Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DIY: WiFi Networking your RV

ASUS EA-N66      3 in 1 Dual Band Wireless-N Router N900
Mobile WiFi Network (for RV Living)

While many of us go on the road to get a break away from technology, some of us do have to work.  If you are fortunate enough to be able to go mobile with your business or job, you will probably want to check this out.  

This networking configuration is also very useful if you simply want to connect multiple devices often while mobile. (Acts as a router for your personal devices end of your network)  This setup provides the convenience of connection to available Wifi internet access, shared communication with multiple devices on your mobile network, and the advantage of being able to Wifi wirelessly ePrint, as well as "Air Print' from Apple devices, and other portable devices.  

Networking also allows you to print within your established mobile SSID#2 network whether or not you have established an active internet connection to a public Wifi on SSID#1.  More on the terms later.  Depending on your tech level this can be a rather simple setup, or not.  

I have successfully networked the following WiFi enable devices.  An ePrinter, Laptop, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV,  Roku, Smart DVD Player, Wifi camera’s, and a Smart TV’s.

Using the Router (ASUS EA-N66) and optioned to be used as a "repeater", you are able to set all personal mobile devices to your mobile Network one time.  These settings can be left for auto connection.  

In this article the Wifi Network that connects to a Public Wifi Network is referenced as SSID#1.   Using the EA-N66 "hard" connected to your laptop allows you to make changes within the EA-N66 itself, and to sync up with a new public WiFi.  

In this article your personal mobile Wifi Network within the RV is referenced as SSID#2.   You are able to reuse these settings over and over on all your mobile devices once set.  It allows them to auto connect without changes.  It is a real pain to have to reset multiple portable Wifi device Network SSIDs, and passwords, every time you move locations to a new public Wifi signal. 

This configuration also gives you network sharing capabilities you normally would not have if you simply connect each of your personal Wifi devices directly to a host public Wifi Source.  You will be able to Network ePrinters, Roku, Apple TV, phones, smart TV’s, smart DVD’s, Wifi Laptops, and more.

This network will require an ASUS EA-N66, one Ethernet Cable, and a Laptop Computer to modify the SSID#1 User Name and Password.

A summary of the advantages
* When you wish to access public Wifi and avoid reprogramming all your Wifi Devices with new SSIDs & Passwords 

* Allows you to have your mobile devices networked within your RV and make one program change to SSID#1 when you move locations 

* This allows wireless ePrinting and normal wireless network communication functions, from multiple mobile devices within the SSID#2 group.  This communication between your mobile devices functions even if no outside world connection to the internet is available.

* If you have a Hot Spot device, or a smart phone that generates a hot spot, your ASUS EA-N66 can become your link between the outside world connection via a hot spot, and communicate with your mobile Wifi network, enabling all devices to use the Wifi through the hot spot (Router Function).

To Set up Setup EA-N66:
Have active public or home (unlocked) Internet Wifi signal available. A Computer hard connected to ASUS EA-N66 RJ45 port. 

Make sure any in range available WiFi connections are set to not auto connect on the computer settings 

Unlock Network if lock enabled. Do this through your computer Network Management Software (i.e. Network Magic) (Normally at home only) 

Plug the EA-N66 Power adapter into DC connector, and plug into AC Power outlet.

Use an Ethernet cable to Hardwire the Ethernet Port of a Computer, to the Ethernet Port of EA-N66.  Often referred to as "hard" connecting.

Insure wireless LED is blinking on the EA-N66. Also tiny yellow indicator light on the EA-N66 near the Ethernet connection socket. 

Use Internet Explorer browser (Don't use a Safari browser) 

Type in www.asusrouter.com into browser 

In the pop-up window that displays, type in the User Name and Password of the EA-N66 (admin admin is default/change as needed) 

This should log you in to the EA-N66 device web GUI admin screen to allow you to make changes to the EA-N66

To program the Public Wifi Internet access on the Internet side (SSID#1) of the 

“Quick Internet Setup” 

Click “I wish to extend my existing wireless network” 

Wait for list of available public Wifi networks to popup 

Select Wifi SSID of Network to the outside world (i.e. the SSID#1 name or SSID of the WiFi provided signal for the internet) 

(Note:  SSID#1 can be your home network SSID, a “Hotspot provided SSID such as Starbucks, an RV Park supplied WiFi signal, a personal WiFi Hotspot device, iPhone Hotspot)

Type in Security Key Code or password for SSID#1

Uncheck box that creates a default setting (unless you actually want the Wifi’s pointing both ways to have the same SSID 

Enter the SSID and PASSWORD of the Extended Network **that of iPad, Printer, Apple TV, etc (i.e. Create SSID#2 & Password) 

(All your Multiple Wifi devices should be preset using the SSID#2 info so they auto connect) 

Click NEXT 

Wait for EA-66N to establish the network
(Its normal to get a popup message during this process that network has disconnected from the Wifi network. Just wait until the process completes. Don’t try to reconnect to a Wifi network yourself. ) 


Screen should appear showing signal strength 

At this point the EA-66N should be connected to the Internet Wifi on SSID #1 and generating your created SSID#2 for your personal devices 

Unplug the hardwired Ethernet link between the EA-66N and the admin Computer
If the Computer is Wifi capable and you wish to access the internet, connect it now via Wifi to the established SSID#2 you created.

It will show connected but “identifying” (at this stage the internet connection may not be established….give it a few minutes) 

Recheck and it should say “Currently Connected to SSID#2 & “Internet Access” 

Other personal Wifi devices can now connect via SSID#2 

This whole hardwire computer, to EA-N66 process, will need repeated each time the SSID#1 needs changed to establish a new Wifi connection to a Public WiFi Internet source, such as Starbucks, McDonalds, RV Park WiFi, or even your own home Wifi router that is connected to the Internet via DSL, Cable, etc.  You shouldn’t have to keep changing any of your other devices WiFi settings to auto connect to the EA-N66 SSID#2 that you have previously established.

I found with this configuration, using an HP 6525 Printer on SSID#2 the Printer would not detect from my iPhone or iPad to enable AirPrinting. Nor would the printer show up on the iPhone or iPad to "Direct Print" The printer did function fine Wifi to a Wifi laptop on SSID#2. After hours on the phone with HP Support it was found that the printer came with a default setting set to "Simultaneous IPv4 & IPv6. Per HP the iPhone and iPad communicate at IPv4. We made the setting change in the printer network settings and everything worked. Theoretically the "Simultaneous IPv4 & IPv6" setting should work, but they are finding it locks out the iPhone and iPad devices. Good to know if you are having this same issue.   Author:Rick Beach  goyakpacking@yahoo.com   ©2014 Rick Beach

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