What Is WISP Mode Exactly?
WISP stands for Wireless Internet Service Provider. WISP is a mode on our router that turns it into a WAN (wireless area network) port. It should be noted that not all routers come equipped with WISP mode. If you do have this mode, then you can basically turn your router into a hotspot for any of your devices in the area. You can connect via wifi.
Normally, you would connect your router to your modem with a standard wire connection such as fiber optic or ethernet. With WISP, it can connect wirelessly just like your phone would to the router itself. When using WISP router mode, your device acts as both a WAN port as well as a client. When activated you can connect to another wireless network and still use only a single IP address.
When Is WISP Mode Necessary?
There isn’t a great reason if you should or should not use WISP mode. What it really all comes down to is whether you need to or not. If you can connect directly to your modem via cable then your probably should due to a better and more stable connection. There is nothing wrong with connecting wirelessly since, after all, it is wifi! You just might have a slightly less fast and stable connection you otherwise would have with ethernet or fiber optic.
If you have a difficult layout where your router or modem needs to be, then WISP mode sure does come in handy. You can still have normal wifi without having to run an insane amount of wire through your home or building. Sometimes you find that your router is better placed somewhere else. If its a hassle or unfeasible to wire it from your desired spot, then WISP mode is great to have.
With anything wireless you get the risk of more latency and just an overall less stable connection. Just because something is wireless doesn’t mean the connection will “be unstable.” Rather, it just won’t have the same dependency and speed that you will have over a wired connection. If you have important meetings or are a hardcore gamer, then this is something you need to take into consideration. If you have high speed internet then you are probably fine.
WISP Mode Router Configuration
If your router supports WISP mode and you don’t see a button to switch between modes, then go through the following to configure:
- open a web browser and type in the ip/web address for your router settings
- Go through the setup steps listed on the page. If you are getting an error or a page that says the device is not detected, then double check to make sure your device is plugged in and running.
- Once you get to mode or working mode, select WISP Client Router.
- Next choose the WAN connection of your ISP. Usually this will be Dynamic IP.
- Once chosen, you will enter the username and password of your network to properly connect. If you have a choice between PPPoE and Static IP before this, then choose PPPoE to enter your credentials. You can always choose Static IP if you have the proper inputs provided by your ISP (IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, primary dns, secondary dns)
- Choose the appropriate SSID. You will most likely be prompted to input your network password.
- If needed, create a local SSID and input the same username and password of your standard network.
- Reboot your device and you should be all set. You now have WISP mode configured and ready to go!
Note: while your configuration site is still up, check the IP paramaters and make sure they are filled out (i.e. no consecutive zeroes.)
If you aren’t seeing a series of numbers then the setup must not have been successful. Double check the steps you went through and any documentation that came with your device. Each brand has a slightly different setup process so the steps may vary.