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Access WLAN without switch

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KD7MG's picture
Access WLAN without switch

The motherboard in my Windows 7 PC came equipped with dual Realtek gigabit NIC's and I read in another forum where these can be configured to handle VLAN tagging. (Some Intel and Broadcom chipsets can also handle tagged frames.) The configuration consisted of upgrading to the latest Realtek (NOT Microsoft) driver, then installing the Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic tool. The tool comes in 2 flavors, one for Windows XP thru 8.1, and another written just for Windows 10. My goal was to see if I could access the WLAN part of my M2 Bullet without a smart switch, and after a bit of trial and error, I finally got there.

Here's my configuration: NIC1 is tied to the bullet through a cheap POE adapter. NIC2 goes to my home LAN, which (like most) is routed to the Internet. Using the Realtek utility, I added a VLAN to NIC1 and assigned it to VLAN1. I then bridged VLAN1 to NIC2 using Windows 7 network tools. The final ingredient (that took me a while to find) was to disable the "Priority & VLAN" on NIC2 using the NIC's Advanced Properties in Windows.

I can now configure the bullet AND the bullet can access the Internet for apps or upgrades just like it could if going through a smart switch. At the same time, my PC still has full access to my home LAN. OK, this may not be a big deal to some, but I'm just a student when it comes to 802.1Q stuff and I thought it was pretty cool.

My next trial will be to put a dumb switch between the PC and bullet to see if I can hang some peripherals there. (And yes, most dumb switches can handle passing tagged frames.)

Simultaneous LAN/Internet and Mesh Node Connections on a PC
Thanks for the info. Have you or anyone else tried this on a laptop using USB to Ethernet adapters?
KD7MG's picture
There are some

There are some USB to Ethernet adapters out there that claim to support 802.1Q VLAN tagging (for example, this Startech device), but I've not tested it. Besides, 2 of those is in the same price range as just buying a smart switch.

Cisco 2960 8 port plus 1

Totally agree with you. Used Cisco switches can be found for $30 or less on ebay with the little 8+1 port 2960 being the best bang for the buck and practical for AREDN. 

For those interested, this config will get almost any Cisco switch configured for AREND:

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