Tuesday, 12 March 2013

TP-Link TL-WA901ND v2 problems, now with added DD WRT

We purchased two of these devices for our offices a short while back, however, after setting one up on our private network and the other for external users, we discovered the one we used internally would drop out every now and again.

Sometimes, it would stop displaying the wireless SSID altogether, sometimes it would stop displaying it to new clients, yet clients that were already connected could still use the network, sometimes it would flat out deny any new connections to the network an IP. It would also display more than one of the problems at the same time. All could be resolved for around 12 hours by restarting the device.

We never had any more than 15 devices connected at any one time to our internal one, at 1 or 2 at most to the external one. I tried swapping the settings on them so we were now connecting to the other device instead for internal use, to no avail. Whichever one we connected the most clients to, would always drop out, despite running the latest firmware from TP Link.

How this issue hasn't been resolved yet I don't know.

(Image is copyright of DD-WRT)

Seeing as we rarely used the external device, I decided to have a play around with it so I flashed the custom firmware from DD WRT onto the spare access point.

To start with I wasn't able to access the GUI. To get into it, I connected to the wireless network 'dd-wrt' that it broadcasts,and within command prompt, had to set a neighbor on the wireless connection.

Open 'cmd' as admin.
Type: arp -a
Then: netsh -c "interface ipv4"
Then: set neighbots "Wireless Network Connection 1" "192.168.1.1" "A0:F3:C1:81:XX:XX"

You must replace the 'wireless network connection' with the name of your connection - check the network and sharing centre for this. Also check the bottom of your access point for the correct MAC address and replace the "A0:F3:..." etc with your one.

Then: exit
Then type 'arp -a' again to check if the MAC address is assigned to that particular IP.

If you can connect to 192.168.1.1 through your web browser, then your work is done! If not, you may need to restart the access point and as soon as the network is picked up by your computer, quickly connect and hit refresh on the webpage - you have to be quick to get in!!

To be able to properly setup the device on your network, you must fill in all the correct values, otherwise you may not be able to connect again.

Setup - Basic Setup:
WAN Connection Type - Disabled
Network Setup - Router IP - all of your network information goes in here, your local IP address is the one you want to connect to your access point on (remember this so you can connect back to the interface in the future!!), subnet mask should be taken from your main router and is normally 255.255.255.0, gateway is the IP address of your main router and if you have a local DNS server, enter it in the box as well.
Tick the 'Assign WAN Port to Switch'
Enable your DHCP server for the AP and input your correct network details

Setup - MAC Address Clone
Make sure this is disabled

Setup - Advanced Router:
Make sure Operating Mode is set to your preferred type, we have ours as a Gateway

Wireless - Basic Settings:
Enter all of your setings in here, wireless mode is AP for us, the channel/bandwidth settings and your preferred broadcast SSID.

Wireless - Wireless Security:
Ensure you enter a password in here, otherwise you will have an open network that anyone can join. We use WPA2 Personal Mixed with AES algorithms.

8 comments:

  1. It seems the DD-WRT firmware for the TP-Link WA901ND disables the LAN port. Refer to posts here: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=71721&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=180

    My experience with this device is the same.

    The good news is that you should be able to connect to the wireless interface. The default wireless SSID is dd-wrt, no security (no passphrase) and uses an IP Address of 192.168.1.1.

    I was successfully able to connect to the access point this way and confirm the DD-WRT firmware had installed. I tried playing with it to enable the LAN port again, but it seems the firmware is no yet ready for production. Without a working LAN port, it makes this access point totally useless! What's the point???

    You can at least re-flash it back to stock TP-Link firmware through the web interface over wireless. Just download the webrevert firmware from DD-WRT and you should be able to access it again on the default settings (192.168.1.254) over the LAN port.

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    1. Cheers for the comment, it was frustrating at first however I now have two of devices, one is still on stock firmware sat in a cupboard and the DDWRT is active as our main network wireless provider! It has been flawless once setup correctly!

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    2. How did you get the lan port to work seb? I'm having the same problem as T Carter

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. hi, i have a TL-WA901ND and i added a dd-wrt another model and it's stopped function...
    I'm desperate, i wonder if someone can help me to revive . ty

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  4. Thought I'd bricked a pair of these but followed your instructions almost to the letter (there's a typo in your "set neighbots" command and it requires hyphens, not colons), disconnected the LAN cable from my laptop so it only had the wireless connection and bingo, I'm back in!

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    1. Aha so it should be set neighbors, if I recall correctly. And the colons in the MAC address should be hyphens?

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  5. Thanks. This tips work on my Wireless Access Point

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