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Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 10:23:02
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Extending BTWifi


[link to this post]
 
I am stuck without broadband for at least 3 months due to some housing development in the local area and the only option is BT-Wifi, luckily there seems to be quite a lot of it about.

The problem I am having is that the BTWifi signal is too weak to be of practical use.

In the past I have been able to use an AC Router which has a better reception and re-transmit what was then BTWifi-with-Fon into my home, but when I try to do it now with BTWifi I am hitting all kinds of technical issues.

My AC router has a wireless bridge mode that allows me to do a survey and pick an SSID to repeat in my home, it only shows one BTWifi SSID, it also shows the signal strength and whether the signal is AC.

The problem is that devices that connect can't maintain the connection for very long at all, sometimes as soon as 10 seconds after you log into the BTWifi portal you lose connection, occasionally I have had it work for as long as 2 hours.

My Router is fairly old so I got a TPLink Router but this does not work at all, the reason is that it only works if you turn off DHCP, that is fine if you are extending a wifi you control in your home, but with BT-Wifi the routers are all over the place and they do not provide DHCP. In fact once you disable DHCP you lose access to the router and have to do a factory reset and connect with a wired connection.

What the TP-Link IS useful for is a far better survey. it shows the individual Mac addresses of the BTWifi SSID's around, along with a more detailed signal strength.

I feel sure that other must have tried this before as BTWifi signal strength seems to be rubbish.

I am not sure if the problem is with the BTwifi dropping the connection due to inactivity, this seems unlikely as 10s after login is no time at all.

I am wondering if there is some sort of mechanism causing it to drop a line in favour of a better signal there seem to be at least 5 different ones here. Strangely it seems to have more success logging in when I face the router in one direction but seems more reliable when I turn it in another direction. I have not measured this scientifically, just feels that way.

I am hoping someone here might be able to give me a recommendation of a cheap (sub £50 second hand) AC router that may have a better wireless bridge implementation that does not require I shut off DHCP and that allows me to select and repeat a single network by Mac address, I am not that technical, I already bricked one TPlink modem doing a firmware update but in my defense this seems fairly common. DD-WRT seems a bit too technical for me and I am not sure it would work anyway.

Alternatively some suggestions on some parameters I might change on my existing router might help, I have listed some of the options below

Please do not give me an answer that says to do something else, I am only interested in solving this problem.

I am not going to spend money on mobile as it is beyond my budget, I already pay for BTBroadband at my home but we have had to move out due to an insurance claim requiring extensive works.

I have got it working before, and when it works at the moment I can get 4mb to 6mb which is I can live with, but losing connection 100 times an hour is intolerable.

Thanks in advance.




ROUTER CONFIG OPTIONS

Key Renewal Interval

DTIM Period


Multicast Aging Time


WMM Options

Priority Parameter
AC_BK (Low)
For AP For STA
CWmin: 15 15
CWmax: 1023 1023
AIFSN: 7 7
TXOP Limit: 0 0
Admission Control: Disabled
----

AC_BE (Normal)
For AP For STA
CWmin: 15 15
CWmax: 63 1023
AIFSN: 3 3
TXOP Limit: 0 0
Admission Control: Disabled
----

AC_VI (High)
For AP For STA
CWmin: 7 7
CWmax: 15 15
AIFSN: 1 2
TXOP Limit: 94 94
Admission Control: Disabled
----

AC_VO (Highest)
For AP For STA
CWmin: 3 3
CWmax: 7 7
AIFSN: 1 2
TXOP Limit: 47 47
Admission Control: Disabled
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 06-Aug-20 11:29:39
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
What is your 4G signal like? You can get monthly deals from the likes of a smarty and GiffGaff, then tether to the device. Mobile routers are quite cheap.

What have you got in your phone anyway?

PS: You seem willing to spend money on a way of extending the BT WiFi. You have to spend something to solve the problem. Existing phone seems the best bet, with additional data for a while.

__________________________________________________________
Sovereignty Means Sovereignty

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, sites and mail hosting - Tsohost & Ionos.
Connection - Three B311 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up. 1+ 8 Pro max 80Mbps down, 24Mbps up.
=========================
To argue with a mindless bigot is foolish.

Edited by RobertoS (Thu 06-Aug-20 11:33:48)

Standard User robertcrowther
(committed) Thu 06-Aug-20 12:49:12
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
The reason why the Bt-Wifi signal is so weak is because it's coming from your neighbours router.

Would it not be possible to ask your neighbours if they could for now just run an ethernet cable out to you?

Also, my insurance company would pay for an internet connection if I had to have extensive building works to my home and had to move out, so there is that avenue to explore as well.


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Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 12:50:38
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
What is your 4G signal like? You can get monthly deals from the likes of a smarty and GiffGaff, then tether to the device. Mobile routers are quite cheap.

What have you got in your phone anyway?

PS: You seem willing to spend money on a way of extending the BT WiFi. You have to spend something to solve the problem. Existing phone seems the best bet, with additional data for a while.



Like any household I have multiple devices not just phone, even for the phone I need it to work in all rooms, when I get a data connection on mobile it does not work in all rooms anyway.

I am prepared to invest in a one off capital purchase of a AC wifi router, not take on another data contract with nothing to show for it.

I already have a router for SIM but I am not spending money on such a contract, I am already paying for broadband that includes hotspots, I simply wish to make it work.

Please respect my request

=====================================================================
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
Please do not give me an answer that says to do something else, I am only interested in solving this problem.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 06-Aug-20 12:55:30
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
You want to receive a weak signal from a BT-wifi and share it with multiple devices in your home. This is the same scenario as many visitors to hotels, especially corporate hotels.

Devices such as this, may be worth looking into:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/GL-iNet-GL-AR750-300Mbps-pr...

I have used this box to pick up a hotel Wifi (which has no password) and then connect my own devices to the ethernet port and to the WiFi that this box transmits. So each of my devices doesn't need changing for each hotel, I just have to use the web page to connect to the hotel's WiFi. It also gets around the limit many hotels have of 1 device per room or you pay more.

Maybe an option?

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 12:56:36
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: robertcrowther] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by robertcrowther:
The reason why the Bt-Wifi signal is so weak is because it's coming from your neighbours router.

Would it not be possible to ask your neighbours if they could for now just run an ethernet cable out to you?

Also, my insurance company would pay for an internet connection if I had to have extensive building works to my home and had to move out, so there is that avenue to explore as well.


That is the thing, the signal is not that weak, the routers see it as a strong signal, it is just kwap at getting into the property.

I tried the neighbours, they were not comfortable to even give me their wifi login which is sad as the TP-links would have worked, but that avenue is closed, I even offered them a one off payment.

Insurance company are being like any insurance company, already not paying what they should be paying, as it is I am going to be facing huge costs when we get back into our home.

I really want to focus on fixing this problem with BTWifi rather than doing something else.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 13:08:23
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
You want to receive a weak signal from a BT-wifi and share it with multiple devices in your home. This is the same scenario as many visitors to hotels, especially corporate hotels.

Devices such as this, may be worth looking into:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/GL-iNet-GL-AR750-300Mbps-pr...

I have used this box to pick up a hotel Wifi (which has no password) and then connect my own devices to the ethernet port and to the WiFi that this box transmits. So each of my devices doesn't need changing for each hotel, I just have to use the web page to connect to the hotel's WiFi. It also gets around the limit many hotels have of 1 device per room or you pay more.

Maybe an option?


Interesting device but looks weaker substantially than my current router, it also has no antenna so will struggle to provide coverage in all rooms.

Ironically the BTwifi signal is not that weak, if I am prepared to stand by the window, the issue is a tech issue

I was hoping to find someone who has done this with BTWifi

When BTwifi was BTwifi-with-Fon the router I had worked but BT seems to have changed something in moving it to BTwifi.

I even tried their BTwifi app for the phones, all it does is save you the login but it too fails if you sit on the sofa or go to any other room

I can see from network monitoring tools that the signal is strong enough by the window, I would not even be trying as repeating a weak signal will just give a weak signal.

I think the issue is that BTwifi must have some protocol that make it constantly look for the strongest signal and switch to that, but now it is losing connection after 10 seconds, just post on here I have to login, rush to do the captcha (on every post and every preview) then login again then quickly hit continue.
Standard User robertcrowther
(committed) Thu 06-Aug-20 13:14:39
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
In reply to a post by robertcrowther:
The reason why the Bt-Wifi signal is so weak is because it's coming from your neighbours router.

Would it not be possible to ask your neighbours if they could for now just run an ethernet cable out to you?

Also, my insurance company would pay for an internet connection if I had to have extensive building works to my home and had to move out, so there is that avenue to explore as well.


That is the thing, the signal is not that weak, the routers see it as a strong signal, it is just kwap at getting into the property.

I tried the neighbours, they were not comfortable to even give me their wifi login which is sad as the TP-links would have worked, but that avenue is closed, I even offered them a one off payment.

Insurance company are being like any insurance company, already not paying what they should be paying, as it is I am going to be facing huge costs when we get back into our home.

I really want to focus on fixing this problem with BTWifi rather than doing something else.


Many people forget that you have two signals to worry about. First the receiving signal and then the transmitting signal. You only need one of these to be low and you have a problem. Unfortunately most routers don't provide the readings for both.

Good luck with the insurance company, sounds like you might need some renegotiation when it comes to renewal time.
Standard User danielhyde
(regular) Thu 06-Aug-20 13:20:44
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
Its just normal Wi-Fi protocol.
If you have multiple access points with the same ssid it will automatically connect to the strongest signal.
When it switches this is what is logging you out.
I cant see why anyone else would want to do this as anyone in this position would have either mobile data available or internet provided where they are staying.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 13:24:01
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Re: Extending BTWifi few things I have tried


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
I have tried setting 5.0 to picking up the BTwifi and only making 2.4 available to clients, this has not helped, bizarrely on laptop it I have to disconnect then reconnect, then I do not need to login to BTWifi, but connection lasts about a minute.

I tried it the other way around with 2.4 picking up and making 5.0 available to clients but signal was rubbish and could not get it to work at all.

I thought it might be a timeout and tried playing a movie on youtube to keep the connection open, that did not work.

I tried the mode on the router that replicates the same SSID and poor security but the signal strength does not improve which suggest to me that I am still connecting to one of the poor BT signals.

I tried messing with DTIM but did not really help.

I have done factory resets numerous times but to no avail.

This is manual of buffalo that I have tried, in case there are any techs that get a lightbulb moment from the settings

https://www.buffalo.jp/s3/guide/wzr-1750dhp/99/en/mo...
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 13:31:59
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
Its just normal Wi-Fi protocol.
If you have multiple access points with the same ssid it will automatically connect to the strongest signal.
When it switches this is what is logging you out.
I cant see why anyone else would want to do this as anyone in this position would have either mobile data available or internet provided where they are staying.


I can think of lots of uses, if people did not need wifi away from home they would not have hotspots would they, the fon network would not be such a success all over the world and BT would not hive off 10% of their customers wifi for this purpose.

I did say I thought it might be switching but it is doing it after 10 seconds now, I was hoping someone might know something about networking and have a setting to recommend that may keep the connection open.

I do not think it is just normal wifi protocol.

Someone on the BT consumer website said that BT creates a VLAN for each user in the router providing the wifi, nothing normal about that, but also I have been able to get some devices to hold a direct connection open for 2 hours (the normal expiry).

A weird thing is that I can sometimes get a laptop to login albeit for a short time, but iphone and ipad say no internet connection.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 06-Aug-20 15:20:05
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
A weird thing is that I can sometimes get a laptop to login albeit for a short time, but iphone and ipad say no internet connection.

It sounds as if the signals are not strong enough, the "graphic" indicator you get on most devices is quite simplistic, and it is when you start using things go wrong. BT WiFi has no WPA password, so "auto roaming" won't work between stations, even if the neighbours both sides of yourself had BT WiFi being transmitted.

Not sure what to suggest, apart from perhaps an external antenna on a box similar to that I posted before to get the signal, and then plug that in via Ethernet to your TPLink or similar router to transmit around the home.

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 06-Aug-20 15:30:06
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
I can't provide definitive information as never tried this (and you may find no-one on here has tried it) but I am thinking BT may have something that recognises a router device connected to the WiFi and boots it off the network as they may not support a multi user device - the service may be designed just to support individual end user devices.
Standard User gary333
(committed) Thu 06-Aug-20 15:38:45
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
If you are outside the persons house who has the router, with say a laptop does it do the same thing?

Maybe their speed isn't very good and the service is smart enough just to cut acccess when it drops below a certain threshold (of available bandwidth).

Although, to be fair, what you are trying to do seems a little bizarre and not the intended purpose of such a service. I wouldn't be very happy if my router was allowing someone effectively camping outside taking what little bandwidth I already have.

If it's going to be at least 3 months, why don't you just get BT to move the supply between the two houses?
Standard User danielhyde
(regular) Thu 06-Aug-20 15:53:25
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
As others have said it is designed for single devices to connect e.g phone or laptop.
its probably the way the networks are configured that means the old fon network allowed this and the ne btwifi doesn't.
you're probably unlikely to find anyone else who has even tried it.
you would need a more enterprise level device that could lock the repeater the BSSID instead of the SSID
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 16:31:09
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: gary333] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gary333:
If you are outside the persons house who has the router, with say a laptop does it do the same thing?

Maybe their speed isn't very good and the service is smart enough just to cut acccess when it drops below a certain threshold (of available bandwidth).

Although, to be fair, what you are trying to do seems a little bizarre and not the intended purpose of such a service. I wouldn't be very happy if my router was allowing someone effectively camping outside taking what little bandwidth I already have.

If it's going to be at least 3 months, why don't you just get BT to move the supply between the two houses?


There is no way to know which house it is, I am in a flat with around 100 other flats within view, there are 5 close enough to offer a signal

The speeds that it is finding must be fibre because it am getting 6mb to 9mb, they say it is 10% of the signal, so speed is fine.

I do not know why you find it bizarre, there are hundreds of thousands of hotspots in the UK, I am not camping anywhere, BT hives off this bandwidth into a different network. You can disable it but people have found that BT does not give the bandwidth back to the consumer, there is no speed improvement to them, this has been widely covered on other forums.

As I explained in my original post, due to home building there is no new broadband being added until the next tranche of properties are built, I have tried all of the ISP's, some accepted the order online and even quoted a 14 day install, I waited 5 weeks and escalted to CEO's office who called back and said they could not offer service and nor could anyone else.

As I have already explained I just want solutions to the technical query I have raised. I have already exhausted other options, mobile signal is dire and there are even blackspots. I went to Tesco and bought sims from all the main providers, they all have basic signal.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 16:37:46
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian72:
I can't provide definitive information as never tried this (and you may find no-one on here has tried it) but I am thinking BT may have something that recognises a router device connected to the WiFi and boots it off the network as they may not support a multi user device - the service may be designed just to support individual end user devices.


I did consider that but as it has been working before and even does at times it seems unlikely.

The network maintains the connection, it seems as if there is a timeout due to lost connection, what I was hoping to find was some parameter that made the router less sensitive or not to change router if that is what it is doing.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Thu 06-Aug-20 16:54:52
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: danielhyde] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by danielhyde:
As others have said it is designed for single devices to connect e.g phone or laptop.
its probably the way the networks are configured that means the old fon network allowed this and the ne btwifi doesn't.
you're probably unlikely to find anyone else who has even tried it.
you would need a more enterprise level device that could lock the repeater the BSSID instead of the SSID


Well I have it working on multiple devices, the repeater merely passes the connection back and forth between the client and the BTWIFI router.

I did think this VLAN suggestion might be what you suggest but one would expect this to disconnect the 2nd device immediately and never approve it.

Each device gets a unique IP and has a unique outward facing IP

Many routers do have enterprise like features, but they all seem to implement differently, for example Buffalo allows one to specify whether it prefers 5ghz or 2.4ghz or insist on it. While Linksys force you to use one to connect to the network you are trying to repeat and the other to distribute to clients.

I think I am going to have to buy either a Netgear or Linksys with decent antennas and then hope that they can do it.

I am sure others will have tried this, I know someone at work who implemented it in the office using a buffalo because the internal network had limits, that is why I got a buffalo myself.

There are so many options that one might think might help for example

SSID Isolation
Wireless Client Isolation
802.11n Protection
Multicast Rate

But they do not seem to help but rather prevent it working at all.
Standard User gary333
(committed) Thu 06-Aug-20 17:40:04
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
In reply to a post by gary333:
If you are outside the persons house who has the router, with say a laptop does it do the same thing?

Maybe their speed isn't very good and the service is smart enough just to cut acccess when it drops below a certain threshold (of available bandwidth).

Although, to be fair, what you are trying to do seems a little bizarre and not the intended purpose of such a service. I wouldn't be very happy if my router was allowing someone effectively camping outside taking what little bandwidth I already have.

If it's going to be at least 3 months, why don't you just get BT to move the supply between the two houses?


There is no way to know which house it is, I am in a flat with around 100 other flats within view, there are 5 close enough to offer a signal

The speeds that it is finding must be fibre because it am getting 6mb to 9mb, they say it is 10% of the signal, so speed is fine.

I do not know why you find it bizarre, there are hundreds of thousands of hotspots in the UK, I am not camping anywhere, BT hives off this bandwidth into a different network. You can disable it but people have found that BT does not give the bandwidth back to the consumer, there is no speed improvement to them, this has been widely covered on other forums.

As I explained in my original post, due to home building there is no new broadband being added until the next tranche of properties are built, I have tried all of the ISP's, some accepted the order online and even quoted a 14 day install, I waited 5 weeks and escalted to CEO's office who called back and said they could not offer service and nor could anyone else.

As I have already explained I just want solutions to the technical query I have raised. I have already exhausted other options, mobile signal is dire and there are even blackspots. I went to Tesco and bought sims from all the main providers, they all have basic signal.


I am pretty sure there is no reserved bandwidth on BT for this service. You as a user are just de-prioritised (if the firmware works which will be a big if).

Virgin Media has a separate bandwidth made available, so their service ‘should’ not impact the customer. 9mb would be over 10% for FTTC - so must be either no limit or you’ve happened across a g.fast or FTTP customer.

I think you might be best on the BT forum to find out more detail for the FON service.
Standard User kitcat
(experienced) Thu 06-Aug-20 18:51:17
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
It is likely that some of your problems are caused by your router's Wifi. I

It is likely that it is swamping the remote signal with it's own signal and therefore losing the remote signal.

If you have a dual band router you MAY be able to use one band to recieve and only transmit on the other. This would stop the router swamping the receive signal.

Fixing the band may also help, so if the remote router is using band 1 , you need to use Band 11 . However with the number of other signals in the flats this too is likely to break fairly regularly as other routers seek a less congested band. Often the routers will choose the same band as this enables them to interleave reducing interference but your router will then swamp the remote signal.

You could try turning off your wireless and using Ethernet to see if this keeps the connection up for longer, this would help prove the situation above.

If the remote router starts streaming at close to its connection speed you will have Bt Wifi bandwidth restricted . You may also not be the only person piggybacking on this router !
Standard User gc1
(regular) Thu 06-Aug-20 20:43:35
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
I use two routers for this, one as just a client router to act as the BTwifi client, with an Ethernet connection to a second router some distance away to provide my access point for local devices. This way the transmitter from one will not swamp the receive amp of the other.

I would suggest starting with a router configured as just a wifi client (not a repeater) and connect by wired Ethernet to a PC and see if you can get it working that way.

The client router does network address translation so it doesn't matter how many devices are connected locally they all come through to the BTwifi access point as one MAC address and one IPv4 address.

I use OpenWRT in the client router which is very configurable. But that is an even steeper learning curve than DD-WRT so you may not want to go down that route,

BTwifi signals from neighbours will be weak, you need to make sure you get at least 20dB signal to noise ratio for the connection to stay up and remain stable. An external directional antenna may be necessary. I use a 19dBi flat plate antenna and only just manage to get around a 22dB SNR. If you are in a flat rather than a detached house this won't be such a problem.

TP-link routers are usually pretty good for wireless sensitivity, I doubt if a different model would improve the situation. I use an old TL-WR1043ND and that works well as a client for weak signals even with the stock short vertical stick antennas.

I don't understand why you would need to disable DHCP on the router. That should only apply for it's local LAN and any wifi access point it provides. It's wifi client connecting the BTwifi access point will be a DHCP client to pick up the CGNAT address (100.x.x.x etc.) that the latter provides.

For speed the service is rate limited to 10Mbps send and receive. In practice somewhat less (e.g. 5 to 10 Mbps) should be achievable provided you are the only BTwifi client on that access point and the wifi signal strength is good and you neighbour has a fast (VDSL or FTTP) connection. Sometimes the CGNAT gateway is heavily loaded and the speed is really poor. Then disconnecting the wifi client and reconnecting gets a different CGNAT client address through a less loaded gateway and the speed improves.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 06-Aug-20 20:58:47
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: gc1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gc1:
I would suggest starting with a router configured as just a wifi client (not a repeater) and connect by wired Ethernet to a PC and see if you can get it working that way.
I agree, this is a good plan. The "small" box I proposed has two separate WiFi circuits inside which are designed not to interfere.

I am also amazed the OP has BT Wifi around, as there is none in my area. (Either everyone has opted out, or they're all Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk customers).

20 years of broadband connectivity since 1999 trial - Live BQM

Edited by jchamier (Thu 06-Aug-20 20:59:40)

Standard User j0hn83
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 06-Aug-20 21:02:27
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
I can confirm is possible also.

I had no FTTC after ceasing my line when trying to switch between my ECI cabinet and the newly installed Huawei cabinet.

I went about 7-8 weeks on the neighbours BTWifi hotspot, picking up the signal on a TP-Link WAP and then repeating it around the house for all our devices.
It worked flawlessly, getting around 9Mb/s most of the day.

I tried this last week on my Asus RT-AC68U without success as I was getting moaned at for taking the connection down.

I plan on getting this working this week as my Virgin goes off on the 9th and my FTTP doesn't go live till the 12th.
I want to pick up the neighbours BTWifi again and run off that for 3 days.
Fortunately BT enable access to their WiFi the day your order is placed which is very handy.
Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Thu 06-Aug-20 21:42:15
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
I do not know why you find it bizarre, there are hundreds of thousands of hotspots in the UK, I am not camping anywhere, BT hives off this bandwidth into a different network. You can disable it but people have found that BT does not give the bandwidth back to the consumer, there is no speed improvement to them, this has been widely covered on other forums.
You and those other unnamed forums are wrong. Further what you are proposing goes against the entire ethos of BT wi-fi so wouldn't be in the slightest surprised if BT are booting you off if they detect other than a single end device connected.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 06-Aug-20 23:46:48
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
I already have a router for SIM but I am not spending money on such a contract, I am already paying for broadband that includes hotspots, I simply wish to make it work.

Please respect my request

=====================================================================
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
Please do not give me an answer that says to do something else, I am only interested in solving this problem.
Being rude to a sensible reply isn't going to get you out of your otherewise insoluble problem.

Picking up local BT free wifi from domestic BT Customers' routers is simply not going to work, as you should realise from the intervening posts.

I did not suggest taking out any contracts!

You say you already have a suitable router. So use it?

See these GiffGaff plans, monthly but cancel at any time. (That's O2)
Also (cheaper perhaps), similar Smarty plans. (That's Three).

Take your pick - one of those, or head in the sand with the communications facility of an ostrich. wink tongue smile.

__________________________________________________________
Sovereignty Means Sovereignty

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, sites and mail hosting - Tsohost & Ionos.
Connection - Three B311 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up. 1+ 8 Pro max 80Mbps down, 24Mbps up.
=========================
To argue with a mindless bigot is foolish.

Edited by RobertoS (Thu 06-Aug-20 23:47:50)

Standard User gc1
(regular) Fri 07-Aug-20 07:30:51
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: gc1] [link to this post]
 
I should add that I have never tried a bridge or wifi repeater with BTwifi - this may or may not work - I don't know.

With the solution I suggested - a client router - it is essential that the device can act as a client router and can do network address translation in this mode - because there is no log-in available to the BTwifi access point to add a static route back to your local subnet so to the access point your devices must all appear to use the CGNAT 100.x.x.x address.

This probably means having to reflash a device with DD-WRT or OpenWRT either of which can do this.
I don't know if any devices have stock software which can do this.

The OP mentioned bricking a router trying to reflash it. This might be recoverable by opening it up and gaining access to it's serial port. Otherwise there are usually plenty of wireless routers for sale on Ebay, just make sure it is a model capable of running DD-WRT or OpenWRT. I personally like TP-Link devices and have found them to work well for wifi over longer than average ranges. Other makes might be just as good.

BTwifi is, of course, only really feasible as a backup solution. You have to re-log in every 3 hours (sometimes more often), it's CGNAT with IPv4 only (no IPv6) and sometimes the gateway is heavily loaded and the performance is very poor so you have to disconnect and reconnect. Also the wifi part is unencrypted, although if you are only accessing https sites this does not matter much. Configuring your client to use DNS over TLS or DNS over HTTPS is also a good idea.

But for what the OP wants it should be suitable provided there is a strong enough wifi signal.

Typical speed test result

Edited by gc1 (Fri 07-Aug-20 09:42:35)

Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Fri 07-Aug-20 09:49:42
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
I already have a router for SIM but I am not spending money on such a contract, I am already paying for broadband that includes hotspots, I simply wish to make it work.

Please respect my request

=====================================================================
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
Please do not give me an answer that says to do something else, I am only interested in solving this problem.
Being rude to a sensible reply isn't going to get you out of your otherewise insoluble problem.

Picking up local BT free wifi from domestic BT Customers' routers is simply not going to work, as you should realise from the intervening posts.

I did not suggest taking out any contracts!

You say you already have a suitable router. So use it?

See these GiffGaff plans, monthly but cancel at any time. (That's O2)
Also (cheaper perhaps), similar Smarty plans. (That's Three).

Take your pick - one of those, or head in the sand with the communications facility of an ostrich. wink tongue smile.


I think it is entirely reasonable for me to ask for the answer to MY question NOT some other problem.

I think it is RUDE of YOU not to respect my request for replies focused on the actual technical issue I am trying to solve.

I think it is RUDE of YOU to think you know better, I had this working before and I want to again

I think your reply is utterly RUDE.

I explained I am only prepared to invest in a capital investment, i.e. a device that I can use for another purpose and NOT on data with another contract, I also explained that the mobile signal is dire here and I had bought SIMS from all the providers.

If you are in London and someone asks you directions on how to get them to Brighton do you reply "oh no you are better off going to Scotland, you can take the M1 Motorway."

If you can't do what is asked or you have no technical solution to offer then move on to another post please.

Edited by thinkbfan (Fri 07-Aug-20 09:53:47)

Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Fri 07-Aug-20 10:02:20
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: MCM] [link to this post]
 
What ARE you talking about, it is BT that is selling this, I am a BT customer using my BT login to access it.

The open source FON system pioneered using unused broadband to share bandwidth over hotspots.

I remember renting a villa in Spain many years ago, there was no WiFI for miles

However, I discovered that It had a roof terrace with a mesh dish the size of a dustbin lid with a wire to a simple DLINK device.

That mesh was an antenna allowing it to pick up free wifi from miles away.

Obviously one should consider such networks as insecure but for browsing, listening to the radio and streaming it was fine.

Now BT offer BTWIFI as a service, customers can turn it off but they get no more bandwidth by doing so, please do not blame me if you have a problem with that.

If you want to confirm open your laptop, disable any auto login to wifi and look for SSID's you will almost certainly see BTWifi if you are in any build up area.

All I am trying to do is improve reception and repeat a signal, it really is that simple.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Fri 07-Aug-20 10:12:23
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: robertcrowther] [link to this post]
 
Thanks that is a very good point

I did some experimenting yesterday and it appeared point the router in one direction was better for finding an "excellent" signal while rotating it a bit clockwise led to a signal that was "good" but maintained longer periods of connection.

I have discovered that Linksys offers pretty weak ability in some models to home in on one network but on others does allow one to specify a mac address rather than an SSID


WDS Interface – Select Enable.
Remote Address – Enter the MAC address of the remote AP you are creating the link to. In this example, the MAC address B4:75:0E:1B:0A:80 is used.


https://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNu...
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Fri 07-Aug-20 10:24:44
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: gary333] [link to this post]
 
That is an interesting point, I have seen people complaining when they disabled it but it still showed, then they were told to wait 28 days and it still showed.

Others successfully disabled it but got no improvement so maybe you are right

A bit like when Amazon allow you to bid on their unused server MIPs you can be running a virtual server and then suddenly get kicked off because the paid for dedicated server needs it

That may explain what is happening here, that the local BT subscriber has a spike request (e.g. kids load up netflix) and rather than lower my speed they boot me off.
Standard User gc1
(regular) Fri 07-Aug-20 11:06:38
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by thinkbfan:
That may explain what is happening here, that the local BT subscriber has a spike request (e.g. kids load up netflix) and rather than lower my speed they boot me off.


I don't think it works that way. When I tried simultaneous speed tests on my own BT router from one device and BTwifi to my own BT router from another device both worked OK, but only a minor portion of the available bandwidth went to the BTwifi connection (as it should).

Random disconnections do happen. You don't always get the full 3 hours. But I think this is the CGNAT gateways deciding to disconnect somebody when the total number of users gets too high to free up a slot for new connections (this is just a guess). Also there is a relatively short idle timeout so inactive users are disconnected. I don't think I have ever experienced a connection to drop after only 10 seconds.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Fri 07-Aug-20 11:08:45
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: kitcat] [link to this post]
 
Yes, in fact some routers only work that way, for example linksys.

I tried using 5.0 to pick up and 2.4 to distribute, it did not seem to improve things.

On my router I can either lock the pick up to 5.0 or 2.4 or I can say it is preferred and let the Router decide what is best.

To rule out my router dropping it I tried saying only 5.0 (which was the best pickup) but still create 5.0 and 2.0 client SSID's which both work.

What is bizarre, is that sometimes one or the other (2.4 or 5.0) will not connect, at other times for example this morning, the 2.4 will connect perfectly on the iphone but not on the Ipad and the 5.0 would not connect either for the Ipad but both 2.4 & 5.0 would connect with a laptop.

With WDS on the TPlin and on documentation I have seen on other routers, it is a condition that the repeated network uses the same channel, I think the Buffalo does not give you the choice, it just does it, while on the TPlink it gives a warning and offers you the prompt.

I am aware of wireless channel conflicts but I do not think they are are problem here, I have been using software on my laptop to look at what they are using and there are not that many in range and few using the same channel.

I was in LA once and I really understood what conflict was, I was there for three months on a project and the place I was stating was just a condo in a normal street, but I could see 50 SSID's because people were buying these super powerful routers and blasting their wifi and making things worse.

With the Buffalo it does not bridge the Lan Ports into the WDS network it creates, it has a switch for AP or WB, in Wireless Bridge mode the Lan ports have no connection.

However, I have been thinking along the same lines, I saw a post suggesting one can use Windows to bridge a network, I was thinking I might be able to then connect that via a wired connection to the Buffalo in AP mode or the TPlink.

In the past I have used two TPlinks to extend network around my home, first with a wired connection for about 10m and then with a wireless bridge, sadly I can't use TPlink in my current scenario because the WDS implementation requires disabling DHCP and I would need to know what subnet the BTwifi was going to use and even then it would fail after about 30 days.

I would love it if I could get ethernet working, it is one of the considerations for the routers I am looking at.

Yesterday I bought a ROKU 4k device it is a tiny HDMI stick with a cable for USB for power but also acts as an antenna. Not only can this pick up the BTwifi at varying signal strength but is holds the connection solidly for 2 hours, at which time I can log back in.

Last night when the 2 hour session limit expired I tried it on one of my internal SSID's with the boosted signal, it managed to connect and AGAIN held the connection solidly for 2 hours. However, later it was problematic to get a signal on any network for around an hour.

Unfortunately I am not that keen on TV, I would not mind if one device worked solidly for the time I was using it, whether it be iPhone, iPad or Laptop.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Fri 07-Aug-20 11:18:03
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: j0hn83] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by j0hn83:
I can confirm is possible also.

I had no FTTC after ceasing my line when trying to switch between my ECI cabinet and the newly installed Huawei cabinet.

I went about 7-8 weeks on the neighbours BTWifi hotspot, picking up the signal on a TP-Link WAP and then repeating it around the house for all our devices.
It worked flawlessly, getting around 9Mb/s most of the day.

I tried this last week on my Asus RT-AC68U without success as I was getting moaned at for taking the connection down.

I plan on getting this working this week as my Virgin goes off on the 9th and my FTTP doesn't go live till the 12th.
I want to pick up the neighbours BTWifi again and run off that for 3 days.
Fortunately BT enable access to their WiFi the day your order is placed which is very handy.


Thanks I knew that others would be doing this, which I why I want to see it through and figure it out, so next time someone else needs it to work they can get it going.

I would be interested to know which TP-Link WAP you used, was it a repeater, a router configured with WDS or what, I have several TP-link devices but they all had this need in WDS to disable DHCP. Maybe their repeaters do not do this.

Do you no longer have your TP-link device, hence used ASUS?

The last time I needed this the Buffalo worked flawlessly and gave 8mb/9mb with so many options to change and only changing one at a time, then doing a factory reset it is tedious.
Standard User j0hn83
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 07-Aug-20 12:37:09
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
TP-LINK TL-WA801ND

I bought it for this specific task.
Setup was a repeater, specifically the TP-link menu was "universal repeater" and not a WDS repeater.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Sun 30-Aug-20 21:37:51
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: gc1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gc1:
I use two routers for this, one as just a client router to act as the BTwifi client, with an Ethernet connection to a second router some distance away to provide my access point for local devices. This way the transmitter from one will not swamp the receive amp of the other.

I would suggest starting with a router configured as just a wifi client (not a repeater) and connect by wired Ethernet to a PC and see if you can get it working that way.

The client router does network address translation so it doesn't matter how many devices are connected locally they all come through to the BTwifi access point as one MAC address and one IPv4 address.

I use OpenWRT in the client router which is very configurable. But that is an even steeper learning curve than DD-WRT so you may not want to go down that route,

BTwifi signals from neighbours will be weak, you need to make sure you get at least 20dB signal to noise ratio for the connection to stay up and remain stable. An external directional antenna may be necessary. I use a 19dBi flat plate antenna and only just manage to get around a 22dB SNR. If you are in a flat rather than a detached house this won't be such a problem.

TP-link routers are usually pretty good for wireless sensitivity, I doubt if a different model would improve the situation. I use an old TL-WR1043ND and that works well as a client for weak signals even with the stock short vertical stick antennas.

I don't understand why you would need to disable DHCP on the router. That should only apply for it's local LAN and any wifi access point it provides. It's wifi client connecting the BTwifi access point will be a DHCP client to pick up the CGNAT address (100.x.x.x etc.) that the latter provides.

For speed the service is rate limited to 10Mbps send and receive. In practice somewhat less (e.g. 5 to 10 Mbps) should be achievable provided you are the only BTwifi client on that access point and the wifi signal strength is good and you neighbour has a fast (VDSL or FTTP) connection. Sometimes the CGNAT gateway is heavily loaded and the speed is really poor. Then disconnecting the wifi client and reconnecting gets a different CGNAT client address through a less loaded gateway and the speed improves.


I tried a TP-Link router with DD-WRT configured as a client mode (not client bridge) but I could not get it it to work.

I easily get over 30dB in fact two are at 53 & one is at 31

The disabling of DHCP is advice from TP-Link for WDS, they do not have client mode on most of their firmware except products designed as dedicated wireless access points, I tried one of those but it did not work. Most of their documentation is about client bridge config and they suggest disabling DHCP so it picks it up from the bridged router. This will never work for BTWIFI, but it does if you are extending a router you control because you can tell DCHP relay to point to the host router.

As you say BTWIFI use the 100.x.x.x subnet, configured as a class B subnet. I seem to get a different one everytime I connect, I noticed sometimes the lease if 5 minutes and sometimes 30m but these do not explain the loss of connection which can be seconds after I re-login.

The only common factors I have noticed about the 100.x.x.x network is that it creates are that the default gateway and DHCP server are always at 100.x.0.1 of the subnet used and that the DNS are always 192.168.22.22 and 192.168.22.23 as shown below

IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 100.96.55.55
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 01 August 2020 13:16:43
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 01 August 2020 13:46:47
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 100.96.0.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 100.96.0.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.22.22
192.168.22.23

but if I try to Trace Router to the DNS servers I get

Tracing route to 192.168.23.23 over a maximum of 30 hops

1 65 ms 22 ms 23 ms 100.96.0.1
2 * * * Request timed out.

then request timed out

29 times.

I get a different subnet every time I connect if connect to BTwifi on laptop, I can't get WAN on TP-Link firmware, on DD-WRT I can get a static one but no internet connection on the router.

Ironically I do have an old V1 version of an TL-WR1043ND, DD-WRT do not support it but Open-WRT do, I do not know how hard it it but I downloaded the firmware files for this router.

I wonder if you can give some pointers on the configuration you used and any important settings, or better still could you do be backup of your config and PM me a cloud link for the bin file (setting default passwords before you save).

Now BT have rewritten the login page for BTWifi which is even more irritating because it uses a drop down field and BT Broadband is not the default option so it makes logging in even more tedious.

This has become a bit of a mission for me, I can still get it working on my old buffalo but it is SO unreliable despite it working solidly a few years ago.

Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

Edited by thinkbfan (Sun 30-Aug-20 21:44:11)

Standard User JonRennie
(knowledge is power) Mon 31-Aug-20 09:18:06
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
Those DNS servers are never going to work - they are in one of the private, non-routable address ranges (defined in RFC1918).

wink Comms is hard wink
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Mon 31-Aug-20 12:07:31
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: JonRennie] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by JonRennie:
Those DNS servers are never going to work - they are in one of the private, non-routable address ranges (defined in RFC1918).


Well clearly BT (like some other organisations) feel that their network is private.

Google for example uses the 10.x.x.x subnet for Gmail

Don't blame me for BT's config, I am merely reporting what is returned.

If you actually have anything that may help the problem I am struggling with it would be a welcome comment.
Standard User Oliver341
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 31-Aug-20 14:06:00
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
Set dns on your device to 8.8.8.8

Oliver.
Standard User kitcat
(experienced) Mon 31-Aug-20 14:45:26
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
The 192.168. xxx.xxx ranges are duplicated Millions of times across the internet as they are the private ranges for every home router ever made.

The 10.xxx.xxx.xxx ranges are also duplicated across different private networks. Neither are routable to across the internet

BT wifi ( as opposed to FON) appears to have been designed to prevent what you are trying to do by limiting each session to one device for a limited amount of time per session. ( quite impressive design really). It may be that it was be accident and what they were limiting was the number of BTwifi sessions per BTHub to protect the prime customer. In that case you may find you are contending with someone else also piggy backing in the same block of flats.
Standard User gc1
(regular) Mon 31-Aug-20 20:53:19
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: thinkbfan] [link to this post]
 
I will pm you my OpenWrt config files - but unless you are going to change from DD-WRT to OpenWrt they probably won't mean much. I did run DD-WRT before changing to OpenWrt and that worked fine for me then to connect to BTwifi but I haven't kept any backup of that DD-WRT config.

I suggest you look at how often your DHCP client address (100.x.x.x etc.) changes. Mine stays constant as long as the router is powered up after the wifi connection is established. After the 3 hours timeout a relogin to the BTwifi gateway is required but the wifi connection was never dropped and the 100.x.x.x address remains the same. If you are getting address changes this suggests it is a wifi link problem.

Traceroute and ping to the DNS servers 192.168.22.22 and .23 also does not work for me, that traffic is blocked. A DNS query (e.g. using the dig program) does work.

I use a shell script to login. I will include this in the pm. It can run on the router or on a PC running Linux.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Tue 01-Sep-20 12:34:07
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: Oliver341] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Oliver341:
Set dns on your device to 8.8.8.8


Thanks Oliver, I did try that, as primary and secondary DNS, but it does not make any difference.

Trace route does not get past the gateway when login or DHCP has expired.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Tue 01-Sep-20 13:43:41
Print Post

Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: kitcat] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by kitcat:
The 192.168. xxx.xxx ranges are duplicated Millions of times across the internet as they are the private ranges for every home router ever made.

The 10.xxx.xxx.xxx ranges are also duplicated across different private networks. Neither are routable to across the internet

BT wifi ( as opposed to FON) appears to have been designed to prevent what you are trying to do by limiting each session to one device for a limited amount of time per session. ( quite impressive design really). It may be that it was be accident and what they were limiting was the number of BTwifi sessions per BTHub to protect the prime customer. In that case you may find you are contending with someone else also piggy backing in the same block of flats.


Yes I am aware of the "private" networks including parts of 172.x.x.x subnets (172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255)

I have designed some networks that have made use of these in a 100k node intranet, the rules therein were very complex.

You are of course not quite right to say "Neither are routable to across the internet" if you are on the inside you can route OUT and replies can be made and passed through to the originator, rules permitting.

Even though I am to all intents and purposes outside of BT, it is clearly using the 192.168.x.x subnet (defined as class B by subnet mask)

This is my current connection

IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 100.95.58.22
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 01 September 2020 11:55:04
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 01 September 2020 12:55:03
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 100.95.0.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 100.95.0.1
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.22.22
192.168.22.23

NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

Watching the route to Google DNS servers you can see that the first 4 hops are internal routers within the BTWifi domain, it then traverses onto the internet in Hop 5 but remains in BT's network until Hop9, Google owns the last three hops.


Tracing route to dns.google [8.8.8.8]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 24 ms 17 ms 17 ms 100.95.0.1
2 34 ms 61 ms 22 ms 192.168.194.247
3 109 ms 29 ms 23 ms 192.168.114.1
4 29 ms * 29 ms 192.168.202.1
5 27 ms 19 ms 52 ms 213.120.179.202
6 30 ms 32 ms 29 ms acc2-xe-0-0-2.sf.21cn-ipp.bt.net [109.159.251.20
5]
7 23 ms 22 ms 26 ms 217.32.170.8
8 99 ms 44 ms 157 ms 194.72.16.84
9 24 ms 32 ms 95 ms peer2-xe3-1-3.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net [109.159.2
53.5]
10 32 ms 36 ms 41 ms 216.239.48.217
11 54 ms 189 ms 31 ms 172.253.68.219
12 94 ms 33 ms 26 ms dns.google [8.8.8.8]

Trace complete.

I am not impressed by BT's design at all, the whole reason I am using routers is because their signal is too weak and the connection drops all the time, sometimes seconds after I log in.

I have now established from someone in next block that one of the BTrouters is literally behind my living room wall. They have not disabled BTwifi, they would not know where to start.

It is quite happy to create a session, keeping it up seems to be the problem. I gather max of three devices per BT Login concurrently but not tested this, getting one consistent connection seems beyond BT at the moment.

My only goal was to have a reliable service, if you saw the sales pages on BT-Wifi you would think this was a rock solid network, so expectations were high.

Previously I used the service for around 2 months and it was great, I boosted it from a building right across a courtyard and was really surprised when it worked.

I have a several of TPlink routers to experiment with, I pick up a completely different set of BTWifi routers from my bedroom to say the living room. I was prepared to put one router in each room and to define the Mac address to connect to.

Note the issues of the line being dropped are not because I am using a router to boost the signal, there is one place where I can stand by the window and connect to BTwifi and use the BTwifi app which is a useless app. If they had any imagination they could put a facility within the app to identify the strongest signal, restrict weaker signals and even produce a map of signals as I move around the room or property.

A little route planning App called Waze, developed in Israel and bought for $1bn by Google does this geo-locating inside your home for advertising purposes. I spoke to someone in Google when I was in California some years ago and they said they would never have dared to write such an App but by buying it they were removing any controversy.

I think you may be right about the poor performance of BTwifi might be an accident, not per wifi router but perhaps with thresholds set on the BTBroadband subscribers use or by extremely poor use of Java to test for activity.

I really doubt anyone else is using BTWifi around here, I have use software to scan what is about I see the main ISP's routers, their hidden SSID's with consecutive Mac Addresses, a few printers and the odd mobile phone. No 3rd party wifi's except my own.

Currently TPLinks (with their own firmware) will connect to the BTwifi routers but not passthrough the connection, not even the DHCP, I can't use DCHP relay as I might if I were creating a wifi bridge of my own network as the IP address changes for each connection.

Even TPlink devices that are just wireless access points that should passthrough to wired ports to not work.

DD-WRT gets further than TPlink firmware in that I can see a static 100.x.x.x IP within the router, but again it does not route the connection, whether configured in Client mode or Client Bridge mode. There are so many settings in DD-WRT that it would takes months to figure out why and for all I know the connection was immediately dropped by BT (as it is often on Laptop, Ipad or mobile) and just remains in router.

So now I am looking into Open-Wrt which a dream if you are a network engineer looking for granular configuration, but the UI and basic config is not particularly intuitive. What it needs are a few "common tasks" buttons taking you to screens that collect the data and then auto create the configurations allowing the user to then examine and edit them later.

I think BT has really shot itself in the foot with BTwifi, anyone who buys BT Broadband hoping to use it is going to be severely disappointed, especially as this is a product you use only when you REALLY need it, so you are likely to be peeved if it does not deliver.

If you actually pay for the BTWifi as a service at the eye watering prices I think you would be requesting a refund on the basis that it is not fit for purpose.

I have tested all kinds of connections, for example BBC and Commercial radio apps on playback, they are unusable as the connection is dropped about 50 times an hour or worse.

If you use a website like this one you have to write in a notepad, get a connection and quickly post your file.

If you are reading a news webpage you will rarely get to the bottom.

If you use WhatsApp you will more often than not see a clock after your message which tells you that the connection has been lost, you must then

If you use Discord you will lose what you type.

Apple iMessage will lose data if you lose connection and go back to reconnect, to be sure you have to write message in notes and paste it after a connection, if you paste it and a connection is lost you need to immediately re-login then flip back to iMessage and check it has been delivered.

If this is some sort of activity timer BT has failed in design.

I also note that if Javascript is disabled the new BT Login page loads but the the log in button does not work.

Having to log in hundreds of times a day is not a good thing, it makes one experience such contempt for BT.

People have made videos reviewing BTWifi and conclude it is pants.

I am seriously considering making one of my own and leaving as many bad reviews as I can on trustpilot et al.

If BT sold their own BTWifi extender I would buy it if it was under £30 as I know I could always sell it.

Commercially BT have made a huge mistake, their service is mediocre at best, they should be doing all their can to make it work with 3rd party routers seeking to boost their tripe signal to make it usable. Also they have cut the login time to 2 hours (whether you lost connection 100 times or not) this should be set to 4 hours at least. Remember, nobody can use this without a BT login.

One other gripe is their new login page which uses a drop down box(where you select BTWifi, BTBroadband or BTBusiness) , this makes login take even longer, especially on a mobile. It would not matter except when you have to re-login 100 times an hour per device it makes you want to crucify BT.

What they need is a login URL that can be configured with customer type.
Standard User thinkbfan
(newbie) Tue 01-Sep-20 13:59:13
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Re: Extending BTWifi


[re: gc1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gc1:
I will pm you my OpenWrt config files - but unless you are going to change from DD-WRT to OpenWrt they probably won't mean much. I did run DD-WRT before changing to OpenWrt and that worked fine for me then to connect to BTwifi but I haven't kept any backup of that DD-WRT config.

I suggest you look at how often your DHCP client address (100.x.x.x etc.) changes. Mine stays constant as long as the router is powered up after the wifi connection is established. After the 3 hours timeout a relogin to the BTwifi gateway is required but the wifi connection was never dropped and the 100.x.x.x address remains the same. If you are getting address changes this suggests it is a wifi link problem.

Traceroute and ping to the DNS servers 192.168.22.22 and .23 also does not work for me, that traffic is blocked. A DNS query (e.g. using the dig program) does work.

I use a shell script to login. I will include this in the pm. It can run on the router or on a PC running Linux.


That would be brilliant, thank you.

I have installed Open-Wrt onto one TPLink 1043 so ready to give it a try.

I have been monitoring DHCP addresses, snapshotting them on mobile phone and copying them from Ipconfig on laptop.

Currently the connections can range from 5 minutes, 30m, 1 hour and 2 hour max.

On the Laptop I have around 30 CMD prompts open, I do an Ipconfig /all every time I lose connection

some are renewed, as I write this the connection was lost, the IP was changed when the DCHP lease expired an hour ago, I logged in again 50 minutes after it expired and this time it gave me a 30m lease instead of 1 hour. My lost connection (this time) is the failure of signal not DHCP, it has dropped to 2 bars and is extremely slow to load login page. I managed to login and DHCP lease remains the same 30m window I had before.

If I could get a shell script to run every minute on open-wrt that would be brilliant, I could then get some decent use of it. I have no objection to a 4 hour re-login and even a 2 hour would not be terrible. Right now it loses connection always at the worst possible moment.
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