in a remote part of the house (my Bedroom).   Unfortunately, my house is not wired with CAT6 Cable and therfore the Powerline adaptors were a good second choice.  I then paired up the Powerline adaptors using the WPS buttons on the front of the devices and then tested the connection using a Laptop connected via Ethernet Cable to the Powerline Adaptor in the Bedroom.  All good.

 

 

 

 Next I connected the Powerline adaptor in my Bedroom to the WAN port of the old NF4V Broadband router using an ethernet cable.  I then connected a Laptop to LAN Port 4 on the back of the old NF4V using another ethernet cable.

 

 

 

Step 2: Disable all existing WAN Configurations

 

 

 

I then logged into my old NF4V using the url: http:192.168.1.1.  The new NF18ACV Broadband Router uses http:192.168.20.1.  My old NF4V had three existing WAN connections configured as shown in the screenshot below.  I deleted all three.

 

 

 

 

Step 3 - Configure a Layer 2 Eth Interface

 

 

 

Next, configure a layer 2  interface only for eth4.  eth4 corresponds to the WAN port on the back of the Router.  Eth0 to eth3 corresponds to the LAN ports marked 1 to 4.  This is confusing because the numbers don't match up.  But eth0 is actaully the physical LAN port marked 1 on the back of the device.

 

 

 

 

Step 4 Configure a Layer 3 IP over Ethernet WAN connection

 

 

 

The next step is to configure a WAN Service as shown in the screenshots below.  I am using OpenDNS for Family safety.  These are IP-Addresses 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220.    I deactivated IPv6 so as not to confuse OpenDNS (and me).

 

 

Below, I just selected an IP-Address of 192.168.20.100.  The new NetComm Wifeless NF18ACV that arrived in the mail uses the 192.168.20/24 VLAN.  So I just picked a high IP-Address in this VLAN that was unlikely to be used.  I really should now go into the Console for the new Router and set this IP as a static DHCP lease address and tie it to the MAC address of the old NPF4 router.  However it works fine without doing this.  I might run into trouble if I have lots of devices and all the IP-Addresses between 192.168.20.2 and 192.168.20.100 get used up -  then I might get an IP-Address conflict.

 

 

 

 

You should enable NAT on the next screen as shown below.  Click on next and then Apply/Save on the following screen.

 

I tried it without NAT - but could not get a connection.  NAT is Network Address Translation.

 

 

 

 

 

You should then reboot the Router which you can do via the GUI or by toggling the power button on the Router.

 

It should now work.  You will now have two Wifi Networks in your house both of which will work and both will use two VLANS: 192.168.20/24 and 192.168.1/24.  The VLANS will be connected together.

 

 

 

There are undubtable other ways of getting the Same Result.  For example, you could use Layer 2 bridging which would give you only one VLAN.  This might be easier to manage - but I spent about 4 hours on this and could not get it working.

 

 

 

You could also try and setup the second modem using Wifi Bridging.  This would effectly make the old modem into a Wifi Repeater.  I did not try this method either.  I had some unused Powerline adaptors, and I thought I would get better throughput if I used a physical connection - rather then trying to bridge over Wifi.

 

 

 

I am now getting about 93 Mbps download and 11 Mbps Upload using an ethernet cable and about 50/9 using Wifi on 2.4 GHz.  The new NF18ACV adaptor has both 2.4 GHz and a 5GHz reception.  5GHz is supposed to be faster (but shorter range).  I am supposed to have 20 MBps from Trustpower - so I sense another phone call is imminent.

 

 

 

Documentation

 

 

 

Bride Mode Setup:   https://support.netcommwireless.com/sites/default/files/BCS-NB604n.pdf

 

User Manual  NF4V: https://support.netcommwireless.com/product/nf4v

 

 

 

 

 

OpenDNS IP-Addresses (Family Safety)

 

 

 

IPv4:

 

208.67.222.222

 

208.67.220.220

 

IPv6:

 

2620:0:ccc::2

 

2620:0:ccd::2

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2066409 1-Aug-2018 16:31
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You SHOULD NOT enable NAT when simply trying to us an old router as a wireless access point. This will result in double NAT for all clients connected to this.

 

 

 

On the Netcomm I would just do the following:

 

1. Delete all entries in WAN Service

 

2. Change the IP address in LAN to something in your local subnet. (If you main router was on 192.168.1.1 then 192.168.1.2 would be a good choice) - this is not critical, and is purely for management.

 

3. Disable DHCP on the LAN settings.

 

4. Connect to your existing network using one of the 4 LAN ports - do not use the WAN port.

 

5. Set up your wireless SSID and password as required.

 

Done.


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  Reply # 2066419 1-Aug-2018 17:06
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no no no, disable NAT, dont use the WAN port, just connect the old router via one of its lan ports, disable DHCP in it, and assign it a lan address that is in the same subnet of the routers lan but outside of its DHCP pool

 

Cyril


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2066475 1-Aug-2018 18:06
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And just to add to that while an old router can work fine as a standalone AP eventually one day something will go wrong and it always ends in tears. It always does. Guaranteed.

 

Yes it works, but it's something I recommend people never do. If you need a 2nd WiFi access point buy an access point, not a router.

 

You should always also be aware of the implications of using 3rd party DNS servers - yes they can offer benefits, but they can (and do) impact performance and can still break some CDN content.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 2066544 1-Aug-2018 19:49
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This is a quick reply to chevrolux and cyril7.  I did try disabling DHCP - but I then found that I could not connect to the management URL with my Laptop connected to a WAN port by a Network cable.   I was trying to connect to:  http://192.168.1.1  - So I thought disabling DHCP was a bad idea.  I may have done it wrong.

 

I may have been doing it wrong.  I also did have a purchased Wifi Extender ( a NetComm AC750).  However I wasn't that happy with it.  The range was very average.  

 

I am not a Networking expert - as you can probably tell - but I am quite good at experimenting and finding  a solution.  The method that I described may not be the best or even the recommended method - but it worked for me. 

 

My experience with these devices is that what should work in theory - does not always work in practice. 

 

Thank you both for adding to the debate.  Your knowledge is valuable.

 

 


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  Reply # 2066772 2-Aug-2018 10:58
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double natting isnt the end of the world, you wont even notice for the av home user.

 

better way
what Ive done in the past , on the old router
disable DHCP, give it a static IP of say .150 (on the same subnet as the new router) , connect to new router with ethernet cable, plug into LAN port on the old router
give the wifi on the old router a differnet SSID
as noted above, if it resets 12 months later, you'll need to restup. Not a big deal . This a home setup after all, not a critical Business network setup.

 

 

 

or, get a powerline adapter that has wifi on one of the units (makes things alot easier)
or, spend $50 and get a Wifi access point. You can get AP's with built in plugs (cost a bit more), they plug direct into the wall (no separate power pack)

 

maybee the old router has the option to use as a wifi access point ? check the manual

 

yes its all a bit bodge , but you can chance/try it (its just home use) , or spend some $ & start from scratch do it properly

 

 


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  Reply # 2068083 4-Aug-2018 19:27
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Also, the NF4V has routing table bugs. It works fine by itself, but problems happen when you try to use it on the same network as another router.

Symptoms is devices disappearing or only connecting to 1 WiFi AP instead of both.





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  Reply # 2072281 12-Aug-2018 23:22
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See my signature for a guide i was writing a few years ago. From memory it has some stuff regarding the dhcp. 





Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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