Visibility problems since adding access point
donles1
Enthusiast - Level 2

I have a G1100 router.  I added a TP-Link Archer A7 router, set to access point mode to improve coverage in the home.  Ethernet cabling is plugged into a LAN port on the G1100 and the WAN port on the A7.

The problem is that anything that is connected to the LAN via the access point becomes invisible and unable to connect to other devices on the LAN.

The TP-Link manual simply stated to select ACCESS POINT mode and that's that but I'm wondering if there are parameters or addresses that might affect operation?

Something I noticed but do not know it's signifigance - the IP address my phone is given by the access point is 192.168.0.107.  If my phone is connected to the G1100 it's address is 192.168.1.175.

The address of the G1100 is 192.168.1.1.

The address of the Archer A7 is not currently shown on the G1100 webpage (?) but yesterday it was 192.168.1.174.

I don't know why it is not visible on the G1100 webpage.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

@donles wrote:

Could my problem have to do with the SSID's and pw's being the same on the router and access point?


No. It has to do with layer 3 (network) configurations, not layer 2 (link) configurations. The KB from TP-Link suggests their access point mode is unwieldy to use. It never mentions what would happen to the WAN port and the NAT when the router is put into the access point mode. So to solve your issue, you need to bring it back to the plain router mode and do manual configurations from scratch.

1) Disable DHCP server in TP-Link. This allows devices connected to the TP-Link to get a dynamic IP address from G3100 DHCP server.

2) Unplug the uplink cable to the WAN port of the TP-Link. Instead, plug it to a LAN port of the TP-Link. This allows the built-in 4-port switch and wireless AP in the TP-Link to be bridged to the G3100 LAN.

3) You might need to statically assign an IP address for the LAN interface of the TP-Link in order to continue access its web management interface. This IP address needs to be within the same subnet of the G3100.

I decommissioned the last TP-Link device from my home network last summer, so I could not provide any screenshots as to where to find these settings.

This should do it. The wireless SSID and PSK can stay the same or be changed as desired.

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

A bit of clarification, Is the TP-Link Archer connected in series to the 1100, or is it connected in parallel to the ONT via a switch?

(Parallel) ONT - Switch - 1100

                                  | - TP-Link Archer

Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

Dexman, for link and upper layers devices, you wouldn't call them connected in a parallel or in a series fashion. For physical layer devices, e.g. coax cables, you would say they are all connected in a parallel fashion.

OP, you would want to check the definition of "Access point mode" from TP-Link. What network modifications are exactly done on the router to make it qualified to be called an access point? For example, did they disable the WAN port? Did they bridge the WAN port? Did they disable the firewall? DHCP server? etc... Without the specific definition of access point mode, it is hard to diagnose the problem.

Without further details, I would guess you have created a double Network Address Translated (double NAT) situation. Whereas the devices behind the TP-Link can access upstream network, but not the other way around due to the NAT does not open ports for the incoming upstream traffic.

donles1
Enthusiast - Level 2

Could my problem have to do with the SSID's and pw's being the same on the router and access point?

Here's some info from the TP Link site.  I was not able to paste a comparison chart due to forum rules.

However, here is a link to the page.  

https://community.tp-link.com/us/home/kb/detail/277

From TP-Link site - 

What’s the difference between Router Mode and Access Point Mode for the TP-Link wireless router?

Released On: 2019-05-09 20:08:49Last update time: 2019-05-09 20:10:39

When configuring the TP-Link wireless router as a wireless access point, many customers are not sure the main differences between Wireless Router Mode and Access Point Mode. This article will help show the differences between the two so you can know which configuration you will benefit from.

The comparisson chart below will help reference which functions are available depending which mode the router is set up as:

Your typical wireless router is actually a combination of a wireless access point and a wired router. The wired aspect is what allows client devices to receive a shared internet connection. Router functions also include Parental Controls, Access Controls, QoS, Bandwidth Control, NAT Forwarding, IPV6, and VPN. The wireless access part is meant to provide a wireless connection. In this case, when a router is set to Access Point Mode (How to configure the Archer Router in Access Point mode?), the router functions will be disabled.

Note: TP-Link wireless routers like TL-WR841N do not have an Operation Mode option in the web interface. You will need to disable the DHCP Server(How to Configure TP-Link N router as a wireless Access Point?). Even with the DHCP Server disabled, the router will still work in Router Mode, but it does not use the WAN port any more. In this case, when using a wireless router as a wireless access point, there are some functions which require the WAN port in order to work in Router Mode. These functions include Parental Control, Access Control, QoS, Bandwidth Control, NAT Forwarding, IPV6 and VPN, which can still be configured on TP-Link device but cannot take effect any more since WAN part is not used on these devices.

 

Functions supported by both Router Mode and Wireless Access Point Mode, are Led Control, Auto Reboot, Time Settings, USB Sharing and Wi-Fi Schedule.

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Cang_Household
Community Leader
Community Leader

@donles wrote:

Could my problem have to do with the SSID's and pw's being the same on the router and access point?


No. It has to do with layer 3 (network) configurations, not layer 2 (link) configurations. The KB from TP-Link suggests their access point mode is unwieldy to use. It never mentions what would happen to the WAN port and the NAT when the router is put into the access point mode. So to solve your issue, you need to bring it back to the plain router mode and do manual configurations from scratch.

1) Disable DHCP server in TP-Link. This allows devices connected to the TP-Link to get a dynamic IP address from G3100 DHCP server.

2) Unplug the uplink cable to the WAN port of the TP-Link. Instead, plug it to a LAN port of the TP-Link. This allows the built-in 4-port switch and wireless AP in the TP-Link to be bridged to the G3100 LAN.

3) You might need to statically assign an IP address for the LAN interface of the TP-Link in order to continue access its web management interface. This IP address needs to be within the same subnet of the G3100.

I decommissioned the last TP-Link device from my home network last summer, so I could not provide any screenshots as to where to find these settings.

This should do it. The wireless SSID and PSK can stay the same or be changed as desired.

donles1
Enthusiast - Level 2

I finally got around to doing all three of the items you mentioned and the Archer A7 is now functioning as an access point.

Couldn't be happier.

Thank you!

dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

@Cang_Household wrote:

Dexman, for link and upper layers devices, you wouldn't call them connected in a parallel or in a series fashion. For physical layer devices, e.g. coax cables, you would say they are all connected in a parallel fashion.

Cang_Household: I realized that. The way the question was worded sounded to me like the 1100 and the second unit were paralleled...thus the request for clarification.


donles1
Enthusiast - Level 2

The Archer is downstream of the G1100.

Ethernet cable from a LAN port of the G1100 to the WAN port of the Archer.

Ethernet cable from ONT to WAN port of G1100.

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