This article provides instructions for configuring a Series 3 Cradlepoint router to use an existing WiFi network as the internet source.
Series 3 Cradlepoint products with Wireless (WiFI) capability can utilize the WiFi as WAN feature to connect to an available wireless network to use as an Internet (WAN) connection.
NOTE: The AER 1600, 2100, 3100 and the IBR1100 will allow a WiFi as WAN connection on both the 2.4 and 5.0 frequencies; however, only one is used as an active connection, while the other will remain available until the primary WiFi as WAN connection drops.
NOTE: Using the WiFi as WAN feature to connect to a WPA-Enterprise security level WiFi network requires an Extended Enterprise License.
NOTE: The"Inhibit Wifi AP" feature will disable the routers wireless access points on this radio while the router is connected to a remote access point.
NOTE: As of Firmware v6.2.0 Wireless Client can now be used on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios on the IBR900.
Configuration Difficulty: Intermediate
Step 1: Log into the router’s NCOS Page. For help with logging in please click here.
Step 2: Click the NETWORKING tab from the side menu and then select WiFi as WAN, Bridge or Client (or simply WiFi as WAN depending on model).
Note: This article discusses Wifi as WAN and Wifi Client mode (for the IBR1100 only). Wifi as WAN provides a NAT'd Internet connection to be used by the Cradlepoint and its clients.
Wifi Bridge creates a bridged connection in which the Cradlepoint and its clients are part of the hosting AP's TCP/IP network. Click the WiFi Bridge link for information on setting up a Wifi Bridge.
Wifi Client mode is for the IBR1100 only (implemented in 6.1.0 firmware). This feature allows for enhanced roaming capabilities, faster throughput and greater reliability when roaming between Access Points of the same name (SSID). Connections of this type are only available when connecting to 5Ghz access points and LAN clients will only be able to connect at 2.4Ghz because the 5Ghz radio will be dedicated to Wifi as WAN. The feature is enabled using the "Wifi as WAN / Client roaming" checkbox shown in Step 7, along with additional configuration information.
Step 3: Under the Radio Settings section of the screen, select the Wi-Fi Client Mode and choose Wireless as WAN.
NOTE: Enabling "Inhibit Wifi AP" feature will disable the routers wireless access points on this radio while the router is connected to a remote ap.
Step 4: Scroll down to the Site Survey section and click the Refresh button to update the list of wireless networks in range.
Step 5: Select the desired Wi-Fi network then click Import.
Step 6: Verify the wireless network credentials.
The router will fill out most fields, but sometimes it is not able to get the correct information. Make sure these settings match the target wifi access point.
The WPA password is the password needed to connect to that network directly, and it must always be entered manually.
Step 7: Wifi as WAN / Client roaming (IBR1100 ONLY): Check this box if you will be roaming between multiple Access Points (AP's) with the same SSID. Set the Minimum Link RSSI and Minimum Survey Link values to control those thresholds to determine when the Cradlepoint will disconnect and reconnect between various AP's while roaming.
Step 8: Click Save to submit settings.
Once saved, this wireless network will be available as a WAN Interface under the Internet > Connection Manager menu.
NOTE: The following steps can be configured on either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz frequencies on the AER2100, AER3100, AER1600 and the IBR1100 by selecting the appropriate “WiFi Radio” Tab at the top of the screen.
The WiFi as WAN and WiFi Bridge features cannot both be used at the same time.
Please note that due to the extreme number of variables that affect wireless connections of this type, there is no guarantee that it will always work.
If you are having trouble adding a WiFi as WAN interface, or the interface is not successfully connecting, make sure the Authentication Mode and WPA Password (shown in Step 7 above) match the target WiFi network.
As part of the troubleshooting process, you could try completely disabling security on the access point so that the Cradlepoint router would not need to provide a password at all to connect. If the Cradlepoint then connects, try modifying the security settings of the access point.
If the Cradlepoint router is unable to connect to the target WiFi network even while the wifi security mode is set to open, try the following troubleshooting steps:
Update router NCOS Versions if it is not current. Newer Cradlepoint firmware revisions include changes that allow connection to more types of WiFi access points.
Check the local IP address of the target WiFi access point. If the wireless access point uses the same IP address as the Cradlepoint router, it will be necessary to change the IP address of one of the two devices to prevent IP conflict.
If the target wireless network uses additional security (such as MAC address filtering) to restrict access, contact the network’s administrator to ensure there are exceptions made to allow the Cradlepoint router to connect.
If the target wifi network relies on authentication through a browser splash page, the Cradlepoint router will not be able to connect. Contact the network’s administrator to whitelist the Cradlepoint, or to change the authentication method.