Sunday, July 24, 2011

Setting a Netgear WNR3500L Router to Bridging/Access Point Mode (the Hard Way)

In conjunction with the purchase of a new Acer Aspire 5750-6690 for my wife (and occasionally me), I made the mistake of ordering a Netgear WNR3500L wireless router to increase the speed and range of the existing IEEE802.11g network. My mistake was assuming that it would be simple to change from the default Routing mode to Bridging (Access Point) mode.

Following is a copy of the messages to and from Netgear technical service over a five-day period:

Online technical submission: view case

  • Case #: 16176814
  • Problem: Questions about WNR3500L
  • Cause: Questions about setup, Features, Security
  • Status: Open
  • Notes:
  • 7/19/2011 4:59:00 PM
    PC Brand/model no.: Acer 5750-6690
    Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit

imageError Message or Problem: Installed Windows 7 Pro dual-boot on Acer lapotop for access to Active Directory domain with the DC running DHCP and NAT for several wired clients. Wireless Internet works fine to Acer. Connected to AD domain without incident.

In Networks window, WNR3500L appears as Network Infrastructure, Acer and domain controller icons appear under Computer. However, no icons for other computers on network appear.

Router appears in DC's DHCP Leases as WNR3500L.oakleaf.org, as expected. However, neither the router nor the Acer are visible to the DC or other hosts.

Is there a source of troubleshooting information on using N300 routers with Active Directory domains?

Thanks in advance,
FW version:
Modem model no.:
Adapter model no.:


  • 7/19/2011 6:18:00 PM

imageForgot to mention that I installed all Acer drivers from the Drivers and Apps CD and the WNR3500L driver from Windows Update.

Also have observed the Acer and DC icons disappear after a few minutes and I must double-click the WNR3500L (Gateway) icon to make them reappear.

--rj


  • 7/20/2011 3:44:00 PM

imageI'm in the process of using Advanced LAN setup with a doman IP address.

When can I expect to receive a reply from you?

--rj


  • 7/20/2011 5:01:00 PM

imageI'm using Windows Server 2003 NAT for DSL internet access on my office LAN subnet (10.7.5.x, 255.255.0.0) with DHCP range 10.7.5.61 thru 10.7.5.69.

Leased IP is 10.7.5.67.

When attempting to use 10.7.5.31 as the LAN TCP/IP Setup''s IP Address, I receive a "The IP address conflicts with the WAN IP subnet. Please enter a different IP address." error message.

Is this expected behavior?


7/22/2011 12:48:00 AM [Two days passed; emphasis added]

  • From Agent ID: 3185
    Case ID: 16176814

Dear Mr. Jennings,

imageThank you for choosing NETGEAR, my name is Jenny and I will be your support engineer.

I understand that the neither the WNR3500L router nor the Acer Windows 7 laptop are visible to the Domain Controller or other hosts/computer. You also mentioned that you are receiving the error “The IP address conflicts with the WAN IP subnet” when you tried to change the LAN TCP/IP Setup of the router to 10.7.5.31, right? I apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced. Since we are doing this online, it may require a few e-mail exchanges before we can resolve the issue. Rest assured that I will do my best effort to help resolve your case in the least amount of time.

As for your first concern, please give me a detailed diagram of your network setup so I can better assist you. (ex. DSL modem to the Internet port of the router; etc.) I need to know the exact network setup that you have there, so we can further isolate the problem.

Regarding the error message that you are getting when you attempted to change the router’s LAN IP Address, it is expected that you will get that error. The LAN IP address of the router cannot be the same with the WAN IP address because there will be an IP address conflict.

A system generated e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address to inform you that I have responded to your inquiry. Please DO NOT REPLY to the e-mail sent to your e-mail address. Instead, if you want to reply to the message above and have additional query, please click "NO" when the system ask you "Was your problem resolved with the information provided by the NETGEAR representative above?"

When you select "YES", your case will be closed and a separate e-mail containing a survey link will be sent to you to measure your customer support experience.

Thanks again for choosing NETGEAR. Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Jenny A. Solomon
Technical Support
NETGEAR, Inc.
http://support.netgear.com
***Please be aware that your case will auto-close after 7 days of inactivity***

Did you know that NETGEAR provides support for your home networking devices and PCs? One-stop solution! No need to call multiple vendors* for support. If you would like to learn more about the NETGEAR GearHead services please go to http://gearhead.netgear.com


  • 7/22/2011 11:28:00 PM

Jenny,

imageThe basic problem is that I expected the WNR3500L router to support Bridging (Access Point)mode as an alternative to Routing mode, as most other devices (e.g. Buffalo) do. This appears not to be the case, at least with factory firmware.

I have a multihomed Windows Network running Active Directory with a Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller (DC) with DNS on a 10.7.5.2/255/255/0.0 gateway. The DC also NATs my ISV modem (Cayman) to the gateway. DHCP on the DC has a range of 10.7.5.62 to 10.7.5.12769.

The second network card connects to a 100 mbps 8-port switch with all ports occupied by wired clients. I've been using this configuation for ~5 years. Most clients have fixed IP in the range of 10.7.5.3 to 10.7.5.59. A few clients use DHCP. The Netgear router with Internet configured to use DHCP leases 10.7.5.67.

Assigning 10.7.5.31 as the LAN TCI/Address doesn't create an "IP address conflict" with 10.7.5.67. The error is a Subnet conflict.

Purchased a $25.00 Buffalo WCR-GN, used manual setup for Bridge mode and got Ethernet Adapter IP 10.7.68 and Wireless IP 10.7.5.69 in less than 10 minutes.

Returning the Netgear router to Amazon for credit.

Cheers,

--rj


  • 7/22/2011 11:30:00 PM

Correction: Ethernet Adapter IP 10.7.68 should be 10.7.5.68.


  • 7/23/2011 12:52:00 AM
    From Agent ID: 3185
    Case ID: 16176814

Dear Mr. Jennings,

imageThank you for choosing NETGEAR, my name is Jenny and I will be your support engineer.

After reviewing the information that you provided, I think I have a better understanding of your issue.

By default, the Netgear router has DHCP enabled. To disable it, you will have to manually access the router’s GUI. Then, change the LAN TCP/IP address to the IP range of your current network. Once the settings have been saved, you will have to unplug the Ethernet cable that is connected to the WAN port of your router. That way, you will not get the Error “The IP address conflicts with the WAN IP subnet. Please enter a different IP address." The Netgear router will then be an Access Point or a Wireless Bridge. [Emphasis added.]

I appreciate your time in giving us your feedback. Please accept our apology for the inconvenience you have experienced. Rest assured that we will take action to improve our products and services to better meet your needs.

A system generated e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address to inform you that I have responded to your inquiry. Please DO NOT REPLY to the e-mail sent to your e-mail address. Instead, if you want to reply to the message above and have additional query, please click "NO" when the system ask you "Was your problem resolved with the information provided by the NETGEAR representative above?"

When you select "YES", your case will be closed and a separate e-mail containing a survey link will be sent to you to measure your customer support experience.

Thanks again for choosing NETGEAR. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Jenny A. Solomon
Technical Support
NETGEAR, Inc.
http://support.netgear.com
***Please be aware that your case will auto-close after 7 days of inactivity***

Did you know that NETGEAR provides support for your home networking devices and PCs? One-stop solution! No need to call multiple vendors* for support. If you would like to learn more about the NETGEAR GearHead services please go to http://gearhead.netgear.com


  • 7/23/2011 2:31:00 PM

Jenny,

imageI disabled DHCP and set the IP address and subnet as you suggested. However, I didn''t remove the cable connection. There was nothing I could find in your manual that described this process.

Cheers,

--rj


  • 7/24/2011 5:40:00 PM
    From Agent ID: 3262
    Case ID: 16176814

Dear Mr. Jennings,

imageThank you for choosing NETGEAR, my name is Framer and I will be your support engineer.

After reviewing the information that you provided, I think I have a better understanding of your issue.

Aside from disabling the DHCP capability of the router and setting a static IP address on it, the WNR3500L should be connected to your switch via its LAN port in order for it to act as an access point.

Thanks again for choosing NETGEAR. Have a great day!

Sincerely,

Framer Villamor
Technical Support
NETGEAR, Inc.
http://support.netgear.com

***Please be aware that your case will auto-close after 7 days of inactivity***
Did you know that NETGEAR provides support for your home networking devices and PCs? One-stop solution! No need to call multiple vendors* for support. If you would like to learn more about the NETGEAR GearHead services please go to http://gearhead.netgear.com


  • 7/24/2011 9:02:00 PM

imageThe ISV modem connection has been connected to the switch from the beginning of this fiasco. Otherwise, I would not have had an Internet connection.

--rj

It would behoove Netgear to provide a GUI feature or specific instructions for changing from Router to Bridging (Access Point) mode. The Buffalo WCR-GN’s Router/Access Point choice in its setup GUI made this a simple operation. The Buffalo’s price at Fry’s was about one-third that of the Netgear router. Signal strength was as good as the Netgear unit.


1 comments:

Netgear Router Support said...

U really kept a lot of info on ur blog, which really helps a lot of people,like me..

Visit my site- Netgear Router Support