I haven't yet configured my dumb AP yet but after reading the guide in the documentation I'm struggling to understand how the AP knows which LAN port is the one connected to the upstream router. I'll be connecting both wired and wireless devices to the AP, so when I plug a computer into a LAN port, how does the AP distinguish between the router connection and computer connection? It's my (very limited) understanding that since the AP LAN ports are bridged they're all treated equally, but I would think the LAN port connected to the router needs special recognition since it's operating differently than the others. I'm a complete noob with this stuff (probably obviously).
This is correct.
Not really. The way ethernet switching and communication works is to establish ARP tables. By doing this, any port can be used to connect to an upstream or downstream device (individual hosts or other switches/APs).
The only exception to this "any port" comment is related to the need to crossover the transmit and receive pairs for ethernet. This is a non-issue for switches and devices built within the last ~20 years or so which can provide automatic crossover based on the connected equipment.
Further, this functionality was mandated as part of the gigabit ethernet standard. EDIT: turns out it is not mandated... but I've never come across any gigabit devices that don't implement auto-MDI/MDI-X.
That makes sense, thanks for the reply. The only other thing I'm curious about is, since the WAN port isn't supposed to be used as-is, I'd like to add it to the LAN bridge. To do this, someone on Reddit said "Go to Network -> Interfaces, delete the WAN interface. Then choose the Devices tab. Edit "br-lan", and add the "wan" device to the "bridge ports" using the drop down." Is this correct? And should the WAN6 interface also be deleted?
Yes, delete the wan and wan6 interfaces.
The specifics about how to add the physical wan port would be dependent on your hardware.
Thanks! I just tested it and it works. The WAN port now allows me to access the OpenWrt interface just like the LAN ports. I now plan to use the WAN port for connecting the upstream router and the LAN ports for connecting devices.
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