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BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 10:58 AM
I'm trying to connect my new wireless router (Netcomm NP121) to the internet. It has a 4-port LAN interface and no dedicated WAN. There is no configuration box to enter DNS addresses. I'm on Telstra cable with fixed IP address. They have given me DNS addresses and they work OK on my old router (D-Link DI-524) which I have temporarily gone back to.

So how is DNS supposed to work on my new set up? The NP121 manual says to connect the NP121 to a modem (cable or ADSL) via one of the LAN ports. It does not say that the modem has to be a modem-router (it doesn't even mention router). When I try to access the web, IE8 times out and Windows Network Diagnostics says I'm "trying to use a DNS server that is incorrect or doesn't exist"

Windows gives the following map for my connection:

Computer Win7pro64 (x.203) - localhost NP121 (x.187) - Gateway Motorola modem (x.1) - red 'X' - Internet

The x.203 etc are my IP addresses. Seems odd to have my LAN and WAN the same but what else could I do? I admit I don't know much about what I'm doing (Networking has always been a black art

CYaBro
21-04-2011, 11:24 AM
As long as the wireless router has an IP address in the same range as the modem/router then it doesn't need DNS as the modem/router will be providing this to all machines on the LAN/WLAN.

BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 11:35 AM
As long as the wireless router has an IP address in the same range as the modem/router then it doesn't need DNS as the modem/router will be providing this to all machines on the LAN/WLAN.

Hmm, are you suggesting that the modem is also a router where DNS addresses can be entered...

BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 11:42 AM
I've tried just now to access the modem. I got the message "the device (xxx) is not set up to accept connections on port (HTTP)"

Physically it has a USB device port as well the RJ-45 connection I'm using

pctek
21-04-2011, 11:59 AM
You want to enter DNS manually then do it through Windows instead of the router.

BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 12:27 PM
You want to enter DNS manually then do it through Windows instead of the router.
I think what you are saying is that the details I enter in the computer get picked up by the router during configuration and stored in it? But surely they wouldn't make a router with invisible settings, would they?

Another possibility is that the computer's DNS details get used 'on the fly', as it were. But that would mean visiting laptops would have to enter DNS settings to use the network. That doesn't seem likely either

In any case I have fiddled with DNS settings in my computer, tried various suffixes such as NETCOMM, or my computer's name, and nothing works. I've now returned everything to 'blank'

inphinity
21-04-2011, 12:30 PM
As far as I'm aware the NP121 is just a Wireless access point with a 4-port hub, without full routing capabilities. I'm guessing there's no WAN port, just LAN ports, so it's expecting your modem to handle everything except connecting the Wifi devices to the LAN.

Erayd
21-04-2011, 12:52 PM
As mentioned above, the NP121 is not a router. Noting you're on TelstraClear cable, this means you'll need to buy another router (unless you want to keep using your old D-Link for this task).

TelstraClear's cable modems are *not* routers - they're modems only. If you're wanting to access the internet from more than one device, you'll need to set your network up as follows:
Cable modem --> Router --> Everything elseThe DNS information can either be entered into your router's configuration or manually into each device on the network, but note that DNS is a bit of a red herring at this point - it's not the cause of your network problems.


The NP121 manual says to connect the NP121 to a modem (cable or ADSL) via one of the LAN ports. It does not say that the modem has to be a modem-router (it doesn't even mention router).This is an error in the manual - a plain modem is no good on its own; you need a router as well.

BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 12:59 PM
I'm guessing there's no WAN port

There's no physical WAN port but perhaps a LAN port could auto-configure as one? with MDI/MDIX

The NP121 is a wireless access point but it's also a wireless bridge to a physically identical unit, also with 4 x LAN ports. It could become a very popular piece of hardware in the future. The pair of units cost me $173 from Ascent. That's less than the cost of 2 x wireless USB dongles to connect a TV and media player to the network.

I'm thinking the lack of WAN port is so that the two hardware units can be physically identical. That would be a siginificant cost saving. (There's a label on each unit showing which end the unit is pre-configured for). Plus Netcomm would save on the cost of the physical WAN socket

inphinity
21-04-2011, 01:03 PM
There's no physical WAN port but perhaps a LAN port could auto-configure as one?

Not on this device, no. They aren't actually NIC's, they're just switch ports. a WAN port would require it to be a proper network interface, with it's own IP address etc.

Erayd
21-04-2011, 01:04 PM
There's no physical WAN port but perhaps a LAN port could auto-configure as one? with MDI/MDIXNope - MDI/MDI-X relates to the physical wiring used in the cable to connect to the port (straight or crossover), and has nothing to do with what the port is used for. Most home networking devices manufactured in the last few years will support this on all ports.


I'm thinking the lack of WAN port is so that the two hardware units can be physically identical. That would be a siginificant cost saving. (There's a label on each unit showing which end the unit is pre-configured for). Plus Netcomm would save on the cost of the physical WAN socketNope - the lack of a WAN port is because the NP-121 is not a router, and therefore has no use for such a port. You *cannot* connect multiple devices to the internet using only the NP-121 and a TelstraClear cable modem; you need a router as well.

I can't help but think that you've bought the wrong product here. If you ask nicely, Ascent may allow you to return it and purchase something that actually does what you need.

BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 01:15 PM
a plain modem is no good on its own; you need a router as well.

I was beginning to think that, with 3 experts now suggesting it.

The public can be forgiven for thinking that a modem and a router are the same thing but a professional crowd like Netcomm should get it right.

(I'm reminded of people who think the epicentre of an earthquake can be 10km deep. I forgive them but I don't forgive the TV professionals who make the same mistake)

Erayd
21-04-2011, 01:27 PM
The public can be forgiven for thinking that a modem and a router are the same thing but a professional crowd like Netcomm should get it right.Indeed :thumbs:. The same can be said for the term 'access point' - it's been abused to the point where most people think that an AP is also a router, and possibly a modem as well.

Out of interest, what was your reason for replacing the DI-524? If you were happy with it, then you could set your network up as follows:
+----------------+ +------------+
| Cable Modem |-----WAN-| DI-524 |
+----------------+ +-----+------+
|
LAN
|
|
+------------+
| NP-121 |
+------------+
Note that the WAN / LAN labels above refer to the ports on the DI-524.

This would give you the speed benefits of the 802.11n wireless provided by the NP-121, while also meaning you don't need to buy another gadget. IP addresses would be assigned for the entire network (including the part of it that uses the NP-121) by the DI-524, and that's also where your DNS settings would go.

Obviously this assumes that you were happy with the routing job of the DI-524 - my experience with them is that they're not great under heavy load, but OK for light tasks.

BBCmicro
21-04-2011, 01:42 PM
Out of interest, what was your reason for replacing the DI-524?

It doesn't have 'n' written on it...

I like your network plan - yes that's what I will do:thanks

(I hope I can turn off the DI-524's wireless)

Erayd
21-04-2011, 01:48 PM
It doesn't have 'n' written on it...:D


I hope I can turn off the DI-524's wirelessYep, you can - there's an option in the settings for this.

jinja_thom
21-04-2011, 06:59 PM
Like I said in my post on your previous thread, what comes out of a Motorola modem is a WAN connection looking for a WAN address as supplied by telstra, what comes out of an ADSL modem or a stand alone router is a LAN connection looking for other LAN connections. Thats why stand alone routers have a WAN port. There is nowhere in the NP121 to specify a fixed WAN IP address or a DNS address.
In a cable modem -> PC connection they are specified in the PC and in a cable modem -> router -> PC they are specified in the router, the router then issues LAN addresses to all of the connected LAN ports.

BBCmicro
23-04-2011, 08:11 PM
Just to end the saga, I set up the NP121 wireless bridge as per Erayd's diagram and it worked perfectly.

I have 4 devices connected to the remote unit, a TV and 3 media players. To test the NP121, I set one of the media players going on an internet radio station, another on a Youtube video, and the TV on another Youtube video. No stuttering at all.

Some things I like about the NP121:
- everything comes up correctly when I turn on the main power switch which also starts the cable modem and router
- it can be set up without connecting to the remote unit
- the defaults worked perfectly
- the AP unit comes with a pre-chosen replaceable WAP2 password string. You push the button on the AP unit and you have 2 min to push the button on the bridge client. That's all. I hadn't met this before

The hard part (for me or the general public) would be setting the unit's LAN address. And optimisation of the wireless stuff if needed. My network doesn't seem to need it