How To – Tunnel to CVADN

Since most of us aren’t able to connect to one of the backbone nodes from home, tunneling has always seemed like it would be useful for development and testing. With a tunnel client at your house, any device connected to that node will see the CVADN network as if you were connected via RF.

Setting up a tunnel server required some network changes, which are finally in place. There is an now AREDN tunnel server running at the W4UVA backbone site and accessible over the Internet.

To tunnel in, you’ll need to connect a mesh node to your home Internet. The concepts are covered at Connecting Nodes to Home Routers — AREDN Documentation 3.21.4.0 documentation (arednmesh.readthedocs.io). If you use a standard mesh node, you’ll need to have Ethernet switches that are VLAN-capable and understand how to configure them. Information on VLAN utilization on AREDN nodes is touched on at Configuration Deep Dive — AREDN Documentation 3.21.4.0 documentation (arednmesh.readthedocs.io). Unfortunately, a very useful video from the AREDN development group is no longer available for some reason. If you are going to tinker with VLANs on your home network, be sure to do it at a time when everyone else is asleep. That way, there won’t be screaming and cursing when you render your network non-functional on the first try. 🙂

The good news is that if you have one of the cheap WiFi access points that will run the AREDN firmware (they are mentioned on the “Connecting Nodes…” page) you can use it as your tunnel client and avoid the whole VLAN issue. I’m using a GL-AR750 for my test tunnel client, and it seems to work fine.

Instructions for setting up a tunnel client are on the “Configuration Deep Dive…” page. My tunnel client configuration looks like:

AREDN Tunnel Client Setup

If you want to give tunneling a try, drop me a note and I’ll assign you an IP address and tell the tunnel server to recognize you. It will be interesting to see how useful this is (or isn’t).