TP LINK VR600 Bridge mode

crsnwby

Active Member
Got a new router today as the Deco E4 system is poop and causes nothing but issues with Sky Q as well as makes the Eufy security system cameras very slow and laggy. So I got an Asus AX 82U. It doesn't have a DSL modem so I was going to set the current VR600 in bridge mode (to be a modem) but not sure if I can still use the LAN ports on the VR600 as I have my NAS and PC in the office where it is but the Asus is in the lounge to spread the WiFi better.

Anyone know if the ports will work on the VR600 and if the devices on them will be accessible over the Asus WiFi network??
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
"Modem Mode" and "Bridge Mode" may not be the same thing, though they may have similar effect.

Take a look at the block diagram of a SOHO router attached to the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum for reference.

"Modem Mode" usually means turning off everything except the modem and all but one of the ethernet ports.

"Bridge Mode" usually means turning off the router/NAT/Firewall (and possibly the DHCP Server) but leaving the ethernet switch and Wi-Fi AP enabled - it may even disable the modem - effectively turning the device into a combination Wi-Fi AP and ethernet switch. Check the manual to be sure.

If my assumptions are correct, then by definition only one of the VR600 ethernet ports will be available in "modem mode" (which will need to be cabled to the ASUS WAN/Internet port) so it's AP and the remaining ports won't be active. If in bridge mode, AP and ethernet ports should function but; as they will be upstream of the ASUS router, they will have to be on a separate IP subnet to the rest of your network and devices attach to the VR600 AP/ethernet port won't be able to communicate with anything connected to the ASUS as the ASUS router/NAT/firewall and complications with the IP routing will prevent such traffic.

The devices attached to the VR600 will also be exposed directly to the Internet as there is no NAT/firewall protecting them.

This begs the question, what's "wrong" with your VR600 that you are trying to fix?
 
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crsnwby

Active Member
Thanks I thought I may be the case. That it's basically 2 networks instead of 2 linked networks. I think I can work around it by moving my NAS to be wired to the ASUS in another room.

I'm changing as the WiFi was always bad upstairs. I got a Deco E4 mesh system which solved the WiFi issue nicely. But it's causing issues with Sky Q and my Eufy security cameras. Basically sky Q is interfered with and causes an overheat crash once a week if not more, and Eufy lags and has lots of failures. Seemingly due to channel overlap and no control of the Deco channel used.

I tried the Asus and it's basically solved all wifi dead spots and lag/sky issues immediately. I didn't realise buying a good router would have such an impact. After 20 years just getting cheap stuff saying to myself well it's only a network and it has to work. I'm very surprised how much better it is.

Cable comes tomorrow so I can set it up properly and do a full test. Hopefully I can bin the Deco completely based on initial tests.
 

happy_2008

Active Member
Thanks I thought I may be the case. That it's basically 2 networks instead of 2 linked networks. I think I can work around it by moving my NAS to be wired to the ASUS in another room.

I'm changing as the WiFi was always bad upstairs. I got a Deco E4 mesh system which solved the WiFi issue nicely. But it's causing issues with Sky Q and my Eufy security cameras. Basically sky Q is interfered with and causes an overheat crash once a week if not more, and Eufy lags and has lots of failures. Seemingly due to channel overlap and no control of the Deco channel used.

I tried the Asus and it's basically solved all wifi dead spots and lag/sky issues immediately. I didn't realise buying a good router would have such an impact. After 20 years just getting cheap stuff saying to myself well it's only a network and it has to work. I'm very surprised how much better it is.

Cable comes tomorrow so I can set it up properly and do a full test. Hopefully I can bin the Deco completely based on initial tests.
Could you not turn off the Sky wifi? I have a mesh system and turned off the Sky Wifi
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If you are just using your new router as a Wi-Fi AP, one simple solutions would be to use the VR as a router by just turn it's Wi-Fi off, then "cripple" the ASUS as described in the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ pinned in this forum so it just functions as an AP/switch combo (or use it's bridge mode if it has one.) Then you will be able to use all the LAN ports on everything and won't have a partitioned network.

Alternatively, you could even leave the VR Wi-Fi active alongside your crippled ASUS and benefit from two Wi-Fi cells - it's all described in the aforementioned FAQ.
 
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crsnwby

Active Member
Could you not turn off the Sky wifi? I have a mesh system and turned off the Sky Wifi
I tried that but it just turns itself back on all the time on the Sky Q. I also have 2 minis which could be why not sure.

I was hoping to be able to basically make the VR600 a bridge modem to pass the internet to the new ASUS making it the primary. But retain the use of the VR600 LAN ports to keep the PC and NAS connected and accessible by the ASUS connected devices which will be the new main network.
 

happy_2008

Active Member
I tried that but it just turns itself back on all the time on the Sky Q. I also have 2 minis which could be why not sure.

I was hoping to be able to basically make the VR600 a bridge modem to pass the internet to the new ASUS making it the primary. But retain the use of the VR600 LAN ports to keep the PC and NAS connected and accessible by the ASUS connected devices which will be the new main network.
I turned my WIFI off and used one of the mesh nodes to connect to the mini via ethernet.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I was hoping to be able to basically make the VR600 a bridge modem to pass the internet to the new ASUS making it the primary. But retain the use of the VR600 LAN ports to keep the PC and NAS connected and accessible by the ASUS connected devices which will be the new main network.

Unfortunately that won't work - or at least won't work as you expect.

Routers sit at the "edge" of a network joining to other networks (not in the "middle" bossing it.) So placing another router inbetween your VR and everything else splits the network into two separate ones (frequently called "sub-nets" by data networking experts, though that term is a little inaccurate.) There might be good reasons for doing so, but fixing a Wi-Fi problem (or adding extra Wi-Fi AP's) isn't one of them.

You really only need one router in SOHO network and it's usually best that it's the device that connects your network to the rest of the world via your ISP. Unless there's some compelling reason to not use your VR as a router, then you'd be best to leave the VR routing and cripple your ASUS to use as a AP/switch. Alternate configurations, whilst possible, are introducing additional complications for no real advantage.

Whilst it may be an emotional wrench having just bought a shiny new router, to not then use all it's functionality, if you can get over that, then you can achieve your goal of deploying a new Wi-Fi AP (the ASUS) and still being able to use all the LAN ports on your VR. Alternatively, just live with the fact that putting the VR into "modem mode" (though I'm unconvinced it has one) renders all but one of of it's LAN ports inactive/unusable.
 

crsnwby

Active Member
Just connected it all up for a quick test before I drill any holes in walls. It works in the way that internet is fine on Asus connected devices and also anything on the VR ports are contactable from the Asus also which I was surprised at but I assume that means the devices on the VR are internet exposed. So I will likely just move my NAS to the other room also and just not use the VR ports once all is setup.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If you've left both your routers routing, then that's behaving as we would expect. The firewall in the VR will be protecting devices connected to it from being probed by anything on the Internet.

The firewall in your ASUS will permit devices connected to the ASUS initiating sessions with devices connected to the VR. But session initiation "the other way around" will be blocked by the ASUS firewall unless you get into setting up a load of "port forward" rules.

You may have partitioned your LAN into two subnets - the tell tale will be that the IP addresses of devices attached to both will be in different ranges. For example, if both are running 192.168.X.Y address ranges, the "X" will be different - if everything has the same "X", then it's still functioning as a single subnet. Same deal if one or other is using a 172.[16-31].X.Y or a 10.A.B.C - that indicates they are different subnets and you've partitioned you LAN into two.

If so, and at risk of sounding like a stuck record, by splitting your LAN in two, I fear we're making this needlessly complicated for no good reason. It would be much simpler, both to set up and to use, if you have a single flat network all on the same subnet, which can be achieved by turning your ASUS into an AP/switch combo (or run it in "bridge mode" if it has one) and leave the VR to do everything else except Wi-Fi (if you don't want it.) If you want to use all the bells and whistles of your ASUS, then you need something upstream if it that either is, or functions as, a modem - and your VR is not it. We cannot turn a SOHO router into a modem just by "saying so" - it needs to have a "modem mode" and not all do.
 
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crsnwby

Active Member
I took the plunge today and drilled through the wall and set the ASUS to router and the VR600 to Bridge mode. All works well and the PC on WiFi connects at 1.7Gb which is better than the wired speed on the VR600. which is good news. All devices back up and connected, Deco removed from life.

Just need to get the NAS back online hopefully without moving it to the lounge next to the ASUS.

mickevh did you say it will be firewalled by the VR600 in bridge mode as if so and I can connect to it, that me sorted???

 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
In bridge mode, probably no firewall on the VR.

What are the IP Addresses of your routers...? (Such information shouldn't be any use to anyone.)
 

crsnwby

Active Member
I can't actually connect at all to the VR600 admin page now on any address via wired or wireless. The connections connect but just can't get to any admin stuff. VR600 LAN ports seem to be disabled so will have to move the NAS. Looks like before I likely didn't turn off DHCP on the VR600 in bridge mode so it worked. Not going to double network it for the sake of moving the NAS.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
169.254.X.Y are called APIPA addresses - it's another scope of "private" IP addresses that are guaranteed not to be routed on the public Internet. The difference between APIPA address and the other private IP address ranges I listed a couple of posts back is that APIPA addresses are literally "made up" by the devices that use them. They are often used in modern kit when there is no DHCP Server present on a subnet.

I'm surprised (as in "curious") that bridge mode hasn't turned off the VR modem, but if it's working who cares! What it's probably done is effectively turned the VR "WAN" port into another "LAN" port, albeit one that is using a different technology to ethernet. Thereby bypassing the router/NAT/Firewall - but we'd need to take a look to be sure.

In the data networking model that is most commonly used (called the OSI 7 Layer Reference Model) things called "bridge" and "bridging" functionality is usually vested in layer 2 devices whereas IP/routing/NAT/firewall is in the next layer up at layer 3. (Though there's sometimes a bit of crossover and overloading/mis-use of the terms.) Thusly for things like SOHO routers , normally we'd expect "bridge mode" to defeat or bypass the layer 3 functions - ie the router/NAT/firewall.

It might be worth some effort to statically assign an IP address to the VR if you want to get at it's admin interface. As long as it's a private IP address and different to your ASUS, it should be OK. So say 192.168.100.1 just to make something up at random. Temporarily connect something to it and manually set the address and subnet mask (255.255.255.0) Whilst you are there, you might as well disable the Wi-Fi radio if you don't intend to use them.

The admin interface may be exposed to the public Internet and simply changing the IP address to one of the private ones, whilst it offers some protections, is not as robust as being behind a firewall. Whatever you do, ensure the VR admin account as a robust password and don't leave it open.

To then talk to VR from something downstream of your ASUS, you may need to add something called a "static route" to the ASUS routing table that tells the ASUS that 192.168.100.Y addresses (or whatever you choose) can be reached through it's "WAN" interface (otherwise it'll probably drop the traffic.) Not all routers offer the ability to add you own static routes, so check out the ASUS user guide to see what it offers - ASUS do some reasonably decent kit so it may offer it. Even then, it may not work depending on how the ASUS treats traffic ingressing it's WAN interface from private IP addresses.
 
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