Question TP-Link range extender RE450 5Ghz network sometimes drops to No internet connection - please help

asiniv

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Oct 24, 2015
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Hi,

I have a peculiar problem with my TP-Link range extender RE450 (H/w V2 | F/w 1.0.1 Build 20190124 Rel. 56885)

which I cannot figure out its' root cause and I'm hoping someone here will be able to help me.

I have setup my RE450 as instructed - turned on the RE450 near the router for setup, switched off WiFi on all unnecessary devices (Printer, Smartphone...) except main laptop (Lenovo E15) for configuration, and configured different SSIDs for 2.4GHz and 5GHz for easy identification. Setup is successful and all 3 lights on the device are blue.

At this stage I perform a test run where I connect the laptop to the RE450 5Ghz network and let it run for some while a live 1080P video feed (YouTube), and then another adaptive bit-rate stream (local TV streaming channel). All is well.

Now I move my RE450 to my desired location, switch WiFi on on my smartphone (Galaxy A51), connect it to the RE450 5GHz network, and via the TP-Link propriety tether app validates that the signal is OK.

I should note that there's only 1 yellow Check mark on the dotted line between the host network image and the main extender image, which corresponds to the 2.4Ghz network (as opposed to the blue 5Ghz). Though I figure that this is OK and just how the s/w is designed since it was also like this during the initial setup configuration per the above.

Also, location tool says: "Just Right Perfect signal - Your extender is in a great location"
( link to photos of both screen for verification: RE450 app Network screen | RE450 app Location tool screen).

Now here is my peculiar problem:

Occasionally when I perform the above tests with the videos for some time, including concurrent big file test download, it runs fine (for example early morning when I just performed this test);

but ALWAYS, in the evenings - lets say when I try to watch the evening news (on the adaptive video stream from above), the video starts to hang (due to streaming automatically tries to adapt bit-rate) and then suddenly there's not internet connection anymore, even though RE450 all lights are still blue and the app still indicates all is fine as per the above.

At this stage I have to first disconnect the devices from the RE450 network, wait for awhile and connect again, or alternatively power off and power on the RE450; and then the 5Ghz network is back again, although if I perform the the video test, it happens, again...

This is very annoying and I have no idea what causes it.

I've also tried complete reboots of the entire network - power off extender and router, switch off WiFi on all devices. Then power on router, wait for it to finish, then power extender, wait for it finish, then connect devices.

But then when I try to watch that video stream again it happens, again...

Additional information, that might be relevant:

  • Router model is Technicolor DGA2232PTN IL (propriety model bundled through my network provider).
  • Direct distance from router to extender is about 6 meters and there's a reinforced concrete wall between them [the room where the router sits is fortified, yeah I know it's not ideal, but I wasn't aware of that - and besides - that's I why I purchased the RE450 in the first place ;-) ]
Though I should stress that at all times the location app says all is well and all lights are blue (Otherwise I would have returned the extender to the shop).
+ Neighbor has a strong mesh network (though not sure if it's from above my apartment or below it)

Can someone please advise?

  • Is this related to heavy network usage interference from neighbor ?
  • Or maybe the adaptive video stream somehow 'confuses' the extender when it tries to change bitrates at peak viewing hours?
  • Or perhaps I'm just at the limit of the 'great location' app indication and therefor network might 'wobble' and that's just how it is???
(I've had a few instances when the blue light dropped momentarily but then switched on again by it's own, though I should stress again that at all times the location app says all is well ).

I'm really confused here and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Assaf

P.s

If other test scenarios or more information is needed I'd be happy to perform them and supply the relevant info...
 
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This is why I hate extenders and why the recommendation is you only use extenders where there is no other option. This is where a crappy and unstable signal is better than no signal at all.

I would consider powerline networks to get data to the remote room. You could also consider MoCA if you have tv coax cable.

Your problem is there is not much you can change the radio channels in case it is interference from your nieghbors and that is very likely what it is since it is time of day. The setup of using the 2.4g radio to talk to the main router and the 5g to talk to the end clients should reduce the interference from the repeated signal but you are now have 2 different radio bands that the neighbors signals can stomp on. There is no good fix for this really.

The connection rates between the router/extender/pc should stay at whatever they negotiated it is not really based on the rate you attempt to send traffic. Most video stream is far lower than the wifi connection rates. If you get lots of errors it might renegotiate the connection. Again the errors are likely caused by neighbors signals in the first place.

I would first test connected to the router with ethernet even if that means moving your pc or stringing a long ethernet over the floor temporarily. It could be some strange issue with you ISP if they have over sold the internet in the area near your house. This problem is still extremely common on things like cell tower networks.
 

asiniv

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Oct 24, 2015
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This is why I hate extenders and why the recommendation is you only use extenders where there is no other option. This is where a crappy and unstable signal is better than no signal at all.

I would consider powerline networks to get data to the remote room. You could also consider MoCA if you have tv coax cable.

Your problem is there is not much you can change the radio channels in case it is interference from your nieghbors and that is very likely what it is since it is time of day. The setup of using the 2.4g radio to talk to the main router and the 5g to talk to the end clients should reduce the interference from the repeated signal but you are now have 2 different radio bands that the neighbors signals can stomp on. There is no good fix for this really.

The connection rates between the router/extender/pc should stay at whatever they negotiated it is not really based on the rate you attempt to send traffic. Most video stream is far lower than the wifi connection rates. If you get lots of errors it might renegotiate the connection. Again the errors are likely caused by neighbors signals in the first place.

I would first test connected to the router with ethernet even if that means moving your pc or stringing a long ethernet over the floor temporarily. It could be some strange issue with you ISP if they have over sold the internet in the area near your house. This problem is still extremely common on things like cell tower networks.
Hi,

thanks for the speedy reply and advice.

I'm really eating myself for agreeing to let the ISP fiber technician to perform the cable installation in the fortified room.
I mean I knew it's a fortified room, but I wasn't sure this is going to cause much of a problem.
Those unprofessional installers probably knew it from their experience that this is not recommended, but they just didn't say anything - they just come, install and walk off.
Now going to hustle with the ISP company claiming I was wronged by them and try to get another installation at a different location for free is quite troublesome (even if I were to switch an ISP I would still need to pay for another installation).
So I thought the extender would be a quick fix and do the trick since it's not a long distance and just one wall away to where I needed it to be (boost WiFi signal the towards the main living room is my overall aim).

With regards to your recommendations -
+ Wireless powerlines are banned where I live (Israel, ministry of communications - radio band ban of some sorts), but I do have a wired TP-Link 1000mbps powerline in the bedroom where I sleep and it works well, so I'm inclined to rule out a 'strange' ISP issue.
Btw, You also have to remember that they require a dedicated power outlet on both ends (i.e near the router, which means 2 outlets are needed in that location; and another at the other end in the desired room).
+ I would rather not use the 2.4 only on the main and 5 on the extender, I don't think it makes much sense (I practically lose the 5g benefit in terms of speed, on the extender, which is what I'm paying for in actuality), and as you said in any case that's not a very good fix...

one question though if I may,
I don't have a TV/cable at all, I just use my laptop/smartphone online, so I wasn't aware of MoCA, and from what I've read most solutions are Ethernet wired, however it seems that there should be Wifi Extenders which implement MoCA (I did find this Wifi extender with Moca. for example, but it's not deliverable to my location, and I suspect there might be a similar ban as with the wireless powerline, (I will try to find out more local guidelines and information).

Please correct me if I'm wrong about the above MoCA, or if I misunderstood something (i.e maybe it's only wired and no wireless transfer in this technology protocol), or perhaps you may point me towards other devices in that regards.

Of course, any other solution / suggestion which I'm not aware of and didn't address in the above ,I'd be happy to know about.

Thanks in advance!
 
I suspect you are confusing the concept of wifi extenders and both moca and powerline.

Both technologies purely act as a replacement for ethernet. You put ethernet in it carried over the power/coax and comes out ethernet on the far end. The units that have wifi are the same as plugging a a router/ap but they are built into the same box. You should be able to plug a old router and run it as a AP on your current powerline. I am not sure why it would be illegal to buy a unit with the wifi inside the box when you can just plug a wifi device into the remote powerline unit and get the same fiunction.

The problem with them blocking power outlets is the reason they sell powerline units with passthrough plugs. You can plug the powerline into the outlet and then plug your other stuff into the outlet on the powerline.
 

asiniv

Honorable
Oct 24, 2015
37
0
10,530
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I suspect you are confusing the concept of wifi extenders and both moca and powerline.

Both technologies purely act as a replacement for ethernet. You put ethernet in it carried over the power/coax and comes out ethernet on the far end. The units that have wifi are the same as plugging a a router/ap but they are built into the same box. You should be able to plug a old router and run it as a AP on your current powerline. I am not sure why it would be illegal to buy a unit with the wifi inside the box when you can just plug a wifi device into the remote powerline unit and get the same fiunction.

The problem with them blocking power outlets is the reason they sell powerline units with passthrough plugs. You can plug the powerline into the outlet and then plug your other stuff into the outlet on the powerline.
Ok, so it seems that I 'semi' confused the concepts. On the one hand they don't sell here solutions with a 'unit with wifi inside the box' (i.e wireless powerline) and there is actually a political ban on them at the moment (it's true, I swear. It has something to do with our PM and all that waco corruption stuff, if you're interested you can read about it here in wikipedia).
Oh, and they also don't sell here the passthrough versions for some reason (now go figure this one out :-(...]

On the other hand I haven't thought of using another router as an access point via a powerline.
I'm not entirely sure how to configure such a setup via a powerline adapter,
may you be so kind and point me to a guide or something similar which explains how to do it via a powerline (any router example would do for that matter).

Thanks in advance.
 
Powerline is the normal config. You can look for video how to use a router as a AP they are thousands. It is actually trivial. Some routers have a AP mode so that is the easiest. Other wise you plug the cable from the powerline unit into a LAN port. Disable the DHCP server function. Set the IP to not conflict with your main router. So set it to 192.168.0.200 if you main router is say using 192.168.0.1
 

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