Table of Contents
Ethernet Wireless PtP Deployment
Configuration and Deployment Tips
Starlink is currently the largest low Earth orbit satellite constellation broadband internet service provider (ISP) as of the year 2023. Yes it provides all the common needs/wants of a typical broadband user, like video streaming and what not. However it comes at a cost and in some cases might prove a challenge to deploy. You will need to pony up at a minimum $600 for hardware and $110 a month for the service. Best for those that live in area’s with limited to no broadband internet options. When a broadband competitor becomes available I will review.
The Starlink satellites azimuth is not tree or structure friendly. Find the most open area possible to the northern part of the sky. I required a rather tall a mast mounted on the side of an outbuilding.
To my chagrin I was shipped Starlink Kit Gen-2 (generation 2), which wasn’t available when signing up. Starlink Kit Gen-2 (rectangle dish) has a WiFi mesh router only; meaning not homestead network friendly. I had to purchase an inline Ethernet port adapter separately.
I found Starlink instructions for initial setup very user friendly. Everyone’s environment will have unique situations and options when deploying Starlink. Setup your account and assure you have internet capability before bypassing Starlink router.
Special note: When resetting the Starlink Router to factory default settings by quickly unplugging the power several times is a pain.
I need an Ethernet connection to our house that is approximately 1,000 feet away from the outbuilding. I purchased Ethernet wireless point-to-point (PtP) antenna’s rather than trenching and laying cable. Once the wireless PtP was in place I connected it to a WiFi router in extender mode in our home. Initially everything seemed okay but our phones, tablets and TV started frequently loosing internet connection, even though the Starlink App shows no obstructions or interruptions. Another [sigh] dilemma.
Research came up several possibilities of erratic lost connections, but one stood out. Starlink router uses Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT) and an older version of Network Address Translation (NAT), which according to a variety guru’s may cause ‘double NAT’ connection conflicts when using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) WiFi Routers. So I decided to bypass/disable the Starlink router and buy two router’s.
Networking the Homestead
Sharing Internet, files and network devices between buildings is a good thing. A LAN-to-LAN configuration for the homestead was our way forward. The primary router should be located in the structure where point-of-service of the ISP is present. All routers in this network configuration needs to use the same subnet mask.
Starlink Ethernet Adapter
TP-Link 2.4GHz N300 Long Range Outdoor CPE
TP-Link AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Routers.
APC UPS Battery Backup and Surge Protectors (BE600M1)
Homestead Network Topology
WiFi Router’s Configuration
- Connect an Ethernet cable from a LAN port on router to a computer Ethernet port and access the router’s web interface. Connect ISP (Starlink) Ethernet cable into WAN port of the router. Assure internet connection is operational.
- Check to see if router firmware is up to date, update firmware if applicable. All routers in this network configuration needs to use the same subnet mask.
- Wi-Fi signal overlap is not a concern me but if it is for you set wireless configuration on each router to use different wireless channels.
- Enable DHCP, the primary router will handle all IP addressing.
- Assure there’s a block of LAN IP addresses available for static/dedicated routing and not for DHCP use.
- Keep primary router default LAN IP address.
- Configure some static/dedicated IP addresses with the router’s unique MAC address for each additional router on your network. My primary router IP is 192.168.0.1 when adding a static/dedicated IP address for additional router’s to be networked only change the fourth set of numbers (what I have in bold). I set a static/dedicated IP address 192.168.0.5 for the second router, give each additional router it’s own static/dedicated IP address.
- Assure all settings throughout the process.
- Connect an Ethernet cable from a LAN port on the second router to a computer and access the router’s web interface, without WAN connection.
- If Wi-Fi signal overlap is a concern set wireless configuration on each router to use different wireless channel. This will eliminate wireless conflicts between routers.
- Turn off the DHCP service completely, the primary router will handle all IP addressing.
- All routers in this network configuration needs to use the same subnet mask. Change the router LAN IP address to what you configured in the primary router configuration. Example I changed mine to 192.168.0.5 remember the fourth set of numbers in the IP address is what’s to be changed. Every router will have a unique LAN IP address.
- Assure all settings where saved throughout the process. Connect additional routers to primary router LAN port only. The primary router handles internet connection via the WAN port.
Ethernet Wireless PtP Deployment
There is literally dozens PtP Wireless Ethernet products on the market. I will provide information for very affordable (~ $40 per antenna) option, best suited for distances less than half mile. If you require longer distances then your need is beyond the scope of these words.
Factors to Consider
- PtP antenna’s need to be paired/compatible, its best to purchase identical models.
- Line of sight (LOS) between antenna’s is a must, 2.4GHz is the most forgiving but still needs LOS.
- Expect some degrade in throughput.
- These PtP antenna’s have a small footprint, requires power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter, and is mostly plastic with integrated circuitry. Expect and prepare for failure of these antenna’s.
- More than likely the PtP antenna’s will be deployed outside in a brutal ever-changing seasonal and extreme weather conditions. Expect and prepare for failure of these antenna’s.
- At a minimum purchase a spare PtP antenna.
Configuration and Deployment Tips
It took me four configuration attempts and three resets before getting TP-Link 2.4GHz N300 Long Range Outdoor CPE to work as advertised. It was mostly a PICNIC (problem in chair not in computer) but eventually they worked as advertised. First before purchasing Ethernet Wireless PtP hardware assure there is plenty of user friendly support (e.g. FAQ’s, Videos, descriptive how to) from both vendor and third party guru’s. I am not a guru.
Bench configure and bench test all PtP antenna’s. Once antenna’s are in sync and working correctly then deploy to there permanent locations.
In the Ethernet Wireless PtP industry the terminology doesn’t always match. Best is to go with the vendor typical configuration. Take in consideration every deployment has unique situations. I used Access Point and Client configuration for the TP-Link 2.4GHz N300 Long Range Outdoor CPE.