New Access Point installed on home LAN - I'm lost

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YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
Guys, I'm out of my depth and need a little help understanding what I'm seeing. ASUS AC3200 is my "mother" router. Linksys EA 4500 wireless-N router converted to access point. I put a Linksys SE2800 v1.1 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch between them.


I have three IP security cameras - I view the live streams in a browser via Blue Iris server. So the addy in the browser is LAN IP of the server machine, on port 81 (e.g., 192.168.1.145:81). One of them is approx 50 ft from the mother router and keeps dropping signal. So I reactivated an older wireless-N router (EA 4500 v3) and created an access point positioned 20 ft from the camera in question. I'm trying to force the camera to use the AP since it is closer than the router. I assume that's the whole point of an AP.

I am totally confused by what I'm seeing after installing the AP. I'm not sure I set it up correctly. Here's what I did to create the AP:

On the ASUS, (the "mother" router)
1. Make sure DHCP is enabled (it is)
2. Set the IP Pool Starting Address at 192.168.1.20
3. Apply, Reboot router

On the Linksys EA4500
1. Factory Reset
2. Disable DHCP
3. Assign IP of 192.168.1.2

AC3200 --> SE2800 switch --> EA 4500 connected via Ethernet cables.
LAN Port 4 --> LAN Port 2 --> LAN Port 1 respectively.

When I log into the Linksys newly created AP, it shows the following graphic.
Linksys Access Point - No Internet_cr.JPG

Is that normal? That is to say, should it be reporting "no internet connection"? Or is that a sign that it is misconfigured?

Second... The IP Camera firmware interface reports the AP as having crap for signal, but the router signal (ASUS_5G-2) is significantly higher.
Garage Camera WIFI Connection_edit.JPG

The AP is HALF the distance to the camera than the router. How is the router signal strength better than the AP?

Third... the client list on the AP is telling me that wireless devices are WIRED connections. There are three physical Ethernet connections to the AC3200 - .145, .158, and .1 (router) but all wireless connections are showing up as LAN, not wireless.

EA4500 Client List.jpg

The client list on the AC3200 shows correct connections of wired and wireless devices. BUT... it is reporting a different name of a client than the same device IP on the EA 4500 - see number 1 in the image below. That is to say, the device description for IP .145 is different on the AP. Also... it's showing that two clients are connected to the router at .165 - .165 is a different camera connected wireless to the EA 4500 with an IP of .160 (number 2 in the image below).

AC3200 Clients Table_edit.jpg

Mama Mia!!! So I either have a configuration foul up, or I don't understand what I'm looking at, or (more likely) both.

I just want my IP cameras to connect to the network via strongest signal, presumably, the closest AP. I'm trying to confirm that the signal loss on the one camera is due to signal strength and not some other issue with the camera (nothing but trouble since I've had it). I'm not a networking guy, but have a home LAN for years (Windows with Networking days).

If someone might help me understand what's going on I sure would appreciate it.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
On the Linksys EA4500
1. Factory Reset
2. Disable DHCP
3. Assign IP of 192.168.1.2

AC3200 --> SE2800 switch --> EA 4500 connected via Ethernet cables.
LAN Port 4 --> LAN Port 2 --> LAN Port 1 respectively.

When I log into the Linksys newly created AP, it shows the following graphic.
View attachment 36907

Is that normal? That is to say, should it be reporting "no internet connection"? Or is that a sign that it is misconfigured?
It sounds like you haven't actually configured the Linksys as an access point but just turned off DHCP and disconnected the WAN socket. A quick look at the manual suggests that you need to change the Type of Internet Connection to Bridge Mode.

I don't know why the Linksys' signal strength is so weak (I don't have that device). But the Linksys client list seems to suggest that all devices apart from the BackDoor are either connected by Ethernet or to the Asus' WiFi.
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
you need to change the Type of Internet Connection to Bridge Mode.
Well that solved the mystery of the dueling client tables... thank you for that. But...

the Linksys client list seems to suggest that all devices apart from the BackDoor are either connected by Ethernet

That's the thing, the only devices connected via Ethernet are the router, two PC's and the AP. That camera at .160 shows a wired connection, but that camera is connected via WiFi to the AP (Linksys) - there is no wired connection.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
That's the thing, the only devices connected via Ethernet are the router, two PC's and the AP. That camera at .160 shows a wired connection, but that camera is connected via WiFi to the AP (Linksys) - there is no wired connection.
Sorry, you've lost me. Partly because I can't read your Asus client image because it's too small. Do bear in mind that in the Linksys client list any devices that are connected to the Asus' WiFi will been classified as wired.
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
Sorry, you've lost me. Partly because I can't read your Asus client image because it's too small. Do bear in mind that in the Linksys client list any devices that are connected to the Asus' WiFi will been classified as wired.
Regarding the Linksys client list... so does that mean that the AP client list is of limited value? Specifically, if I understand it right, reviewing my AP's client list (Linksys), one could conclude that there are clients connected to the router (AC3200) that may or may not be wireless connections, the AP just knows that they're on the LAN. But it reports the connection type accurately when clients are connected to the AP's SSID. Is that right? If so, how does one determine what's connected to the AP via Ethernet since the client list shows that everything is LAN except wireless connections directly to the AP?

So on to the AC3200 (router) client list... below is a larger image. I have three wireless IP cameras. Two of them are connected to the AP, one to the router. All of them have static IP's - .170 and .160 are connected via WiFi to the AP. The camera at IP .155 is connected to the router via WiFi. The router client list shows a hard wired connection to the router for IP .165 and reports 2 devices are using that connection - what???
AC3200 Clients Table_edit3_cr.jpg


Below are the configuration settings of that camera - as I mentioned, it is connected to the AP's SSID. Note - there is NO physical connection to the RJ45 port on the camera.
BackDoor Wireless IP_edit 2.jpgBackDoor Wired IP_edit 2.jpg

I thought that it would be easy peasy lemon squeezy to install an AP and tell my camera's at the back of the house to connect to the AP since it was closer. It's turning into a nightmare trying to figure out what client list is telling me what, ya know?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Regarding the Linksys client list... so does that mean that the AP client list is of limited value? Specifically, if I understand it right, reviewing my AP's client list (Linksys), one could conclude that there are clients connected to the router (AC3200) that may or may not be wireless connections, the AP just knows that they're on the LAN. But it reports the connection type accurately when clients are connected to the AP's SSID. Is that right?
Correct.

If so, how does one determine what's connected to the AP via Ethernet since the client list shows that everything is LAN except wireless connections directly to the AP?
The AP and the router can only tell what devices are connected to their respective WiFi interfaces. Every thing else is connected by Ethernet (the Linksys calls it "LAN") as far as they are concerned. Which is correct because each device has no knowledge of the existence of any other WiFi AP's on the network, all they see is traffic coming in on their Ethernet (LAN) ports.

So to know what devices are connected by WiFi to the AP you need to look at the AP client list. And to know what devices are connected the the router's WiFi you need to look at the router's client list.

So on to the AC3200 (router) client list... below is a larger image. I have three wireless IP cameras. Two of them are connected to the AP, one to the router. All of them have static IP's - .170 and .160 are connected via WiFi to the AP.
The image clearly shows that .170 (MAC address ending 60:A7) is connected to the router

The camera at IP .155 is connected to the router via WiFi. The router client list shows a hard wired connection to the router for IP .165 and reports 2 devices are using that connection - what???
View attachment 36919


Below are the configuration settings of that camera - as I mentioned, it is connected to the AP's SSID. Note - there is NO physical connection to the RJ45 port on the camera.
View attachment 36917View attachment 36918
I think there is confusion because some cameras have now been assigned different IP addresses than those that they had in the past. That's why the Asus is saying there are two devices using one IP address.

Concentrate on MAC addresses rather than IP addresses which can change when using DHCP. Case in point, wired device 90:21 connected to the Asus has/had an IP address of .165. But your next screenshot shows you manually setting that device as .160, while device 88:28 got given address .165 by DHCP.

If you're going the manually configure network interfaces with static IP addresses they must be outside of the DHCP range otherwise chaos will ensue.
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
But your next screenshot shows you manually setting that device as .160, while device 88:28 got given address .165 by DHCP.
Here's the thing I don't get though.... there is nothing connected to the RJ45 Ethernet port on that camera - or any of the three. It's only using wireless (802.11 b/g/n camera) to connect to the AP. Yet, I can log into .160 and .165 (90:21 and 88:29, respectively) - but there IS NO physical wired connection to that camera. Why is the AC3200 seeing a wired connection where one does not exist?

I should note that this only happened since installing the AP - maybe coincidence, but... yeah.
 
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ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
but there IS NO physical wired connection to that camera. Why is the AC3200 seeing a wired connection where one does not exist?
Because that device (90:21) is not connected to the Asus' WiFi but to the AP's WiFi. So it is a wired connection to the Asus, albeit indirectly via a switch and then an access point. A "wired connection" means that the device is reachable via one of the router's Ethernet ports. The device doesn't necessarily have to be directly plugged into the router.
 
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YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
Because that device (90:21) is not connected to the Asus' WiFi but to the AP's WiFi. So it is a wired connection to the Asus, albeit indirectly via a switch and then an access point. A "wired connection" means that the device is reachable via one of the Ethernet ports. The device doesn't necessarily have to be directly plugged into the router.
That makes sense until I see the AP client list below:
AP Client List.jpg

There are two IP cameras connected to the AP via WIFI. Why does the router report only one of them as a wired connection in its client list? The router client list correctly reports a WiFi connection for 60:A7 (.170), but not for 90:21 (.160). Am I being frustratingly thick?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
That makes sense until I see the AP client list below:
View attachment 36923

There are two IP cameras connected to the AP via WIFI. Why does the router report only one of them as a wired connection in its client list? The router client list correctly reports a WiFi connection for 60:A7 (.170), but not for 90:21 (.160). Am I being frustratingly thick?
I don't know anything about the Linksys so I don't know how accurate its client list is. The Asus client list is notoriously inaccurate when it comes to wired devices (it can show old devices) but it's usually correct for devices connected to it by WiFi.

You need to show the client lists from both the Asus and the Linksys taken at the same point in time. Your Linksys image in post #1 makes sense when compared to post #5 when the Garage camera was connected to the Asus. It's possible that the Garage camera is switching between access points.
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
It's possible that the Garage camera is switching between access points.
That's exactly what happened. After rebooting the router both cameras connected to the AP show up as wired. But then there's that "two clients are connecting to the ac3200 through this device" business, only on one camera.

With the security software I use (Blue Iris) each camera needs a static IP. I have 6 static IP's on the LAN, three of which are the cameras. Before introducing the AP, I had no problems - they connected wireless and were easy to identify. Once the AP was introduced, one of the cameras shows up wired and wireless, but the other doesn't.

So maybe another way to frame this is... what is the most sane way to install and configure an AP on my home LAN given static camera IP's and only two of the camera's connecting to the AP, the third connected to the router, all via WiFi? Is this a configuration issue or a lack of understanding about what I am seeing? Anomaly or normal kind of thing...
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
If your DHCP IP pool is 192.168.1.20 to 192.168.1.254 all your statically defined IP addresses must be within 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.19.

[By "static" I mean manually configured in the client's network adapter settings, not just a reserved address in DHCP]

Once you have defined the correct addresses on your clients you should power off the router and access point. Then turn on the router and wait for it to fully boot up. Then turn on the AP.
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
If your DHCP IP pool is 192.168.1.20 to 192.168.1.254 all your statically defined IP addresses must be within 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.19.
Wait - they must not be in the pool? Doesn't DHCP know that there are reserved IP addresses within the pool? I had changed the default pool from 192.168.1.2 to .20 - so prior to that change, I had static IP addresses in the IP pool. So I guess I'm not understanding what changing the starting IP Pool from .2 to .20 does - what happens if I set the router IP pool back to it's default starting address of .2?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
[By "static" I mean manually configured in the client's network adapter settings, not just a reserved address in DHCP]
A DHCP server is dumb. Clients ask it for an IP address and it gives them one out of the pool. It remembers which addresses it has given out (until it is rebooted****) so that it doesn't give the same address to another client.

The DHCP server knows nothing about any addresses that have been statically configured on client devices, it doesn't even know these clients exist. Therefore statically configured clients must not use IP addresses from the DHCP pool because there's the possibility that the same address has/will be assigned to a DHCP client.

The DHCP server does know of IP addresses that are reserved (what Asus calls "manually assigned") in DHCP (obviously). Therefore these addresses can and should be within the pool.

**** This is why it is important that you always reboot any connected access points after you have rebooted the router (which is running the DHCP server).
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
A DHCP server is dumb. Clients ask it for an IP address and it gives them one out of the pool. It remembers which addresses it has given out (until it is rebooted****) so that it doesn't give the same address to another client.

The DHCP server knows nothing about any addresses that have been statically configured on client devices, it doesn't even know these clients exist. Therefore statically configured clients must not use IP addresses from the DHCP pool because there's the possibility that the same address has/will be assigned to a DHCP client.

The DHCP server does know of IP addresses that are reserved (what Asus calls "manually assigned") in DHCP (obviously). Therefore these addresses can and should be within the pool.

**** This is why it is important that you always reboot any connected access points after you have rebooted the router (which is running the DHCP server).
Firstly, thank you for all of your generous help so far. I'm really grateful.

I gave your advice considerable thought - about assigning static IP addresses lower than the IP pool starting address. I decide instead, to roll back everything to a time when my only grief was the camera at the back of the house kept losing signal. That means I...

Got rid of the AP altogether - unplugged. I'll add it once I have a stable ship, as it were. I imported a configuration backup of the router when, again, things worked. IP pool starting address is now .2 instead of .20 that I had set it to when I added the AP - philosophically, a restore point. The long and short of it is that an anomaly was revealed related to MAC addresses and I can't figure it out. All three cameras have static IP addresses just like they have been for years (last octet set to .155, .160, .170). The camera at .160 is the anomaly. Everything was rebooted multiple times, fwiw.

Here's the router's client table - note the IP and MAC.
AC3200 Client List._edit.JPG

Check out this IP scan sorted by MAC - Something's wrong, right? Two different IP addresses have the same MAC address - mental note of router reporting "2 clients are connecting to the router through this device".
Advanced IP Scanner - Scan_results_2021_10_22 C.JPG

The camera adapter settings for wired and wireless are below.
Backdoor IP and MAC Wired.JPGBackdoor IP and MAC Wireless.JPG

So each adapter on the camera is showing correct IP and MAC addresses. The question mark in the images - my two other cameras have Preferred DNS Server and Alternate address of 192.168.1.1 (router) and 1.0.0.1 respectively. I can't seem to change it - I get an error message in the camera web UI. I don't know if it's relevant or indicative. Just mentioning it.

So I'm trying to figure out if I have a camera problem or a network problem. I can collect the data but I can't really interpret it - Any thoughts on how to get to the bottom of it?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Can you confirm that the camera's wired network connection is not plugged in to anything, i.e. it's wireless only.

What is the model of the camera do you have?

EDIT:
So each adapter on the camera is showing correct IP and MAC addresses. The question mark in the images - my two other cameras have Preferred DNS Server and Alternate address of 192.168.1.1 (router) and 1.0.0.1 respectively. I can't seem to change it - I get an error message in the camera web UI. I don't know if it's relevant or indicative. Just mentioning it.
This sounds messed up. Firstly, disable "Enable ARP/Ping to set IP address service" on all of the cameras. As the Asus' network map function uses ARP/ping for network discovery I can image this option creating a world on confusion. Then reboot all of your devices.

Secondly, check the LAN - DHCP Server settings on the Asus. I suspect you have added 1.0.0.1 as a DNS server there. If so remove it. If you can't change the DNS settings on the cameras that could suggest that they are set to DHCP rather than static.
 
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YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
Can you confirm that the camera's wired network connection is not plugged in to anything, i.e. it's wireless only.

What is the model of the camera do you have?
There is nothing plugged into the Ethernet port on the camera. The camera is Amcrest IP2M-841B v3. I just updated the FM with the latest version. When I updated the FM and Factory Reset it, I configured it via Ethernet, not wireless. Is it possible that this might be relevant?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
FM? Firmware (FW)?
I just updated the FM with the latest version. When I updated the FM and Factory Reset it, I configured it via Ethernet, not wireless. Is it possible that this might be relevant?
Yes. See my edit in my previous post regarding ARP/Ping. That might be the cause.
 

YrbkMgr

Occasional Visitor
FM? Firmware (FW)?

Yes. See my edit in my previous post regarding ARP/Ping. That might be the cause.
Gotcha. DHCP server is blank on the router. ARP/Ping is enabled on two other Amcrest IP cameras (diff model) which work fine and show up correctly in the client list of the router. So, I'm not sure how likely it is - I can try it and see...

In the meantime, thanks again for putting your head into this.

Oh... and yes, firmware.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I can't emphasise enough that using static IP addresses within the DHCP pool is asking for trouble.

With a pool of 2 to 254 and three cameras there is a 3 in 253 chance that the first DHCP client will get assigned a conflicting IP address. When the second DHCP client connects there is a 3 in 252 chance. The third client, a 3 in 251 chance, etc, etc.

If you really want to do this then you should create a DHCP reservation for each of the cameras on the router. Go to LAN - DHCP Server, enable Manual Assignment and add an entry for each camera's MAC address with its appropriate IP. This has two benefits. First, if you accidental/deliberately change the camera to DHCP it will still get the same IP address. Second (and more importantly), even if the camera isn't using DHCP by reserving its IP address it stops the router giving that address to another client.
 

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