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stewartv
Contributor
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Message 1 of 15

Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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Good afternoon.

We are looking at putting a mesh system in a couple of homes to make it easier so nobody had to log onto a different AP such as when using an extender solution.

A question nobody has been able to answer (and I also think TP-Link have an issue) is in the folowing configuration;

Main router connected via VDSL and the main router has IP cameras, NAS media servers, a printer and several PCs connected via an ethernet switch - some with port forwarding for external access.

If I install the BT Whole Home mesh system, can a user logged onto the mesh APs access the NAS, printers etc which are connected to the main router via a hub? I am lookingf to set up each disc simply as an AP and turn the wirelesss off on the HH5 (which goes off anyway at regular intervals!)

It seems that some Mesh suppliers insist on any shared devices being connected to the primary or secondary AP.

Thanks.

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dgw1
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Message 2 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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I do know that someone on here had a issue where their ethernet switch when connected to the router wouldn't function correctly. They said it was due to wifi intereference from another source, which I personally find very sceptical. It might be easier running it off a access point instead.

  Now regarding the mesh system, it is said that each access point cuts your wifi speed in half. Therefore three access points theoretically reduce your wifi speed to 12.5% of its original speed at its furthest point from your router. In addition to this it is said that it is the access point which answers first that gets the connection. This means you aren't gauranteed to be connected to your neatest access point. I personally was experiencing drop outs, and there are many who complain on these forums and others of wifi problems when connected to a mesh system. My advice would be do your throrough research first. Personally I would hook up another router and centralist it for maximum coverage, as I do believe routers give a much stronger connection that these mini access points do. If you have a spare router you have nothing to lose but a bit of time, and there are Youtube tutorials which will guide you through the process. Again if you have a spare router, there is nothing stopping you from setting it up as a mesh system yourself. Again the benefit from this is a router in my opinion will give a much stronger signal than a repeater/extender/access point.

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brummygit
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Message 3 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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Yes you can access shared services connected anywhere on your network- I do this myself with my whole home Wi-fi setup.

I would also take the negative comments above about mesh with a pinch of salt. My discs are interconnected by Ethernet cable, but the system works just fine over wireless too. Those comments apply more to the use of range extenders which this system is leagues above.

My personal experience has been that once I’d updated from the first shipped firmware, the whole setup just works without any problems. Devices seamlessly roam and speed is great.
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stewartv
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Message 4 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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My personal experience has been that once I’d updated from the first shipped firmware, the whole setup just works without any problems. Devices seamlessly roam and speed is great.

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences. THis is starting to sound much more promising. As my HH5 (and previous HH6) are very unreliable with their wifi connections anyway, I was initially thinking about just getting a replacement router such as the TP-Link VR2800. 

Range extenders, although they do work, have the issue of having to connect to a different AP whereas I understand that the mesh approach should be seamless transfer between APs.

My HH5 is connected via Ethernet to an Openreach modem as I can preserve data rates whilst having the HH5 in a more suitable location.

I may now proceed down the route of keeping my HH5, disabling the HH5 wifi and adding the BT Whole Home solution with all devices acting as APs. Cost is about the same as buying a better replacement hub. I read somewhere that the TP-Link mesh had to have at least one 'disc' setup as a router to get everything else configured. Is this the same with the BT solution or can one just configure each disc to be a simple AP?

Best news is that the BT solution allows 'same network' access to devices connected to the hub using ethernet switches as I understand the TP-Link Deco solution when reviewed only allowed access to devices connected to the TP-Link Deco units.

Thanks for the positive view.

 

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brummygit
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Message 5 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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There is apparently a difference between the Whole Home WiFi and devices like the TP-Link ones then as the BT solution doesn’t have any routing capability, or complementary services such as DHCP or firewall on its own, but simply sits on the LAN segment created by your Home Hub (other routers are available) and adds WIFI radios to you existing network. It’s a much less intrusive solution and in my case allows me to continue to use all of the features or my ASUS router which I know works well, whilst extending WIFI range to the whole of my home.
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dgw1
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Message 6 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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Doesn't each access point reduce the wifi speed by half though?

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brummygit
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Message 7 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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It all depends. If you are on 2.4Ghz and the APs are connected via 5Ghz then no the full 2.4Ghz signal is available. The same if you use Ethernet to backbone them.

When you use any WiFi backbone on any product it will of course consume bandwidth on its backbone band, but generally if the signal is strong enough for 5Ghz backbone connectivity you will still have more than enough bandwidth to exercise a BT Infinity 2 connection.

You won’t achieve better by repurposing old routers, and most likely will lose the intelligent handoff and roaming available in the mesh protocol unless the routers support a mesh firmware (something I know ASUS have in early beta)
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Oxlade1
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Message 8 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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@dgw1 wrote:

Doesn't each access point reduce the wifi speed by half though?


This only happens if a disc connects back to another disc (or the main disc) and your device use the same Wi-Fi band (e.g. 5GHz). And it only halves it for that disc, not the entire network.

 

In reality, the discs will be able to connect directly to the main disc (by your router) in the majority of houses so this doesn't happen very often.

 

Besides, the maximum speed of the discs is far higher than the average broadband speeds (and some of the highest too) in the UK so you'd rarely notice unless doing heavy local network streaming/backups etc.

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peterh0001
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Message 9 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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The BT Whole Home discs each have two 5 Ghz bands, one is used exclusively to interconnect the discs thus taking that traffic out of contention with the data being transmitted/received.

 

Peter

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brummygit
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Message 10 of 15

Re: Whole Home and accessing devices wired via ethernet to the main router

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Thats quite interesting. I noted I can't move its allocated channels on the 5Ghz band (I guessed due to its bandwidth needs) and thought it was spec'ed as a 4x4 MIMO AC2500 device - in other words 800Mbps 2.4Ghz and 2700Mbps at 5Ghz. That still leaves loads of bandwidth for backbone over 5Ghz but I'm intrigued if it uses dual 5Ghz bands to split out backbone traffic.

 

Can you point me at a source of information around this? 

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