This blog will show you how to get started with your WAVLINK Mesh Kit and also act as a user guide - detailing the more advanced settings and where you can find them.
First off let’s get everything set up and ready for deployment.
In the box containing your Mesh Kit you should find 3x WiFi Mesh units along with PSUs, an Ethernet cable and a Quick Start Guide.
Take out one of the Mesh units (it doesn’t matter which one) and connect it to a wall socket via the provided PSU adapter but do not turn it on yet.
On the back of your mesh unit, you will see that the LAN port on the far right has a grey border and the words Internet/LAN/backhaul written above it. Connect the Ethernet cable that came with the kit to a spare LAN port on your existing broadband router (you may also connect this directly to a cable modem if you wish to bypass your ISP router).
Now power on your WAVLINK Mesh unit (ensuring that the small on/off switch located on the back is also set to the on position).
Your device will take a minute or so to boot up, you should notice a blue flashing LED during the process which will turn solid when it is ready.
Once fully ready, the unit will give out a WiFi similar to the one below:
Connect to the WiFi via your PC or mobile device - you do not need to enter a password as the network is set to open at this point.
Once successfully connected to the WiFi network, open a web browser such as Chrome and enter the below address:
This will take you to the login screen as seen below, enter the default password which is ‘admin’ and click login.
After successfully logging in you will be automatically directed the setup wizard. On the first page of the wizard you will need to select your Region (choose CE/ETSI(EU) to comply with UK regulations), Timezone and Admin password then click save to proceed.
On the next page of the wizard you need to select your WAN type and WiFi settings. WAN type is the method in which you will be connecting to the internet. For most cases this will be the DHCP option as seen below, this essentially means that the IP settings will be filled in automatically. To manually enter the IP settings simply select ‘Static’ from the dropdown menu. Finally if you are connecting via PPPoE (e.g directly through a DSL or Fibre modem) then select the PPPoE option and enter the user information provided by your ISP.
After selecting your WAN type you need to input a WiFi name (Mesh SSID) and password as seen in the examples above.
Apply your settings, then you should see a loading bar as below:
Once setup is complete you should get a message like in the example below.
If you search your list of local WiFi devices you should see the network you just set up.
This device is now fully configured and working as a WiFi access point, in a small home you may only require a single unit to give enough coverage but this is situational.
Adding additional Mesh devices
In a larger home you will need at least two, or more than likely all 3 of the included units to gain the desired coverage and performance. In which case it’s time to get the other devices online and all working together.
Take out your remaining two WAVLINK Mesh units and their PSUs.
In the same room as your already configured device, power them both up in the same way you did in the first part of the guide except with no Ethernet cable attached to the router.
Both units will flash blue, before turning solid blue just as before.
In this case though, the solid blue indicates that your additional mesh units have paired with the main device.
If you are having issues pairing the devices, then you can use the reset button located on the back of each mesh unit (hold for 1 second) to enter them into pairing mode. Start with the main unit then activate pairing mode on the other two.
Please note: If this method is still unsuccessful then you can go back to wifi.wavlink.com, log in using your Admin password, select WiFi configuration along the bottom then go to Mesh Network where you will be able to manually add each device via the MAC address found on the back (after entering your details, click plus to add):
Once you have added your additional 1 or 2 mesh devices, go to the Dashboard on your Router setup menu and you will see something similar to the below:
You can now situate your extra units around the house to extend the WiFi coverage as seen fit. Be sure to try different location to see which works best.
Below I will list some of the more advanced settings that can be utilised.
To access the WiFi settings, simply select WiFi from the icons at the bottom of the screen and you will be presented with the below:
WiFi configuration is the first option on this menu and allows you to change your SSID and password. You can also turn on ‘Smart Connect’ if required which will direct devices to the most suitable WiFi channel (2.4GHz or 5GHz).
The next option is the Mesh Network settings, here you can see your WAVLINK devices signal strength as well as have the option to rename them using the edit symbol next to the existing name. You can use these signal strength icons to help when trying to position the units in ideal locations around the home. You want the signals to overlap but not too much as this can have an adverse effect.
One really unique and useful feature of the WAVLINK mesh units is the TouchLink technology which is similar to WPS. Simply tap the top of an access point and it will begin to flash blue, this indicates that you can now connect to the WAVLINK_Touch SSID without a password. Here is where you can modify the TouchLink settings such as how long it is active for and the WiFi name, as well as obviously turning it off. It is also worth noting that any users who have connected via TouchLink will be listed in this menu.
Region settings can be changed here (although as previously mentioned, it is a legal requirement in the UK to meet ETSI standards.
2.4GHz advanced settings - here you can select your WiFi standard, channel number, channel width (usually 20/40MHz) and beacon interval (how often the access point sends out a signal to be check-in with devices). Short GI should be on in almost all cases regardless of frequency.
5GHz advanced settings - here you can select your WiFi standard, channel number, channel width (usually 40MHz) and beacon interval (how often the access point sends out a signal to be check-in with devices). Turn on DFS to allow for additional operational channels.
To access the Advanced Setup, simply select Setup from the icons at the bottom of the screen and you will be presented with the below:
The first option in Advanced Setup is the Internet settings. Here you can select your WAN connection as described in setup wizard as well as manually enter a MAC address to clone (useful to ensure ISPs are providing you with full services by cloning their router’s MAC address. Please note: this only works if the ISP router is no longer being used in the network.
Next up we have DHCP settings which is where you manage how IP address are delivered to WiFi clients. Leave this on default unless you know what you’re doing, in which case you can modify the settings by selecting manual from the dropdown menu.
DDNS settings allows you to remotely access your Router via the Internet. Fill out your DDNS info like in the example below and click save ti set up a DDNS (when using a different router as the main WAN connection, you may need to port forward to your WAVLINK mesh in order for it to work correctly). Be sure to also turn on ‘Remote access’ as found in Security Management further down this guide.
Under Network Tools you will find the port forwarding settings as well as DMZ.
To port forward, enter the internal IP of whatever you would like to port forward, the External and Internal port as well as the Protocol then click the plus icon to save it. You can select a common service from the dropdown below if suitable and it will fill in the ports for you.
If you intend to set up a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) on your network then you can enable it here.
Under Security Management you can access additional Firewall settings. Note the ‘Remote Management (via WAN) option that is required for External IP / DDNS control.
Next you will find your Time settings, it is recommended to enable both ‘SYNC time’ and ‘Daylight saving’.
The lights on your WAVLINK mesh devices help you to understand what state the unit is currently in however if you would like to turn off the LEDs completely then this can be done so below:
Here you can change the router login password (web login). To do so simply enter your existing password followed by your new one twice then click apply.
In the Backup/Restore settings you can download a configuration file which will save all of your settings, keep this file safe as you can then restore the configuration should something go wrong.
Here you can also reset back to Factory Defaults if you would like to start again with configuration or if you have just upgraded the firmware and would like to apply the latest settings.
When looking to perform a Firmware Upgrade you can first check if one is available by selecting a device and clicking ‘check’. As you can see in the example below, my device is up to date. If this is not the case then you need to download the latest version and then select it by clicking ‘Choose file’ before pressing apply. Your device should apply the new firmware then reboot with all of your old settings. If the unit is not behaving correctly after a firmware update then it may be worth considering a factory reset as described in the section above.
Select Device Status to see an overview of your settings in real time.
Finally we have the options to Logout (which will instantly log you out of the router) and Reboot. In the reboot menu you can set a Scheduled time for your device to reset every day (it’s always a good idea to power off networking devices regularly), simply select a time and click save. Finally, you can perform a manual reboot by clicking ‘Reboot’.
Hopefully you found this guide useful in not just your initial setup but also as a reference point in the future. I will be following this up with more of a review style guide in the weeks to come as I put it through its paces and compare to the likes of a standard ISP router.
Be sure to keep an eye out as it will be really interesting to see how much of an improvement we can get over what most domestic properties are currently using!