Best way to extend range and still be on same network?


(AD) #1

Hey all! We just moved to a new house. It’s small, but longer. We have a fios gateway g1100 router (and need to keep it for the remote dvr service, etc.) This awful router won’t even extend 30 feet to the room on the other side of the house. Which is only a small half bath away…

What is the best way to extend the network so we can have wifi in all areas but also actually be on the same network? I currently have a powerline adapter with built in wifi, but it has it’s own SSID etc. I set it to use the same SSID as the FIOS router, but I think that’s just for roaming around the house – I don’t think this means all devices connected to the fios router and the d-link powerline can talk to each other – and in turn, the devices connected to the dlink aren’t technically on the same network as the ST hub. Is this so?

I just ordered the TP-Link WPA4530 wifi extender – but I fear it might just be the same as above, where devices aren’t truly on the same network as the hub. Can anyone confirm? OR, could this be used as a repeater?

I read about zwave repeaters, but we also need wifi in these areas too, so that won’t help much.

In short, what’s the best way to extend the range of our wifi but keep every device on the same network (clearly I’m working under the assumption that all devices DO have to be on the same network as the hub, but correct me if I’m wrong.) I really wanted powerline adapters over repeaters as they seem to be more reliable and I get faster speeds with them, but if this won’t work I’m willing to try whatever I can, within reason. We really don’t have much money to spend, so cheaper options are optimal.

Thanks all!


(Chris) #2

Congrats on the new house!

Are you looking just to extend your WiFi range or are you also trying to make sure that your ZigBee and Z-Wave devices around the house will respond?

The ZigBee and Z-Wave mesh networks form separately from your WiFi, so if you have ZigBee or Z-Wave devices then you’ll want some thoughtfully placed repeaters running through your house. If you’re trying to run a WiFi device or a LAN device from far away, then a WiFi bridge would be necessary. I’m probably not the best guy to recommend a good WiFi bridge, so I’ll leave that to those more knowledgable than I.


#3

SmartThings doesn’t actually use Wi-Fi at all. It is plugged in directly to the ethernet router, but that’s only so it can talk to the Internet and some LAN devices.

Most SmartThings devices use either zigbee or Z wave. Those are the radios that are in the smartthings hub. It’s easiest to just think of those as two separate networks as Z wave repeats only for Z wave and zigbee repeats only for zigbee.

It’s also important to note that Wi-Fi can drown out zigbee, so the stronger your Wi-Fi is, often the more difficulty your zigbee devices will have getting messages back to the hub. Z wave does not have this issue.

So your post actually breaks down into several different questions.

If you’re asking specifically about your Wi-Fi network, I’ll leave that to other people to answer. But it’s just standard stuff – – there’s nothing that involves SmartThings as far as Wi-Fi goes.

If you’re asking about how to build a strong network for zwave and zigbee devices, see the following thread. It should answer most of your questions. :sunglasses:


(Marc) #4

FIOS sells Network Extenders that work extremely well. I have 2 of them in my house and my devices seamlessly roam to each access point without a drop in bandwidth as these guys tap into your MoCA network.

https://www.verizon.com/home/accessories/fios-network-extender/


#6

I’m not familiar with wifi power line adapters but it looks like you can use that instead of needing an access point or router. They appear to work as access points so you should not suffer from wifi extenders halving your wireless speeds. The FIOS extender seems a decent option as well.

And yes to the main question you asked. With the power line adapter or the range extender you are on the same network.


(Ray) #7

I don’t really recommend power line extender. They are finicky to get them stable and reliable and some of them really interfere with your zigbee devices. I removed all my TP-link powerline adapters after a month of frustration.


#8

Thanks, that’s good to know. I had issues with early generations of power line adapters (10+ years ago) but have not had any issues since, though I’ve never used the wifi extender ones. I use two routers to extend my wifi network, though they are configured to work more like access points.


#9

You should absolutely be find with the setup you have.

Connect to your fios router and run ipconfig from the command prompt. Look at the first 3 numbers (octets) of the IP address. Example: 192.168.5.10

Now connect to your Ethernet over power Wifi and do the same thing. Say you get 192.168.5.135…as long as the first 3 sets of numbers are the same you are on the same network regardless of SSID.

If you want to test this, get the IP address of your ST hub, then connect your mobile device/pc/laptop to your DLink wifi and ping the IP address of the ST Hub. If you get a reply you are on the same network, if not, you most likely aren’t.

I’m assuming you have one end of the Dlink plugged into the fios router…and the other is your wifi somewhere in the house where you need it.

EDIT: BTW I have a similar setup with Netgear.


#10

I’ve had the Netgear 500 series and they worked fine. I upgraded to the 1.2 Gig series when they came out and have had 0 issues as well. You also have to factor in the wiring of your house as well.