Make any router work on Unifi with TP-Link Easy Smart Switch

TM is using VLAN to separate the different network as Unifi connection is used to deliver multiple services. As such, not all modem or routers are compatible with Unifi. They have to come with Unifi mode or support VLAN tagging else it will not be able to connect to the Unifi network.

TP-Link Easy Smart Switch allow you to trunk the Internet VLAN from the TM modem (ONU) to your wireless router. Besides, the HyppTV VLAN can be trunked to one of the port on the Switch as well. By doing so, you no longer need to use a router with Unifi modem or known as VLAN tagging feature.

In layman terms, using the Easy Smart Switch from TP-Link allow you to use any router in the market even those without Unifi mode in the firmware.

TP-Link TL-SG105E Easy Smart Switch Quick Look

The switch of choice is TP-Link TL-SG105E due to the ability to trunk VLAN and the affordability. The build quality is amazing for something cost less than RM100. It is metal and feels really solid in hand. The model I have is the 5 ports model and every single port have their own LED status indicator. It is powered by a 9V power adapter and there’s only one button which is to reset the Switch. The switch can be wall mounted with a lock port at the back. TP-Link also produces a 8 ports and 16 ports version of this model.

I wouldn’t consider it to be a managed switch but it will surely do what I need which is to trunk VLAN so I can use any routers with Unifi!

Configuring the Switch

By default, the switch will function like any other dumb switch. In order for the Switch to function as desired, you have to configure it to trunk the relevant VLAN to the relevant switch port. To configure the switch, you will need to gain access the Web UI of the switch. You can do that by configuring the IP manually on your computer and connect it to any port on the switch.

  • IP Address: 192.168.0.2
  • Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
  • Gateway IP: 192.168.0.1

You will be able to access the web UI of the switch at 192.168.0.1 now. The authentication ID and Password is admin. There’s a few configurations you need to change over here. You can just copy my exact configuration but few free to play around with the settings.

You have to enable 802.1Q VLAN and follow my configurations as above. As TM is using VLAN 500 for Internet and VLAN 600 for the HyppTV, I configured the Switch to trunk VLAN 500 to Port 3 and VLAN 600 to Port 5 respectively.

Next, you have to setup the VLAN PVID setting. You can just follow my screenshot as above. They are self-explanatory.

Make sure you save a config and reboot your switch for the configuration to take effect.

With the configuration, your TM Unifi modem (Fibre ONU) should be connected to port 1. Your wireless router should be connected to Port 3 and HyppTV should be connected to Port 5. I wouldn’t go in on how to setup your wireless router but you can setup your wireless router as usual with the PPPOE mode using your Unifi PPPOE ID and Password. Do not select any Unifi profile if available! Nothing need to be done on the HyppTV, it should work properly immediately.

The Results

Does it work? Yes, it certainly does. With this configuration, I am able to use a router without Unifi VLAN Mode in the firmware like the TP-Link Deco M5! All the Unifi connection is handled by the router so there will be no concern of Double NAT.

TP-Link Deco M5 Connected to Unifi directly

Think about this, you can now buy any routers without thinking about Unifi compatibility anymore. You can get Google WiFi or Apple Airport and it will work without any issues. Furthermore, the HyppTV connection is offloaded at the Switch level, reducing the load at the router and clearing out 1 LAN port from your router.

As a prove a concept, you can see the HyppTV multicast connections from the switch UI.

Closing Words

For something this cheap, it certainly offers a really great value. This configuration allows you to have greater flexibility in your network without need to rely on equipments with VLAN tagging feature while they still can natively perform PPPOE connection to connect to Unifi. All of this with the HyppTV working properly without any issues. Well, if you think this is too much of a hassle, you can always look at my list of Unifi modem routers here.

All of these are actually possible with any managed Switch in the market. You can even use an OpenWRT flashed router for that. However, I selected the TP-Link smart switch due to how affordable it is. I would purchase it even as a dumb switch without all the additional features. Feel free to leave a comment for any issues.

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i use the exact same switch but cannot get the hypptv working. its connected, but it just doenst load anything

Thanks for the detailed article, it’s very helpful. However, in the case of unifi, they do provide free router that are vlan tagging capable right? Why can’t I just convert the old router into a switch and connect my new router to it?

From Australia:

I ordered a xiaomi ax6000 expecting to use that as a router, but no dice as my ISP requires vlan tagging, so I bought the tp-link 105se and configured as your steps (without the HyppTV). The PPPOE login information still via xiaomi router. However, so dice. Any thoughts ?

Question, right now I have ordered a Xiaomi AX1800 router to either replace my main Archer C6 rotuer/become a second AP since I can pull ethernet cables, but the problem with Xiaomi AX1800 is that it only has 3 LAN port and 1 WAN port, was wondering if I should just use an unamaged switch to extend ports or use this tutorial as the gateway. (I have 1 smart TV and 2 AP right now plugged in with another to my NAS), if I switch to AX1800 I really have only the choice to sacrifice a full LAN port going… Read more »

It does since I’m following a guide on Lowyat that unlocks the OpenWRT capabilities(Editing the WAN interface config directly to wan.500) of the OpenWRT skin on the Xiaomi AX1800, but if it doesn’t work, I will have to use a VLAN bridge like this guide right?

I followed these steps and I failed to get my hypptv working while my deco m9 plus working flawlessly. can anyone help me?

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