Question: Setup for Asus RT-AX3000 + VPN (Merlin 386.3) inside an existing wifi network


New Around Here
Hi all,

I upgraded my Asus RT-AX3000 firmware successfully to 386.3 - and I have a general configuration question I was hoping for some help with.

I have an existing portable (mobile) wireless router which provides normal internet access via 4G only (it's from Softbank in Japan). I normally use this for internet access by connecting to the Wifi.

I would like to have the ax3000 gain internet access through this mobile wifi.
I would also like to configure a vpn on the ax3000 so that standard traffic going through the ax3000 would tunnel.

Does anyone have a link to a guide I could read? I've tried searching unsuccessfully on google.



Part of the Furniture
If the portable wireless router has an ethernet port, then you can simply daisy-chain the AX3000 over its WAN port to that portable wireless router. Thus the AX3000 becomes a secondary, downstream router. And you can configure the VPN client on the AX3000 normally.

Or is this case of the portable wireless router only supporting wireless? If that's the case, and if Merlin supported client mode (which it does NOT), that would be the ideal solution. You could, however, use a third device functioning as an ethernet wireless bridge from the WAN of the AX3000 to the portable router's wifi.


New Around Here
The portable wireless router only supports wireless unfortunately - that's the problem I've been having.
Is there an alternative firmware that allows for client mode?

If there isn't any firmware that solves this, I'd have to buy a subsequent piece of hardware that has an ethernet port so I can cable the two of them together?

And lastly: Are there any other simpler solutions to build an access point that provides an automatic VPN channel to the internet (over wireless - again because of the mobile portable router that has no wan ports)?



Part of the Furniture
I'm not aware of any third-party firmwares that support AX routers beyond stock and Merlin. Certainly NOT FT or DD-WRT.

Not sure what you mean by "automatic" VPN. All VPNs require configuration based on the required settings of the VPN provider. Some firmware makes it easier than others (e.g., Merlin lets you import the VPN provider's .ovpn config file).

You could configure the AX3000 as a repeater, but I don't think the OpenVPN client is supported in that configuration (bridged). If it was, you could probably reconfigure your clients to use the repeater as their default gateway, thus routing them through the VPN.

Given all the problems here (lack of a LAN port on the portable wireless router is a real showstopper), your best option is probably to use a third device; a wireless ethernet bridge between the WAN of the AX3000 and the portable wireless router.

[portable wireless router]<- wireless ->[wireless ethernet bridge](lan)<- wire ->(wan)[ax3000]

I'd obviously prefer to avoid additional hardware, but at least once installed, it's transparent, and it eliminates a lot of other complications. You just use the AX3000 as a standard ol' router, and configure its OpenVPN client normally.
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New Around Here
Gotcha. Hardware solution it is... not elegant but it'll do for now...
Do you have any recommendations for bridges?


Part of the Furniture
Many ppl have old routers otherwise collecting dust, and perhaps FT or DD-WRT compatible, both of which allow you to convert them into a wireless ethernet bridge. At least it saves some money. Otherwise, there are tons of them on Amazon.

I'm not specifically recommending these, just providing examples of devices that support it. Since I don't know what kind of bandwidth your portable wireless router is providing, make sure your choice of bridge matches its capabilities in terms of wired and wireless.

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