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  • FIRST POST
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 7th Mar 18, 11:20 AM
    • 153Posts
    • 40Thanks
    RandomQ
    Extending Wifi Woes
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 18, 11:20 AM
    Extending Wifi Woes 7th Mar 18 at 11:20 AM
    I have been trying to extend Sky Wifi to all rooms in property (including home office) but having mixed results.

    The router is the new Sky router with 2 ports.

    First I tried Sky's own wifi repeater and it was dire.

    So I got a couple of TP Link D7's with the idea that I could relay it over two wireless bridges, (first TPLink2 to Sky Router and TPLink1 to TPLink2. It has to be said that getting the two TPLinks to create a wireless bridge was a right royal pain in the proverbial armpit.

    I followed the instructions here:

    https://www.tp-link.com/lk/faq-447.html

    They were a pain and seemed to defy logic but it I got it working

    However the setup was a bust, I was able to get it to work but connection was dire, speed was dire and totally unreliable.

    So I tried running an Ethernet cable from TPLink2 to Sky Router and it WORKED!

    The ping was a little long from TPLink1 wifi connected Laptop but speedtest.net reported 13mb compared to the 15mb on the Sky Router direct.

    It was a bit flakey with some Laptop wifi cards but a manufacturer driver update and using one of TPlink1's two wifi signals we seemed to have got around that.

    Then it stopped working with no apparent changes (I do not know if Sky does remote updates).

    My gut feeling was that it was something to do with IP leases expiring and not being renewed.

    To understand this you need to look at the TP-link instructions here

    https://www.tp-link.com/lk/faq-447.html

    The bit that made no sense to me was

    "The DHCP Server on extended router should be disabled;"

    Note it was NOT asking me to relay the DCHP but disable it, before getting it to work I did try relay and it did not work, but with DHCP disabled it did work, at least for a month or so.

    To get it working I divided up the subnet that Sky uses (192.168.0.x), I left 192.168.0.1 in place, reduced the Sky DCHP range to 192.168.0.2 to 20, set TPlink1 to 192.168.0.253 and TPlink2 at 192.168.0.254. It all worked and I was even able to access all three routers via their portals.

    So what happens now is that I am able to connect to TPLink1 but it says there is no internet access, it sets the laptop to

    169.254.105.x
    255.255.0.0

    No surprises there, no DCHP so windows defaults to 169 subnet.

    Although a static IP is not a practical solution on laptop as connects to numerous wireless networks on different subnets, I figured it might help me diagnose what is going wrong.

    With the static IP in the 192.168.0.x subnet I am able to see both of the TPlink routers and connect to their portals, but for some reason, despite a wired connection between TPlink2 and the Sky Router, I cannot ping the Sky Router nor get internet access.

    I tried unplugging and putting back in the cable between Sky and TPlink2, both show good lights so the connection is there.

    This makes no sense to me, it worked before and a static IP should allow me to ping the Sky router.

    The log on Sky router shows nothing special, mostly checking time

    Mar 6 06:59:52 syslog: System time is up to date
    Mar 6 09:21:57 syslog: Send out NTP request to ntp1.isp.sky.com
    Mar 6 09:21:57 syslog: Received NTP Sync Reply from ntp1.isp.sky.com
    Mar 6 09:21:57 syslog: System time is up to date
    Mar 6 11:49:03 syslog: Send out NTP request to ntp1.isp.sky.com
    Mar 6 11:49:03 syslog: Received NTP Sync Reply from ntp1.isp.sky.com
    Mar 6 11:49:03 syslog: System time is up to date
    Mar 6 13:47:55 syslog: [298824.886000] eth0 (Int switch port: 3) (Logical Port: 3) Link DOWN.
    Mar 6 13:48:10 syslog: [298839.990000] eth0 (Int switch port: 3) (Logical Port: 3) Link UP 1000 mbps full duplex

    Has anyone got any ideas of any settings on Sky router that may be preventing this working?

    It is such a cut down management portal.

    Or is there something I am missing on the TPLink?

    To be honest, TPlink seem to have a weird implementation with this disabling of DCHP but no choice on that. I thought I might be able to create a static route on TPlink2 but it seems to object to any efforts I make to do that.

    I need a fresh pair of eyes on this, hence this post!

    Any help appreciated.
Page 1
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 7th Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    • 833 Posts
    • 387 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    Now I may be wrong as I am doing this from my poor memory but...

    DHCP should be disabled on the tplinks so that all the allocation is done by the sky router and the tp boxes become 'transparent'. Thus anything connected via the tp boxes get their IP addresses allocated by the sky box.

    So the sky setting need to have sufficient address allocations for all devices without conflicting with the to boxes. They can be set to have static addresses (in a high range) from the sky box. I used an address 192.168.1.63, for the secondary router. You could use the next one 192.168.1.64 for the tertiary router.

    Sorry not a very great explanation but possibly it might help. I did a similar thing using my old BT homehub as an extended/splitter for Ethernet ports and WiFi.

    On the WiFi side , although not strictly necessary where signal levels are significantly different, I also selected manual channel allocations on different channels where there was best space.

    Not sure if that will help you but if not I bet somebody is along soon to give more help!
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 8th Mar 18, 8:21 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    RandomQ
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:21 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 8:21 PM
    I have configured Wireless bridges on other routers and they maintain their own DCHP for their wireless clients, they login to the remote router and do all the routing under the hood.

    I have already done what you suggested, in summary

    192.168.0.1 Sky router
    192.168.0.2-20 Sky IP address range (only limited number of devices needed
    192.168.0.2-254 TPlink2
    192.168.0.2-254 TPlink1

    When I tested turning DHCP back on I tried to assign

    192.168.0.100-120 to TPlink2 to dish out

    Wireless bridge does not work with that set, nor did setting it to relay from 192.168.0.1 (Sky router), so I disabled DHCP again.

    At the moment the wireless bridge between TPlink1 and TPlink2 does work and I can join wifi of TPlink1 with a static IP of say 192.168.0.122 and I can connect to portals both TPlink routers but cannot even ping the Sky Router. So nothing wrong with the wifi channels.

    Normally at a hardware level when you plug in another router by wire you can ping anything if the subnets are the same. I have not changed any firewall or routing settings on Sky Router (pretty limited options anyway).

    I had ideas of setting TPlink2 to a Static instead of Dynamic Wan interface but it will not work, seems to reject any subnets I try, I think it depends on another setting elsewhere.

    In past I have also done something similar where I extended BT Hotspots and it worked very well, I connect to that router, it assigns me one of it's IP addresses but it is then changed by the BT Fon router to the 10.x.x.x network

    I think the problem here is somewhere between TPlink2 and Sky Router, It is probably going to be some iniquitous setting or I guess it is possible that Sky blocked it for some reason although I can't think why as they are usually pretty good.


    I look forward to the input to the others you refer to.
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 10th Mar 18, 7:50 PM
    • 2,282 Posts
    • 3,084 Thanks
    Robisere
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 18, 7:50 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 18, 7:50 PM
    No encouragement I know, but that horrible Sky Q Hub is one of the reasons that I cancelled Sky. I don't believe that any other ISP sends a new customer a router/hub with only two LAN ports. I have a desktop that is 2 rooms and a hall away from the Sky Hub and I had to run a 25 metre ethernet cable across my bungalow loft in order to use the desktop. I first tried a TP-Link Gigabit PCi card in the PC:
    https://www.tp-link.com/il/products/details/cat-11_TL-WDN4800.html

    -But got nowhere, until I used the ethernet cable. So I moved to Plusnet, refused their Hub and installed my 3 year old TP-Link VDSL router:
    https://www.tp-link.com/il/products/details/cat-9_Archer-C7.html

    Most routers from ISP's are IMO, krap. Sky's are so restricted by design, that they are crippled.
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 10th Mar 18, 9:04 PM
    • 8,202 Posts
    • 5,959 Thanks
    esuhl
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 18, 9:04 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 18, 9:04 PM
    I've skimmed the thread, but I had a few head-scratching moments when trying to set up wireless extenders for a friend.

    A common issue is that when fiddling with IP/DHCP settings is that the new settings aren't properly applied until the device is turned off, the router rebooted, and the new device turned back on.

    Anyway, what you want to do is to turn off DHCP everywhere except on the router. Then reserve static IP addresses for all network devices (routers, hubs, wifi access points, repeaters, powerline adapters, etc.) in the router's settings.

    Then, log in to the web interface of each network device and manually set it to the same static IP.

    Again, once it's all set, turn everything off, turn the router back on, wait till it's booted and then turn the other devices on. Hopefully all these settings should now "stick".
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 10th Mar 18, 9:34 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    RandomQ
    • #6
    • 10th Mar 18, 9:34 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Mar 18, 9:34 PM
    No encouragement I know, but that horrible Sky Q Hub is one of the reasons that I cancelled Sky. I don't believe that any other ISP sends a new customer a router/hub with only two LAN ports. I have a desktop that is 2 rooms and a hall away from the Sky Hub and I had to run a 25 metre ethernet cable across my bungalow loft in order to use the desktop. I first tried a TP-Link Gigabit PCi card in the PC:
    https://www.tp-link.com/il/products/details/cat-11_TL-WDN4800.html

    -But got nowhere, until I used the ethernet cable. So I moved to Plusnet, refused their Hub and installed my 3 year old TP-Link VDSL router:
    https://www.tp-link.com/il/products/details/cat-9_Archer-C7.html

    Most routers from ISP's are IMO, krap. Sky's are so restricted by design, that they are crippled.
    Originally posted by Robisere
    Yes I concur that the Sky device is terrible, the two ports totally unacceptable and they cut the thing down so much that it is unusable, to add insult to injury they do not provide the login details needed to connect to their network so using a 3rd party router requires a hack ( I found a blog post showing how).

    The D7 is like the C7 but can be used as cable or adsl, I think that TPlink are capable routers but the way they implement seems to be different to numerous other 3rd party routers I have used.
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 10th Mar 18, 10:14 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    RandomQ
    • #7
    • 10th Mar 18, 10:14 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Mar 18, 10:14 PM
    I've skimmed the thread, but I had a few head-scratching moments when trying to set up wireless extenders for a friend.

    A common issue is that when fiddling with IP/DHCP settings is that the new settings aren't properly applied until the device is turned off, the router rebooted, and the new device turned back on.

    Anyway, what you want to do is to turn off DHCP everywhere except on the router. Then reserve static IP addresses for all network devices (routers, hubs, wifi access points, repeaters, powerline adapters, etc.) in the router's settings.

    Then, log in to the web interface of each network device and manually set it to the same static IP.

    Again, once it's all set, turn everything off, turn the router back on, wait till it's booted and then turn the other devices on. Hopefully all these settings should now "stick".
    Originally posted by esuhl
    I have rebooted numerous times and in different order.

    There are only 4 devices, Sky Router, TPlink2,TPlink1 and a Laptop.

    Laptop connects wirelessly to TPlink1 which is configured as a wireless bridge to TPlink2 which is connected fron it's WAN port to the Sky Router (I tried Lan ports too).

    I have turned off DHCP everywhere as stated in the TP Link instructions and set the static addresses listed above but no joy.

    I experimented with different options, strictly speaking there only needs to be no DHCP from TPlink1 to TPlink2 for the wireless bridge to work (which it does). So for TPlink2 I have tried setting it as a relay of the Sky Router, as a DHCP on same subnet as Sky Router but with different range (needs to be disconnected while setting up) and with DHCP disabled.

    I have even tried changing the mac addresses of the TPlinks in case Sky has done something to disable them.

    Stangely on the status screen of wan on TPlink2 I can see the Sky router IP address, this seems to suggest it can see it (unless it has got it buried from previous tests). Yet when I run the test it says it does not pass. Sadly there is no ping or trace route facility within the router itself.

    The TPlink1 needs to be setup as Dynamic to connect to TPlink2, it seemed to me that TPlink2 might benefit from a config as Static to the Sky Router but it rejects all attempts to do it.

    Previously even if I could not get an address served by the Sky router I could see it if I connected a static IP on the Sky Subnet 192.168.0.x

    It is really bizarre as I had it working for a month or so. I could do a factory reset on all devices and try again but I suspect it will go wrong in a month again.
    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 12th Mar 18, 2:45 PM
    • 1,462 Posts
    • 1,080 Thanks
    IanMSpencer
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 2:45 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 2:45 PM
    If you had it working then it must be able to work again!

    I would first start with a single TPLink. What I would be nervous of is trying to use the same SSID for each bridge.

    I have a hard wired system using Virgin and have their hub in modem only mode and then have an ASUS as the main hub with a hardwired link to a DLINK. So I have 2 active base stations, one is a dumb slave to the other.

    In your case, as you are using the Sky box as a transmitter and receiver, the DHCP should be active on that as it is the bit of kit that gets told the name server by Sky's system, the others should be passive. If the TPLinks are correctly configured, the TCP/IP system will pass through the request for the IP assignment to the Sky box. They have not got the information to properly run DCHP.

    I would set different SSIDs for each TPLink (I've not had any success with getting Windows and Android to hop between matching boxes on older Netgear stuff that I have, but with modern mesh systems like Google provide then you should just have one name on the go).

    Having got the one nearer the Sky box linked - and set to a different channel than the bridge channel - then you should be able to chain to the next TPLink.

    Mainly I would break down the problem and rather than trying to set 2 up at once, I would firstly get a single one working and go step by step. So confirm the Sky box is working as a base station, then link the 1st TPLink by setting a new SSID and following the set up instructions, and then set up the 2nd as another SSID and linking to the 1st TPLink.
    • Hoogle
    • By Hoogle 12th Mar 18, 3:01 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    Hoogle
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:01 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:01 PM
    I set my parents up with a TP link Range extender that covers the whole house which is technically a bungalow but upstairs is the roof space (couldnt get planning permission to build a full house so they made a 2 story bungalow if that makes sense) it has 3/4 of an acre rear Garden and 1/4 acre front garden and wifi is coverage is mostly good for the sake of a 25 extender
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 12th Mar 18, 4:00 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    RandomQ
    If you had it working then it must be able to work again!

    I would first start with a single TPLink. What I would be nervous of is trying to use the same SSID for each bridge.

    I have a hard wired system using Virgin and have their hub in modem only mode and then have an ASUS as the main hub with a hardwired link to a DLINK. So I have 2 active base stations, one is a dumb slave to the other.

    In your case, as you are using the Sky box as a transmitter and receiver, the DHCP should be active on that as it is the bit of kit that gets told the name server by Sky's system, the others should be passive. If the TPLinks are correctly configured, the TCP/IP system will pass through the request for the IP assignment to the Sky box. They have not got the information to properly run DCHP.

    I would set different SSIDs for each TPLink (I've not had any success with getting Windows and Android to hop between matching boxes on older Netgear stuff that I have, but with modern mesh systems like Google provide then you should just have one name on the go).

    Having got the one nearer the Sky box linked - and set to a different channel than the bridge channel - then you should be able to chain to the next TPLink.

    Mainly I would break down the problem and rather than trying to set 2 up at once, I would firstly get a single one working and go step by step. So confirm the Sky box is working as a base station, then link the 1st TPLink by setting a new SSID and following the set up instructions, and then set up the 2nd as another SSID and linking to the 1st TPLink.
    Originally posted by IanMSpencer
    Hi

    Thanks for your reply

    I am not using the same SSID.

    The wireless bridge between the two TPlinks works but I can get no further (to the Sky).

    TPlink Wireless Bridge setup insists it uses same channel as the wireless host it connects to.

    Sky Wireless is not being used, we are connecting to that via ethernet cable.

    You are right that it worked before so should again.

    My feeling is that I did the config with them not connected to each other.

    My other thought is that it may have given a DCHP lease but released it.

    I have powered all down numerous times so there should be no hint of old IP, I have even tried changing the range on the Sky router that has the DHCP.

    In theory the only issue for not having DHCP is on the remote router TPlink1 so it should get it's IP from TPlink2, I have tried that and with relay and with none at all.

    In the past I have connected kit by hardware and it just sees the other kit if they are on same subnet so no routing changes required, hence

    I could segment the subnet masks by why introduce another level of complication for something that did work for a month,

    You seem to think that I am setting up two bridges which I am not (I tried but seeped was dire) it is wired to Sky.
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 12th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    RandomQ
    I set my parents up with a TP link Range extender that covers the whole house which is technically a bungalow but upstairs is the roof space (couldnt get planning permission to build a full house so they made a 2 story bungalow if that makes sense) it has 3/4 of an acre rear Garden and 1/4 acre front garden and wifi is coverage is mostly good for the sake of a 25 extender
    Originally posted by Hoogle
    Yep I got the TPlink routers as they were said to be easiest and I liked the way you can specify mac address in Wireless bridge mode.
    • Hoogle
    • By Hoogle 12th Mar 18, 5:05 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    Hoogle
    not the routers it is a range extender
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Extender-Broadband-Ethernet-TL-WA850RE/dp/B00AHXXJVW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1520874260&sr=8-3&keywords=tp+link+wifi+extender
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 12th Mar 18, 5:13 PM
    • 8,202 Posts
    • 5,959 Thanks
    esuhl
    In theory the only issue for not having DHCP is on the remote router TPlink1 so it should get it's IP from TPlink2, I have tried that and with relay and with none at all.
    Originally posted by RandomQ
    You don't need DHCP to assign IP addresses -- just give the TPLink devices fixed IPs. You'll need to do this on the Sky router as well as the TPLink devices themselves.

    Then, you just need DHCP running on the Sky router to automatically assign IPs to other devices on the network.
    • RandomQ
    • By RandomQ 13th Mar 18, 4:36 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    RandomQ

    Although a static IP is not a practical solution on laptop as connects to numerous wireless networks on different subnets, I figured it might help me diagnose what is going wrong.
    Originally posted by RandomQ

    You don't need DHCP to assign IP addresses -- just give the TPLink devices fixed IPs. You'll need to do this on the Sky router as well as the TPLink devices themselves.

    Then, you just need DHCP running on the Sky router to automatically assign IPs to other devices on the network.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    I did explain that the TPlinks have their own IP's

    I am not about to change the Sky config as it issues IP's in it's locale.

    I did explain that static IP for laptops is not a practical solution, whilst I can do it for diagnostic purposes the user is not technical, a static IP would not work if they went to Costa and signed on to a hotspot or a plethora of other places if they did not have IP set to get automatically.

    Besides the Wireless Bridge works as designed, if I set DCHP on TPLink2 it will deliver it's range of IP's to wireless devices connecting to TPLink1. It is just a dumb setup to force the bridge to have to use same IP subnet.

    So if TPlink2 can see the Sky Router on the Status page it then it becomes a routing issue.

    I am experimenting with setting on TPLink2 that is wired to Sky router.

    It previously worked on Dynamic setting.

    It will not let me set a Static Wan (more TPLink rules it seems) I am documenting all of these as no matter what I do I get an error of one sort or another (either with the subnet I use or the gateway).

    It does not pick up the Wan connection from the Sky Router, it shows it is there on the status page but will not connect to it and the test option fails too

    My feeling is that it worked before as I did all the setup with standalone devices but when the IP lease expired it would not renew, otherwise how come it worked for a month.

    Either that or some setting has been changed on Sky Router but I have not touched it so any change must have been made by Sky. I know some ISP's do not like seeing devices downstream and can block Mac addresses if they are minded to. TBH can't see Sky doing this.
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