An OMV server running OMV 3 (Erasmus) may experience a loss of wifi (wlan0) due to drivers being removed from the backports package.

Run the code below to download the broadcom wifi controller drivers and re-enable wifi (wlan0) (from OMV forums)

wget https://github.com/RPi-Distro/firmware-nonfree/raw/master/brcm80211/brcm/brcmfmac43430-sdio.bin
wget https://github.com/RPi-Distro/firmware-nonfree/raw/master/brcm80211/brcm/brcmfmac43430-sdio.txt
sudo mv brcmfmac43430-sdio* /lib/firmware/brcm/
sudo reboot

 

Consequently, this is also a good time to learn about wireless network troubleshooting tools:

ifconfig -a
iwconfig
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan
sudo ifdown wlan0 && sudo ifup -v wlan0

If any of these show an error or do not show the wlan0 interface, you may have a driver issue, such as the one with OMV and the RPi3 backport repository.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4

 

I’m currently working on a project where I set up a Raspberry Pi to host a VPN server so that I can let my extended family view some private pictures. I previously had a PritUNL server running on Digital Ocean with a remote mLab MongoDB server, but it didn’t seem to work too well, with connections getting dropped and some serious compatibility issues. PritUNL does, however, have a very nice interface and supposedly better resource usage than OpenVPN Access Server, the limited-to-two-concurrent-users OpenVPN solution I was using before.

My current setup had a PritUNL client (running unknown in the background) and a SecurePoint client on Windows 10, with OpenVPN on my RPi set up through PiVPN. The SecurePoint client was very easy to use, and it worked when I ran it. After testing that it worked, I hibernated my PC and went to work. And that’s when things went wonky.

When I opened up my PC, I saw three WiFi networks, the SSIDs that are from my house. There’s no way those things would be available at work. No other network was available. I knew it had to be something to do with my VPN software, so I uninstalled those and rebooted.

The problem persisted. I looked online, and it showed me that Windows 10 used to have a bug where old, unsupported VPNs (Cisco) would cause some internet connection issues. So I ran the fix for that (using cmd.exe in admin mode):

reg delete HKCR\CLSID\{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /f

netcfg -v -u dni_dne

And the problem persisted. I searched some more and ran a number of ipconfig and netsh commands. Finally, I found this page from Microsoft with some handy netsh tools:

netsh wlab show wlanreport – creates a report of the current wlan setup/status accessible at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WlanReport

netsh -d – resets all network configurations and settings, but MS recommends it only as a last resort

Basically, netsh -d worked, but it also erased all my WiFi profiles. I played around with netsh some more, and I learned you can export current profiles using this command: netsh wlan export profile folder=c:\WifiProfiles\, which sends the profiles to C:\WifiProfiles. It’s not very intuitive, or maybe because I only had one profile, but it would seem that netsh wlan export profile name="George's iPhone" folder=c:\WifiProfiles\ should have worked, but it sends me this error: Profile "George's iPhone" is not found on any interface.

Once you backup your profiles like this, you can probably use netsh wlan add profile filename="ProfileName.xml" interface="Wireless Network Connection" user=current to import profiles that have been erased. I didn’t try it because I didn’t have any profiles backed up.

Then I downloaded OpenVPN and didn’t know how to get it to connect, which actually requires you to put the ovpn profile into the C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config folder, and then right clicking the system tray GUI to get the Connect option to appear. Without the ovpn profile, the Connect option doesn’t pop up.

Anyway, that’s three things learned today: netsh wlab show wlanreport, netsh -d, and OpenVPN config folder. And although PiVPN doesn’t support bridging, I can access all the network drives and printers that I need to.

Interesting.

 

 

Photo by Nguyen Vu Hung (vuhung)

Looking for a cheap wireless router in Japan that also supports English operation? Many Japanese brands will not have built-in English support, even though some of these routers are sold worldwide. Don’t expect routers from Buffalo, Logitec, or NEC to support English, although the ones from Buffalo might do so with a firmware flash.

To get a router with English support, it’s possible to import one from another country, but it can be costly and there might be some import taxes applicable. The easiest solution is to buy a native router, and Planex is one company that has good, cheap, and English-supporting products.

While the latest 802.11ac format is out, most of the world still uses 802.11n, a format that combines the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands for improved performance. It is important, therefore, to find a router that supports dual band operations, and if possible, to have multiple antennas for each band.

Unfortunately, Planex does not have multiple antenna support, but its routers are extremely compact and inexpensive, making them a good choice for small apartments or traveling. My recommendation is the MF-300D, with a double antenna configuration for dual band operation. It can be found at Amazon Japan for less than 3000 yen, in both Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging or retail boxes (the FFP format may be cheaper). Credits to プラネックスを使ってみた for the router information.

User Experience and Review

Previously, I used a D-Link DGL-4300 802.11g router, which is a full-featured, last generation product. Main selling points about this router are the high-performance processor and GameFuel traffic prioritization technology, which may be standard on newer, higher performing routers.

The Planex MF-300D, on the other hand, is not a high-performance router. The interface can be a little confusing, with each antenna (5GHz and 2.4GHz) having a separate access point name and password. There is a virtual access point option (created by default) which also has AP names and passwords for each antenna. There is also no traffic prioritization technology nor support for more than 2 ethernet clients, although the basic NAT and SPI firewall features are available. It is, however, an IPv6 compatible router, whereas the DGL-4300 is not.

In everyday use, there’s really no difference between the two routers. Both are fairly easy to use once set up, and though the advanced setup on the Planex router is a little more confusing, it is not difficult, especially with the user guide. Traffic prioritization is not necessarily missed, especially when paired with gratuitous amounts of bandwidth.

However, the Planex router is clearly not a top performer. Connection times with the router are a big longer than with the D-Link, often taking over 5 seconds to connect a WiFi-G device to the mixed N+G network. There are some very rare hiccups as well, where the router drops clients and reconnects, leaving users without internet for about ten seconds.

The Planex is, however, a very good multifunction travel router. It can function as access point, router, or USB WiFi adapter, and it only costs 3000 yen. As such, it is a very good product for those needing English-supporting routers in Japan.

 


 

Comments

Thanks for the post, could be just what I need. What kind of English support does this have? I am a new comer to Japan and have only very basic Japanese. So English set up software would be really useful for me.
Cheers. — Mike

This router is translated very well into English–everything that is there is available in both Japanese and English. That said, there is not a lot of explanation for some of the options, one of which is how to turn off having two access points on the same router (Wireless AP and Virtual AP). Besides that, though, the performance is very decent for something 3000 yen, about $30, it is very small and portable, and, of course, the English is well enough done that people familiar with routers will have very little problems. If you are not familiar with routers, you should still be able to set it up fine, if you take the time to do so. — George