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5057 posts

Uber Geek

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#293157 2-Jan-2022 15:14
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So, I'm setting up a home office at the opposite end of the house from the ONC, living room, TV, etc. The Wifi being kinda weak and intermittent at that range, I ran some Ethernet under the floor. All well and good, but then I find that the laptop provided is Wifi-only. So I've been dabbling with my spare modem (an Orcon NFV4) with the idea of using it as a second WiFi access point. But I can't make the final crucial step. (Mind you, I thought the first step was the final crucial step).


Currently my main modem (modem1) is a Stuff Fibre Asus DSL-AC55U, soon to be replaced with a 2Degrees Fritz!box 7590. 


FWIW, networking-wise I currently have modem1 addressed as doing DHCP for 192.168.1.*, subnet mask, with reserved for modem2's MAC, and a static route for, netmask, gateway Modem2 is on its WAN port, on its LAN doing DHCP for 192.168.2.*, subnet mask, no firewall or NAT. The 2 DHCP servers and subnets are because hosts connecting to  Modem2's Wifi couldn't find Modem1's DHCP server.


The modems are connected using modem2's WAN port, and the modems ping each other OK, and I can ping from a host on Wifi1. But I can't ping or connect to its admin page from I'm guessing I haven't configured the routing right.


So, first question... is this feasible at all? If so, how? It does seem that the NFV4 doesn't give me the capabilities that a fully-fledged router would.


If this is never going to work, then what? A WiFi-extender? A Raspberry Pi (I have several in a drawer somewhere, including RPi Zero-W) configured as a router? A proper mesh network?



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8723 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2841941 2-Jan-2022 15:20
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Hi, you have created two subnets, so cannot easily route between them, domestic routers are a bit duff at this type of thing. The better option is to not use the WAN interface of the 2nd router, instead use only the LAN interfaces. Turn off the DHCP in the 2nd router and move its LAN address into the address space of the first so you can easily connect and manage it. The DHCP of the first router should now be discoverable by devices on both routers.



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  #2841947 2-Jan-2022 15:45
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Personally I would go with replacing the existing routers with a mesh pair, like TPLink Deco's or something. Have one network, with both (or more if you need) access points for coverage.

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  #2842021 2-Jan-2022 16:52
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Just buy an accesspoint for the far end. Either something nice like a unifi or else a cheapie wifi extender that has AP mode on it, but when I looked at those they were not signifigantly less than a unifi once they had the same bands and features. If you dont need speed than a dirt cheap 2.4GHz only one will do the trick and you can end up with one delivered for around $20 on trademe.


Using routers for it seems to always end in hassle - either devices crashing as they fill their puny logs up with failures to get an internet connection, their DHCP turns itself back on, it starts to hijack web connections to its UI to tell you it has no connection and other stuff to work around, vs just buying the right hardware for the task.


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  #2842028 2-Jan-2022 17:19
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If you want to push forward, the Fritz! devices actually have a native mesh mode - I'd suggest picking up some of those, or ditching the lot of them and getting a proper mesh system.

Anything I say is the ramblings of an ill informed, opinionated so-and-so, and not representative of any of my past, present or future employers, and is also probably best disregarded.

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Ultimate Geek

  #2842204 2-Jan-2022 22:59
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If you only want the WiFi in the office for the laptop, the best option might instead be a USB Ethernet adapter.  What USB does the laptop have?  If it has only USB 3.2 Gen 1 (aka USB 3.0), then that is 5 Gbit/s and a USB to Ethernet adapter will work well.  If it has a USB C (or USB A) with USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbit/s) you have more options as there are lots of USB C docking stations with various different port options that usually include at least one Ethernet port.  With the laptop connected to Ethernet, its WiFi port can then be run as an access point with the right software, but that is more for network savvy users.  If you have other devices that you want on WiFi, then a real access point would be the best option.


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  #2842482 3-Jan-2022 15:30
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Thanks folks.


I followed @cyril7's suggestion and now have the networking sorted out. :) :) :)


(Of course, now I find that the laptop only has one HDMI port, so to have my 2 external screens I'll need a dock. And of course the dock has an Ethernet port. :) )



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