Hardware Agent Install – the brief version

  1. Connect the LAN port of the monitoring agent to a port on the router/firewall/switch. Typically, a DHCP upstream will give the monitoring agent an IP. To use a static, see ‘Initial Installation’ below.
  2. Connect the small power supply to a wall plug or powerstrip.
  3. Connect the large USB end of the cable into the power supply and the smaller end into hardware agent. It should immediately begin to flash then settle as it boots up.
  4. Log into your NutPile control panel, pick the agent you are installing then click on the pings graph.
  5. Wait several minutes and refresh the pings graph until you see data being displayed.

Once you see pings data coming in, the installation is complete.

About the hardware agent

A hardware agent is simply a small computer which runs the same software that you can install on a Windows or Linux PC or Server. The software itself is called the agent.

Most people opt for hardware based agents because of their reliability and that they are plug-and-play-and-forget devices, while software running on computers could stop running if the machine is turned off, the software is stopped or any number of other reasons. Hardware based agents also use a very small amount of power compared to a PC/Server.

Hardware devices can be ordered from your control panel as a registered user. When your device is received, simply activate it from your control panel and it is ready to be installed. The activation process means that you have now added or assigned this hardware agent to your account and it will be seen in your list of agents in your control panel.

Initial installation

The NutPile Networks agent is shipped with both a DHCP client and an installation IP to make installation and recovery simple.

First, connect an Ethernet cable to the LAN port of your agent and the other end to your network switch or directly to a free LAN/Ethernet port on your router/firewall.

DHCP
If you know that you have a DHCP server handing out IPs to your devices, then simply move on to Power Up below.
Once powered up, the device will obtain an IP and begin communicating. Please click on the Confirm Communications dropdown to confirm that monitoring data is now being sent to your NutPile Networks account and reports to complete the installation.

Static IP
If you need to configure your agent to a static IP, you will need to temporarily change the network settings on a PC or laptop in order to access the agent and configure it. Be sure to note your current network settings. DNS settings do not need to be changed.

Configure your network settings as follows:
IP: 192.168.1.x (x = anything but 250)
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
Mask: 255.255.0.0

Once powered up, you will be able to reach the agent using your browser at http://192.168.250.250.
Note: You can change the installation IP if it conflicts with something on your network once in the web interface.
Next, click on the ‘Changing network settings’ dropdown for login and configuration details.

Power up
Once Ethernet is wired, connect the small power supply into a wall plug or power strip. Connect the large USB end of the cable into the power supply and the smaller end of the cable into the hardware device. It should immediately begin to flash then settle as it boots up.

Confirm communications

If you are installing the agent where you have a PC, simply log into your control panel, go to your new agent reports page and click on the Pings graph. Within a few minutes of installing your agent, you will begin to see the pings graph populate with data.

If you are out in the field or at a remote location, then all you need is a mobile phone or tablet. Again, log into your NutPile control panel, pick the agent that you are installing and click on the pings graph. Within minutes, you can confirm that the agent is communicating when you see ping data starting to populate the graph. At this point, you are done.

Changing network settings (READ BEFORE MAKING CHANGES)

With your device up and running, you can now log into the web interface if you need to make changes.

IMPORTANT
There are many reasons why you might need to change the network settings. We have made the process as simple as possible along with providing a fail safe in case of network misconfiguration. However, it is up to the user to have at least a fair knowledge of networking before making changes. While you have multiple method of gaining access to your device should it lose network connectivity, if all of those fail, the last option will be to ship it back to NutPile Networks to be reset back to factory default.

Reset IP
If the installation IP, also known as the Reset IP needs to be changed because it conflicts with something on your network, please check the ‘Reset IP’ dropdown.

What is the DHCP IP?
If you are not sure what DHCP IP was assigned to your agent and you have confirmed communications, you can log into your NutPile control panel to find it.

Click on Agents Management where you will see a list of agents if you have more than one. Next to the agent ID that you have just installed, you will see an edit icon (pencil) to the right. Click on this icon then proceed to the Details tab. There, you can find the local IP that your device is running on (LAN IP).

Wired vs Wireless
In most cases, if your Internet is provided as a wired service, you should always use a wired configuration in order to get the very best results possible. If your provider is wireless, you should still use the agent in a wired configuration.

In some environments, there are no wired options which is why we make a wireless option available. Wireless can be susceptible to issues which wired connections do not have. Wireless, for example, may not give the same speed results that a wired connection might. That said, monitoring a wireless connection can also lead to a better understanding of failure or problem points in the network. Simply keep these things in mind when deciding on which option to use.

Login credentials
Notice the Webuser section on the same Details page.
To log into your agent, use the Username and Password displayed in the Details page.

After logging into the agent, please review the section where you wish to make changes.
Wired network configuration and Wireless configuration.

Wired network configuration

Status
The first page you will see when you log into the web interface is the Status page. This page shows the status of your wired and wireless interfaces. Initially, an IP will only show in the Wired Connection settings with Type being DHCP. This is the IP that was assigned to your hardware agent by your DHCP server.

Make a note of these settings because you will need them if you decide to change your Wired connection to a static IP.
Example;

Type: DHCP
Address: 192.168.2.102
Netmask: 255.255.0.0
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
DNS 1: 192.168.1.29
DNS 2: 192.168.1.30


Wired Network

If you need to change your IP to a static one, click on the Wired Network tab.
Notice that the Protocol tab is currently set to DHCP client. Change it to ‘Static address’ then click on ‘Switch protocol’.
Enter the static IP that you would like to configure. For example, 192.168.1.140
Enter the netmask which in most cases will be 255.255.255.0 which should be the same as the one you noted earlier.
Enter the gateway which should be the same as the one you noted earlier.
Enter the broadcast IP. This is usually based on the Netmask. In this case, 192.168.0.0. If your Netmask is something like 255.255.255.0, then your Netmask is 192.168.1.0.
Finally, enter your DNS servers, which again, should have been shown in the initial Status page. Click on the small icon at the end of the DNS entry field to add a second DNS server.
Click on Save & Apply.

Keep in mind that you will now lose access to your hardware device and need to change the browser URL to the IP that you have configured. It may take a moment or two for the device to become available again.

To go back to using DHCP, simply change the Protocol back to DHCP client, then click on ‘Switch protocol’.
Finally, click on Save & Apply again when you are ready.

Note that the hardware device will immediately switch back to DHCP and you’ll need to know its IP again to log in. If you cannot log in using the previous DHCP IP, simply disconnect the power from the device, wait 5 seconds, re-connect it then log into your NutPile control panel and check the Details for that agent. Its current LAN IP will be displayed once it begins communicating with the remote network again.

Wireless network configuration

Status
The first page you will see when you log into the web interface is the Status page. This page shows the status of your wired and wireless interfaces. Initially, an IP will only show in the Wired Connection settings with Type being DHCP. This is the IP that was assigned to your hardware agent by your DHCP server. 

Make a note of these settings because you will need them if you decide to change your Wired connection to a static IP.
Example;

Type: DHCP
Address: 192.168.2.102
Netmask: 255.255.0.0
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
DNS 1: 192.168.1.29
DNS 2: 192.168.1.30

Wireless Network
If you would prefer using the hardware device using a wireless network connection, this can be done very easily but please consider the following information.

-For monitoring Internet connectivity, a wired connection is typically more reliable unless wireless is all you have.
-When using wireless, our speed testing function may not be able to achieve its full potential but will still be useful.

Reset IP

NutPile Networks hardware device agents ship with a fail safe recovery IP configured.
This IP can be used as the initial installation IP, in order to reach and configure the agent using its web interface.

There is no need to change the Reset IP unless it conflicts with something that is already using this IP on your network. It is unlikely that this will happen since we set the IP to 192.168.250.250 but if this happens, you can change the reset IP to one that will not conflict.


For recovery, the only settings required are the IP of the agent and the mask (subnet mask).

The agent uses the wired DHCP/Static or Wireless DHCP/static IP that you have configured to communicate with NutPile Networks. The Reset IP is reserved only as a recovery method should an error be made when configuring the network settings.

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