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Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

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Registered: ‎13-05-2020

Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

I'm trying to work out if my TP AV6000 Powerline adaptors are at fault, or if it might be something else.

The slave is in the attic, and when I run an ethernet cable from it as now, the connection is solid and fast (60mps). Wifi in the same small room is good, too. But move 10 feet away to the bedroom, or down the stairs, and speed bounces up and down with 6-8mps max but often down to negligible or zero. Even when it's running 'OK' (6-8) there's nearly always a delay of 3-4 seconds before a speed test starts running (not sure what that's called).

What I've done:

- changed the router to a BT Smart Hub 5 Business (in vain hope of ditching Powerlines)

- separated the SSIDs so I can be sure it's the Powerline one that's problematic (tedious, but necessary it seems as iPhones hang on to the very weak signal from ground floor).

- running a cable top to bottom is absolutely my last resort due to routing issues

And there I run out of ideas! I've concluded that since ethernet works fine, the house circuits aren't causing problems so it must be the device itself... or am I missing something?

 

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

@matw 

I looked at problems I was having with Powerline some time ago. Is this of use:  https://community.plus.net/t5/Tech-Help-Software-Hardware-etc/Powerline-Unit-Performance/m-p/1607450...

I have now wired our house with Cat 5E Ethernet cable. Yes it was an absolute pain at the time but I now have rock solid Ethernet connectivity where I need it.

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

Thanks Baldrick1 - yes, I read your post on that. Haven't tried it yet, but that's because I'm thinking that if an Ethernet cable run from the slave works perfectly, it can't be an issue with the circuits - must be the unit itself...?

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

Moderators Note
This topic has been moved from Fibre Broadband to Tech Help.

 

 

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 80.0.1 (64-bit)

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

@matw 

Lets start again with my new understanding.

You can run Powerline from your router and get get 60 Mbps using an Ethernet cable from the slave in the attic so my first theory goes out the window?

Your slave powerline unit has wireless capability and this is not good on the floor below?

You have a spare router?

If these assumptions are correct how about:

1. Moving the slave powerline down a floor?

2. Configuring one of your routers as an Access Point, connect it to to the slave powerline Ethernet output and use that in the attic rather than the slave powerline wireless?

 

 

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

Whoah, Baldrick1, you might be the genius I've been looking for Smiley

Number (1) below is probably out, because then I lose my ability to run an ethernet cable to my laptop as currently (best connection I can get). Though perhaps worth experimenting to see if it cures the up-and-down slave wifi performance in some bizarre way

But number 2 would *never* have occurred to me, I just packed the Hub 1 away to gather dust. Found the guide I need to create a WAP, and I will play this evening.

Thank you for the much needed lateral thinking! 

 

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

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@matw 

Let us know how you get on .

Personally I would separate the bands on the Hub One. Its the same process as your BT business HH.

Also try the same SSID as per your link but if you have problems then try a different one.

 

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

Hey - so I tried it and while experience has taught me never to count my chickens, so far the result is… excellent. 60Mbps+ throughout the top floor, with the unexpected bonus that using an ethernet cable to connect slave TP to the spare router means I can position it centrally, unlike the TP which was plugged into a corner socket. 

Thanks again for your help.

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

Having just ordered a Devolo 500 starter pack, this thread and in particular the link in @Baldrick1 's post may well prove useful.

My setup is thus. The router is in the study at the front of the house. There are two ring main circuits on RCDs. I have run an armoured mains cable from the garage down to the summerhouse at the bottom of the back garden where I've set up my new home office. I have a wifi extender in the lounge which is at the back of the house, and whilst the wifi signal is still good enough for most things, Skype video and sometimes audio comms are flakey at times. Logic would suggest that the two ring mains would be either be arranged front and back or upstairs and downstairs. I believe it is front and back, with the garage power on the front circuit, but I'll have to check this as advised. It appears from @Baldrick1 's test results that the powerlines will work but not necessarily without some degradation in speed, but still likely to be better than connecting via wireless.

Does this sound reasonable? 

 

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

My router and slave are on different circuits but speed from router to Powerline master through the electrics to the Powerline slave in the attic is still very fast and solid, too, so you may be in luck. And if so, the option that Baldrick1 suggested to me, of using the ethernet connection on the slave to set up a Wireless Access Point using a second router (I bought mine for £12 on eBay), might work for you too. It was also very easy following the instructions in the link upthread. 

Good luck!

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful

The devolo kit arrived promptly (thanks Amazon) and has now been set up and working. Things to note are 

1. I tried to set it up to clone the router wifi - same SSID and wireless key, but that didn't seem to work so I set it to use the default SSID and its own wireless key. This means disconnecting/reconnecting from wifi everytime I move from office back to the house, but I'm used to this anyway with the wireless extender I have been using up to now.

2. signal strength from the wifi unit is excellent. Using Wifi Analyzer app on mobile phone, the signal is full scale -40dB, when tested in the 'office at the bottom of the garden'. This is better than the signal from the router when standing next to it!

3. I didn't bother setting up a spare router as a slave, didn't seem much point given the signal strength and anyway if needed i could use the ethernet port on the wifi unit if better speed was needed. I haven't tried any speed tests, as the laptop i'm using in the office is configured to connect to a secure VPN and any comparison with my historical connections is most likely not valid.

4. the user guide mentions an app for controlling the units, devolo cockpit. It doesn't appear to be available on the amazon appstore, I haven't got any apple products to use the appstore, and when I tried to install on my phone from Google Play, the app wanted permissions for my camera - I declined to install. 

All-in-all I'm quite pleased with the improvement, and my company offered to reimburse the cost since it is enabling me to work from home. Amazon are selling these devolo kits for £35 atm, down from £80. It is worth pointing out that the wireless unit is only single band 2.4GHz.

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Re: Powerline: wired is great, WiFi intermittently awful


@maranello wrote:

4. the user guide mentions an app for controlling the units, devolo cockpit. It doesn't appear to be available on the amazon appstore, I haven't got any apple products to use the appstore, and when I tried to install on my phone from Google Play, the app wanted permissions for my camera - I declined to install. 

If you have a PC then see https://www.devolo.com/support/downloads/download/devolo-cockpit