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Author Topic: Cisco WAPs (again)  (Read 516 times)

Weaver

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Cisco WAPs (again)
« on: January 04, 2018, 08:30:30 AM »

After a delay of the best part of a year, Mrs Weaver has recruited a friend of her who actually works for Cisco and who is reflashing two 1830 WAPs for me which I bought for cheap on ebay at the start of 2017. They are due to come back to me shortly.

I'll report my experiences with them if anyone is interested?

They are 802.11ac "wave 2" spec, so should be fast. It is claimed that these products are very Apple-friendly, in the sense that the two companies have supposedly collaborated in making sure that products work properly together, especially in respect of faster roaming amongst other matters. So I am hoping that the Apple devices I have will at least work properly in a multi-AP environment, having been warned by the saga of Ubiquiti plus Apple told in posts at RevK's blog, for example at http://www.revk.uk/2017/04/working-with-ubiquiti.html (I don't think that link is the latest part of the story, can't seem to drop on the relevant blog post just now).

I want lots of strong security features. Protection from attacks against LAN infrastructure would be very nice. Speed is nice but a luxury at the moment given that I don't have that many WLAN clients and internet access is so incredibly slow compared to typical WLAN speeds. It's really just an experiment to learn about them without paying >£800 for a pair of devices.

The hassle with these device has all been because I don't have the cables, dexterity/mobility or a suitable PC any more to connect them to in order to fiddle about with the RS232-style console interface and sort the software out. But then that's not the only problem: I also lack (ii) clue and (iii) software, so was completely 100% out of luck. It is just bad luck that the boxes didn't have the correct software in them when they arrived from ebay, or so I believed - not even knowing what correctness looks like. I could have complained to ebay and possibly got my money back but I wanted the kit not the money and also I would have to actually know what I was talking about rather than defaming the seller by saying that I merely ‘thought’ that it was the wrong software load.

I wish I knew what I was doing in respect of doing something useful with VLANs and these APs. I would at least like to know enough to be aware of any benefits I could get in terms of security and ease of administration by using VLAN tags with the devices. Any kitizens out there deeply VLAN-literate? I would appreciate some pointers as I have never had call to use them, being too ancient myself, and VLAN tags hadn't yet been invented in my day.
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burakkucat

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Re: Cisco WAPs (again)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 05:14:10 PM »

After a delay of the best part of a year, Mrs Weaver has recruited a friend of her who actually works for Cisco and who is reflashing two 1830 WAPs for me which I bought for cheap on ebay at the start of 2017. They are due to come back to me shortly.

I'll report my experiences with them if anyone is interested?

Yes please. All technical details are worthwhile documenting for posterity.

Quote
I wish I knew what I was doing in respect of doing something useful with VLANs and these APs. I would at least like to know enough to be aware of any benefits I could get in terms of security and ease of administration by using VLAN tags with the devices. Any kitizens out there deeply VLAN-literate? I would appreciate some pointers as I have never had call to use them, being too ancient myself, and VLAN tags hadn't yet been invented in my day.

There are a number of people who, I suspect, would be able to help. And, if I am not mistaken, a few who can "speak" Cisco.
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Weaver

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Re: Cisco WAPs (again)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 07:57:14 AM »

Finally fired up the Cisco's. But still got nowhere. Couldn't get into them because I had no idea what the login names / passwords were and they were not behaving an a manner similar to the description in the manual. They had been customised for my use clearly because of the particular value of the SSID that was being published but not in a way suitable for my network (which doesn't use RFC1918 addresses). Anyway, I just thought I would merely do a factory defaults reset. I followed the destructions in the Manuel and poked pin in hole whilst booting, carefully following the vague docs but no effect. Docs said something more radical happens if you hold in the pin for more than 20 secs, so I did so, and I had access and the default SSID was visible. Great. Logged in, configured the device but then noticed that an SSID I had defined wasn't visible on the airwaves. Then found a page in the UI that said something like number of access points = 0. I said aren't you an access point though? Decided that perhaps you had to buy one extra box just to be a hardware controller and it's kind-of a waste. That's how the ZyXel ones I'm currently using work if you want centralised change management rather than having to make config changes again and again individually in each access point.

Then realised that the Cisco box was for some reason listening on two MAC addresses and two IPv4 addresses, one fixed by static config and a mysterious second one picked up from my usual dhcp pool. Tried http login to the mysterious second one too. Some strange software called OFFICE-EXTEND displayed a webpage and login prompt for an unknown username + password.

I have a bad feeling. This software is something I've never heard of and I began to think that somehow I've gone back a year but how that could even be possible I don't really know, it is very very strange.

So I suspect somehow I've wrecked the device by using the pin-in-hole technique and I'm back to square one. But I just don't know. The thing is I have no idea what software I am looking at and can't understand why I'm not seeing something that behaves properly. Indeed back where I started. Most definitely time to give up as I am way out of my depth. What on earth might the OfficeExtend thing be and “who ordered that?”, metaphorically speaking.
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