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Ideas for a good wireless hub? - Page 2

post #11 of 17
If all you want is a wireless AP then the TP-Link TL-WA901ND is very good for the money - fast wireless, cheap, and most importantly there's a build of OpenWRT available for it. It's only a wireless AP though, so it has a single port (I think 10/100).

On the other hand, you mentioned needing some gigabit ports for wired devices, so you'd probably want the extra functionality of a full router like the TL-WR1043ND which is also really cheap for what it is, it has a Gigabit WAN-side port, 4x GigE LAN side ports, and wireless.

IME, TP-Link make good stuff that's unbelievably cheap, but I do suspect (know, in the case of my TL-PA200 powerline ethernet bricks) that they use cheap capacitors, which could be an issue with long term reliability, however so far my powerlines are fine (6+ months), my own TL-WA901ND is fine (6+ months) and a TL-WA901ND I installed for someone 18+ months ago is still trucking.

Whatever you go for, you'll want an easily configurable and comprehensive firewall in it, and will likely also want the ability to have a separate SSID for guest wireless, so you can firewall them off from your NAS and your own machines.

A full list of OpenWRT compatible stuff is at http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start?bcsi_scan_3c79e7817cdc4fd7=Mi+1MPLFr6VFPiUENtQwYeODkUgGAAAA3IWADw== - I'd really recommend going for something that runs aftermarket firmware like OpenWRT (dd-wrt and tomato are also popular) as it gives you tons more functionality, is better supported, and regularly developed.
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post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback thats great, and I am not at Uni yet. This would be for my apartment, they have wifi in the common room but not throughout the rooms. To tell the truth I don't know whether I'll need to login but each room has its own independent connection so I may need to email them and see about that. Surely I'm not the only one at the Uni with more than one thing I need to plug in so I'm sure it has come up before.

Just to clear things up I do not have a NAS but I'd like to get one in the future so I'm simply future proofing this a little on that front. However I do have a HP Photosmart C4380 that I'd be able to use with it straight away (assuming there's no connectivity issues)

I'm pretty set on the TP-Link TD-W8970 I think its a good deal and has some great features but I'll definitely check with the accommodation before purchasing incase it can only do direct connect to a PC (which would suck)
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post #13 of 17
Definitely shoot the school IT staff an email and ask what their policy is. It's commonplace for large networks to be configured to drop the connection for a switch port that is receiving traffic from multiple devices.
    
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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
http://www.tp-link.com/common/compatible/print-server/

Dang my printer (HP Photosmart C4380) isn't on the list of compatible ones
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post

Definitely shoot the school IT staff an email and ask what their policy is. It's commonplace for large networks to be configured to drop the connection for a switch port that is receiving traffic from multiple devices.

Have done hopefully I'll hear back from them soon
Edited by rob3342421 - 5/21/13 at 4:31pm
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post #15 of 17
Be careful about the TD-W8970, the WAN side of it is an ADSL modem rather than an ethernet port, ie. it's intended to do the "dialling" of a PPPOA connection. What you're likely to get at uni I suspect is an ethernet port presented in your room, that if you plugged a single PC into it, would serve a DHCP address.

So what you want in that case, is for your router to run a DHCP client, get that IP address (say 192.168.0.123) and then NAT all your devices behind it onto that address. Within the LAN side, your router will then run a DHCP server, giving your clients addresses in a private range (say 192.168.1.x), but to the upstream network, they all appear to be one device (that's what NAT does).

Now with a full, recent build of OpenWRT and compatible hardware, the DSL type WAN port wouldn't necessarily be a problem because you can reconfigure the physical ports however you like, so you could just turn one of the ethernet ports which are normally for the LAN side, into a WAN port, plug that into the uni network, and use the other 3 ports (and wireless) as the LAN. However, I notice the W8970 only has a dev build of openwrt available for it, on the details page it also states it's unsupported and says "installation not attempted", so it's likely there isn't a usable build at all, and it may be basically abandoned with no development occuring.

It's exceedingly unlikely that there's enough functionality in the standard tp-link firmware to reconfigure the ports so that one of the ethernet ports is the WAN, and in any case I can't see why you'd want to run the standard firmware.

If you get something where the WAN side is an ethernet port (rather than DSL), you can still use it with DSL later, by getting a separate DSL modem like a Draytek vigor 120, then the modem plugs into a phone line, and you connect the routers WAN port to the modem with an ethernet cable, and the router does PPPOE, with the modem bridging that to PPPOA to do the login with the ISP.

Ref: the printer, it looks to me like that printer has wifi, ie. it has a print server built into it. All you need to do in that case is connect it as a client wirelessly to the router, give it a reserved DHCP address so it's IP doesn't change (or give it a static address outside of the DHCP servers range), then point your client machines at it. Job done.

On the other hand, if it doesn't work properly as it's own print-server, you'd be able to serve it with CUPS (or SAMBA) from OpenWRT. See http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/printer.overview

If one of the reasons you prefer the look of the W8970 is that it has an extra USB port, I'm 99% sure you could plug a USB hub into the WR1043ND to add as many ports as you need.

Incidentally, I haven't checked the W8970's support for any other distros like DD-WRT or Tomato, so you might find that it is well supported by some other good aftermarket firmware.
Edited by BorisTheSpider - 5/22/13 at 6:24am
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post #16 of 17
Why do you want a hub instead of a switch?
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post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by riahc3 View Post

Why do you want a hub instead of a switch?

I don't think he does - I suspect he just uses the word "hub" as a lot of people do as a catch-all word for a router/access point, even though hub has a specific meaning (and you wouldn't find one for sale now anyway).

What is needed is actually an all-in-one box, that is a router, switch and wireless access point. Commonly referred to as a router.
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