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Installing Google Wifi - solution

pmwsx
Newbie
Posts: 1
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎16-02-2019

Installing Google Wifi - solution

I am a new Plusnet Fibre customer. I have spent two days of testing, long discussions with Google wifi support (very helpful), brief discussions with Plusnet technical support (they do not support third party equipment) and online research including this forum and I ended up with an elegant solution which I wish to pass on. I am not an expert so I cannot give any advice outside my own experience and I assume that you will follow, as appropriate, suppliers' installation advice.

I had been using Google WifI (mesh) successfully with TalkTalk's router but Google Wifi did not work with the supplied Plusnet Hub One router - there was no internet connection. As a Google Wifi device can function as a router I bought a DSL modem (Netgear DM200) and configured the router to connect to Plusnet using Netgear's  wizard. The Broadband Username is given in my "Welcome to Plusnet" letter (username@plusdsl.net) and the Broadband password is the same as your Plusnet Account password. I connected a PC directly to the modem to do this, although you can use the Google wifi device as part of the wifi setup. (Hint: reboot your PC otherwise it will try to find the previous network).

Once the modem is functioning disconnect the computer and connect the first Google wifi device directly to the router using an ethernet cable (do not use a network switch) and then use the Google wifi app to setup the device (and then any other Google wifi devices you have). If you have wired devices you wish to connect to your LAN (and the internet) then use the port provided on a Google wifi device. I have more than one wired device so I used an network switch. 

I had to solve at least one more problem. My Plusnet Account password included a special character. Plusnet does not recognise a special character in the password as submitted by the Netgear modem. Changing the password for my Plusnet Account (and the modem) solved the problem.

To summarise, I replaced the Plusnet Hub One router with a DSL modem, the Google wifi mesh system and an optional network switch. 

So far my LAN and wifi network has been reliable and performance appears to have improved.

8 REPLIES 8
HeedyLaMar
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎13-09-2014

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

I wonder if my problem is related.

I have had Google WiFi (primary and secondary pucks) working very well for a couple of years now. Around a month ago I noticed that the area the secondary puck should be saving had very weak or non-existent wifi. I checked and the mesh showed a very poor signal. After a lot of too and froing with Google support they say that the fact that Plusnet uses VLAN tagging means that Google wifi will not work correctly, have Plusnet recently started using it? They have outlined a workaround which involves an unmanaged switch that is VLAN tagging capable....

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,296
Thanks: 2,303
Fixes: 173
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

After a lot of too and froing with Google support they say that the fact that Plusnet uses VLAN tagging means that Google wifi will not work correctly, have Plusnet recently started using it? They have outlined a workaround which involves an unmanaged switch that is VLAN tagging capable....

What complete and utter rubbish!

All BT Wholesale FTTC connections, not just PlusNet, have always used VLAN tagging BUT it is only over the PTM connection. There is no VLAN tagging at the LAN side and so any suggestion of using a switch that is VLAN tagging capable is useless

HeedyLaMar
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎13-09-2014

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

Ah! OK thank you, I will wait until Google reply as I have asked them to detail the p[lan and how to spot compatible switch.

Although I am probably better with networks than the average bloke I am still by no means an expert and had never heard of VLAN tagging. I will email Plusnet support for an explanation of how they use it so that I can pass that on to Google.

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,296
Thanks: 2,303
Fixes: 173
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

I will email Plusnet support for an explanation of how they use it

There are two problems with that, 1) PN support don't have an email address and 2) they won't have an explanation since the VLAN tagging is nothing to do with them, it's a requirement of BT Openreach for FTTC and is done by the modem/router.

The VLAN tagging will not be seen by the Google wifi. If you're connecting the Google wifi directly to a modem using PPPoE then the modem will insert and remove the VLAN tag If you're connecting to a PN hub one then it too will insert and remove the VLAN tag.

The actual details are buried in here https://www.btplc.com/SINet/sins/pdf/498v7p5.pdf but it's pretty hard going...

HeedyLaMar
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎13-09-2014

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

So that's my plan shot down already! MisterW, thanks for your help, I took a look at that document and you're right about the hard going..... I'll wait to see what Google come back with. Just for the record my set up is (and has been since I bought it) 2 Google WiFi pucks, primary one connected to the Openreach modem. This puck also has an ethernet cable going into a power line adapter. Secondary puck worked just fine until reporting a bad connection to primary a couple of weeks back.
MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,296
Thanks: 2,303
Fixes: 173
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

In your configuration the Google Wifi will not be aware at all of any VLAN tagging. The Openreach modem will tag any outgoing data and remove tags from incoming data before it gets to the Google Wifi. I think where Google are getting confused, is that some VDSL modems do not do the VLAN tagging and so it requires the router (in this case the Google Wifi) to apply the VLAN tagging to the WAN connection. Not many routers can do this , and the Google Wifi is one. In your case, it doesn't matter, it doesn't need to. I'd be interested to hear what rubbiish Google come back with though...
HeedyLaMar
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎13-09-2014

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

This is what they have come back with.

 

"A workaround is to connect a switch or a third-party router in between your modem and your Google Wifi parent point."

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,296
Thanks: 2,303
Fixes: 173
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Installing Google Wifi - solution

If it was a problem that required support for VLAN ID , then the addition of a router with VLAN support MIGHT be a possible solution. However your problem has absolutely nothing to do with VLAN. If it was lack of VLAN support then you wouldn't be able to connect tongue internet at all!.