5G Mifi -> Deco Mesh -> Archer Router Config Suggestions?

IndianaBlues

Well-known Member
Hi, long story short I usually have an Archer VR2800 from a Sky FTTC connection, with a Deco mesh in Router mode connected to it by ethernet. The Decos predominantly control my lights, echos and smart sockets, while the VR2800 is used for work VPNs, Sky, Netflix etc.

Sky disconnects on Friday, and Virgin Media arrive on the scene next Thursday. My wife and I need enough bandwidth to work concurrently during the day, and the kids will expect a decent level of service from netflix in the evening, so I've bought a 5g MiFi (ZTE MU5100) with an ethernet port to act as a temporary Internet source with the VR2800 in Wireless Router mode until normal service is restored. I've tried it around the house, and typically the best signal by far is in the loft, miles away from the router. So my cunning plan was to put the mifi in the loft connected to a Deco in Access Point mode, then have another Deco connected to the VR2800's WAN/LAN port with the VR2800 in wireless router mode.

The first bit works fine, but the VR2800 either isn't connected to the Internet or isn't willing to share it wirelessly! Have I missed something? I've read about putting the mifi into Bridge mode, which isn't a feature out of the box but can be enabled by a little bit of "tweaking" with the settings page using certain browsers. Would that help, or am I trying something that is doomed to fail?
 
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IndianaBlues

Well-known Member
What IP addresses do your devices have...?
The Archer is 192.168.1.1, the Mifi is 192.168.0.1...
The Deco's are in Access Point mode so I'm guessing they get their IPs from the Archer in pre-mifi setup - currently the one connected to the Archer is 192.168.1.100, with the others being .103 and .104. I've reverted back to my broadband setup for now as the loft access is in the kids' bedroom...
 
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oneman

Well-known Member
I thought the Archer has a USB option to plug in a dongle or tether from a Android phone ?

Would make networking easier.
 

IndianaBlues

Well-known Member
I thought the Archer has a USB option to plug in a dongle or tether from a Android phone ?

Would make networking easier.
Thanks, it does but the signal near the router (which i guess doesn't need to be left in situ now that the phone line isn't needed) is 3g at best.

I think I've got it working as described above though, I needed to put the Archer into Bridge mode and also turn DHCP Relay on to point it back to the 5g Gateway IP. It worked for about 3 hours then the Archer had a wobbly and shut down wifi and ethernet stopped working on it as well. I've done a hard reset and started again, so far so good...
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
DHCP Relay is a specific "thing" - it allows a (usually) router to transparently forward DHCP requests/replys from one IP subnet to another - essentially a DHCP Relay functions as a DHCP proxy.

If your Archer is running in "bridge" mode - ie it isn't routing at all - you should not need a DHCP Relay as the Archer should be forwarding DHCP traffic just like any other traffic at layer 2 (ie switching it) - thence DHCP should not need any "special" handling.

If your Archer is bridging to the Mifi - ie everything is on the same IP subnet (same broadcast domain) your Archer should not be doing any DHCP processing at all. All the DHCP is probably best handled by your mifi (unless your mifi doesn't have a DHCP Server - then you could be in a world of hurt.) If your mifi has a DHCP Server and if your Archer has not already done so, turn Archer's DHCP Server off - multiple DHCP Servers for SOHO networks is often a problem so it is best to only employ one and generally best that it's the one your ISP connected router. (Beacuse most SOHO routers lack the granularity of control to specify the default gateway IP address in the DHCP Leases they issue - they normally default to themselves.)

After putting your Archer into "bridge mode" you will probably be in for 12-24 hours of IP address chaos as the DHCP Leases any devices have "in hand" that were issued by the Archer time out and are replaced with new ones from the Mifi. Power cycling the client stations may expedite this. During this period you may experience IP address conflicts which could lead to things fall off the Internet, or the Internet disappears completely due to an IP address conflict.

However, it does somewhat depend on what "bridge mode" means to your Archer as it is becoming an abused and overloaded term.
 

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