Connecting The Things Gateway to a corporate network

(Nicholas Outram) #1

I’ve just activated our first "TheThings gateway (backer edition). I want to set it up in our University teaching lab to support student projects, but it would not activate on the University network (3 solid lights, 4th flashing, which incedentally is not described during the setup process). In the end, I had the bring the device home and connect over my home broadband,where it activated first time.

This suggests the device is not going to work at the university without network changes, which I am now going to have to request. I might also need permission to use it on the JANET network.

Does anyone know what information I need to provide our networking team to get this working in a corporate environment. I appreciate this is a vague question, but this is all rather new to us.

Does anyone else have experience setting up a Things Gateway in a UK university?

(Joey) #2

Yes. many large managed IT networks block some ip addresses and port.

The only way around is to speak to your IT dept.

Anothet more expesive way is to make your phone a hotspot (access point) .and access the cloud service this way.


I work within a UK university and had similar experience. I believe the TTN gateway uses MQTT for sending packets to TTN’s network server (I had to leaf through the git repo for this, so perhaps a dev can confirm). As MQTT uses TCP this should work fine on JANET from a connection standpoint. I think the device uses a UDP connection to register itself during activiation and most university IT departments filter out UDP traffic bound for external addresses (and subsequent inbound connections) – this would be why yours and my gateway couldn’t activate without being taken to a home network. I never bought mine back to university (but could if needed) to test if it works once registered.

Our IT department requires that we can identify any given packet to a specific individual – you might be able to argue you could identify a packet to and from your gateway, but obviously not to a specific node (as you might not know who’s owns that node); they say these are rules from those behind JANET, but I can’t confirm this. Simiarly I know JANET has strict commericialisation rules (i.e. commecialised traffic using the JANET connection). Essentially for the one gateway I have located on campus, that talks to TTN, I decided to use LTE as a backhaul (mikrotek router thing) to sidestep all these possible issues.