Expand PLA6457 Network

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Hi,

up to now I have two PLA6457 powerline adapters running here. So far they work fine. The connection between these two is encrypted.

Now I purchased another pait and intended to have them join the same network.

I had a look at the User guide where it states: "Your network can be further expanded by plugging additional PLAs into other outlets in your home ...".

But it is not working. I do not see any connection from my PLA-A and PLA-C. Encrypted connection between PLA-A and PLA-B still works fine.

Even when pressing the "encrypt" button on both (A and C) there is no change.

Simply not getting connection.

What am I doing wrong? How can I expand the existing two-node-network?

Thanks
/KNEBB

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  • tonygibbs16
    tonygibbs16 Posts: 898  Guru Member
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    Hello @knebb

    There is some troubleshooting guidance on page 36 of the user guide available at https://download.zyxel.com/PLA6457/user_guide/PLA6457_V1.00_Ed2.pdf that should help you.

    Kind regards,
        Tony
  • knebb
    knebb Posts: 7
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    Hi,

    I did mention the user guide to show I know it and I read it. Unfortunately, the troubleshooting part of such guides is worthless. Just as for other companies user guides. ("LED is off? Power the device on").

    However, I managed to get an encrypted connection between PLA-A and PLA-C by pressing the "Encrypt" button for 2 to 5 seconds within 2 minutes on both devices. Well, the encrypted connection between PLA-A and PLA-B now got lost....

    My expectation has been to establish a non-encrypted connection first in order to join the existing encrypted network. Looks like I am wrong with this.

    Again, how can I create a network with multiple devices?

    What I did so far:
    • Having PLA-A and PLA-B using an established and encrypted connection. Fine.
    • Plug in PLA-C (connected to a network device) -no connection, not even unencrypted
    • Follow stepts from user guide to press the encrypt button (see page 13)- connection established and encrypted, but connection to PLA-B got lost
    So what did I read (or do) wrong?

    Thanks!

    /KNEBB



  • mMontana
    mMontana Posts: 1,351  Guru Member
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    Did you take a read on Page 12/13/14?
  • knebb
    knebb Posts: 7
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    Hi,
    have you read my post? Did I mention page 13 there?

    Guys, RTFM does not help. I might misreading stuff there. In this case it will help to point me to the correct steps. It does not help telling me "read it again. And again.....".

    Citing page 12:
    You can connect a number of PLAs on a G.hn Network, but you can use the ENCRYPT button on only two PLAs at a time.

    So from my understanding I can add multiple devices to the existing network of two PLAs.

    I did the 5 steps mentioned on page 13 but as written the connection to PLA-B gets lost.

    /KNEBB
  • tonygibbs16
    tonygibbs16 Posts: 898  Guru Member
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    edited January 2023
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    Hello @knebb

    It seems like you are doing it correctly but it is not working... The Encrypt button problem from section 5.4 on pages 36 and 37 sounds like what you are seeing...

    I know that I have had some issues with powerline networking devices from another manufacturer when the devices were on different parts of my home power wires so that they did not always connect.
           - I have 3 devices connected with encryption at present.

    On page 18 of the user guide, section 3.1.1 G.hn Network Security, it points out that for PLA to communicate with each encrypted they need to share the same Domain Name, so you might want to check for this.

    According to page 10 of the user guide says that the Web Configurator can be used to set up encrypted pairing of the PLA. So that might be worth trying...

    You might wish to try if you could pair your devices C & D to make a separate network, following section 2.3 of the user guide on pages 14 and 15...because this could rule in or out hardware issues of your new devices...
        - You might then be able to use your router or a switch to join the 2 networks together if both work...

    I hope that this is helpful.

    Otherwise, I don't have a solution for you myself. Sorry.

    Kind regards,
        Tony
  • Zyxel_Jerry
    Zyxel_Jerry Posts: 1,198  Zyxel Employee
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    Hi @knebb

    To pair your PLA devices with your network topology, follow these steps:1.Reset three PLA devices. Then, begin pairing PLA-A and PLA-C (these devices are not in the same package).2.After plugging in both devices, press the Encrypt button on each device for 5 seconds.3.After pairing PLA-A and PLA-C, unplug PLA-C and start pairing PLA-A and PLA-B (which are in the same package and will automatically pair).4.After the completion of the pairing process between PLA-A and PLA-B, plug in PLA-B and PLA-C in the  location where you want to extend your network.
  • knebb
    knebb Posts: 7
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    Hi,
    thanks for accepting me not being dumb.

    However, I did as sugested:
    1. Reset all four PLAs with the RESET button, afterwards got off the wall
    2. Plugged in PLA-A, making sure it is connected to the LAN  and is reachable by ping and web interface is working
    3. Forced a DOMAIN_NAME on PLA-A and forced it to act as DOMAIN_MASTER (was this wrong?)
    4. Plugged in PLA-C (assuiming it was B as I can not tell which two were in a package- how can I tell?)
    5. A connection was established and I was able to reach PLA-B by IP. And the connection was shown in the web-ui of both PLAs. (question: how do I see if the connection is encrypted?)
    6. Pressed the encrypt button on both. After a minute or so both device were still connected. Again, how can I prove they are encrypted?
    7. Plugged off PLA-B, Plugged in PLA-C on the same wall as PLA-B before.
    8. No connection can be seen between PLA-A and PLA-C
    9. Nevertheless, pressed ENCRYPT on PLA-A and PLA-C hoping it would establish an encrypted connection. But after a while still no change. Still no connection between these two.

    Some additional questions arise:
    Do those PLA establish an unencrypted connection by default? At least from same package (how do they know?)?
    Because, if the unencrypted connection should work anyways I can (at least for the moment) stick with unencrpyted to get all four PLAs together in a network.

    As mentioned dabove: How do I distinguish between enrcypted and unencrypted connection on the web gui?

    PLEASE, hel pagain, I am fighting hard to get is up and running.


  • tonygibbs16
    tonygibbs16 Posts: 898  Guru Member
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    edited February 2023
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    knebb said:
    Hi,
    thanks for accepting me not being dumb.

    However, I did as sugested:
    1. Reset all four PLAs with the RESET button, afterwards got off the wall
    2. Plugged in PLA-A, making sure it is connected to the LAN  and is reachable by ping and web interface is working
    3. Forced a DOMAIN_NAME on PLA-A and forced it to act as DOMAIN_MASTER (was this wrong?)
    4. Plugged in PLA-C (assuiming it was B as I can not tell which two were in a package- how can I tell?)
    5. A connection was established and I was able to reach PLA-B by IP. And the connection was shown in the web-ui of both PLAs. (question: how do I see if the connection is encrypted?)
    6. Pressed the encrypt button on both. After a minute or so both device were still connected. Again, how can I prove they are encrypted?
    7. Plugged off PLA-B, Plugged in PLA-C on the same wall as PLA-B before.
    8. No connection can be seen between PLA-A and PLA-C
    9. Nevertheless, pressed ENCRYPT on PLA-A and PLA-C hoping it would establish an encrypted connection. But after a while still no change. Still no connection between these two.

    Some additional questions arise:
    Do those PLA establish an unencrypted connection by default? At least from same package (how do they know?)?
    Because, if the unencrypted connection should work anyways I can (at least for the moment) stick with unencrpyted to get all four PLAs together in a network.

    As mentioned dabove: How do I distinguish between enrcypted and unencrypted connection on the web gui?

    PLEASE, hel pagain, I am fighting hard to get is up and running.


    Hello @knebb

    It sounds as if you are trying hard.

    The factory reset will have cleared the DOMAIN NAME , so that you can pair the PLA6457 to a new network, it says under Table 5 in the user guide.

    On the LEDs, if the third one down is Green, then the PLA6457 has an encrypted connection with a peer device. If it is blinking then it is trying to make an encrypted connection. If it is off, then encryption is off.

    I think that the G.hn screen in the web configurator should show if Encryption is enabled or not, see figure 9 in the user guide available at https://download.zyxel.com/PLA6457/user_guide/PLA6457_V1.00_Ed2.pdf

    On the G.hn screen, there are also soft buttons there to make the PLA6457 pair if they have the same Pairing password as each other.

    You probably need to check each PLA6457 has the same DOMAIN NAME so that does not stop encryption working.

    I hope that this is helpful.

    Kind regards,
         Tony
  • knebb
    knebb Posts: 7
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    Hi,

    I am getting closer...

    1. RESET all fourPLAs (yes, again)
    2. Plugged in PLA-A and PLA-B:
      Got a connection between both (have not checked but I assume unencrypted)
    3. Plugged OFF B, Plugged in C;
      No connection between these two at all
      Same for D
    4. Plugged in B again. A and B active
    5. Edited DOMAIN_NAME on both
      Connection still established.
    6. Plugged in C again, set DOMAIN_NAME through web-UI
      C appeared in the Connection list of A and B.
      Same for D.
    7. Manually set password on A and B
      Clicked on "PAIR" on A and B
      Connection is fine, IP packets going through
    8. Plugged off B, Plugged in C
      Connection shown in web UI, but not IP packets going through
    9. Set same password on C, click "JOIN" on A and C
      Connection established, IP packets going through
      Same for D
    Now I have encrypted connections between A and all other PLAs. Going to click on "JOIN" to establish the encrypted connection between B and C, B and D and C and D.

    Looks good so far but is really difficult to understand as there are so many unknown facts.

    But thanks for your help!

    /KNEBB




  • Zyxel_Jerry
    Zyxel_Jerry Posts: 1,198  Zyxel Employee
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    Hi @knebb If the PLA devices are in the same package, they will have continuous serial numbers and will auto-negotiate an encrypted key.To pair the PLA devices, follow these steps:1.Reset all four PLAs.
    2.Plug in PLA-A and PLA-B. If they are in the same package, no encryption button press is needed.
    If they are not in the same package, press the encryption button on both devices to start pairing as the encryption key is different.
    Note: You can connect multiple PLAs on a G.hn Network but can only use the ENCRYPT button on two at a time.
    3.If the serial numbers are not continuous, pair the PLA devices one by one (A&B, A&C, A&D) by pressing the ENCRYPT button.
    Note : The domain name is unknown when using the ENCRYPT button. Alternatively, you can set the same password and domain name manually to pair the devices. Changing a domain name on a paired PLA device requires changing the domain name on all paired devices.

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