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Standard User TheLastMan
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-Apr-16 11:53:58
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Bridge splitting my network


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Because of where my phone line comes into the house (loft study) the wi-fi from my TP Link router is useless on the ground floor. I therefore use AV500 powerline plugs wherever possible. On the ground floor I use a TP Link AV500 Powerline connected Access Point (TL-WPA4220) to provide wi-fi for mobile devices.

I have a NAS, music streamer, network printer and PC that are hooked up to a 5 port switch on the ground floor, unfortunately the powerline connection here is very flakey.

I have tried "bridging" using the wi-fi signal from the Access Point using a Buffalo Linkstation Bridge (WLAE-AG300N) which picks up the wi-fi and feeds it to the switch using a Cat5 cable. All devices pick up their IP from the router using DHCP.

The problem is this appears to have split my network in half with devices either side of the bridged connection unable to talk to the devices on the other. In a bit more detail:

- Both sides of the network can "see" the router.

- Both sides of the network can access the internet via the router.

- Computers connected to the Access Point or Router cannot "see" the NAS, computer and printer on the Buffalo side of the bridge.

- The computer behind the Buffalo bridge cannot "see" computers connected by wi-fi using the Access Point or Router.

Because of this I have had to reinstate the powerline connection which shows 10mb/s up and down in order to use the NAS which is my main backup device and the printer. This is compared to about 400mb/s at my other powerline plugs, and is considerably slower than the connection using wi-fi.

I have made sure that I have not enabled Access Point "isolation" on the devices either side of the bridge. Am I doing anything stupid here?

Ultimately I will be rewiring and putting new sockets into the room with the flakey powerline connection, but I am surprised wi-fi bridging appears so complicated and this has me perplexed.

Matthew
--------
Demon dial-up ('97) > Freeserve dial-up ('00) > Zen 512 ('02) > Metronet PayGo 1000 ('04) > Newnet Home 2050 Lite ('05) > Home 8050 Lite ('06) > Home 8050 M ('07) > back down to Home 8050 Lite ('07) > Be Value > ('08) > O2 Standard ('09) > Orange Broadband and Anytime Calls ('10) > EE fibre broadband > ?
Standard User Rockh
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 12-Apr-16 22:21:05
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Re: Bridge splitting my network


[re: TheLastMan] [link to this post]
 
Does the device have a wireless isolation setting ? Sometimes called privacy, this stops stuff similar to what you describe.

Dave

BT Infinity 2
Standard User mixt
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 13-Apr-16 06:09:16
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Re: Bridge splitting my network


[re: TheLastMan] [link to this post]
 
I have experienced this before and never really got to the bottom of it. Well, I think I know what the problem is, but never found a solution. It's the bridge not being a true bridge, that it claims to be, and thus is not forwarding broadcast traffic between the two network segments. This causes all sorts of issues for NAS's and Samba/Windows/Apple file sharing protocols because such packets never make it across the bridge, and so devices do not see them.

I also run some power line adaptors and have noticed similar issues. I can still connect to my NAS through those but sometimes I need to enter the IP address of the NAS into my computer to actively connect to it, rather than relying on a broadcast and waiting for the icon to show up. I also noticed a firmware update applied on the power line adaptors did improve things.

In either case (wireless bridging or power lines), a cable is still the best option if you can manage it. I found wireless latency and buffering a problem when attempting to stream video from the NAS, across a wireless bridge. The power lines only just manage it but have issues with HD quality streams. Cables really are the only sure way to go ie. remove the bridge completely, but I appreciate this is not always possible. In my case, I run power line adaptors to join my two network segments but have placed access points on each segment (not bridged) and even put a 5Ghz one on the segment with the NAS so, depending what I'm mostly doing (watching video from the NAS or watching video online), I selectively choose which AP to associate with for best connectivity. Though I appreciate in your situation this may not be possible.

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Edited by mixt (Wed 13-Apr-16 06:10:45)


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Standard User TheLastMan
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 07-May-16 15:57:37
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Re: Bridge splitting my network


[re: mixt] [link to this post]
 
Forgot I had posted this, so just noticed your reply!

I replaced the sockets in the room with the poor powerline connection but it made little difference. The wiring is simply too old. It is multi-strand copper rather than the more modern single core wiring which appears to work better with powerline. We are shortly to do up the room so I will get it rewired when that is done.

I have found a number of comments on the web regarding the TP-Link poweline WAP that state this is a known bug they have not fixed. Effectively anything connected to it cannot see devices connected to the Router's WiFi - it appears the Buffalo bridge is not the culprit. I have managed to partially get round the problem by either using fixed or reserved IP addresses.

One of the reviewers said they had replaced the TP-Link WAP with a similar one from Devolo and the problem disappeared. They also stated that the Devolo "Range+" tech that uses all three conductors in a circuit makes it possible to connect devices even on quite dodgy circuits. However to replace my three TP-Link plugs with equivalent Devolo plugs will cost me around £225! That might solve the non-working powerline in the room with the PC and NAS, however it might not.

Matthew
--------
Demon dial-up ('97) > Freeserve dial-up ('00) > Zen 512 ('02) > Metronet PayGo 1000 ('04) > Newnet Home 2050 Lite ('05) > Home 8050 Lite ('06) > Home 8050 M ('07) > back down to Home 8050 Lite ('07) > Be Value > ('08) > O2 Standard ('09) > Orange Broadband and Anytime Calls ('10) > EE fibre broadband ('16) > ?
Standard User TheLastMan
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 18-May-16 23:22:01
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Re: Bridge splitting my network


[re: TheLastMan] [link to this post]
 
Update 2:
Bought a Devolo 550 WiFi kit and been using it for a couple of days. Base unit connected to the router on the first floor front of the house, WiFi unit in the kitchen on the ground floor rear.

When my laptop is connected to the Devolo WiFi AP and using Advanced IP scanner, all devices on the network are now visible and reported, whether they are connected to the router or the Devolo. "Fing" app on my mobile can also see all the network devices, so it has definitely solved that problem.

The TP-Link WiFi was faster, allowing around 25mb/s of internet connection whereas the Devolo is around 15mb/s. With the TPL I would get whingeing from the family that the internet would freeze from time to time. In particular my sons would say League of Legends would intermittently become "laggy". That problem also seems to be solved (at least no problems so far).

My kitchen Squeezebox connects to the NAS via the powerline WiFi point in the kitchen. With the TPL unit the connection was unreliable. Music streaming, Spotify and BBC iPlayer Radio were buffering frequently and the Squeezebox even lost the connection with the NAS altogether on occasion. That has now stopped and streaming from the NAS is now solid and reliable.

At one point tonight my wife was streaming BBC iPlayer TV at 720p (via a Sky Now box), my eldest was playing league of legends on a PC and my daughter was streaming the Arctic Monkeys on the Squeezebox from Spotify at 320 kb/s in the kitchen. All were connected to the Devolo WiFi and no complaints from anybody. That is a first for some time!

So, in summary, the Devolo unit is not as fast as the TPL, but seems to be a lot more reliable and consistent. However it is early days so there is still time for things to go wrong!

Matthew
--------
Demon dial-up ('97) > Freeserve dial-up ('00) > Zen 512 ('02) > Metronet PayGo 1000 ('04) > Newnet Home 2050 Lite ('05) > Home 8050 Lite ('06) > Home 8050 M ('07) > back down to Home 8050 Lite ('07) > Be Value > ('08) > O2 Standard ('09) > Orange Broadband and Anytime Calls ('10) > EE fibre broadband ('16) > ?
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