I got 99 problems but my WiFi ain't one

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  • main router via the wan port

    No not via the WAN port

    Via one of the standard LAN ports on the router.

  • After being disappointed by the inconsistency in my internet connection on my 3 x deco M5s (jumping from 50Mbps to 1Mbps per second and lots of jitter) while they were set up in the recommended wireless router mode, I recently switched to Access Point mode and now consistently hitting 100Mbs download and 20Mbps upload in the room furthest from the main router.

    I don't fully understand what these two options are but if anyone is getting infuriated by lag and crappy video call connections on a set of decos Access Point mode has made a world of difference to me!

  • Cheers! That partly works - partly because if I connect to the second router with an ethernet cable it works just fine, but the wifi doesn't connect to the internet.

    Also, if connected with the cable I can't access the router's setup page at its IP address, but when connected wirelessly I can and the network status shows no connection to the internet but a live link between computer and router. The port into which I connect to the main router shows a green gigabit connection.

    Is this meant to make sense? Because it doesn't to me! 😬

  • OK, this all sounds like you are getting into quite a muddle.

    There is quite a lot of ground to cover here and underlying knowledge, which whilst not totally necessary woukd make your life a lot easier.

    I'll try to lay it out in a simple way and see if it helps. (Best to read it all once through before trying to do anything, as I have not managed to get it all into a linear fashion):

    You will have two (or maybe three) networking devices on your network:

    1) your main router (which will be performing quite a few functions: routing, handing out IP addresses, being a firewall, possiby being an ADSL or cable modem, being a switch / hub and being a wifi access point) - We will call this "Router"

    2) your secondary "router" which will not actually be acting as a router or anything else, just as a wifi access point. We will call this WAP (Wifi Access Point)

    3) (Possibly a seperate modem that sits between the internet and your router, via the WAN port on the router. However, given your posts above about the WAN port, I am betting you do not have a seperate modem. Your router wil be doing this job.)

    Firstly, you want to get your WAP setup as just a WAP. How you do this varies between devices, but in essence you need to access its settings page, turn off its routing capabilities and its modem (if it has one). Then configure its Wifi part to have the same SSID (network name) and password as your main wifi network that your router is also serving up.

    Also, on the WAP settings, configure it to have an automatic IP address, not a fixed one. Be careful there are dragons here: You need to be setting the IP address of the WAP via its own settings page, not setting up the configuration of the DHCP IP address allocation serveron the WAP. (see below for more info)

    Once you have this done, connect it via an ethernet cable to one of the switch sockets on the back of your router, not the one labelled WAN. In the completed setup, this is via two cables: one from router to the wall port and then one from the other wall port to the WAP.

    Now, note that once you have this configuration, we should pay attention to IP addresses.

    Each device on your network has an IP address and typically, that address will have been handed out to them via a protocal called DHCP, by your router. The router itself has a fixed IP address, usually something like 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1

    If you have managed to get this all setup correctly, your WAP will now have an IP address that has been given to it by the router, which will NOT be the one that is written on its back or in the manual or whatever. You can find out what its address is by looking at the router's web page. There shoud be a list of "connected devices" or similar. Once you have ascertained the IP address of the WAP, you should be able to use that in a browser to access its settings page, in case you need to tweak the WiFi settings.

    If you get this far it should all be working. You should be able to walk between the rooms and seamlessly connect to wifi. The only gotcha is that if your laptop or tablet or phone or whatever stays on the "other" wifi access point and is slow. You can just turn wifi on and off on the device if this happens, it should then reconnect to the strongest / closest access point. (More advanced networking kit allows you to configure signal strength management that negates the need for this.)

    One more thing to mention. If it is all up and working, you should be able to plug ethernet devices like laptops, PCs, TVs and games consoles into the ethernet ports on the back of your router or WAP, in either room (not the WAN port).

    Phew, I hope that helps. If you need it I can draw a little sketch, but I am supposed to be on holiday here in Center Parcs and the kids are getting up...

  • I can't tell you how grateful I am for your taking the time to talk me through this! While the underlying knowledge you rightly mention is only partly there, it's enough to be able to follow through these processes and am now hopeful I should be able to take it from here. Thank you ever so much and if there's any way I can remotely buy you a holiday beer please do message me as I'd be more than happy to!

  • No worries, hope it gets working soon.

    No need for beer, I has sunshine!

  • Well, it turns out it was already working last night - kind of. I switched it off after some tinkering and went to bed, fired up again this morning and ta-da! And of course it would, it obviously needs a reboot after turning DHCP off 😑 So yeah, it was set but it never had a chance to pick up its new IP from the mothership because I'm a plonker I guess. I can connect to its wifi and cast to my wired Apple TV in the other room etc, so it's all talking nicely to each other.

    Only weird thing is, I can see it when logged as admin on the main router and see its IP, but when I try to go to the IP to look at settings/change wifi name etc it doesn't connect, but that could be easily circumnavigated by taking it off the network and wiring in directly with the laptop I suppose, which I will try after work.

  • I went down the Openreach modem + Unifi USG + NextDNS route and it's all set up and working nicely now.

    I've got a real rat's nest of smart home kit and ethernet cables I've run through the house to connect up so I'm going to need a bigger switch. I've added up and I'll need at least 12, but that won't give me any room for expansion, so I really want 16. I can always put in another switch elsewhere in the house via one of the ethernet cables so I don't need more than that.

    I also want it to be managed via the Unifi Controller and provide some PoE ports, so it's got to be a Ubiquiti switch with PoE.

    The Switch Lite 16 PoE seems ideal, not too expensive and enough power for my PoE needs:
    https://eu.store.ui.com/collections/unif­i-network-routing-switching/products/usw­-lite-16-poe

    Any reason I shouldn't just buy it?

  • Any reason I shouldn't just buy it?

    Not that I can think of, looks neat.

  • Thanks. I thought so, but just did more research and it seems that unless I want it to break, need to be RMA'd then break again it's not the best option.
    https://community.ui.com/questions/UniFi­-Switch-Lite-16-POE-disconnecting/422f04­2f-0510-4541-94ed-1b4eca2eaa88?page=1

    Hmmmm.

  • I’ve used many of the US-16-150W in production for years without a single failure. Not that much more expensive, and conveniently in a rack-mount chassis.

  • I'm actually trying to avoid rack mount because all my tech is living in the under eaves storage in our loft bedroom! But I'll look up how big it is.

    I've had a Netgear GS105 £20 unmanaged job working perfectly for almost a decade so I'm starting to think I should just get a 16 port version for £70 but I do want PoE and Netgear 16 port switches with PoE are surprisingly expensive...

  • Have you considered just using POE injectors as and when you need them?

    I'm learning that my requirements (rackmount POE withbpassive cooling) is asking for the moon on a stick.

    Or the Toughswitch ERP 16

  • The rack ears detach and can be rotated 90deg for easy wall mounting, or it can just sit on a surface.

    To be honest, if you’re only going to use it as a dumb switch then there’s no need to have it managed via Unifi and any decent PoE switch will do as long as it supports the standards you need (af/at power, gigabit/10Gb uplink etc).

  • I am rapidly considering it more and more...

    Oh yeah, I forgot my requirement for passive cooling due to the fact it will basically live in a bedroom cupboard :)

    I'm only actually using one thing powered by PoE at the moment (Unifi access point). I do plan to add another in due course but it's the sheer number of mains sockets required otherwise!

    Setup without PoE would eventually be:

    1. Openreach modem
    2. Unifi USG
    3. Switch (TBC)
    4. Hue bridge
    5. Tado bridge
    6. DECT/VOIP base station
    7. Raspberry Pi running home assistant
    8. Raspberry Pi feeding ADSBexchange
    9. Raspberry Pi running Ubiquiti controller
    10. PoE injector for UAP 1
    11. PoE injector for UAP 2

    I was planning on using two 6 gang surge-protected extension leads (one was never going to be enough) and I will have a 2 gang socket to plug these into, so I'll have 12 sockets. One spare and I've probably forgotten something!

    The extension leads do have 2 USB sockets on each but only 2.1A across the two sockets, and I already know from personal experience the Tado bridge doesn't like not being plugged into it's mains USB adaptor and Raspberry Pis are apparently fussy about power too.

    I could run the Pis off PoE though which with two UAPs running on PoE and a PoE splitter for the Tado bridge would save me 6 plug sockets, so I could lose a whole extension lead, have the option of running other stuff from PoE and have a spare plug on my 2 gang socket for future growth...

  • Ugh.

    How are you supposed to write the plural of Raspberry Pi anyway? Pis doesn't seem quite right.

    Pies?

  • if you’re only going to use it as a dumb switch then there’s no need to have it managed via Unifi

    I think this is one of my questions - do I really need a managed switch?

    Short term I think I'd be happy with a dumb one, but longer term I have ethernet cables running down to what will be a whole new bit of the house (kitchen) once we've demolished the back of the house and rebuilt it.

    At this point I may well want to connect other things via ethernet down there, in which case I'd need another, smaller, switch. And I read in Networking for Dummies that it's better to have managed switches if you have more than one switch...

  • Depends what you’re doing with them.

    If you’re, for example, streaming multicast video all over the place then you will absolutely need managed switches with IGMP Snooping support.

    But if you will only ever have a simple, flat network without the need for traffic management then you can cascade any number of dumb switches with abandon.

  • I laid extra ethernet cables in case I want to stream video in the future but I have to admit I don't know the first thing about how it works!

    Would it be madness to buy an 8 port, managed switch with PoE, like this:
    https://eu.store.ui.com/collections/unif­i-network-routing-switching/products/uni­fi-switch-8-60w

    Then use it alongside a dumb unmanaged switch for the stuff like Hue/Tado/Gigaset bridge which really doesn't need managed or PoE? I could always then buy another managed switch down the line if I actually needed it.

    My USG has a socket which can be used as LAN 2 so I think I could plug a second switch into that to avoid daisy chaining and give myself an extra port?

  • You can run multiple USB things off one power adapter, just make sure it's a decent one. You can run plenty off this for instance
    https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Anker-Compact­-10-Port-PowerPort-Charging-Black/dp/B00­YSA0WI8/

    I have multiple, daisy-chained, unmanaged switches in my setup with no issues. For PoE stuff I have a 4 port switch with PoE which is enough for my needs.

    For power I have one of these
    https://excel-networking.com/catalogue/p­roduct/D13-12-EXL

    For video over Ethernet that doesn't go through the network at all in my setup. There's a separate adapter at each end that plugs into HDMI.

  • You'd need a managed switch if you're running VLANs too (I think - to tell the network what subnet the plugged in thing is connecting to).

  • That Unifi Switch 8 60W is good, I’ve deployed loads of them too. It only has 4 powered ports if that matters.

    It seems like you’re making an extremely simple, flat network; start with any switches that meet your PoE/port density requirements and upgrade if needed later on.

  • Sounds about right... I don't know what a VLAN is yet really @TW but I would like a setup where as I learn more networking stuff I won't be held back by what I've bought.

    Given they cost £24 it would seem rude not to chuck in a Switch Flex Mini at the same time
    https://eu.store.ui.com/collections/unif­i-network-routing-switching/products/usw­-flex-mini

    Thinking I could ultimately use the 4 PoE ports for 2 x UAPs and 2 of these.

    That should take me into free postage too from their store but of course that's not applying. Presumably I need to forget my purchases then readopt them?

  • Good point on the Anker USB adapter, they are pretty much the only non OEM chargers I trust. Looking at the reviews there's some guy running 6 Raspberry Pi(e)s off them so that'll do nicely.

    The video over ethernet option I was looking at before was HDMI over ethernet but I haven't done enough research and have no idea what I'm doing...

  • This is what I have for HDMI over ethernet https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0­8316HNQ6/ (can also get cheaper options without the HDMI passthrough and two power supplies rather than one).

    Very simple, plug your HDMI and ethernet in at either end, plug one end into the mains and that's it. In my experience it sometimes cuts out a bit with CAT5e, seems fine with CAT6.

    Hadn't seen the Switch Flex Mini before. May pick up a few of those when I next need to add some switches.

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I got 99 problems but my WiFi ain't one

Posted by Avatar for ObiWomKenobi @ObiWomKenobi

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