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itm60
Beginner
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Message 1 of 4

BT Whole Home Wifi - looking for advice on integrating into existing setup

My home networking is a little more complex than usual, and I am thinking of investing in BT Whole Home Wifi to both simplify it and improve my wifi coverage around my 3-storey house and garden. I was wondering if someone could advise on how best to implement the BT system to make the best use of my existing infrastructure.

My setup is as follows:

- Virgin Media hub running in modem mode, connected to the primary router - an Asus RT-AC68U. Both are in the study the the middle of the ground floor. The signal from the RT-AC68U doesn't extend well to either the front of the house (where I have a video doorbell) or the back garden (where I like to sit and surf/stream in the summer). 

- A 24-port switch also in the study, which the Asus router is plugged into. 

- Cat6 cabling from the switch in the study (via a patch panel in the study) to a number of different locations:
   - the lounge at the rear of the house, where it is connected to a 12-port switch. My AV equipment in the lounge is connected to this switch
   - the dining room on the first floor, at the front of the house
   - the kitchen on the first floor, at the back of the house
   - the bedroom on the 2nd floor, at the back of the house.

My questions are:

- Must the first BT disc be connected directly to the Asus router, or can it be connected to the 12-port switch in the lounge (which is uplinked to the 24-port switch in the study, which in turn is connected to the Asus router)? The reason being that this would maximise the number of wifi points available to me, as I could continue to use the wifi on the Asus router to provide good wifi coverage in the study, while using the BT discs to service the rest of the ground floor of the house (particularly the back garden and front of house).

- I have a couple of devices which can only be used with other devices which are on the same wifi network (e.g. the Chromecast and the video doorbell). If the Chromecast and video doorbell are connected to BT discs, but my phone is connected to the wifi on the Asus router, will these devices behave as though they are connected to the same wifi network?

 

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jrhop
Contributor
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Message 2 of 4

Re: BT Whole Home Wifi - looking for advice on integrating into existing setup

Hi @itm60

On point 1, I have a much similar setup with a Sky Q hub for ISP connection (WiFi disabled), one of these ethernet ports connects to a mini switch in the same room, the 1st BTWH disc then plugs into the mini switch not the router and it works fine for me, I then have TV, Apple TV, Youview box conencted to the mini switch via Ethernet. The other BTWH discs then connect via wireless, 3 discs in total 2nd connects to master and the 3rd daisy chains off 2nd one. This all works fine for me, the 3rd disc also connects via ethernet to Youview box in bedroom to provide internet for Youview box. So although you are going through another switch and cabling it should work. When you say cabling, is it proper cabling or using powerline adpaters? Ive heard powerlines can be unrelaible at best, and other reports of issues with BTWH.

On 2nd point, this should work fine, I assume the DHCP/gateway is running on the VM hub, so there is only one device assigned DHCP addresses to devices?

The only thing I would say is some people have reported that using ethernet for the backhaul on the BTWH can be unreliable, and appears to be an issue with firmware, so may get fixed, but if you are going to use them with ethernet backhaul you may want to look elsewhere, or read some other posts on this forum about peoples experiences.

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itm60
Beginner
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Message 3 of 4

Re: BT Whole Home Wifi - looking for advice on integrating into existing setup

Thanks for the info. So if I connect the first BT disc to the 12-port switch in the lounge (which is uplinked to the main switch in the study) would it fall foul of the ethernet backhaul issues that you descibe?

I do indeed only have one DHCP server (the Asus router), but I seem to remember that devices connected to the 5GHz SSID were not able to cast to the Chromecast, which is on the 2.4GHz SSID. So they're on the same subnet as the Chromecast, but for some reason the Chromecast didn't recognise them unless they shared the same wifi connection. Any idea why that is?

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jrhop
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Message 4 of 4

Re: BT Whole Home Wifi - looking for advice on integrating into existing setup

From what I’ve read the backhaul issue is only on subsequent discs, but I’ve got no experience with this as mine are meshed using WiFi.
Regarding the chromecast I dont have any experience with this either, sounds like an issue with the WiFi setup on the ASUS. I’ve got a mixture of 5ghz and 2.4ghz devices with the BTWH and they all connect ok.
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