(NOOB) Definition of "minimal and manual configuration"

JohnD5000

Regular Contributor
I actually did read that before posting. It didn't explain WHAT Force as Master Browser does (where I could understand it), but explains more on how to enable or disable it. At the end, the last post and reply was:

"My personal advice: if you have a NAS or a server, leave it disabled. If you have just a LAN of PCs, enable it."

I've always followed that simple rule. With NAS devices that feed my media playback device I've always set the router to not be the Master.
Further complicating this (for me). I'm just trying to understand What it does. You recommend setting it to Yes, the post recommends setting it to No (since I have HDs attached to router if I'm reading that correctly).

I did a similar search for Spanning Tree Protocol and was still confused what it does and what I should set it as.

The rest of the suggestions you made in post, I could follow and made changes where needed (thanks).

I know most of the people in this forum are networking experts, but the subject of this post is NOOB.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I actually did read that before posting. It didn't explain WHAT Force as Master Browser does (where I could understand it), but explains more on how to enable or disable it.
https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch07.html
The basic way browsing works is that one computer in the network takes on the role of the master browser (also called local master browser, browse master, or browse server) and keeps a list of all the computers on the local subnet that are acting as SMB servers. The list of computers is called the browse list and includes all Samba servers, Windows NT/2000/XP systems, and any Windows 95/98/Me systems that have the "File and printer sharing for Microsoft Networks" networking component installed. The browse list also contains the names of all workgroups and domains.
In other words, this setting is only relevant if you are using SMB on your LAN. If you are then it makes sense that the master browser should be a device that is always turned on, like a server. There can only be one master browser on a LAN so you don't want two or more devices arguing over who it is. So there is no right or wrong setting, it depends on your network.


I did a similar search for Spanning Tree Protocol and was still confused what it does and what I should set it as.
STP is pretty well explained on Wikipedia. If you don't have a multi-router LAN then the setting is irrelevant. Theoretically having it enabled might increase traffic on the LAN by a negligible amount. Personally I see no reason to turn it off.
 

JohnD5000

Regular Contributor
https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch07.html

In other words, this setting is only relevant if you are using SMB on your LAN. If you are then it makes sense that the master browser should be a device that is always turned on, like a server. There can only be one master browser on a LAN so you don't want two or more devices arguing over who it is. So there is no right or wrong setting, it depends on your network.
Thanks!


https://www.samba.org/samba/docs/using_samba/ch07.html STP is pretty well explained on Wikipedia. If you don't have a multi-router LAN then the setting is irrelevant. Theoretically having it enabled might increase traffic on the LAN by a negligible amount. Personally I see no reason to turn it off.
Is AIMESH considered multi-router?
 

Rturnock

Occasional Visitor
This approach worked perfectly. I had done a move to another router and then restored instead of a factory reset. Examples of my problems were:

DNS would just not respond for maybe a minute, This happened even when I changed my DNS to an outside one: 8.8.8.8
My Port Trigger list would disappear
My DHCP static list would disappear
Stranger, I reentered my DHCP static list with a few critical entries, saved, restarted and it was there then th next day it was gone replaced by the previous full list.

I think you'd have to have a lot of changes to really complain about the odd factory reset. I a back and could read the entries in the file and manually enter them. Also I printed pages of the configuration to PDF.

Thanks!
 

anotherengineer

Regular Contributor
It means exactly what it says. Nothing more, nothing less. Only enable options that you need. And disable the options you don't need.

This is what I consider a base line.


Before flashing new firmware.
  • Make a backup cfg file and label it with the firmware version currently running on the router. (I save this with the associated trx firmware file in a safe place, along with the next item, if needed).
  • Save any custom settings to the jffs partition in a safe place.
  • Remove all USB devices from the router.
  • Reboot via the gui and let it settle for 5 minutes after it comes up again.

Flash new (or existing) firmware.
  • Flash new firmware (and in some cases, re-flash the existing firmware if any random, unexplained glitches are still causing issues).
  • Reset to factory defaults via the gui.
  • After the router has rebooted (point above), do a hard reboot (pull the power plug), wait a couple of minutes and then power it up again.

After new firmware loaded.
  • Use the wizard to connect to your ISP.
  • Use new ssid's for all bands and radio's (most likely easier to do after the wizard completes for dual 5GHz band radio's capable routers). You can reuse the old passwords though.
  • Disable media server.
  • Disable network share.
  • Disable NFSD.
  • Disable FTP.
  • Change device name (if needed), set Force as Master Browser and indicate the Work Group name (these steps are optional for some home users).
  • Disable WPS.
  • Disable WDS.
  • Uncheck Xbox and B/G protection (Both bands).
  • Wireless Mode: Auto (default).
  • Control Channel: set manually after testing each channel.
  • Preamble Type: Short.
  • Spanning Tree Protocol: Disabled.
  • IPv6: Disabled.
  • Enable DoS protection: Disabled.
  • Set time zone to your area.
  • Format JFFS partition at next boot: Yes.

  • Any other options not specified above is left at it's default setting following the above reset to factory defaults above.

At this point, reboot the router (via gui) twice, waiting 5 minutes before the second reboot (this allows the JFFS partition to be formatted and then available).

Now, if needed, Enable JFFS custom scripts and configs. Reboot and wait 5 minutes after the router comes up.

This is where I would create another cfg backup and name it with the firmware version just installed. Save this as the 'base default' (but remember that if you use it to use new ssid's and to format the JFFS partition again too).

At this point I will test different channels for each band (and /or radio) to find the best for that specific environment.

After finding the best channel and if things are stable at this point for an extended period (at least a week), other available router options may be introduced one at a time and added to as (and if) they prove stable.
Is this all still valid on Merlin 384.15 today?

Thanks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Yes, it is. :)
 

anotherengineer

Regular Contributor
Yes, it is. :)
Thanks
Been investigating the forums, and basically came back with a few additional notes, and I put in setting locations, well as per latest Merlin firmware on an AC68U anyway.
So basically a more specific description of L&LD's work with some additional details.

1. Use the wizard to connect to your ISP.

2. Use new ssid's with 8 characters and without any spaces, special characters, punctuation or smiley faces for all bands and radio's (most likely easier to do after the wizard completes for dual 5GHz band radio's capable routers). You can reuse the old passwords though.

3. Disable media server - GUI > General > USB Application > Servers Center > Media server tab

4. Disable network share - GUI > General > USB Application > Servers Center > Network Place (Samba) tab

5. Disable NFSD - GUI > General > USB Application > Servers Center > NFS Exports tab

6. Disable FTP - GUI > General > USB Application > Servers Center > FTP Share tab

7. Change device name (if needed), set Force as Master Browser and indicate the Work Group name (these steps are optional for some home users) – GUI > General > USB Application > Servers Center > Network Place (Samba) Share/Cloud Disk tab - [Merlin – “if you have a NAS or a server, leave it disabled. If you have just a LAN of PCs, enable it”]

8. Disable WPS - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > WPS tab

9. Disable WDS - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > WDS tab

10. Disable MU-MIMO on both bands - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > professional tab

11. Uncheck Xbox and B/G protection (Both bands). GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > General tab

12. Set Preamble type to Short on the 2.4GHz band - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > professional tab

(Note – some older game devices may require the following settings to function properly such as -Long preamble & -b/g protection, (see step 11 & 12) (forgot who mentioned this)

13. Wireless Mode: Auto (default) - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > General tab

14. Change the Control Channels for both bands away from 'Auto' after testing which Control channel works best (2.4GHz use 1, 6 or 11 'only') - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > General tab

15. Spanning Tree Protocol: Disabled – GUI > Advanced Settings > LAN > Switch Control tab (Enabled if you run any additional hub/switches off your router)

16. IPv6: Disabled – GUI > Advanced Settings > IPv6 (For some newer devices such as Xbox One to get reliable open connection, may require that IPV6 be enabled) - (forgot who mentioned this)

17. Enable DoS protection: Disabled – GUI > Advanced Settings > Firewall > General tab

18. Set time zone to your area – GUI > Advanced Settings > Administration > System tab

19. Format JFFS partition at next boot: Yes - GUI > Advanced Settings > Administration > System tab

20. Disable Universal/Implicit Beamforming on both bands – GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > Professional tab

21. Disable Airtime Fairness on both bands - GUI > Advanced Settings > Wireless > Professional tab

22. Change the Memory Management: Regularly flush caches (default: Yes), change to No - GUI > General > Tools > Other settings tab
 
Last edited:

Amwjujo

Regular Contributor
Hi,
Quick question.
Should I disable the smart connect option and use separate SSIDS for 2.4Ghz and 5GHz?
Thank you.
 

Klueless

Very Senior Member
Hi,
Quick question ... Should I disable the smart connect option and use separate SSIDS for 2.4Ghz and 5GHz?
I'm not sure there's any one correct answer for this. I've had good luck with "smart connect", others are skeptical. And even if you don't use smart connect you can still give the 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs the same name.

I prefer the single SSID solution leaving no one wondering which SSID to use. A few years ago I preferred using a separate SSID for each radio; it seemed like too many clients were making bad decisions but that kind of thing seems to have improved.

Sometimes I'll do both, set up "smart connect" for day to day use and a 2nd set of SSIDs (2.4 & 5 GHz) for problem solving & testing.
 

pirx73

Regular Contributor
You can no longer remove that check on this version - only the Xbox one.
"B/G protection" checkbox is active only when "Wireless mode" is set to "Legacy". At least on my AC68U.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Amwjujo if you are doing an M&M Config install to troubleshoot issues, then disabling Smart Connect would be wise as this gives you more direct control of your network devices and should be easier to troubleshoot with this setting off.

However, if the router has proven stable for a period of time and enabling this setting shows no detrimental effects, then it's your call whether you enable Smart Connect or not.

Myself, I do not want my devices to decide for me how to connect/behave. I think I will always use separate SSIDs and features such as Smart Connect, 'roaming assist' and any other such methods disabled.

Not only is a network constantly reconfiguring itself with such options in place, in my opinion, it is also effectively forcing other nearby networks in the immediate vicinity to do the same, particularly with the other 'auto' options such as Auto Control Channel and Auto Channel Width too. :)

The only net effect that I have seen in those situations is that the network performance can be fairly variable, and variable means a 'wrong configuration' to me. ;)

The ease and promise of a single SSID are alluring. But for my network, the right to connect is not a given. So, either a Guest SSID/password is required (and depending on the device, the 2.4GHz or the 5GHz band, only), or, no connection privileges exist.
 

Amwjujo

Regular Contributor
@Amwjujo if you are doing an M&M Config install to troubleshoot issues, then disabling Smart Connect would be wise as this gives you more direct control of your network devices and should be easier to troubleshoot with this setting off.

However, if the router has proven stable for a period of time and enabling this setting shows no detrimental effects, then it's your call whether you enable Smart Connect or not.

Myself, I do not want my devices to decide for me how to connect/behave. I think I will always use separate SSIDs and features such as Smart Connect, 'roaming assist' and any other such methods disabled.

Not only is a network constantly reconfiguring itself with such options in place, in my opinion, it is also effectively forcing other nearby networks in the immediate vicinity to do the same, particularly with the other 'auto' options such as Auto Control Channel and Auto Channel Width too. :)

The only net effect that I have seen in those situations is that the network performance can be fairly variable, and variable means a 'wrong configuration' to me. ;)

The ease and promise of a single SSID are alluring. But for my network, the right to connect is not a given. So, either a Guest SSID/password is required (and depending on the device, the 2.4GHz or the 5GHz band, only), or, no connection privileges exist.
Thank you for your reply.
I had the same feeling regarding this
I did the M&M yesterday and I assigned separate SSID's to each network and selected channel 6 only for 2.4GHz.
Everything seems to run smooth - for the moment .
Your tutorials are really helpful and a good lecture - yesterday morning I spent nearly 3 hours reading them - much appreciated.
As I don't want to flood the other topic, I saw in your signature UnBound + Skynet + Diversion. At the moment I installed the first 2 without Diversion. Any particular advantage in having Diversion?
Cheers.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

Amwjujo

Regular Contributor
Diversion advantages? Too many to list here. :)

https://diversion.ch/diversion/diversion.html
I used Diversion before with Skynet ... I was curious how it goes along with Unbound. If it adds a plus to this one ... If I want to add Diversion to my existing config ( Unbound + Skynet) will it work properly if I just add the script or I have to start over and to a fresh install of everything? And from what I've read on the forum ... if i want diversion + unbound - the latest has to be installed without adblock ....
Thank you.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
As you can see from my signature, I run,

amtm, Diversion + Entware + pixelserv-tls, Skynet, YazFi, scribe, connmon, ntpMerlin, scMerlin, uiDivStats, uiScribe, Unbound, disk checker, on Ext4 w/journaling and a 2GB swap file
With no issues at all.

If you have done a lot of customizations? I would start with this order:

Save any settings/files you deem necessary from JFFS and your USB drive. But I do not recommend using them in the steps below. :)

Safely remove the USB drive and physically remove it.

Format it as NTFS on a PC.

Format the JFFS partition on the next reboot and then proceed to reboot the router 3 times in the next 15 to 20 minutes, waiting 5 to 10 minutes between reboots.

The router should now be ready to do a clean install of the scripts you want to use today. The link below is my recommended process to get the USB drive you will use in a state that is as much amtm 'compatible' as possible. Of course, no need to install amtm anymore if using RMerlin firmware 384.15_0 or later. ;)

https://www.snbforums.com/threads/amtm-step-by-step-install-guide-l-ld.56237/


The link below is the order of the scripts I install (just skip what you don't want to install, but keep the relative order).

https://www.snbforums.com/threads/order-of-installing-popular-scripts.61854/#post-551865

HTH. :)
 

Amwjujo

Regular Contributor
Cheers,
I missed the second thread with the order of installing .
Over the weekend I did the M&M reset and followed the setup from this thread(changing the names of the SSID'S and disabling all the unnecessary options) and after I saw your signature and started to have questions .
There may be thread here somewhere that I've missed but i don't really get it what are the advantages of using Unbound over Diversion or vice versa but then I saw you are using them both. Over the last year I've used Diversion + Pixelserv + skynet + all the stats scripts with no trouble at all until I found the thread about Unbound and wanted to test it - I saw another post of yours where you are saying that it is faster.
I've started testing it and if course they trouble started to appear . At this point I still have no idea what's the advantage of Unbound over Diversion or is it better to have it together- which brings be back to my current setup.

I did install:
DC
NSRUM - really don't know what It does just wanted to test .
YazFi
Unbound
Skynet
Scribe
UiScribe
Common
SpdMerlin

If I want to add diversion to this(and if you recommend it) should I start over again or just uninstall Unbound - add Diversion(should I add pixelserv as well?) - reinstall unbound skipping the Adblock?

Thank you for making time to read all of these.
Have a great day!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Amwjujo in my case, I would be starting over from scratch, but wait! That is not what @thelonelycoder would suggest. :)

Approach this as a test (for yourself and the rest of the group here) and go ahead and install Diversion now, after you have disabled Adblock in Unbound (I don't think you need to fully uninstall Unbound to achieve that? @dave14305). After you have installed it, be sure to use the Skynet, Unbound, Scribe and UiScribe scripts (even if just to check for updates while you're there) and then go back into Diversion after each one (even if just to issue an 'ac' (update counters) command). After doing this, I would also reboot the router at least once too to make sure the scripts are all running as expected.

Now that you know the proper way to do it (above), you may be wondering why I wouldn't do that? And again, I'm suggesting you should do the above (even if just in 'testing' mode).

In my experience, Diversion + Entware + pixelserv-tls is heavily tied together (and installing Diversion Standard installs all three, 'fully' and 'properly'). Right now, your install also has Entware installed and that is where I'm a little wary about the stability of the scripts after Diversion is installed afterward (even if that was a long-ago issue for me). But, as I said, @thelonelycoder has already assured me a few times that the current amtm can handle this situation without problems. :)

Btw, Unbound allows your router to be your own authoritative DNS server and caches those results (that's why it is faster). Diversion is an adblocking script with many additional features such as pixelserv-tls to not just strip the ads where it can but to also remove the usually large box where the ads used to be too. I think they complement each other beautifully. :)
 

Amwjujo

Regular Contributor
Great.
Thank you.
Will do that. I'll test as suggested until the weekend comes - as I have more time .
I'll keep you guys updated.
Cheers.
Btw. When I hit 2 in Unbound to reinstall it it doesn't give me the option to select Adblock anymore, it just continues with the install until the end where it ask me if I want to keep my current config or use the new one.
 

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