Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router

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Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router

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Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router
Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router
2019-11-22 20:25:12
Model: CPE210  
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:

I've got a Netgear router with Tomato software loaded that I use with a celluar modem while out camping. I'd like to use it with a CPE210 to access wireless networks.

I'm also using a pihole attached to the router as DNS. This is the main reason for wanting to keep the router in the  system. Can this be accomplished?

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Re:Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router
2019-11-22 22:46:29 - last edited 2019-11-22 22:47:44

H@rotorbudd,

 

if you want to use the CPE210 to connect to a public hotspot on a RV park/camping ground, this works, yes. But the max. distance between the park's AP and the CPE is then limited by the AP, not by the CPE. Thus, if the AP's signal is very weak at the place you choose, a CPE can't improve the signal that much (albeit better as a smartphone or other client device due to the higher receiver sensitivity of the CPE).

 

Note, that the CPE supports a router mode as well, so there is no need for another router to make use of the PiHole. But to connect client devices wirelessly to your own network you would need an AP. OTOH, you can use the Tomato router and connect its WAN port to the CPE, which then should work in client mode.

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Re:Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router
2019-11-23 00:25:13 - last edited 2019-11-23 00:41:24

Thanks for the reply. I realize that the CPE will only help some with the signal strength, But it only has to be better than most of the others around it to help. If I understand you I can plug the CPE into the WAN port of the Netgear router and this will give me a internet connection. How would the WAN be setup when using the CPE as the WAN connection? I've got the pihole doing DHCP and DNS for the router now when it's on the cellular modem. I'll have to enter a password somehow for whatever wireless connection I'll be connected to. would this be done on a CPE page. I'll be getting the CPE tomorrow so I'm just trying to get an idea on how this is going to be setup.

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Re:Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router
2019-11-23 01:48:38 - last edited 2019-11-23 01:56:08

 

rotorbudd wrote

I realize that the CPE will only help some with the signal strength, But it only has to be better than most of the others around it to help.

 

To clarify: the CPE is a great device for directional, long-range links usually deployed pair-wise to link two places thousands of meters away from each other. The CPE's signal strength is able to easily reach an AP using omnidirectional antennas. But the other way around signal strength of the latter AP isn't this good in terms of max. distance.

 

The difference is: if you bundle RF energy of an AP with omni antennas (360º coverage) to a smaller beam width such as the CPE has (65º), it will become much stronger (the narrower the angle, the stronger the signal and the longer the distance it can »travel«, but also the smaller the area it will cover). Since both devices need to »see« each other's signal, maximum distance is limited by the AP with weakest signal, not by the CPE which has a very strong signal. But it has also a good receiver sensitivity, so it works far better than, say, a home WLAN router.

 

How would the WAN be setup when using the CPE as the WAN connection? I've got the pihole doing DHCP and DNS for the router now when it's on the cellular modem. I'll have to enter a password somehow for whatever wireless connection I'll be connected to.

 

You set the CPE to client mode (default is AP mode). In client mode it behaves as your smartphone looking for a WiFi cell. You perform a site survey, choose the SSID to associate with, save it, done. The CPE just bridges its wired LAN port to its wireless WLAN adapter which in this model is the WAN, albeit strictly speaking there is no LAN or WAN since the CPE does not work as a router if set to client mode. It works as a client and this is just a device bridging its Ethernet port to the distant AP wirelessly. So, your Netgear's WAN port is connected to the CPE and the CPE connects this to the RV park's AP.

 

The IP for your Netgear's WAN interface will be assigned by the RV park's AP; the CPE is just the bridge.

 

As for a portal page (login page or whatever) you will see the portal page on the device connecting to the Netgear's LAN, the Netgear routes requests to its WAN, which is the RV park's AP. If the RV park's AP has no portal page, maybe it requires a WPA2 key. This would have to be set in the CPE. So, exact authentication method depends on the RV park's AP.

 

This is the network diagram, the left AP is not a CPE, but the RV park's AP connected to the Internet. The devices on the left are your client devices, smartphone, laptop etc. and rather than a switch you use the Netgear router. The left CPE creates the wireless bridge, it's part of the RV park's network regarding IP settings. Without the Netgear router, your devices would be part of the RV park's network, too, but with the Netgear router only its WAN interface is part of that network, while its LAN port(s) and your devices, the PiHole etc. are in their own subnetwork, your private LAN:

 

 

Quite easy to set up this way.

 

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Re:Would a CPE210 work on a Tomato router
2019-11-23 15:13:05
Thanks again. This is exactly the info I needed to get this setup. I think this setup will do fine in the situation I normally get in some of the Rocky Mtn. National Park campgrounds. They have commercial building near with wifi access ( think restaurants) that I can just connect with a cellphone if I hold it over my head in the correct direction. With this setup I should Have no problems connecting to these hotspots. thanks again for the help!
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