III. Wireless LAN

Mesh Wireless - Mesh Root Setup on Vigor Routers

Products:
Vigor 2765
Vigor 2862
Vigor 2865
Vigor 2926
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Keywords:
Mesh
Mesh Root
Router Mesh
VigorAP Mesh
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DrayTek's Mesh Wireless simplifies the way wireless networks can be deployed, configured, and managed. Wireless access points and a router in a Mesh network automatically configure the best network layout, without manual setup required to link each individual wireless AP, re-arranging itself if the network layout changes or network problems occur.

DrayTek's Vigor routers with wireless, such as Vigor 2862ac or 2927ac, have been enhanced with Wireless Mesh Root functionality, allowing Mesh Nodes to connect directly to the router's Mesh wireless network, to provide Internet & network access.

This article demonstrates how to set up the Vigor router as the Mesh Root for a Mesh wireless network and join additional wireless Mesh Nodes.

DrayTek Vigor Router Mesh Support

  These routers now support Mesh directly from the router:

RouterFirmware Required
Vigor 2862ac 3.9.2 or later
Vigor 2862Lac 3.9.2 or later
Vigor 2862Vac 3.9.2 or later
Vigor 2865ac 4.2.2 or later
Vigor 2865Lac 4.2.2 or later
Vigor 2926ac 3.9.3 or later
Vigor 2927ac 4.2.2 or later
Vigor 2927Lac 4.2.2 or later

Mesh Wireless Basics

A DrayTek Mesh wireless network groups 2 to 8 VigorAP access points (per Mesh Group), into a single cohesive wireless network spanning the whole coverage area of all of the access points. Each Access point in the Mesh communicates wirelessly by linking one VigorAP to the next. Each wireless link between APs is called a 'Hop', with the Mesh allowing for up to 3 'Hops' if the network covers a large area or distance. Typical Mesh networks will have only one or two hops.

There are three modes of operation in a Mesh network:

Mesh RootMesh NodeMesh Node via Ethernet
There is one root in a mesh network and it controls the connected VigorAPs.

The Mesh Root provides Internet and network access. This controls the other VigorAPs in the Mesh Network and provides Internet connectivity.

The Mesh Root is configured through the Web interface, or with the DrayTek Wireless app to operate as a Mesh Root, which can then add in any Mesh Nodes.
A Mesh Node connects to the Mesh Root or another nearby Mesh Node wirelessly.

VigorAPs set up as Mesh Nodes do not need to be configured, they're managed by the Mesh Root once they've been 'adopted' into the Mesh network.

The mesh nodes status and other information can be viewed via the DrayTek Wireless App or the Mesh Root's Web Interface.
A Mesh node which is connected to Ethernet and allows Wireless Clients or Other Mesh nodes to connect to it.

The Nodes communicates with the Mesh Root via Ethernet.

Nearby Mesh Nodes can connect to an Ethernet Mesh Node instead of another Wireless Node to reduce the 'hops' between Nodes.


When a new VigorAP is added into the Mesh network by the 'Mesh Root' as a new 'Mesh Node', it determines the best VigorAP to link up to, with no manual setup needed. Just power it up in the location it needs to cover and it will check for the best link it can achieve. This then links up to the Mesh network and begins providing wireless connectivity to clients.

The Mesh Root keeps track of the overall Mesh status, with a topology showing link status and signal strength. If one of the Mesh Nodes goes offline, any Mesh Nodes that were connected to it will connect up to the next best signal to continue providing wireless connectivity to clients.

Initial Connections for Mesh Nodes

Connect up the power adapters to any VigorAPs that will be used as Mesh Nodes, so that they're ready to be 'adopted' by the Mesh Root during the setup process. For the initial setup, set up the Mesh Node VigorAPs close to the Mesh Root to ensure that they're discovered.

Mesh Nodes automatically detect whether to operate in Access Point mode or Mesh Node mode. To set up a VigorAP as a Mesh Node, just connect it up to the power supply and do not connect it up to the network. Mesh Nodes don't need to be configured manually, they are set up by the Mesh Root once they're 'adopted' into the Mesh network.

If one of the Mesh Nodes has been set up as an Access Point, or was powered up with an Ethernet cable connected, hold in the Factory Reset button on that Mesh Node until the ACT light flashes rapidly. Disconnect any network cables and it will start up as a Mesh Node, ready to be adopted into the Mesh network.

Mesh Root Setup on Vigor Router

Step 1.
In the router's web interface, go to [Mesh] > [Mesh Setup] menu, tick Enable Mesh option and hit OK.

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 1

Step 2.
The Mesh function is initialising (it usually takes less than a minute).

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 2

Step 3.
The Mesh Setup page lists the router as the Mesh Root. Press the Search button to begin discovery of new Mesh Nodes that can be added:

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 3

Step 4.
The Add Mesh Node - Search process can take a few minutes, wait until it completes:

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 4

Step 5.
The Add Mesh Node - Search list should now show some DrayTek Mesh Nodes that can be added.

Select and name your new Mesh Nodes, then hit the Apply button:

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 5

Step 6.
The new changes are being applied by the router, configuring the Mesh Node:

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 6

Step 7.
The Mesh Group should now list all members that were just added:

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 7

Step 8.
Let the new Mesh Nodes synchronise with the Mesh Root, which will update their configuration. The access points should restart during this process and may be unresponsive for a few minutes.

The Mesh Root router will not need to restart. Let the Mesh network configure for a few minutes and check the [Mesh] > [Mesh Status] to see the current state.

Once nodes are fully synchronised with the router, Online (sync ready) status should display as illustrated below. This indicates that the Mesh Node has successfully initialised and can be used for wireless network access.

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 8

Updating Mesh Node Configuration

Updating Wireless Mesh nodes is easy. Once new changes are saved on router's Wireless LAN pages, these can be applied onto the mesh nodes on [Mesh] > [Basic Configuration Sync] page.

Choose the section that needs updating, scroll down and press Apply. Mesh nodes will synchronise with the root.
 

kb Router Mesh Root Setup Step 9

Troubleshooting

  • If searching for a new node results in nothing being displayed (Step 3-5), make sure that router's Wireless LAN is enabled, antennas attached, the VigorAP turned on and in short distance to the router (less than 2 metres apart).
  • Ensure the VigorAP being added is operating as a Mesh Node. Try factory resetting the VigorAP, making sure that it's not connected up with a network cable while doing so. If the VigorAP is powered up initially connected to a network, it will set itself up in Access Point mode, which can not be a part of a Mesh network.
  • If adding an outdoor VigorAP to the Mesh network, make sure that the router & AP's 5GHz wireless channel is set to a channel from 100 to 140.

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