Question Extending Home Network

josswallace

Commendable
Nov 7, 2018
5
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1,510
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I want to extend the range of my home WIFI with a system I can build on if necessary.

Essentially I would like a system that I can use to either extend the range of my current router whether this is BT, Sky, Talk Talk, plusnet......etc. or
gave me the flexibility to switch of the WIFI access point of the ISP router and use the purchased product as my home WIFI

I would like the nodes to be capable of either linking via WIFI or ethernet and I want to finish up with only one network name.

I would imagine this would be some sort of mesh network but if anyone can provide any help it would be much appreciated.
 
If you have ethernet cables you can just use any ap or router running as a AP and set the ssid and password the same. it will all appear as one network and all the devices can talk to each other.

I would avoid any for of wifi repeater and only do it as a very last option. There are massive performance penalties you deal with and if you try crazy stuff like multihop repeater like some mesh systems support the problem just gets worse and worse.

What you want to use if you do not have ethernet cables is either Moca if you have coax tv cable or powerline network units that use the electrical wires. Moca can get close to gigabit speeds. Poweline is much less but does not require anything other than a power outlet. It will be much more stable than a wifi connection back to the main router.

If you insist on getting a mesh system spend the money for devices that have 3 radio chips in them. They use 2 radios to talk to the end use machine and the other dedicated radio to communicate back to the router. This still has multiple wifi hops but at unlike simpler repeater and cheap mesh systems it is not interfering with itself by sending signals on the same radio it receives them on. Mesh system especially the ones with mulitple radios tend to be proprietary so you need to buy everything from 1 company.


Very carefully look at your needs. A weak signal directly from the router will out perform a repeated signal. You generally only use a repeater when there is no signal at all.

The marketing guys make mesh systems seem like magic. There is no magic solution to wifi coverage issues.
 

josswallace

Commendable
Nov 7, 2018
5
0
1,510
0
bill001g

I really appreciate your comments and wonder if I could ask for a bit more advice.

For the last couple of years I have had a BT Hub 5 as may main router with 2 BT Hub 4's in the lounge and kitchen acting as wifi access points. This has worked OK but the BT4 Hubs were configured with different ssid's and at times it’s been a pain, especially with SONOS insisting that everything is on the same network. I take your point about ethernet connections and want to try and set my network up based on the fact that I have 4 CAT 5 cables that are external to the house.

I have now taken delivery of a Sky Hub and the BT Hub4's seem to work OK as WIFI access points as they have been in the past. As the default address for the BT Hub5 was 192.168.1.254 I was advised to set the kitchen BT Hub4 up with an IP address of 192.168.1.63 to avoid conflict. Is this IP address still OK with the Sky Hub whose default address is 192.168.0.1.

I also cannot seem to be able to access the BT4 Hub. When I attach it to my windows laptop with nothing else connected and WIF disabled on the laptop, IPCONFIG /all shows the BT Hub4 as a Broadcom Netlink with an IP4 address of 192.168.1.63 (preferred) and subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. However, when I then open up a browser window and input 192.168.1.63 in the address bar I can't connect to the router. I have had similar trouble reconfiguring the BT Hub5 in that I was able to connect and reset the router to factory status, but have made some changes and I now do not seem to be able to reconnect. Is it possible to factory reset again.

My first intention was to just reprogram the 2 BT Hub4' s with the same addresses so I would finish up with an ssid for 2.4g and an ssid for 5g and the BT Hub4's just acting as wireless access points for my Sky hub. Once I have got this working, I wonder whether it would be worthwhile reprogramming the BT5 Hub as a main router, turning its DHCP capability back on and deactivating the Sky router as a WIFI access point. I would then have a three point home WIFI network where the only issue would be to make sure it connected OK to whatever router was provided by the ISP.

Any help would be really appreciated.
 
You should be able to set the SSID and passwords all the same if you want. I tend to like them different so I can force a connection to the AP I choose rather than let the devices guess which is best. It is mostly a personal preference both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

I don't know the restrictions on the bthub equipment but you should be able to set the IP to the same subnet as the other equipment.

If you can't a rather unconventional method is to let the ip be on different subnets and then add a secondary IP on your pc. This is not really recommended but it will work fine for something simple like this. Make very sure the DHCP server is off on routers with the "wrong" network. Your pc would then be on both 192.168.1.x and 192.168.0.x but it would know because of the default gateway to set it to the main router and the other network would only provide you admin access to the AP routers.

This is sorta like running vlans but they actually overlap so stuff like dhcp does not work correctly on both at the same time
 

josswallace

Commendable
Nov 7, 2018
5
0
1,510
0
I have not been able to pursue this issue as Sky for somereason closed the service off and had to re open it and I have been having to use mobile wifi until yesterday.

The IP address of the BT Hub 6 that was my main router was 192.168.1.254 and I set my two hub 4 access points up as 192.168.1.42 and 192.168.1.43. Apart from SSID names this has worked well. The IP address off my new Sky hub is 192.168.0.1 and the DCHP range is from 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.254. I have changed the DCHP range from 2-254 to 62-254 and I can change the IP address of my BT 4 hub access point to 192.168.1.42 but it wont accepyt a change to 192.168.0.42.

I don't really know what I am doing but the Sky router will not extend to my kitchen so I have to do something. Does any one know whether you can use a BT hub as a wifi access point with a Sky router.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
 
So without rereading all this stuff I will assume you know how to use a router as a AP and have it not conflict.

It is strange that you can not change the lan ip subnet. You would think you could but without reading the manual to see if there is another option that must be set can't say for sure.

BUT it really doesn't matter. You only use the IP in AP to configure them the traffic from devices connected to them are using their own IP not the IP from the AP. With a AP once they are running you generally don't do much with them.

A method that will work but I would not really recommend unless you can't make it work the correct way is to just use 2 different networks and overlap them. So set the IP to pretty much anything int he 192.168.0.x ip range. You will likely manually have to set your pc to a ip in that range to configure them the first time. Be very sure the dhcp server is off. Since these IP are in a different subnet they can not conflict with your main network. You can now hook them to the main network and they should work fine.

To access the AP to reconfigure them you have 2 options. You can change the ip address in your pc to be in the subnet used by the AP or you can set a secondary IP address on the nic.

This design is not recommended mostly because it is confusing it will technically work fine.
 

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