Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router
In this article we are concentrating on configuring the popular Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router as a wireless client router providing a remote access point (AP). That is we are extending access to our existing network by using the Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router as a WIfi client to some external AP and then providing a local wired and wireless sub network elsewhere. We use the routers USB port interface to connect the high power AWUS036H wifi adapter to act as the client side interface acting as a WAN interface. The Router acts like a normal Wifi router to local clients. The picture shows how it all fits together.
Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router
This USB wireless client connectivity is one of the many features available with the Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router. The 30 dBm power of the AWUS036H gives the opportunity for setting up links over considerable distances. The picture shows the AWUS036H acting as the Wifi client to the remote tower AP and is on the same LAN subnet as this base AP. Internally the Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router is operating its own DCHP server on a separate subnet providing a local LAN/WLAN.
Configuring the Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router on separate local LAN
Click images to see more detail
Characteristics of this connection type
- The tower AP provides the IP addresses for the WAN side of the Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router connection. The router connects its USB interface to its internal WAN interface
- The Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router has its DCHP server switched on
- The Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router has a unique wireless SSID broadcast name that clients use to connect to its WLAN
- The Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router uses a separate wireless channel to avoid interference with other local AP signal channels
- The Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router employs WPA2-PSK wireless security encryption for its wireless clients
- All the Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router clients are allocated IP addresses from the DCHP pool it provides dynamically
- Local Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router clients cannot see clients on the remote LAN
- The Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router is allocated an IP address different than the IP address of the Tower but on the same LAN segment
ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router AP set up
Connecting to ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router
To be working correctly with your AWUS036H Adapter your router should have Firmware Version v1 – v220.127.116.11b6 (Apr 24 2012). The Firmware version can be seen on the routers status screen when you are logged in. If all is OK connect your AWUS036H to the USB port on your ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router with the provided USB cable. Then power up the router before trying to access it!
From the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router LAN port connect an ethernet cable to your computer. The LAN port is directly adjacent to the power input socket. The router has a default IP address of 192.168.2.1. Power up the router and in your web browser, put in the address http://192.168.2.1. If you are connected properly you will see a login popup window. Type the default user login: “admin” and password: “admin”. Then the screen picture above should show up in your browser. If you cannot see the login popup window then ensure that your ethernet port is set to receive an automatic IP address in which case the router will give your ethernet port a temporary IP address and you should see the router web interface picture above.
Now select the USB Wireless Adapter router mode option. You will then see the next screen.
Choose Wireless USB adapter as the Router operating mode and security
On this screen click the button to do a site survey. This will identify local AP’s that your network card can see.
Alfa R36 3g Wifi Usb Router – Site Survey Screen
Choose a suitable Ap and select it. Take note of the authentication method and the encryption type for this AP. At this point you will need to know the pass phrase of the chosen AP. The SSID field will be set with the broadcast name of the AP you selected. Leave the default network type as “infrastructure” and enter this as the remote AP’s pass phrase. Selected authentication (security mode) and encryption (algorithm) settings to be the same as you recorded in the site survey for this AP. You can leave the DNS settings untouched. Then click NEXT.
Configuring the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router As a Local WLAN AP
On this screen you configure the local AP. Give your SSID a name and choose a pass phrase. Then select local authentication as WPA2-PSK. Then choose “AUTO” for the encryption algorithm. Leave all other settings as their default values. Then Click “DONE”. Your router will then reboot. There is a progress bar on the screen while the router reboots. A message pops up when it is complete an a status screen indicates the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router AP is set up. When you reconnect to the router via the LAN interface on 192.168.2.1 you will see the following system status screen
Configured the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router Status Screen
You now may connect to your new AP locally using your Wifi connection on your PC. When connected you will be allocated an IP from the R36 DCHP pool and it if you are the first to connect expect your IP to be 18.104.22.168. Notice you are on a LAN segment 2 the same as your ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router which retains it’s address 192.168.2.1. Notice on the status screen that the WAN IP address is on a different LAN segment on the the remote AP’s LAN. The default Gateway will be set to the IP address of the router hosting the Internet connection on the remote AP’s LAN. Notice the Link quality, signal strength, connection speed and protocol settings. These give you a good indication of your connection quality.
The Configured ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router LAN settings
From the advanced TAB choose LAN settings and you will see the following screen.
From this screen you can see the routers DCHP is enabled and that its IP pool addresses are assing by default from 192.168.2.100 to 192.168.2.199 and that these IP’s are leased for one day. These defaults are fine so just leave them.
Connecting the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router to the AWUS036H USB Adapter Port
To be working correctly with your AWUS036H Adapter your router should have Firmware Version v1 – v22.214.171.124 (Apr 24 2012) and when configured as above should show the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router Operation Mode as “Router Mode”. If you use another Wifi Adapter see the following supported adapters. Initially connect your computer as instructed before. Check the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router status screen to look for compatibility with your wireless adapter. If you are good to go connect your adapter to the R36 then power up the router. The adapter gets its power from the ALFA R36 3G Mobile Router.
- Please make sure your R36 has proper firmware installed before this integration. Firmware v1 – v126.96.36.199. If you are using AWUS036H
- Firmware 188.8.131.52b6 If you are using AWUS036EW/UBDo-g/UBDo-gt/Tube-U(G)
- Firmware 184.108.40.206 If you are using AWUS036NH/AWUS036NEH/AWUS036NHR/UBDo-n/UBDo-nt/Tube-U(N)
- Firmware 220.127.116.11 If you are using Wifisky 3w, 2w, Wifi-unlocker, chip REALTEK 8188RU, RALINK 3070
Securing you R36 Admin access
The final step is to secure your admin login to prevent others accessing your router. The default’s “admin,admin” are commonly known so take this final step to secure your router. While wirelessly connected to the R36 put its new IP address into your browser. In our case we enter http://192.168.15.2 to see the default router status screen.
On the “advanced TAB” chose system management to see the screen above. Change the admin user password and save the settings. You are now up and running with your R36 functioning as a Wifi Hot spot (AP).