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Thread: Home network issues

  1. #1
    At Work Proto's Avatar
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    Default Home network issues


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    Firstly, forgive me if I use the wrong terminology, I'm not an IT professional (or even an amateur!), so I may use the wrong names and terms to describe what I'm trying to do and what the problems are. I know a bit but my knowledge is very thin.

    So, bought a house near Lyme Regis, no possibility of fibre broadband, so I pursued the the 4G Broadband route. I want good BB for streaming TV, films, Skype and usual internet stuff. My wife does online work, so we need something half decent. The 4G signal here is okay for phone calls but is only giving 1-2Mbps to my phone and iPad. Had a long chat with a local BB/Network installer and he advised with the right kit he could provide a solution.

    Nearest phone mast is only 2 miles away but I'm in a valley and there are a million trees around my house so a home 4G modem/router wasn't going to cut it. I signed up with EE, SIM only, unlimited data contract. So BB/IT man installed a Mikrotik STX combined directional antenna/modem on a gable end of the house, ran a Cat 5 cable to a Microtik WiFi router/access point (which also powers the modem over PoE) in the sitting room next to the TV. All good, works well, depending on time of day, weather, etc. I'm getting between 20 and 40Mbps. I'm happy with that. Netflix, Breaking Bad, Grey's Anatomy, woohoo!

    Problem is that the house has some very thick solid stone walls, like 30cm thick, more in places. WiFi reaches the bedroom above the sitting room but drops off dramatically beyond the sitting room. No problem, thinks I. Put a couple of power line WiFi adaptors in and that should cover the house. As a test, I've got a couple of old D-Link power line adaptors (not WiFi though), tried them out and they worked fine. So, I invested in a couple of Devolo WiFi adaptors, and plugged them in, and after a bit of faff with stupidly long passwords got them working. Now got internet access throughout the house.

    So, here's the problem. I now have four networks in the house - two from the Microtik router (2.4 and 5GHz), and another two from the two Devolo WiFi powerline adaptors.

    Is there anyway I can make this into one, seamless network? Moving around the house, devices (phones, iPads, laptops) have to be manually switched to get the best signal and it's going to drive me nuts. It seems as though the devices will select an available network automatically, but if there's a trace of the previous network it was using, it won't change.

    I have heard of Mesh networks but know next to nothing about them. Would Mesh be an answer to my prayers? Help!!
    Last edited by Proto; 25-05-20 at 10:49.

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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Mesh is your answer.
    We run a cheap Tenda mesh system and it provides seamless WiFi through the house, garden and half way down the road!

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    Should Get Out More Ant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    I don't know why you didn't buy a wireless access point to extend the current network. Also those powerline adaptors can put a lot of noise into RF systems, so may not be doing your directional antenna any good.

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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    I don't know why you didn't buy a wireless access point to extend the current network. Also those powerline adaptors can put a lot of noise into RF systems, so may not be doing your directional antenna any good.
    I'm now at the limit of my knowledge. How are those WAP different from a basic WiFi extender? And are Mesh nodes 'clever' versions of a WiFi extender?

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    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Just make the SSID and Pre Shared Key on all of the devices the same, with WiFi the client decides which access point to connect to and should pick the best one, it won't roam though, it'll pick the best one and stick with it until it drops.

    Some of the Devolo Magic 2s have a mesh network and will roam around the house, but you'll need all Devolo Magic 2s for it to work - they are very good though

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    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    I don't know why you didn't buy a wireless access point to extend the current network. Also those powerline adaptors can put a lot of noise into RF systems, so may not be doing your directional antenna any good.
    They won't effect it, they're on different frequencies.

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    Should Get Out More Ant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian_Boolean View Post
    They won't effect it, they're on different frequencies.
    Being on a difference frequency doesn't necessarily mean it don't have any affect.

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    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    Being on a difference frequency doesn't necessarily mean it don't have any affect.
    Explain how that works?

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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Powerline/wifi booster Adapters (especially BT ones) are terrible for generating wide band RF noise, there has been many cases where amateur radio stations have been rendered useless because someone halfway up the road has one to boost their wifi signal.
    I don't know how much effect the RFI has on UHF equipment though.

    https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.ph...-adapters.html

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    Should Get Out More Ant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian_Boolean View Post
    Explain how that works?
    Harmonic RF plus what Eclipse said.

    Additionally there are lots of cheap nasty switch mode power supplies on the market which dump a crap load of mains harmonics on the line, which can be picked up by radio gear, be it amateur radio or other equipment where it may be affected, but not heard as such as it is on audio spectrum RF.

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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian_Boolean View Post
    Just make the SSID and Pre Shared Key on all of the devices the same, with WiFi the client decides which access point to connect to and should pick the best one, it won't roam though, it'll pick the best one and stick with it until it drops.

    Some of the Devolo Magic 2s have a mesh network and will roam around the house, but you'll need all Devolo Magic 2s for it to work - they are very good though
    In layman’s terms does that mean give them all the same name and password? I’ve done that but as you say the client stays hooked up to a weak signal even if there is a stronger signal available. Annoying.

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    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Proto View Post
    In layman’s terms does that mean give them all the same name and password? I’ve done that but as you say the client stays hooked up to a weak signal even if there is a stronger signal available. Annoying.
    1. Yes
    2. That's the problem with the client making the roaming decision, it picks the first one rather than the best.

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    Should Get Out More Julian_Boolean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    Harmonic RF plus what Eclipse said.

    Additionally there are lots of cheap nasty switch mode power supplies on the market which dump a crap load of mains harmonics on the line, which can be picked up by radio gear, be it amateur radio or other equipment where it may be affected, but not heard as such as it is on audio spectrum RF.
    4G signals are up to 20 Watts, a power supply harmonic will have no measurable effect.

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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian_Boolean View Post
    1. Yes
    2. That's the problem with the client making the roaming decision, it picks the first one rather than the best.
    With Intel Centrino wifi on laptops you can set the "roaming aggressiveness" in the Advanced Properties of the network device.
    If you set it higher it will be quicker to swap over networks.

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    Should Get Out More Ant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home network issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian_Boolean View Post
    4G signals are up to 20 Watts, a power supply harmonic will have no measurable effect.
    Harmonics have nothing to do with power. But 20 watts is plenty of power in RF terms.

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