Resolved Can't access networked devices or Mac mini server with non-Apple router?

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 24, 2009
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Hello all! I'm having an odd issue. I've recently switched from an original generation Apple AirPort Express router to a small TP-Link TL-WR802N router.

Way my network looked is this:

Modem - Airport Express 2nd gen (wireless mode turned off) - Airport Express 1st gen

Now it looks like this: Modem - Airport Express 2nd gen (wireless mode turned off) - TP-Link

I use the 2nd gen as my main router that all of the house hold devices connect to through various network switches. I have almost everything wired in; two Macs, as well as a Mac mini Time Machine server. The only devices that use the Wi-Fi are my iPhone, my MacBook Air, and an HP AirPrint ready printer.

After switching to the new router, I noticed immediately that the printer was no longer available to my wired Macs, even though the printer was still connected to the network via the new TP-Link router. I can still print wirelessly using the MacBook Air on wifi. The second thing I noticed, however, is that the MacBook Air can no longer see any of the other Macs or devices on the network through the Finder bar. It can't find the Mac mini for backing up, or either of my wired Macs for accessing them through the network. I can access the Mac mini server by directly typing in it's IP address, but this is hardly ideal.

Is there something wrong with the way my TP-Link is set up? Or wifi network device access something that has to be done with an Apple router? I find that hard to believe, especially now that Apple no longer even produces routers. I feel like this must be some sort of issue with the Bonjour system.

TL;DR: Switched from an Apple wifi router to a TP-Link wifi router, and now my wired Macs can no longer see the wireless printer, and my wireless Mac can no longer see the wired Macs.

Any advice?
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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It looks like your new router is the problem. You need it to be set to bridge mode.

A quick question - do you mean airport extreme rather than express?
 

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 24, 2009
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10.0.1.3
It looks like your new router is the problem. You need it to be set to bridge mode.

A quick question - do you mean airport extreme rather than express?
When I look in the operation modes of my router set up page, I see:

Wireless Router
Hotspot Router
Access Point
Range Extender
Client

Currently I have it set to Wireless Router; should I change that? I don't see bridge mode anywhere.

Also as I noted early, the main AirPort Express has it's wireless mode disabled, so it is not broadcasting any signal, so the TP-Link is the only source of wifi in the house.


No - I do mean Express :) I have two faithful Express that have been working well for a long time. The 2nd gen handles the bulk of the work. The 1st gen is a little long in the tooth and occasionally runs into errors, and gets very hot, which is why I got the TP-Link. It's tiny and runs off of USB power, which is perfect for what I need
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
2,862
1,364
When I look in the operation modes of my router set up page, I see:

Wireless Router
Hotspot Router
Access Point
Range Extender
Client

Currently I have it set to Wireless Router; should I change that? I don't see bridge mode anywhere.

Also as I noted early, the main AirPort Express has it's wireless mode disabled, so it is not broadcasting any signal.


No - I do mean Express :) I have two faithful Express that have been working well for a long time. The 2nd gen handles the bulk of the work. The 1st gen is a little long in the tooth and occasionally runs into errors, and gets very hot, which is why I got the TP-Link. It's tiny and runs off of USB power, which is perfect for what I need
I'm curious how you had so many devices wired if this is your network topology? or what the idea behind running the 1st gen behind the 2nd gen was rather than just having the 2nd gen broadcast a wireless signal..

I think the appropriate one here would be "access point". having it set up as a wireless router is the problem. also, disable "DHCP". https://www.tp-link.com/us/user-guides/tl-wr802n_v4/chapter-6-configure-the-router-in-access-point-mode#ug-sub-title-1
 
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stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 24, 2009
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I'm curious how you had so many devices wired if this is your network topology? or what the idea behind running the 1st gen behind the 2nd gen was rather than just having the 2nd gen broadcast a wireless signal..

I think the appropriate one here would be "access point". having it set up as a wireless router is the problem. also, disable "DHCP". https://www.tp-link.com/us/user-guides/tl-wr802n_v4/chapter-6-configure-the-router-in-access-point-mode#ug-sub-title-1
I have the 2nd gen sitting close to the house modem, and from there it connects to a 10 port network switch and connects all the devices on that side of the house. I have a 100ft ethernet cable that connects a second 10 port network switch for the other side of the house, and another 5 port switch for a room over.

Basically where the 2nd gen sits, it can't push the signal out due to interference and walls. So I just keep a little router that I can turn on or off as needed in my office, at the other end of the 100ft cable.

I'll give access point a go, and let you know what happens!

(Another strange thing to note; I can't access the TP-Link admin page from my wired Macs, but only from my iPhone or wireless MacBook Air)
 
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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(Another strange thing to note; I can't access the TP-Link admin page from my wired Macs, but only from my iPhone or wireless MacBook Air)
This isn't all that strange - it fits with the other problems you're seeing. It's kind of like if you had a house party, but you locked yourself and a friend in your office. Everyone else would be able to talk to each other, but your options would be much more limited.
 

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 24, 2009
1,178
660
10.0.1.3
This isn't all that strange - it fits with the other problems you're seeing. It's kind of like if you had a house party, but you locked yourself and a friend in your office. Everyone else would be able to talk to each other, but your options would be much more limited.
Haha, I like that example! That makes a lot of sense now.



The good news: it works! Thank you so much for you help! Setting the TP-Link to Access Point gets all of the computers to show up on my MacBook Air again. I had no idea it'd be something so simple. Cheers!!