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Old 06-26-2019, 10:50 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Configuring and Optimizing your Pepwave MAX Cellular and WiFi Router

Thanks to Turbopilot for his great articles on this site about RV Internet solutions. This discussion is not to repeat those discussions on how or why, please visit those threads, but if you're reading this it's because you like me have chosen a Pepwave router for your optimal RV internet solution. I personally highly recommend the Pepwave MAX BR1 MK2 from 5GStore.com which I am NOT affiliated with and these settings should help you get setup. Again, this discussion is about PEPWAVE SETTINGS and not about why or how it got to this, again, search the forums for threads started by "Turbopilot" and you'll find them.

Disclaimer: These are MY SETTINGS, not the right settings, not the wrong settings, MY settings. They could change tomorrow as I'm constantly tweaking but this should give you exposure to what and where to change things. I WELCOME constructive feedback if anyone suggests something otherwise but this is not intended to be a bits and bytes discussion. The pepwave out of the box is already setup perfectly, some of these may help (or hinder) your Internet experience. Please do not PM me, please reply to this thread so others can learn from your questions or suggestions out in the open so we can all help each other.

Please pay attention to the toolbar on the top and left side menu selections so you know where we are within the settings if I don't outline it in the discussion.

Cellular Settings:

Assuming your SIM card is installed and active you can click the Details button on the right side of the Cellular SIM row to go into the details. In this area you can see all sorts of cosmic numbers.



#1 - You can name the connection if you want as I only have one SIM in this unit (I use two pepwaves in my setup) so I am locked to SIM B in this unit as its the only SIM loaded and it's AT&T so I named it as such in the WAN Connection slot.

#2 - DNS servers, I like to use Google's DNS servers so I configured the cellular connection to use 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as shown.



#1 - I really don't want to accept 3G connections. Give me LTE or give me nothing. I "believe" by setting this I'm telling the tower I will only accept your LTE connections and not allow you to give me a 3G connection. Even with this setting I have seen 3G fallback which is interesting, probably good, but this has helped me establish good LTE/LTE-A connectivity 99% of the time.

#2 - As I only have one SIM I will typically leave this far left or at the 1 bar threshold. If I had two sims in the unit I recommend as shown, 1 bar, your call

#3 - This one I flip flop on as an experiment. Typically I would suggest for faster failover leaving it to the left remain connected option but at times I want to disconnect from the tower and re-establish a connection and hope for something better. If you're using daily reboots (setup in the /support.cgi secret area) then you really shouldn't need this but I do not typically use daily reboots, I don't think it benefits anything. My $.02. For most of you leave this on the left option to remain connected which is the default, just understand my setting as shown breaks me from the connection when in standby (not priority 1) which I may trigger manually to refresh my connection and get a new lease from the tower, maybe.

#4 - I use either SmartCheck or DNS Lookup but notice I set some settings a little longer on timeouts than the default. I don't want a lot of failover activity, it's "expensive" in that a network switch can take about 1-2 minutes and screw up what you're doing. I'd rather it check/test a few more cycles before dropping my connection and switching to another option if available. I've also experimented with disabling this such as in my case where I have only one SIM but if I'm using Cellular + WiFi then you need health checking enabled for failover between those connections.

Network Settings (Network on top menu / Network settings on left)



I recommend enabling DNS caching and you can also check the box below to add google public DNS but as I manually use them with 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 I really don't get a benefit here. I may actually check this option again, can't hurt.

Configuring your WiFi Network Name and Password: (AP top menu)



AP stands for Access Point which is your WiFi network you'll connect your phones, tables, devices to if desired. You can rename your SSID to show your desired name in the WiFi list by clicking the hyperlink the arrow is pointing to. In the next screen you can set the name and password (shared secret).



In the screen below I made one change to the 802.11ng Channel Width (Click Settings on the left side bar).



System Area:



If you want to use InControl, Pepwave's cloud system (really designed for fleet management and geeks that want to see neat stuff) you can name your unit in the System > Admin Security area. In this area you can set the password for your access to the Admin CP which is typically at 192.168.50.1 per the setup guide.



Once you have an Internet connection either via Cellular or WiFi you can check for firmware updates, likely you will have one. Be patient and let it complete the update as it takes 5-10 minutes.

Saving your Configuration:



Once you're all setup and from time to time after tweaking you can download your configuration to a file that you could use to restore later should you need to factory reset your unit. Just click the download button and save the file in your favorite backup area. I personally use Dropbox and use a Dropbox/Backup/Pepwave folder.

Saving:

In some popup screens you'll have a Save & Apply button. In some areas they won't save until you click APPLY CHANGES on the top right toolbar area. Pay attention to actually save/commit your changes.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NealC View Post
Please do not PM me, please reply to this thread so others can learn from your questions or suggestions out in the open so we can all help each other.
Good information. I have adopted the same policy. Please don't send me a PM unless you have a "personal message". Any questions about this technology should be posted on the forum so that others can see the information.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:49 PM   #3
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Not seeing your screen, what did you change value are you using for channel width
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:52 PM   #4
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Not seeing your screen, what did you change value are you using for channel width


20/40
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
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Thank you Neal for this, it is extremely helpful. I am going to go through this very carefully and google any term I don't understand. Thanks so much.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:51 PM   #6
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Part 2 - Using the Peplink Pepwave Router Utility App

The pepwave has two apps: a Route Utility App for managing basic features as well as an InControl app which I haven't touched in a long time. You can get the app for iOS or Android, links on this page:

https://www.peplink.com/products/router-utility/

The router utility app which I'll discuss below is only meant to be used when you're on the network that your Pepwave is running, it's not meant to be a remote viewing app, that's what InControl is for. When you're connected to the WiFi that is served from your Pepwave (via WiFi or LAN to another router such as I use) the app will work by first registering your Pepwave unit. Disregard my two Pepwaves already listed.



Click the + on the top right to add your device. Fill in the IP address and your admin control panel login info. The default IP address is as shown, 192.168.50.1.



Now your device should be registered, tap it to connect and show all the great information. Tap EDIT on the top right of the screen if you want to change the priority of your connections such as if you're using WiFi and Cellular and you want to change something. Tap and hold and then drag the rows up or down to place in priority buckets as desired. Tap DONE to save your changes.





WARNING - DON'T DO THIS WITHOUT FULL UNDERSTANDING:

You can turn your WiFi (AP) on and off if needed - typically you won't touch this and if you do you may not be able to connect again so do not do this unless you know what you're doing. In my case based on my RV setup I use a separate WiFi router which I would not do over again after my RV Internet setup has evolved. The pepwave has a great WiFi system and there is no need for other WiFi routers unless you have needs and know how.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:00 PM   #7
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Neal, you referenced a Support.cgi page to check the modem firmware on the other thread. Where is this page located? I briefly looked the other day and could not find it.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:02 PM   #8
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Neal, you referenced a Support.cgi page to check the modem firmware on the other thread. Where is this page located? I briefly looked the other day and could not find it.
When you're connected to your Admin Control Panel you'll see .../Index.cgi...

Remove Index.cgi and everything to the right and go to /Support.cgi

Code:
http://192.168.50.1/cgi-bin/MANGA/support.cgi
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealC View Post
When you're connected to your Admin Control Panel you'll see .../Index.cgi...



Remove Index.cgi and everything to the right and go to /Support.cgi



Code:
http://192.168.50.1/cgi-bin/MANGA/support.cgi


Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:36 PM   #10
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Configuring and Optimizing your Pepwave MAX Cellular and WiFi Router

Great job, Neal, thanks!

So, hereís a word of caution, that I believe caused me a heap of problems...as in...I blew my AP up and my password no longer worked!!

I knew what I had done, and started to backtrack and analyze what may be causing issues.

When changing the channel width for the AP, I had also changed the 2.4ghz width as well...not good. I think that knocked the heck out of the radios.

Click image for larger version

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Once I got back in and disabled the 2.4 and 5 radios, and changed the width back to 20, I was again able to log back onto my AP.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:53 PM   #11
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Thank you Neal, very helpful information
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:39 AM   #12
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Good stuff, Neil. I'll be in the RV for a bit over a week, so will play around with these settings in my two pepwaves.

Small thing, but I see more and more people touting using Quad9 (9.9.9.9) as their primary or backup DNS. As a primary, it attempts to block access to malicious sites. Currently, I go with 8.8.8.8 as primary and 9.9.9.9 as backup, but have been reading more and more about Quad9 and might flip those around and make it my primary.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:05 AM   #13
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Ok, this is probably a really, really stupid question. I do not have a clue as to what I an doing, but we got the pepwave and I followed your suggestions above closely. We did not yet get an antenna, we have been just using pepwave inside on counter and getting much better speed and connectivity. Question: on dashboard page, Priority 1 WAN says no cable detected. Why? We have a Verizon SIM in Port A, nothing in Port B
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:10 AM   #14
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Ok, this is probably a really, really stupid question. I do not have a clue as to what I an doing, but we got the pepwave and I followed your suggestions above closely. We did not yet get an antenna, we have been just using pepwave inside on counter and getting much better speed and connectivity. Question: on dashboard page, Priority 1 WAN says no cable detected. Why? We have a Verizon SIM in Port A, nothing in Port B
Can you take a screenshot and attach it to a reply?

You should have a CELLULAR row and that is where your SIM cards reside. There are other rows for WiFi depending on which Pepwave you have (BR1 MINI is different from BR1 MK2).

If you click DETAILS does it show the SIM cards?

Make sure your SIM card is installed correctly. There is a very small diagram on the back of the unit that shows the notch orientation of the SIM card. If you're using a nano or micro SIM card you need an adapter kit, the slots are for the larger STANDARD size sims. Verify the SIM card is installed and detected.

SIM Kit I use: https://amzn.to/2RFvQlX
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