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2 wifi signals dilemma & Initial impressions of Huawei's new 5G router CPE Pro

Storyline

Casual Member
I realise that this is off topic but I wonder if anyone could tell me if this is possible and if so, is it a good idea. So apologies for going o/t

I had a Huawei B628 LTE wireless router connected to a Huawei Hybrid Mesh wifi router. I disabled the wireless signal in the B628 and used the better Mesh wifi. The Mesh system uses a mixture of wireless and powerline technology to provide a strong WiFi signal everywhere in our large Victorian house. Before this, we used a BT adsl router and needed several WiFi extenders.

Somewhat fortuitously, the B628 failed recently and Huawei agreed to a full refund. This has meant that I could replace it with the new 4G/5G router that Huawei has just launched so we are future proofed for when we get a 5G signal in the next few months. This new router (CPE Pro) boasts very powerful wireless so I wonder if it would be good to run it alongside the Mesh wifi or revert to our original setup and disable the wireless. I did have the Mesh system set to automatically pick it's preferred channel but I could force both the router and Mesh to use channels that do not conflict but that would still result in two separate WiFi signals. I vaguely remember years ago doing something similar with two low powered WiFi routers that involved disabling dhcp on one so connecting devices saw only one wireless signal. I am a networking dunce so it is all very vague.

The pragmatic approach is to think that I was very happy with just the Mesh router supplying wifi and be content with that but there is something in me that does not like to 'waste' the new super dooper wifi in this new 5G router .....

Any advice would be most welcome
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Generally Mesh systems are designed to replace the original WiFi and so often won't work if you leave the Huawei's WiFi enabled at the same time, not least since both still need to do their networking and internet connectivity through the same router.

Yes there may be ways to manually configure IP assignments by disabling DHCP, as you say, but this strikes me as an ugly approach with lots of possible complications to resolve. Also just because the B628 supports a better WiFi spec doesn't mean to say it would be better than the Mesh setup, you'd need to benchmark your network and see what works best.

Alternatively, just buy a new Mesh system :) .
 

mucatron

Member
Generally Mesh systems are designed to replace the original WiFi and so often won't work if you leave the Huawei's WiFi enabled at the same time, not least since both still need to do their networking and internet connectivity through the same router.

Yes there may be ways to manually configure IP assignments by disabling DHCP, as you say, but this strikes me as an ugly approach with lots of possible complications to resolve. Also just because the B628 supports a better WiFi spec doesn't mean to say it would be better than the Mesh setup, you'd need to benchmark your network and see what works best.

Alternatively, just buy a new Mesh system :) .
I have a number of areas of concern moving to this device and the mobile broadband backhaul.

1. There is no doubt that the device is incredible. It seems that VF turned off key features or renamed them to the detriment of its users.
2. Month one, double the speed of my adsl service from VF. Month two, passwords, all browsers and two macs compromised in a dns attack. WiFi sniffing showed that there were huge numbers of requests coming from the VF networks DNS servers.
3. These dns settings are configured on the router by VF to be invisible. The device uses such low security on the lan side that I could change VPN protocols, define bridge mode and more. Use Chrome in developer mode And you can see the config files and of course change them.
4. You should not be doing DHCP of this for a home. If you are then you are leaking a ton of information. Put a router, anything behind it and forget the password ASAP.
5. With Apple senior engineers we watched as remote devices not only established new connections but were streaming content and setting their own permissions changing google results in front of my eyes.
6. How? Well after a lot of digging we discovered that these devices have at least one further WiFi network that is hidden. The SSID appears visibly sometimes if you reset the device over and over. VF have chosen to describe this as Link+ and Huwaei as “roaming”. It is a complete security nightmare given that the device doesn’t appear to be able to isolate these networks.

Turn Link+ off immediately, change that default IP address, turn off DHCP. Attach a different router to the back of it over Ethernet and Change the subnet. I’m using my little Tenda Mesh network and have one gateway bound on the home WiFi.

All devices are forced to use that gateway as a dns and it sets it’s external dns to Google’s severs (which I’ll be changing to something paid).

Amazing kit, I’ve recommended it to my neighbours and they’re all getting one but guess who will be round their houses sniffing for hidden networks.

Chinese spy network my ass. Oh and if your world comes tumbling to pieces and you think your going crazy as pages change in front of you - don’t expect a single call from VF.
Notably, despite the fact I had blocked “everything” the Apple engineers had a back door and it was only when I scanned their IP that they admitted watching.

If you use Macs check out a free piece of software called Lulu.
 

mucatron

Member
I realise that this is off topic but I wonder if anyone could tell me if this is possible and if so, is it a good idea. So apologies for going o/t

I had a Huawei B628 LTE wireless router connected to a Huawei Hybrid Mesh wifi router. I disabled the wireless signal in the B628 and used the better Mesh wifi. The Mesh system uses a mixture of wireless and powerline technology to provide a strong WiFi signal everywhere in our large Victorian house. Before this, we used a BT adsl router and needed several WiFi extenders.

Somewhat fortuitously, the B628 failed recently and Huawei agreed to a full refund. This has meant that I could replace it with the new 4G/5G router that Huawei has just launched so we are future proofed for when we get a 5G signal in the next few months. This new router (CPE Pro) boasts very powerful wireless so I wonder if it would be good to run it alongside the Mesh wifi or revert to our original setup and disable the wireless. I did have the Mesh system set to automatically pick it's preferred channel but I could force both the router and Mesh to use channels that do not conflict but that would still result in two separate WiFi signals. I vaguely remember years ago doing something similar with two low powered WiFi routers that involved disabling dhcp on one so connecting devices saw only one wireless signal. I am a networking dunce so it is all very vague.

The pragmatic approach is to think that I was very happy with just the Mesh router supplying wifi and be content with that but there is something in me that does not like to 'waste' the new super dooper wifi in this new 5G router .....

Any advice would be most welcome
On your specific question. The router has excellent WiFi but you are by default meshing with other gigahubs without being made aware.
My first recommendation prior to any meshing is to ask yourself if you know what is on your network and if it’s misbehaving, under attack, or optimised. If you’re like me you’ll have a little Apple TV or fancy tv, couple of smart whatever’s.
I suggest putting these in groups mentally eg Needs fast internet no question and you trust it.. “vip zone”, “people browsing/Shopppng etc” on a device that they interact with but you aren’t in control of “semi-trusted zone” and all the rest of the devices should be isolated. Use cables to your tv or similar devices as today every lightbulb or iPhone getting hammered by those UHD streams.

Check out the new Ethernet / Powerlinr / Mesh offerings TP link and devollo I believe You can bring WiFi and a cable to a bedroom. I’ve looked at the numbers on the radiation side and I will say that it didn’t add up ever. Thus the hidden networks.

I’ve also sent for a hub that does WiFi, eth, bluetooth and zigbee devices all in one. They can be meshed also.
 

TTJJ

Top Member
I'm very interested in this. I'm not entirely sure I understand.

What exactly are the devices communicating to each other? If you have two Huawei Link+ devices for example two neighbours living next to each other, why would they be communicating?
 

Verita

Regular Member
"The pragmatic approach is to think that I was very happy with just the Mesh router supplying wifi and be content with that but there is something in me that does not like to 'waste' the new super dooper wifi in this new 5G router ..... "

Well, why not consider the Wifi in the CPE Pro as backup in case the Mesh system fails. You don't 'have' to use it. :)

Simpler is often better in home systems.
 

Storyline

Casual Member
I am having problems attaching the hybrid Mesh Wifi system Q2 from Huawei to their 5G CPE Pro and was reading the first post in this thread and thought that guy has problems just like me and then I realised it was me that wrote the post - talk about senior moments lol.

I was now wondering if anyone could give me a steer as to why the mesh wifi (Q2) will not pick up the internet from the CPE. I have reset all 3 mesh units and it says in the manual that any one of them can be the lead unit so, I did as I did when attaching them to the B525 which worked immediately ie LAN out of CPE and into WAN on the Q2. It should according the manual just pick up the Internet. I really can't remember doing anything else when I connected the B525 (but considering I made the thread and forgot I suppose anything is possible).

FWIW, the wifi on the CPE Pro is extraordinary but my wife has just set up a home office and we need hard wired ethernet. Saying that though, when I couldn't get the Q2 system to work I bought a really cheap Tenda gigabit powerline pair and have connected the remote end to an unmanaged network switch and it works remarkably well. I thought I would have all sorts of problems with them going to sleep as that is what has always put me off in the past. These though do go into powersave but I've never noticed any lag. Strictly speaking then we dont need the Q2 as much but I'd like to try it and see.

So, if anyone knows I would be grateful. (I did just change the ethernet setting on the CPE Pro to LAN only as recommened on another thread and I haven't tried the Q2 again)
 

tompgilliam

Member
I have a number of areas of concern moving to this device and the mobile broadband backhaul.

1. There is no doubt that the device is incredible. It seems that VF turned off key features or renamed them to the detriment of its users.
2. Month one, double the speed of my adsl service from VF. Month two, passwords, all browsers and two macs compromised in a dns attack. WiFi sniffing showed that there were huge numbers of requests coming from the VF networks DNS servers.
3. These dns settings are configured on the router by VF to be invisible. The device uses such low security on the lan side that I could change VPN protocols, define bridge mode and more. Use Chrome in developer mode And you can see the config files and of course change them.
4. You should not be doing DHCP of this for a home. If you are then you are leaking a ton of information. Put a router, anything behind it and forget the password ASAP.
5. With Apple senior engineers we watched as remote devices not only established new connections but were streaming content and setting their own permissions changing google results in front of my eyes.
6. How? Well after a lot of digging we discovered that these devices have at least one further WiFi network that is hidden. The SSID appears visibly sometimes if you reset the device over and over. VF have chosen to describe this as Link+ and Huwaei as “roaming”. It is a complete security nightmare given that the device doesn’t appear to be able to isolate these networks.

Turn Link+ off immediately, change that default IP address, turn off DHCP. Attach a different router to the back of it over Ethernet and Change the subnet. I’m using my little Tenda Mesh network and have one gateway bound on the home WiFi.

All devices are forced to use that gateway as a dns and it sets it’s external dns to Google’s severs (which I’ll be changing to something paid).

Amazing kit, I’ve recommended it to my neighbours and they’re all getting one but guess who will be round their houses sniffing for hidden networks.

Chinese spy network my ass. Oh and if your world comes tumbling to pieces and you think your going crazy as pages change in front of you - don’t expect a single call from VF.
Notably, despite the fact I had blocked “everything” the Apple engineers had a back door and it was only when I scanned their IP that they admitted watching.

If you use Macs check out a free piece of software called Lulu.

Gah! This is exactly what I was afraid of.

I have the HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro on Three and speeds have been good.

I have it connected to Eero Pro but I'm wondering whether you might be able to walk me through how I take care of security on the network? Explain it to me like I'm 5?
When I go to turn off DHCP it gives me this warning:

"fter shutting down the DHCP server, your router will no longer automatically assign IP addresses to network devices. To access the Internet, you must manually enter the IP address on the network device."

Which I don't understand. Which network device? And which router? The Eero pro is my router, right?

A further question; if I turn off Wifi on the Huawei Unit does that mean that I will have to connect to it via an ethernet cable if I need to log on and make changes? Is there a reason to turn off its wifi? I'm only using it now to log onto the router.

Final question; when you talk about putting a router "behind it" do you mean before the eero? Or would the eero be my router? Is the Eero encrypting my traffic I wonder?

Sorry I'm a bit lost but you seem very knowledgable and if you have a moment I'd really appreciate your help.
Thanks!
 

Buggerlugz

ULTIMATE Member
It means all networked devices, if you turn off DHCP the router won't assign IP addresses on the network automatically. You'll have to specify IP addresses in the router settings and lock them into the router for each device which the router will identify through their MAC addresses on the network.
 

Storyline

Casual Member
I have a number of areas of concern moving to this device and the mobile broadband backhaul.

1. There is no doubt that the device is incredible. It seems that VF turned off key features or renamed them to the detriment of its users.
.....
..... WiFi sniffing showed that there were huge numbers of requests coming from the VF networks DNS servers.
.....
.....
6. How? Well after a lot of digging we discovered that these devices have at least one further WiFi network that is hidden. The SSID appears visibly sometimes if you reset the device over and over. VF have chosen to describe this as Link+ and Huwaei as “roaming”. It is a complete security nightmare given that the device doesn’t appear to be able to isolate these networks.
.....
.....
I confess that I didn't read this reply as I didn't know what VF is but maybe Virgin Fibre - do they supply the CPE Pro configured by them ?

Whatever the case it does explain a powerful mystery wifi signal that I get occasionally which is a real puzzle as we have a detached house and only get very faint signals from neighbours. The SSID is a random mish mash of alphanumerics that don't appear to be similar to anything I've seen generated by Huawei stuff.

I also don't like the sound of the security weaknesses especially as we have set up a home office for my wife. She is a solicitor and so I assume she sends sensitive data by email. She connects to her firm's server by a vpn 'tunnel' - am I right in thinking that this will be bomb proof in terms of protection from an attack on our router ?

In view of the apparent vulnerabilities of this router and presumably others is it a good idea to use something like Nordvpn for the whole connection ? I did use this for a month during the rugby World Cup and this router and Three seemed to get on fine with it.

Many thanks for any input ..... also anyone know of a cheap reliable router to put between the CPE Pro and a mesh system ?
 

TTJJ

Top Member
The random WiFi network is Huawei Link+ looking for nearby Huawei routers you may want to create a mesh with.

The VF you quoted I think meant Vodafone, they also supply the 5G CPE albeit with their own firmware modifications.
 
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