Question How best to connect Powerlines, WiFi Mesh nodes (Velop) and desktop switches?

Apr 4, 2022
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Hello!

Very confused with all this and I'm desperately trying to figure out what should connect to what and which way around etc. Each Powerline adapter has 2 ports on it. So one to a node, another to a switch? Or one to the node and one from the node to the switch? Or one to the switch and one from the switch to the node? Etc.

Office:
I have an ISP modem in Bridge Mode, meaning only one of its ethernet ports is useable. A cable goes from there, to a Linksys Velop node (which is acting as the router).
Unfortunately, the nodes only have TWO eth ports on them! Obviously one of them is being used as the link to the modem. The other has my personal laptop connected into it.
I have 2 laptops in my home office; my work laptop and my personal laptop. Both need ethernet. My personal laptop is used to connect to a cloud gaming platform, so that's why it goes directly into the router to try and minimise interference / lag etc.

The work laptop is plugged into a little TP-Link 8-port switch. There's also another cable going from there into a Powerline adapter about 6 inches away.

Kitchen:
The Powerline adapter is paired to another one downstairs in the kitchen which is plugged into another Velop node and there's another cable from the node into another switch, which has my Hive Heating plugged into it.

Lounge:
Then... there's another Powerline in the lounge with a Nintendo Switch, TV, Apple TV, PS5 and Chromecast plugged into it.

If it makes it easier, it looks like this...

Upstairs (Office)
Modem > Node > Laptop
Work Laptop > Switch > Powerline 1

|
Downstairs (Kitchen)
Powerline 2* > Node* > Switch > Hive (*Note: this node and Powerline are what is feeding the work laptop upstairs)

|
Downstairs (Lounge)
Powerline 3 > Switch > Devices


How the heck is all of that SUPPOSED to be connected?? I rent, so I can't be trailing network cables all over the place and the Powerline adapters are fine for what I need them for. I just never know if all of that is connected the right way around, because my HomePods are constantly disconnecting and my cameras keep doing the same etc etc.

I just want to put all this to bed!

Thank you :)
 
I am extremely surprised that the work laptop even function reasonably.

I really really hate mesh systems and these particular units are massively confusing on how they function.

So any internet connection must be MODEM---ROUTER----end devices.

What messy with these devices is they do not have a fixed wan port they just magically decide one of the ports is a wan port and only on the primary unit, the remote ones act as a 2 port switch. I can see why you are confused.

Since you already have powerline networks I would have just bought some cheap routers and used them as a AP rather than mess with these units.

What you currently are doing is going from the main unit to the remote unit via wifi and then back to your work laptop via powerline. You would get better results I suspect if you used wifi directly to the main node.

So if we assume you are not going to put these in the trash can and start again what you should be able to do is change your equipment around and pretty much use the powerline network as the core of the network with the mesh units only providing wifi. You really don't want them using wifi between the floors when you have powerline units.

What you want to do is hook your switches to the powerline units. Now unplug your laptop from the main unit and plug a port from the switch into that port. You then plug both of your laptops into the switch. In effect you have made the one port on that main linksys box into 3. In the remote rooms you want to plug the switch into the powerline and then plug everything else including the remote node into the switch. Technically it doesn't matter since the remote node is acting as a 2 port switch but since these units are not as simple as dumb switch you run the risk of it getting messed up and taking down all your stuff. With the switch plugged directly into the powerline units all the other devices will function even if you were to unplug the remote node. The remote node is going to in effect only run as a AP providing wifi for device in the remote part of the house.
 
Apr 4, 2022
2
0
10
0
I am extremely surprised that the work laptop even function reasonably.

I really really hate mesh systems and these particular units are massively confusing on how they function.

So any internet connection must be MODEM---ROUTER----end devices.

What messy with these devices is they do not have a fixed wan port they just magically decide one of the ports is a wan port and only on the primary unit, the remote ones act as a 2 port switch. I can see why you are confused.

Since you already have powerline networks I would have just bought some cheap routers and used them as a AP rather than mess with these units.

What you currently are doing is going from the main unit to the remote unit via wifi and then back to your work laptop via powerline. You would get better results I suspect if you used wifi directly to the main node.

So if we assume you are not going to put these in the trash can and start again what you should be able to do is change your equipment around and pretty much use the powerline network as the core of the network with the mesh units only providing wifi. You really don't want them using wifi between the floors when you have powerline units.

What you want to do is hook your switches to the powerline units. Now unplug your laptop from the main unit and plug a port from the switch into that port. You then plug both of your laptops into the switch. In effect you have made the one port on that main linksys box into 3. In the remote rooms you want to plug the switch into the powerline and then plug everything else including the remote node into the switch. Technically it doesn't matter since the remote node is acting as a 2 port switch but since these units are not as simple as dumb switch you run the risk of it getting messed up and taking down all your stuff. With the switch plugged directly into the powerline units all the other devices will function even if you were to unplug the remote node. The remote node is going to in effect only run as a AP providing wifi for device in the remote part of the house.
That's great! Thanks so much for such a detailed response!
One quick question - the Powerline adapters each have two ports on them. One will go to a switch. Can I utilise that other port essentially as another switchport? I won't be messing with anything if I just plug another device into that (say, if the switch ends up full and I need another port, I can just plug it into the free Powerline port)?

Thanks again
 
My guess is it is a 2 ports switch in the powerline units so it should work fine. I have not read the specs on these units in years but I can't see why they would implement anything other than a simple switch on those ports. I do know people used to loop their network by plugging a cable between the 2 ports so it acts as a really stupid switch that doesn't do loop detection.
 

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