Question Losing Internet and/or Network Connectivity

mjw72652

Prominent
Sep 1, 2020
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I have a TP-Link Deco mesh network with 5 Decos as follows:

Location Model IP Address Build Release

Main (Living Room) X60 (2.0) 192.168.68.1 20210204 50164

Apartment X60 (1.0) 192.168.68.51 20210121 54042

Bedroom X20 (1.0) 192.168.68.54 20210121 54794

Master Bedroom X60 (2.0) 192.168.68.56 20210204 50164

Office X20 (1.0) 192.168.68.55 20210121 54794



The Main Deco is connected to a Motorola Docsis 3.1 modem with a CAT-8 cable 36” long, using Xfinity 900 mbs internet service.



The Master Bedroom Deco never seems to have any problems, and it is the one physically placed farthest away from the Main Deco.



The Apartment Deco never seems to have any problems, but the Smart TV (connected to the Deco with a CAT-8 cable) is rarely used, so it is hard to tell. It is at IP 192.168.68.71.



My Smart Phone works on the Deco WiFi at 192.168.68.50 with no problems.



The Bedroom Deco frequently loses connection, goes flashing red, and usually will reconnect itself and go green again. Sometimes I have to unplug it and plug it in again. When I do this, I have to redo the network connection on the Smart TV and Blu-ray player plugged into it (they are connected via Ethernet to this Deco) by using the device settings menus. When the TV is redone, it is with 192.168.68.61. The Blu-ray is redone as 192.168.68.67. Sometimes I am unaware that this Deco has gone out and reconnected itself, and I have to redo the network connections on the devices. This is an ongoing problem.



The Office Deco had the same problem. I usually had to do a hard reset and find this Deco and add it back to the network, which usually took multiple tries because it could not be found. I often had to physically carry it to the Main location to do this. I swapped this Deco with the Apartment Deco, and placed it in a slightly different location about 3 ft. away from it’s former location (either location is the closest to the Main Deco, about 10 ft. and one floor down), and this problem no longer occurs.



Now my problems with this Deco are much more severe.



There are two computers, a multifunction printer, and three NAS devices connected via CAT-6 cables to a gigabit switch which is connected via CAT-8 cable to the Deco. The three NAS devices never seem to have any problems. They are at 192.168.68.68, 192.168.68.62, and 192.168.68.4.



Both the printer and scanner of the multifunction printer sometimes work, sometimes do not. When it works, it is at 192.168.68.66. Right now it is only working on a USB connection to one computer. It is currently at 169.254.70.166. This would appear to be the problem. The only fix I have is to reinstall the printer on two computers, which I have had to do multiple times.



The two computers, which I will call Envy and Silver (both HP laptops running Windows 11 home 64 bit with all upgrades installed), have similar problems. Every time the Office Deco went out, I lost internet connectivity on both. I tried restarting Windows multiple times, resetting the network on both, resetting the adapters on both, running all available troubleshooters, rolling back to restore points, doing another hard reset on the Deco, manually assigning an IPv4 address to the Ethernet adapters, to no avail. I even did an in-place upgrade from the latest Windows ISO on both. Sometimes they would connect to the internet, sometimes not (they would still work on the network, just no internet, connecting to each other, the printer when it was working, the NAS devices). Finally, I used the Deco app on my phone and rebooted the network. This seemed to get everything working again.



Two hours later, for no apparent reason that I could determine, they both lost connectivity. I tried connecting a spare laptop that I had available to the network. It was assigned 169.254.8.44 as an IP address, and would not connect to anything.



After fiddling for the better part of a day, Envy has been working now at 192.168.68.65. How long this will last I don’t know. Every time I succeeded in getting it working again, it didn’t last. What is the most perplexing of all is being away from the computer for a while, just leaving it running, to come back only to find that it had lost its internet connection.



I have not been able to get Silver connected again. IPconfig says it is at 169.254.70.166. I cannot get it to connect to anything.



It seems apparent that the problem lies with Deco, and not any of the other hardware or with Windows. Why is Deco assigning 169.254 IP addresses? (I am allowing everything to be assigned via DHCP.)



I am at my wit’s end, and am so frustrated I want to scream.



Can anyone help?



To add- the Office Deco no longer loses connectivity by flashing red. It stays solid green even when I cannot connect. The inability to connect appears to completely related to the IP address assignments, although I am willing to concede I may be wrong.



Several things have occurred in the past couple of hours. First, I shut off my printer for an hour or so. When I turned it back on, it had the proper IP address and both printer and scanner are working again. I the tried a complete power off on the silver computer with the incorrect IP address, but when powered back up the IP address was still incorrect and the computer still will not connect to the network. Then, for the first time in 2 days, the office Deco lost connection and went flashing red. I waited a full five minutes, then reset by pulling the plug and waiting for it to go green. My working computer and printer were still good, the bad computer was still bad. All my WiFi tests tell me my signal strength is very strong, and it is inconceivable that this could be the problem. The Apartment Deco and the Office Deco are both in the same room, about 12 feet apart. While the Office Deco was down, I tried to connect the Envy working computer via WiFi. It found the Deco network, connected to it, but I still had no internet access. Once the Office Deco went green, the Ethernet connection restored.



When I look in my Deco app, it tells me that the Envy computer and the three NAS devices are connected to the Apartment Deco, when in reality they are Ethernet connected to the Office Deco. lt tells my my phone, which sits in a cradle about 12" from the computers, is connected to the Office Deco, and it won't tell me which Deco the printer is connected to (probably because it isn't actually printing anything at the moment). The Deco App speed test tells me my DL speed is 185.8 Mbps, my upload speed is 23.2 Mbps. The WiFi interference test tells me my signal strength is good at 37 dBm, and interference is low.



Open speed test on the Envy PC says DL speed is 155.8, UL speed is 25.2 with a Baltimore server. Ookla Speedtest, using a different server (Washington DC Cloudflare) clocks in at 197.91 DL, 32.35 UL. Network SpeedTest shows 227.7 DL 19.91 UL with an unknown server- prior tests have shown DL speeds as high as 247.7.
 
Many times too much wifi is worse than not enough. You already have all your neighbors wifi stomping on the signals. When you put in too many mesh units they will make this problem massively worse. There is only a very limited amount of radio bandwidth and you can't place them all on different channels. Even with just
a single central router you will many times be using all the radio channels. Instead of using a single 20mhz radio channel like they used to they now commonly use 80mhz or even 160mhz. Pretty much there is 60mhz on 2.4 and 2 80mhz chunks on 5. So a router with 2 5g radios and a 2.4 will use all the bandwidth.
In some ways this massive use of bandwidth is what caused the problem people are trying to solve with repeaters. If they used 20mhz bands every neighbor could try to pick ones other people are not using.

Placement of mesh systems is critical. You do not just watch the marketing video and stuff them in every remote room and magic happens. The only thing that fixes is the company bank account because they get people to buy too much equipment.

The proper placement is where the repeater can get good strong signal from the main router and then provide a strong signal to the remote room. You can think of it being placed 1/2 way but it is never that simple because wall and floor eat huge amounts of the signal.
When you have multiple remote units you must adjust the radio power down so you get as little overlap as possible. This only works though when the mesh/repeater systems has 2 different radios. One to talk to the main router and a second to talk to the end equipment. You would adjust the radio talking to the end equipment and not he one talking to the main router. These type of mesh units are a lot more expensive due to the extra hardware

Best option is to start over.

Try to use ethernet to connect to the remote rooms and then connect a AP. The mesh units can run as a AP they are using the cable for the backhual to the router. which solves a lot of issues. You can also then adjust the radio power much easier to get no overlap.
If you don't have ethernet and can't easily get it installed you look at other technology. Moca is the best option if you have coax cables in remote rooms. You then consider powerline networks.

If you just have to use wifi you need to use the very minimum that will function. You need to look very carefully at your placement.
 

mjw72652

Prominent
Sep 1, 2020
19
1
525
1
The system worked perfectly from July of last year when it was installed, so I don't think any of the issues you have mentioned are the problem. What is interesting is that powering off the printer and leaving it off solved the printer problem. Merely turning it off didn't do it. The printer, when finally powered back on, had the proper IP and both the printer and scanner now work perfectly. Based on this success, I did a power down and restart on the computer that still wasn't connecting. When I turned it back on after an hour or so, it was still wrong. I just let it sit, and after an interval of time, not sure just how long, the IP address spontaneously changed and lo and behold everything is now working. Both computers access all 3 NAS, all the mapped network and other folders, printer, scanner, the whole works.

Thank you for taking the time to reply and trying to help.
 

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