I have seen several discussions on these topics but some tend to be a bit technical so I'd appeciate a non-tech answer!
I have three discs connected to my BT Hub router - one by ethernet cable, the other two by wi-fi. They are working ok (although this is a replacement set from BT running on an old software version, following loss of internet connectivity issues with my first set, which worked fine for 4 months and then became impossible). My questions are:
1- I had originally thought that one disc always needed to be connected to the router by ethernet cable, but from other posts I think this is not the case, and once the discs are configured then all three can be connected to the router by wifi; is this correct?
2 - I now want to add a 4th disc out in the summer house. As this is about 75 meters away from the router and my house has thick stone walls the wi fi signal will not reach. Accordingly I am proposing to connect it by ethernet cable. Once the disc is configured will this work (I have power in the summerhouse)? And will it have the same password as my current discs or will the new disc come with a different password? So in summary I will have the three existing discs connected, one by cable and two by wifi (or all three by wifi depending on the answer to Q1 above), and the new disc by cable - any issues anyone can see?
3 - In my ignorance when I set up my system I thought that the discs 'piggybacked' on each other - in other words I could reach the extremities of my house as the furthest disc (which cannot get a strong signal from the router) would pick the signal up from another disc closer to the router which has a strong signal. But my understanding now is that this is not the case, and each individual disc needs to be in contact with the router. Is this correct?
Many thanks for your help !
Solved! Go to Solution.
To answer your questions-
1) At least one of the discs has to be connected via an ethernet to your router. There is no option to connect the WIFI mesh to another WIFI network.
2) I'm just doing the same. Good luck getting your ethernet cable down the garden and back to your router. The disc uses a discovery protocol over ethernet to find the master disc- all the settign will transfer (Incl. WIFI SSID & Password etc.). Using ethernet cable 'backhaul' should in theory give you the best speed and reliability. FYI- I've buried two CAT6 cable in my garden- I used external grade cable but also put it into 32mm MDPE pipe to provide protection from a stray spade. I put two cables in, one live- one for backup in case the first breaks!
3) At the moment that's what i'm doing. The discs are in a wifi daisy chain (you can see that from the topology screen in the BT Whole Home App. Master dics to Front Room to Garage. So the data from the garage disc transits through the Front Room Disc over WIFI back to the Master disc and then into the router.
Many thanks for the prompt response. I'll leave one of the existing discs connected by cable as it currently is and also attach the new 4th disc by cable - I'll go for Cat 6 as you have.
Re the topology, it shows both 2nd and 3rd discs connected directly to the main disc and not one to the I line , but maybe this is just the way I've set it up in my house.
yes to your first question you don’t need to have any discs connected to your home hub via an ethernet connection. you only need to connect the discs just a pair them once the light on the home hub has gone blue to show it is connected by ethernet connection it no longer needs to be connected you can place it somewhere around your house to try to improve the Wi-Fi signal strength.
Be aware, as this disc connect to the Wi-Fi signal if you pick up a weak signal you’re only boosting the weak signal no matter what BT says, personally I suggest having a connection expert come in and wire it up so it works as good as possible but if it makes you feel any better, I get about 7.1 MB of download speed and 0.89 of upload at best times
For your second question it should work running an ethernet connection to a summerhouse only problem doing that is that an Internet connection over 5 m long gives you a poor signal the cat6 cable is the way to do it but over 75 m you still get a drop in Internet speed and it won’t be as fast as what you receive inside the house connected to the hub.
The best thing I can suggest is if your house runs off one consumer unit what I would suggest is to do is buy a TP Link mains wireless Booter, this works for Connect to my ethernet wire into the back of the hub and into a number unit (from the TP link) that plugs into the wall this supplies Wi-Fi to every plug socket in your house which you plug the other half of the booster into a socket. This now supplies your full signal strength, as if it was coming out of the routers
so you can plug in computer straight into the bottom with an ethernet cable BUT doing this stops the Wi-Fi connection
This is the best way you can do this, you can buy several of these TP Link just the second part is he ready got the first part the plugs into the wall, and if you want to get a bit more technical you can change the names of the boosters all to the same name so your device will stay connected to the one with the best signal. in some cases you might need to turn off the Wi-Fi on your device for a second and back on so it connects to the strongest one but it makes it a bit easier than struggling with weird names Like (TV-link-53478bt69V43) and remember which one goes where hope this helps
Slightly old post, but some serious misinformation to correct here;
Cat5E and Cat 6 cable are both good to 100m at a transfer rate of 100Mb/s, so either will reach down your garden easily. If you can choose, Cat 6 is better (less cross interference).
The plug in units that piggy back the mains circuit (TP Link was mentioned) can be useful, but won't get anywhere near that distance or speed, and are far less reliable.
Best of luck
Many thanks. Your help is appreciated. It seems to be working fine now.
I may seem a bit slow, but. Just to confirm:
I have just installed 3 discs within the house, one connected Ethernet to the hub, other two in other rooms. All good
Now I’m installing garden studio away from the house and connection of a fourth disc is showing a poor, orange connection. A bit far for the range. I need for my wife and friends to be able to move and connect seamlessly from house to garden studio. Without changing passwords or anything. So I can easily run an Ethernet cable from the hub to the garden house. Does that just plug into the fourth disc Ethernet socket and provide seamless Wi-fi?
I have a garden shed 75 metres away from my main BT hub (fibre compatible latest Smart Hub 2) . I have positioned a TP-link AV500 in the shed and its companion base unit connected straight to the back of the hub (ethernet) and plugged into the same mains ring circuit from which the long mains electricity spur goes off to the shed. I have given the TP-link hotspot in the shed the same name as my BT hub house wi-fi network and everything works fine when I go from the house to the shed, say using an iPhone. (we have no cellular so it's not cheating!) - it can even maintain some streaming services (e.g. BBC Sounds) if you walk quickly through the inevitable blank spot between the house and the shed. With the current service from BT VDSL I typically get 35MB/s down and 7MB/s up speeds in the shed, which is just as good as when I'm sitting on the top of the main hub on wi-fi (this is also the same speed as with a plugged in laptop) So all well and good, but I have found that the TP-link has (not very often) occasionally dropped a Zoom call to the point I've had to reset the TP-link.
My question is this. What will happen when I upgrade to FTTP this week which should be 300MB/s down and 50MB/s up? Will the TP link fall over? Will Zoom call reliability improve or get worse?
Assuming it doesn't fall over, i will try to remember to report back just how fast the TP-Link AV500 goes in practice.