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Message 1 of 12

New Mesh System

Morning,

I have a new Tenda (MW5s) mesh system on its way.  Grateful for some advice on setting it up.

I'm on Fibre 1 with a BT Smart Hub. I assume it is best to setup with the Tenda system in bridge mode? Also, is it easy/sensible to just change the name and password of the new Tenda wifi to my existing BT network name and password? Or is it better to keep the new Tenda network name and change all my devices?

I don't have loads of devices on my network, but do have a couple of wifi security cameras. I understand these only operate on the 2.4 ghz network. Are these likely to cause any issues during the setup process?

One more thing while i'm here. Is there somewhere I can find out when there will be network upgrades in the area I live. I have been with BT for donkey's years as I have always found the service to be excellent. However, recently speeds seem to be getting gradually slower and slower. I started out on 40 mbs plus, but now are lucky to get 30mbs plus. I live on the London/Kent border so am not exactly in the middle of nowhere. 

Cheers. 

 

 

 

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Message 2 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

@Elliboy 

I have the Tenda MW3 which is similar, and you need to set it up in bridge mode, and turn off the wireless on your home hub. I use a different router, but its still the same.

You can use whatever SSID you like within the allowed names, but I used a new one anyway, as it was easier to have a simpler one.

I have devices on both 2.4 and 5G, and some dual band devices, they all connect without any issues. 

The Tenda will try 5G first for the best connection, and will fall back to 2.4G if the 5G is not good enough.

The Tenda app is quite good, and will show what is connected to each node.

As for your other question, connection speed does drop as more people connect to the cabinet. This is a result of crosstalk.

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Message 3 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

Thanks for your response Keith. Very helpful. I will try and go with changing the Tenda password to my existing BT password and see how it goes.

Re the drop in speeds, the wifi security cameras do seem to have caused a drop in wifi speeds. When I switch them off things do improve, although it is still slower than it used to be. Is this a common problem with wifi security cameras?

Thanks.

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Message 4 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

WiFi security cameras do send a lot of data if you are streaming live video, so they will have an impact on the 2.4GHz bandwidth.

Some cameras will see each node as a separate network because each node has a separate MAC address, so if you can access the camera settings, and scan for wireless networks, and see the Tenda appear a number of times, then simply select the strongest one, which is most likely to be the one from the nearest node.

I have three separate wifi cameras on 2.4GHz, and they all seem to maintain a frame rate of about 12fps. Most of my other devices are wired to the Ethernet ports on the Tenda, or directly to my network switch.

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Message 5 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

Thanks once again Keith for your help with this.

All set up and all good. The Tenda MW5s were very easy to install. The app made it a doddle. I changed the Tenda name and password to my existing BT name and password. Everything worked perfectly from go, apart from one of my two outdoor security cameras which absolutely refused to connect. Slightly odd as are both identical cameras. I overcome this by having to reconnect via ethernet cable.

Speeds have now stabilised at around 41 mbs. I assume this is the best I am going to get. The security cameras are definitely more stable. Slightly disappointed that the Amazon firestick in the bedroom is still a bit sluggish. But that may well be the firestick. Overall though I think they are worth the money (£89).

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Message 6 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

Thanks for the update.

As for the outside cameras, they may be seeing multiple connections with the same SSID but different BSSIDs. On my two outside ones, I had to initially connect using Ethernet, then scanned for wireless networks and selected the strongest one, which was normally the closest node, apart from one in the back garden watching the birds, which saw the garage as the strongest signal. Once the Ethernet was disconnected, they reverted to wireless.

They are both ieGeek  outdoor HD cameras from Amazon.

On the MW3 there is an option to connect smart devices which temporarily disables the 5GHz, but I cannot see what that would achieve.

I have other Foscam C1 cameras, which connect without issues.

I needed to use cameras which were compatible with the Blue Iris software which I use as monitoring and control program

Overall,  they perform well, and seem a lot less hassle than the BT offerings, and a lot cheaper.

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Message 7 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

Another update.

On the upside speeds are good around the house. A pretty stable 40 mbs. Better than it used to be. 

One disappointing thing though is my devices do not seem to switch from one node to another. The tablet I am using now to write this is connected to a node at the back of the house, and not the node right next to me. Both of my outdoor security cameras (back and front of house) are connected to the same node, and not the respective closest one. The fast roaming option is enabled in the settings. 

I assume this isn't how it should be? Is it a trait with cheaper mesh systems. Or is it not really a problem?

Grateful for any advice. I have a week or so to send them back.

 

 

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Message 8 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

Fast roaming is best disabled, as it can cause instability, as many devices do not support it anyway. My system performed badly when it was enabled.

Also, connection is normally made to the node with the best overall signal quality, which does not always correspond to the maximum signal strength, especially if there is adjacent interference.

I think you will find that its the case with all mesh systems. This has also been reported on the BT Whole home and complete wifi systems.

I have not noticed any specific issues with my MW3 mesh, but its a good idea to enable the maintenance option so that the system reboots a couple of times a week, in the early morning.

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Message 9 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

Thanks Keith. I appreciate your help with this. 

I have switched off fast roaming and it does seem to have improved things a bit. Generally it seems as if more of the devices are connected to the node nearest to them. I take on board your comments re quality rather than distance. 

May I pick your brains regarding my security cameras? I have two cameras, one at the front of the house, and one at the back. They are both the same model, with the same app, but different brands (Boswio and Cooau). Both are connected via WiFi. When I open the app the connection speed is shown at the top right of the picture. This changes about every other second, and ranges from 2 kbs to about 400 kbs. Do you know if this is normal?  Should I expect to get a faster connection speed? Funnily enough the back camera, which is further from a node, and has two walls to go through, gets faster speeds. The front camera is only half the distance and has only one wall to cope with. I accept this could be the quality over distance factor again. 

Before I bought the mesh system the connection speeds ranged from 2kbs to about 250 kbs, so there has been some improvement, just not as much as I had expected. It may be that despite the cameras being on the surface identical, one is just better than the other. I should point out that the picture quality is pretty good. At £30-40 apiece you can't complain. If nothing else they should act as a good deterent. 

Again, thanks for your help with this. 

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Message 10 of 12

Re: New Mesh System

If the cameras have their own H263 decoder, like most now do, then the data rate will depend on the video content, the more movement, the greater the data rate.

These are the figures for one of my wireless connected HD cameras connected to my MW3. This is as reported by Blue Iris.

Capture.JPG

The frame rate is shown, with the iFrame update rate. The data rate is 193.42kBs, but this changes all of the time depending on light level and content.

In your case, if the camera pictures are fine, then there is nothing to be concerned about.

You have to understand that there is a lot going on in the background, on a wireless mesh system. Where there is an overlap of coverage, its quite possible for a device to swap to a different node, if the current path has a high error rate.

Sometimes it may seem strange behaviour, but you cannot see what is going on in the background. What you may perceive is a bad signal path, may actually be very good, because the signal gets bounced around all of the walls, and has a choice of two wireless frequencies, of totally different propagation characteristics.

You just have to leave it to do what its designed to do. If you are interested, then there is plenty of reference information on the Internet which explains how wireless mesh systems work.  They are not like normal wireless access point or wireless routers.

 

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