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peaslaker
Aspiring Contributor
428 Views
Message 1 of 3

Whole Home Wifi fighting Homehub4 for channels (with workaround)

This is a doozy.  Done a load of testing to work out why the connection speeds on my Whole Home wifi were dropping out.  Netflix buffering and trying to find out what had changed.

I'd opted out of BT Wifi on December 12th.  All Wifi on my HH4 was switched off and connection was stable.

 

On December 29th the HH4 logs show that BT Wifi was switched on again (remotely by BT? without my consent?) so the router started bagging channels with a preference for channel 1 and channel 44, interfering with the BT Whole Home Wifi.  It took me until last night to knuckle down to diagnosing this.

 

So now I know I cannot trust BT to do the right thing and stop spamming the world with unwanted jamming signals (2.4GHz BT-wifi-X, BT-wifi-with-FON).  Customer service blandly tell me these services have no impact on my bandwidth which would be true (more or less)  *IF I WAS NOT RUNNING A WHOLE HOME WIFI SETUP*.

 

But I am.  Nabbing bandwidth in the 2.4GHz spectrum is never OK.

 

The first hop on my Whole Home Wi-fi is the weakest link in my set up.  300 year old stone cottages have thick walls and there is no opportunity for wired backhaul presently.  The first hop backhaul is running on 2.4GHz, (disc reports poor connection (Amber) but this just means it is on 2.4GHz with -79 signal strength).  Being a 2.4GHz hop, it is subject to 2.4GHz interference. So really, we're looking at channels 1, 6 and 11, same as usual.  With Whole Home and HH4 set to Auto channel selection, alongisde the neighbours with the same, the 2.4GHz hop was being knocked down every time it stood up.

 

Oh, and BT parasite channels nab 5GHz spectrum too.  Not cool.  Which idiot thought that roaming customers should benefit from 5GHz as well.  You know, 5GHz that has more attenuation and a shorter range; Mr Roaming BT Wifi User is now inside the garden gate and holding his iPad up against my kitchen window.   5GHz that for a brief period didn't suffer badly from interference.

 

So, not really an OK situation that services that are stood up on the off-chance that a roaming BT customer wants a sniff of my wifi are knocking out the principal service for me, the paying customer.  

 

So what about a workaround?  Here, dear listeners, we embark on some tangential thinking.

 

I reasoned that the BT parasite SSIDs would coexist on the same channels I specified for the HH4 wifi.  I re-enabled wifi on the HH4 in both 2.4 and 5 GHz and kicked the signals into the long grass.  I set the 2.4GHz channel to 13 (which will still interefere with 11, but should leave 6 and 1 clean).  I set the 5GHz signal to 140.  Final tweak was to set the HH4 SSID to "btdidnotgetanxmascard".

 

 

Bodged but effective.

Now here is the kicker for BT.  During this whole episode BT were strongly pushing an upgrade to Infinity 1.  It seemed tempting, but also involved an 18 month tie in to a contract.  The existing poor service was not enough reassurance that an upgraded service would provide any benefit.... and the reason the service was poor was because of:

 

  1. BT Homehub interference with BT Whole Home Wifi
  2. Unwanted, opted out, BT Wi-fi signals

The common theme here is that this negative customer experience and the reason this customer did not want to pay BT more money for a longer contract term was because of BT product.  Exclusively.

 

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2 REPLIES 2
trapdoor
Expert
414 Views
Message 2 of 3

Re: Whole Home Wifi fighting Homehub4 for channels (with workaround)

Solution to the parasitic BT WiFi is ... buy a third-party router, which will then give you much more control over what BT can do - and that includes forcing updates and ‘monitoring’ your line using your router.

 

i use Whole Home linked to a TP-Link VR900 - WiFi on my router is off, even though it should provide better coverage than the HH or SmartHub, because of the topology of our property, it doesn’t. WH works well for me, linked to that router, and it even works perfectly with BTTV on our Infinity 2 line.

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peaslaker
Aspiring Contributor
388 Views
Message 3 of 3

Re: Whole Home Wifi fighting Homehub4 for channels (with workaround)

I'm on your wavelength. Nabbed a s/h OpenReach modem on eBay and I'll be trialling Sophos XG Home firewall on an old Mac Pro that has no other purpose at the moment.  I will be eliminating the Homehub completely.

Purpose of the post is to highlight that anybody running a HH / WH combo is probably in the same mess and there is a purchase-free way out.

 

A lot of router vendors (and ISPs sending out CPE equipment) are fudging the point of mesh. We hear about strong wifi signal when the biggest problems are interference. We hear very little about QoS, contention and effect of concurrent loads on constrained bandwidth.

 

The Homehub / Whole Home Wifi combination is guaranteed to be deficient which needs to be called out.

 

 

 

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