ASUS RT-N66U 3G/4G backup with Rogers Sierra 330U? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-08, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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ASUS RT-N66U 3G/4G backup with Rogers Sierra 330U?

OK this is incredibly specific so I'm not expecting any answers but I'll try anyway.

My new ASUS RT-N66U router has an interesting feature - it can use a 3G/4G wireless dongle as a WAN backup.

It asks you to select your country and provider. Canada is available and so is Rogers, but unfortunately Rogers' Sierra Wireless AirCard 330U LTE device is NOT listed in the device list!

I see there are other Sierra Wireless AirCards supported:

http://event.asus.com/2009/networks/3gsupport/

Rogers just started selling this device back in December and the latest stable firmware (3.0.0.4.270) was back in January so it's possible there hasn't been enough time to add support yet.

Has anyone tried this device in an RT-N66U? Does it work?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-09, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Should work?

I submitted a support ticket to ASUS. They got back to me VERY quickly and responded:

"When setting the router up with that device, just use "auto" for device type. As long as all of the other settings are correct, it should work fine."

I did see the auto setting but I also saw the dropdown for all the devices. I thought auto just attempted to auto-detect a device from the rest of the dropdown, I guess I was wrong!

Here's to hoping this is correct. The dongle is expensive without a contract ($169.99).

I am justifying this for my job but it'd be nice for the N66 too.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-09, 09:02 PM
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Any idea if this would work with a tethered phone as your "modem"? Or even whether you can bridge another wifi network, like your phone or iPad setup in wifi hotspot mode?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-10, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Any idea if this would work with a tethered phone as your "modem"? Or even whether you can bridge another wifi network, like your phone or iPad setup in wifi hotspot mode?
I thought of that just before jumping the gun on the Sierra Wireless device (now Netgear, BTW).

I don't think there's any way you could tether a phone to the router - when you tether a phone to a computer you need a pretty big app to do this which a router just wouldn't have.

However it might be more likely that you could set the RT-N66U to act as an AP, using the phone as a hotspot. I haven't figured out how to do this yet - the factory firmware comes with WDS which might be able to accomplish this although I might have to go with alternative firmware. It's definitely possible, I have an old Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT in "Client Bridge" mode connected to this RT-N66U wirelessly, providing LAN access to a TV and a old WD TV Live media player. This would be the same situation.

Thanks for that idea, I hadn't thought about a phone in hotspot mode!

In the end I decided not to go for the Sierra Wireless card. When I'm out doing presentations and need Internet access I can just tether the phone to my laptop and if I needed emergency access at home I could just do the same thing or use the phone as a hotspot, connecting this router to it wirelessly.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-10, 11:49 AM
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This is getting a bit OT, but I have an unlocked Sierra Wireless hotspot that I use while travelling. Since I have lots of devices it is a good way to share one data plan among several devices. I set up my SIM card (I ahve an AT&T SIM for use in the US) in my iPad and then transfer it to this device and it seems to work find and allows me to connect several devices. But I guess this isn't much different than having a local SIM (like AT&T in the US) in one device that you then use as a Wifi hotspot. The only issue you have then is battery life.

Regarding using 3G/LTE as a backup at home I have been wondering about how to do this - I have several PCs at home and not all of them have Wifi cards so going all Wifi isn't really an option for me. What I would be looking for is a way to replace the WAN connection from Rogers cable with a 3G/LTE connection while keeping the rest of my LAN infrastructure in place.

I imagine I could tether the phone to a PC and then bridge this connection to my regular LAN connection.

The other way to do it is the way that you are suggesting I guess where you would use a wifi router as a wireless bridge with the Wifi connected to a phone which is a wireless hotspot and the wired part of the router connecting back into the rest of the LAN. I should try this and see how it works as it should be pretty simple to do.

If you had two Wifi cards in a PC you could also have one Wifi that is your "WAN" connection to your Phone/iPad which is in Wifi hotspot mode and the other Wifi connected to your LAN and bridge the two Wifi connections. In either case I guess you would have to make sure that everything is on the same subnet.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-10, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
This is getting a bit OT
I started the thread and I'm not going that route anyway, so it's OK with me.

Quote:
Regarding using 3G/LTE as a backup at home I have been wondering about how to do this - I have several PCs at home and not all of them have Wifi cards so going all Wifi isn't really an option for me. What I would be looking for is a way to replace the WAN connection from Rogers cable with a 3G/LTE connection while keeping the rest of my LAN infrastructure in place.

I imagine I could tether the phone to a PC and then bridge this connection to my regular LAN connection.

The other way to do it is the way that you are suggesting I guess where you would use a wifi router as a wireless bridge with the Wifi connected to a phone which is a wireless hotspot and the wired part of the router connecting back into the rest of the LAN. I should try this and see how it works as it should be pretty simple to do.

If you had two Wifi cards in a PC you could also have one Wifi that is your "WAN" connection to your Phone/iPad which is in Wifi hotspot mode and the other Wifi connected to your LAN and bridge the two Wifi connections. In either case I guess you would have to make sure that everything is on the same subnet.
I think the best way would be to use the phone as a hotspot, then connect the router to it using WDS/Bridging etc. Using a PC tethered to a phone then used as a wireless hotspot onto the WLAN then back onto the LAN sounds overly complicated, but should be possible. It's just that PC wireless hotspot software tends to suck at least in my experience, and getting a router to connect to a phone in hotspot mode should be easier.

The only downside is automatic failover. Most of these routers can save their configuration and reconfigure themselves from a saved file, perhaps you could save a normal configuration file then a backup 3G/4G configuration file and switch between the two when required? That's the beauty of ASUS's arrangement with a 3G/4G dongle, failover was automatic.

Firmware with complete access would allow a script to be written that could do this, "then it's just a simple matter of programming" as they say. You would have to install an alternative firmware that allows root access and scripts - like Tomato or DD-WRT on the RT-N66U.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 2013-04-10, 10:34 PM
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Try the Merlin build. Easier than DD-WRT - you can just flash to Merlin and not loose any settings.

But do you even need to do that? You can telnet in (ssh with Merlin) and write your own shell scripts as it is.
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