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Integrating an AREDN node into my home network

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KC5LIO
Integrating an AREDN node into my home network

Being somewhat new to AREDN and having just implemented my first AREDN node, I noted that there seemed to be no way to use it effortlessly from my home Wi-Fi networked computers.  It also appeared that I couldn't host services from my home network computers.  The AREDN node was a completely different network with a different IP block.  I saw several people asking how to integrate AREDN into their existing computer networks but the best answer offered was that plugging a computer into the switch via cable would allow you to be on both the home network and AREDN at the same time.

Having a good bit of computer experience and just enough networking knowledge to be dangerous, I set out to integrate my new AREDN node fully into my existing home network.  I took the time to document how I did this and am offering it here in hopes that it will guide others.  This paper documents my own setup but the concept should be universally applicable.

The document contains many screenshots and is a little too large to upload in this forum so I have hosted it on my own website.  For anyone interested, please check it out at the address below.


--------------------------------------- Short clip from the paper ------
Preface:  The subject of this paper is to document a method of integrating an Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) node seamlessly into my existing home computer network.  The goal was to allow any computer on my home network to access the AREDN mesh as well as being able to run any service for AREDN by port forwarding to my networked computers.  At the same time the home network would function as usual with all computers having access to each other as well as the Internet.  I wanted the ARDEN mesh to be as easy to access as the Internet without having to plug in different cables or do anything special.

 

WA6RZW
Thank you

After struggling with AREDN for 2 weeks your write-up gives me hope.  The VLAN has been horrible to deal with.  I have three diffferent VLAN switches and have yet to get anything to work via VLAN.  (none of the switches are Netgear)  I hope I don't have to buy another one.
Thanks 73 Ed

K6CCC
K6CCC's picture
What switches

What switches are you using?  Any managed switch that can understand VLANs should easily handle AREDN.
 

nc8q
nc8q's picture
struggling with AREDN

Hi, Ed:

Did you succeed with the struggle and get aredn firmware loaded into your unidentified Wi-Fi device?

I suspect that your 3 different unidentified VLAN capable switches do not have VLANs configured out-of-the-box.
You may need to program the VLANs on those unidentified switches.
There are instructions on programming many configurations of VLANs on this web site.
There are sample configurations for Netgear and TP-Link devices here on this web site.
Here is a link to an video explaining VLANs: https://www.arednmesh.org/content/understanding-vlans

I hope this helps, Chuck

KC5LIO
Glad you found it of value. 

Glad you found it of value.  The vlans can be a bit confusing but once you gain some experience they do work well and allow some flexibility.  Think of it as having different channels on the same cable.

W1GTT
Network

Trying to be ready for winter field day. Planning on using N3FJP's logging program at the field day site using AREDN. I've been successful in networking my desktop and laptop to log contacts to my WiFi network. I'm at a loss on what I must do to use AREDN to connect multiple computers at a field day site and use the logging software. Any assistance will be appreciated. Thanks 

nc8q
nc8q's picture
using N3FJP's logging program

and connect multiple computers at a field day site and use the logging software.

You did not describe a scenario that requires an AREDN mesh network.
As far as described, you could use an 'OffTheShelf' WiFi router with 4 port ethernet switch.

If AREDN: Will the logging software be on an advertised service on the mesh?
If yes, then any (AREDN mesh) LAN connected computer could access the logging service.
Is one of your mesh devices a Mikrotik hAP?

Chuck

 

W1GTT
N3FJP and AREDN

Chuck, thanks for taking the time to assist.
The plan is to have a server running the logging program and several, possibly seven or more, remote computers sending their data back to the server. All using the mesh not wired, I'm using the program now at home between three computer using my WiFi service. I'm at a loss on what settings I need to do to have the server seen over AREDN by the other computers. I can purchase Mikrotik hAP if it is required. 
I've used AREDN to stream video from several cameras back to the command trailer during events. Never shared a program though.

Thanks in advance
 

nc8q
nc8q's picture
Give your server an address

Give your server an address reservation on a network connected node.
Any computer on the mesh can address the server by NAME or IP address.
I have never done a camera, but i have a
Kg6wxc map server, apache-mysql-php server, adsb airplane mapper, bpq node, chat room, and a pbx
Each running on a RPi.
If you can do it on wifi, you can do it with AREDN.
The main difference will likely be the IP addresses.
I hope this helps,
Chuck

kc8ufv
As far as making the mesh

As far as making the mesh accessible from your home network, I'd recommend putting a mesh node between your internet connection and your home router. You can configure the AREDN node to only have 1 client computer for this. You can either use one of the outdoor nodes and a switch configured with the VLANs, or use one of the nodes such as the MikroTik HAP AC Lite or GL-Inet AR-750 inside, and DtD link to an outside node. If you do the later, I may suggest setting a different AREDN name/channel/width than is in common use, so it's not meshing via RF. Either of the two devices I mentioned will prevent you from needing to configure VLANs, as they will directly expose a WAN port, LAN port, and DtD port with vlan2 tagged. I might suggest the GL-Inet for this application. On that node, you can configure any services you want to point to the IP assigned to the other router, and set the port forwarding on that router. You then can configure advertised services on the inside node. 

Example config:

​​INET  ----------- AR-150 - WAN PORT
                  AR-150 - LAN PORT -----  Home router  ----- Entire home network (Wifi, wired ethernet, etc.)
Outdoor Node  --- AR-150 - DtD Port
KC5LIO
Interesting

That is interesting.  Where is the one computer that has access to all three networks (Internet, home, and mesh) connected?   If you have this configuration working I would like to know more about how DNS, gateways, etc. are configured in the node and routers.

kc8ufv
With that example

With that example configuration, all your computers will be on the home network. Your mesh node will pass the WAN/INTERNET traffic to the LAN connection that goes to your home network router. It will also handle the DNS lookups and communication with the mesh.

KC5LIO
If I am understanding it

If I am understanding it correctly you still have two routers at work but now the mesh network router is connected to the Internet instead of the home network router.  I can see where that could be made to function.  You should write up a detailed description of a working setup and post it somewhere!

kc8ufv
Unfortunately, my current

Unfortunately, my current internet connection won't let such a configuration work, as I'm using an internal aircard in my laptop. But, this basically a fairly documented configuration in AREDN, just adding a second router on the end. You could use a switch (and access point instead of a router) for your home network instead and let the AREDN node handle addressing for the home network, but I put it the way I did to allow for some of the newer home network router technologies, such as the consumer-targeted mesh products from the likes of Ubiquiti, DLink, etc. that are designed to provide better coverage within a home than a single access point may provide.
 

AA7AU
AA7AU's picture
Double-NAT?

I'm not familiar with the AR150, however it seems like this would give you *two* NAT (or other) IP translations between the internet and your home LAN devices, as the mesh node will be the first router to get thru and then your LAN router/firewall would be the second in line. Double-NAT addressing has been known to sometimes cause strange network effects and possible problems. Not sure, but worth considering. I defer to the AREDN networking experts on this.

Just a thought,
- Don - AA7AU

KD1HA
KD1HA's picture
You could use a GL-USB-150 on

You could use a GL-USB-150 on all the laptops wirelessly if you're close enough to each other.

KM4DC
KM4DC's picture
GL-AR-150-ext Mini Smart Router

I use a GL-AR-150-ext to connect to my home router.
My Comcast (Home) router can create a "guest" net, but only on WiFi.
So I use a the AR-150 to provide the Internet connection to an AREDN node.
Two of the GL-AR-150-ext's make a neat tunnel node or AREDN (limited distance) node with Internet access. One has AREDN fw and the other has the GL iNet fw.
Plug the Internet LAN device into the AREDN WAN one and also have the Internet one connect to the Home Router WiFi Guest network.
The GL-AR-150-ext can also provide Internet access to a more powerful AREDN node like a Nanostation.
I can allow AREDN access to my Home network with the AR-150-ext, but don't. I really don't want an open network plugged into my Home net.
73, Don, KM4DC
 

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