NAS on TL-WPA281

NAS on TL-WPA281
NAS on TL-WPA281
2013-05-15 00:01:29
Region : Germany

Model : TL-WPA281

Hardware Version : V1

Firmware Version : 1.0.1 Build 120210 Rel.30416n

ISP :


Region : Germany

Model : TL-WPA281KIT

Hardware Version :

Firmware Version : 1.0.1 Build 120210 Rel.30416n

ISP :


Hello people!

First, a short description of my set up:

1. D-Link Horstbox DVA-G3342SD (old, not in my flat, cannot change it)
2. TP-Link 300Mbps AV200 Wireless N powerline extender starter kit (TL-PA211 + TLWPA281)
3. LC Power LC-35NAS NAS hard drive (10/100/1000 mbps), with 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM formatted in exFAT (the NAS requires it)
4. Lenovo Edge E525 with 1x1 11b/g/n Wireless LAN PCI Express Half Mini Card Adapter
5. Ideatab A2109 with wireless N

I am new to this forum, and I come to you because of a problem that is driving me nuts. A week ago, I got a TL-WPA281 kit to fix the internet connection in my flat The main WLAN router is one floor below my flat (the D-Link), and it is and old wireless G router. The devices in my flat (laptop, tablet and smartphone) had several problems connecting to the router. So, I decided to get the TL-WPA281 kit to fix the problem. I connected the powerline extender in the floor below (near the router) and connected it via LAN. Then, I plugged the wireless N repeater (WPA281) in my flat and set up the network. Voilà! Finally, I had decent internet connection in all my devices (improved from 1~1.5 mb/s to 12.5 mb/s in download). Until here, everything is working great. The WPA281 broadcast its own wireless network, which is perfect since many other people in the building connect to the same router below my flat, and I wanted to hide my tablet and laptop from it.

In the other hand, I liked the fact that the WPA281 has a LAN port, designed to connect a printer or a NAS. I've been wanting to set up a NAS for long to manage all my back ups, movies and music, so I could access them from any of my wireless devices and save some space. So I ordered a LC-Power LC-35NAS NAS enclosure and putted in a 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drive. Until here, again, everything was ok. The problem came when I tried to copy files to the NAS from my laptop. The speeds seems way to low (below 1 mb/s). I've searcher over thousands of forums regarding NAS accessed via wireless, tried almost all the solutions and finally spotted the problem. The following scheme shows my actual setup:





I know, my Photoshop skills are over 9000. Anyhow, as you can see, both my laptop and the NAS are connected to the WPA281. When I connect the tablet and the laptop to the repeater, and stream a 720p video stored in my laptop into my tablet, the video plays with no lag at all.The connection is just fine since both the tablet and the laptop are wireless N (as so the WPA281). The same happens when copying a file from the tablet to the laptop and backwards.

So, I got my NAS a few days ago, put the HDD inside, plugged into the WPA281 with a CAT5 wire and started copying files into it. I knew that I was going to have a bottle neck between the NAS (1000 mbps) and the WPA281 (100 mbps), being the maximum possible speed 100 mbps/8 = 12.5 mb/s, which is more than enough for streaming audio/video and saving my back ups. But the speeds I got were surprisingly low: 0,9 mb/s write, 2 mb/s read!

So then, I ran some test, used crystalmark to measure the performance and started discarding all the possible bottlenecks. I plugged the NAS directly to my laptop via LAN, run Crystalmark and kicked 50~60 mb/s for both reading and writing. So, the NAS was the problem. Ran also some tests to check my wireless speed in both the WPA281 and my laptop and they both were showing speeds far above 1 mb/s. I checked wires, wireless settings and every possible thing I could modify (except the router, that one is out of my reach and can't modify it). So finally I asked an IT colleague in my company and he gave a hint: Despite of the fact that both the NAS and my laptop are connected to the same repeater (WPA281), my laptop is connected to the wireless network of the repeater (the one it broadcasts) and the NAS is connected to the network of the router! That is, despite of the fact that the physical connection of the NAS is into the WPA281, it goes all the way back thru the powerline to the router, meaning that every time I write or read something to the NAS, it has to go all the way down to the router (which is freakin' slow), and return. That is the reason why the speeds are so low!

So, after all this explanation, my question is: is there a way to configure the WPA281 so the NAS connected into its LAN port connects to the network it broadcasts and not to the parent network form the router? I also want to do this to hide my NAS from the other users connected to the router. I know that maybe changing the IP and subnet of the router I can isolate the devices in my flat, but that does not solve the fact that the NAS goes every time back and forth to the router via the powerlines to read or write a file. My colleague also suggested me to set a statip IP for the NAS. The NAS interface allows me to, but when I click apply it doesn't work. Guess that is because of the DHCP settings back in the router.

Any help if deeply appreciated. I have to weeks to make it work, that is the time I have to send the NAS (and the WPA21kit) back to Amazon. Thank you very much and sorry if my question is too noob, but my networking knowledge is not as good as it should.
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Re:NAS on TL-WPA281
2013-05-17 17:09:19
I do not think TL-WPA281 Kit can do that because it did not have the DHCP function and it relies on your orignal to do the DHCP function. I think you can buy a wireless router to connect behind the TL-WPA281 kit. You can turn off the wireless function on the TL-WPA281 kit and connect a wireless router behind it. Then you can connect the WIFI from router through laptop and NAS also connected to the router LAN port. The router also can be a separate network from your existing router. You can get a wireless N router behind it. To save money, i think you can get a TL-PA211 Kit and a wireless router like TL-wr 1043nd or TL-wr841nd. And then the laptop and NAS will be in a small network behind your existing router.
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Re:NAS on TL-WPA281
2013-05-17 17:32:27
Hello mynetwork, thanks for the quick response!

That is exactly what I ended up doing. Got a TP-Link TL-WR1043ND router with Gigabit LAN and wireless N, and replaced the WPA281 with a TL-PA511 (no wireless, but 500 Mbps over powerline). Then I enabled the DHCP server from the router and configured my own internal network. By the way, the TL-WR1043ND is a really nice little router, love all the functions it has, and configuring is super easy. The NAS go directly with CAT6 to the Gigabit port in the router. Transferring files via wire kicks around 50 Mb/s for reading and 30 Mb/s for writing. Now, my only bottlenecks are the hard drive (Sata II, eventually will upgrade with a SATA III since the NAS support it) and the 150 Mbps wireless card of the laptop. But still, I manage to stream 720p videos (and even higher resolutions) thru the wireless with bothe the laptop and the tablet.

I sent back the WPA281 to Amazon, didn't had to pay a penny extra!

Thank you very much for the help!!!! ;)
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