Really p***ed at TP-Link for misleading documentation about bridging

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by x509, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    So I have this TP-Link C9 AC1900, which I recently replaced with a Netgear Nighthawk R8000.

    I have an HP laser printer that I want to put on the LAN, so that my desktop doesn't have to be on to share out this printer.

    I spent several hours yesterday and today, including a support chat session, and I finally got it working. Sort of:mad:.

    BUT, BUT, BUT, it wasn't really working. I had a laptop connected with Ethernet that could successfully bridge through the TP-Link to the web. But I couldn't reach the laser printer (at a known good IP address) from my desktop or my wife's laptop. :eek: AND, contrary to their documentation, bridging only worked on the 2.4 band, not the 5.0 band.:eek:

    So I did a second support chat session about an hour ago, and the tech confirmed that everything was working right. That is, their "bridging" only worked ONE-WAY. Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: Bridging is supposed to be TWO-WAY. :mad: I used to have a D-Link device which bridged just fine to the printer, :) but it just stopped working.:(

    So I'm posting this to tell all you guys not to buy TP-Link. :rage: :rage:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  2. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, about the only thing of theirs that I've had good results with are their basic non-managed Ethernet switches. Anything that is actually managed is usually a no-go.
     
  3. ComputerBox34

    ComputerBox34 Right in the Box

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    Does the nighthawk have a built in print server and usb input? What are you trying to bridge?
     
  4. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The Nighthawk does have a print server, BUT the Nighthawk is downstairs right next to the Arris cable modem, and the printer is in the upstairs home office. The Nighthawk is the only router for my home LAN. I want to put in a bridge upstairs so that I can connect the HP laser printer via Ethernet to the bridge. That way, all systems can access the printer at any time. Right now, the printer is connected via USB to one of the upstairs systems and shared out to all other systems. That works, except when it doesn't, like if my system is asleep or I'm rebooting my system or running a different version of Windows for scratch purposes.
     
  5. dbwillis

    dbwillis [H]ardness Supreme

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    So there is no wired network upstiars?
     
  6. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Short answer: No.
     
  7. dbwillis

    dbwillis [H]ardness Supreme

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    Maybe you can use a powerline network to get network upstairs, then a network to usb print server?
     
  8. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, that's something to consider. The HP LaserJet is already network-capable, so all I would need is a simple hub.
     
  9. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    So if I understand all of this correctly, what you're trying to do is this:

    Router A (Netgear): Downstairs and hooked into the cable modem. Provides DHCP and internet access to the network

    Router B (TP-Link): Hooked to Nighthawk via 2.4ghz wifi in Bridge mode. Printer is connected via USB to this device

    Any device hooked into router B or on Router B's wireless has access to the USB printer, any device on Router A does not. (Not sure if you've actually verified if you're wired or wireless on the TP-Link USB printing works as intended)


    Does Router A and Router B have the same IP range? Or is bridge mode providing a double NAT? (Router B is using different internal IPs) An easy way to tell is look at the WAN IP and see if it matches a lease from the Netgear Nighthawk. If it does then Bridge mode is bringing on the WAN port.


    What I'm kind of getting out of this is that it's likely that TP-Link's Bridging Bridges the WAN port so it maintains NAT. You might be able to solve this by simply doing a 1:1 NAT port forward from the WAN IP to the TP-Link's LAN IP. (Bridging all of the WAN IP ports to the LAN ip ports)

    FYI there is no such thing as "1 way". If you're on the internet, you can upload (transmit) and download (receive) data. It sounds like in your case the device is:

    Firewalling off inbound connections to it
    Has NAT enabled which requires port forwarding to be setup
    Or Both

    So traffic is always 2 way, but whether or not you have the ability to initiate an inbound connection is dependent on how the device is configured. It is possible you don't have control over this which would make the device appear as if it's "1 way".



    What you really should be doing is not using two completely different soho routers to try to accomplish this. Something like the Netgear Orbi or Linksys Velop would be a far better solution, as they were designed to be bridges from the get go. Other options might be something like a pair of Ubquiti UAP-AC-PRO with one of them in repeater mode. From what I've read this would do exactly what you're asking, but it's a bit less turnkey than an Orbi or Velop. (I'm assuming for all of these you're going to plug your HP Laserjet into the network, which you should be doing regardless. Those print servers are even more unnecessary complexity in an already overly complex setup.)
     
  10. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hi. I really appreciate your posting. I just got back last night from an extended business trip, and i have to head out again right after New Year's day. Not sure I will have any time now to experiment with the TP-Link router, but I will in at the end of January when I finally get back.

    I did take a quick look at pricing for these units. Not exactly cheap, either the Orbi or the Velop. Since I just bought the Netgear Nighthawk a few months ago, it would be a hard sell to spend north of $300 and stop using the Nighthawk. I think i want to try to reconfigure the TP-Link first.
     
  11. hity645

    hity645 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I recently purchased a nighthawk WiFi extender. It has an Ethernet port to allow one device to attach to it, or use it for a hardwired extender.

    Bought it for about $60. Might provide the solution you need and extend your WiFi.
     
  12. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hity645. I'm interested. What is the model of t hat extender? How do you use this device in your network?
     
  13. hity645

    hity645 [H]ardness Supreme

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    The one I am using is the Netgear WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX7300. It can pickup up your WiFi signal and re transmit using a new SSID or existing. Very easy to setup. It's supposed to work with my Netgear router and devices shouldn't know if they're being passed off on the extender or the router itself based on signal strength.

    So, my router is at one end of my house and the extender is somewhere in the middle in the utility closet. It's using the same SSID and so far I haven't had any issues with any devices. It's configured to pickup and extend both my 2.4 and 5ghz bands.

    I did try the EX6120 which picks up the signal and broadcasts a new SSID. If you set it to broadcast the same SSID, devices will stay attached to which ever device it originally connected to. So you cannot roam around your house being passed between devices with the best signal.
     
  14. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

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    I agree with the usage of a cheap powerline adapter will resolve all the headaches and eliminate time spent on troubleshooting. Do not need much data transfer for a printer.
     
  15. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The EX7300 is $165 on the Egg. How did you find one for $60?
     
  16. hity645

    hity645 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Amazon warehouse deals.
     
  17. x509

    x509 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks!!