Finally happy with SmartThings

Hi, I read your post and I have a couple of questions. Fyi, I’m an IT specializing in networking and telecom. (That’s just so you know where my questions are stemming from)

What kind of router is your main device?
What kind of internet connection do you use?
What are your internet speeds when tested by ookla?
What type of AP’s, are you using?

And lately, do you know this…

The typical AP I’d not a very good device for exceeding your range. In an effort to keep the price point less than a router, the AP has very poor band filtering. Because if this, the average AP cuts your signal speed in half. Ie; your 60 mbs signal is reduced to 30 mbs when connected through that device. This is not widely known, our realized as the average person never notices.

This is what I do and what I have in my home.

Main router is an Asus dual band as86 (I think). This is a multi antenna very powerful router. It sits as close to the physical center of the house as possible and on the second floor.

My AP is actually an old sysco single band router. I’ve sideload a firm ware on it to make it a fully customizable AP that disables the router capability. The device acts as a wireless AP that repeats at full power. It allows for wired and wireless connections to it and connects wirelessly to my router. This device was replaced by the main router.

This device sits on the second floor almost directly beneath my main router. I have my ST hub wired to this device.

This setup covers a 2400 sqft 2 story house. I have three teenagers with Xboxes, computers, phones, and tablets, plus my wireless tv’s and about 50 other things on my networks.

With everything going and streaming, nothing glitches, ever. Talking about speeds and streaming content.

Ok, to the point of this. One of your problems may be the AP devices you have in your setup.

There are a lot of factors that can degrade your between.

How old is your house?
What are the walls made of? Sheetrock, wood, plaster, all of the above?

How old is your router?
How old is your modem?

I upgrade my router every 3-4 years with a modem upgrade every 2 years.

The hardware is out of date and the speed differences is incredible.

Sorry fur the long read, but I might be able to give you some pointers to help improve things.

  1. My main router in my living room is an Asus RT-AC68P. I disabled the wireless on my Actiontec FIOS router as it didn’t support 5ghz. Until last night, I had my ST and Hue hubs plugged into them. (In addition to my Logitech Hub also which only runs on 2.4ghz). Since I’ve moved the ST and Hue Hubs, my Ring Doorbell video seems to be performing better.
  2. Verizon FIOS
  3. I will just discuss my ookla speeds on my 2.4ghz, (with my 5, I get 50/50 everywhere in the house just about). When I am outside in my living room or in my main area, I usually get 35-50 down/up. However, when I go into my bedroom, my iPhone automatically connects to my Moca Extender and I get poor speeds on 2.4ghz also. There is something about my bedroom area where 2.4ghz doesn’t perform well. Mind you, this is a brand new extension in the back of my old bedroom(which was also a problem). I even powered down both my ST and Hue hubs and I still get terrible signal.
  4. My access point in my bedroom is actually a MOCA extender( https://www.verizon.com/home/fios-accessories/fios-network-extender/) I LOVE THIS device. Reason being it doesn’t split up the bandwidth like a traditional access point and connects into my Coax. It is here where I moved my ST and Hue hubs last night. I also have a Logitech Harmony Hub here also.

More answers:

How old is your house? About 60 years old.
What are the walls made of? Sheetrock, wood, plaster, all of the above? Sheet Rock.

How old is your router? About a year.
How old is your modem? About 3.5 years.

I also have a Motorola Baby Monitor but I eliminated those as my issue a long time ago.

Awesome! Thank you for the response. Sounds like your equipment is good to go and you know what you’re doing.

We actually have almost the same router. Mine is the ac 68u. Yours has a 1ghz cpu and mine is 800 mhz

Based on what you’ve said, I would look at environmental. The older house could be the problem.

Yes, I believe it’s something environmental, but I’m hoping by spitting up some of my hubs into my bedroom, it will relieve the issues I had with my Ring doorbell. The amount of wireless stuff I have in this house is bound to cause all sorts of traffic I can’t see :slightly_smiling:

I did put my ST hub downstairs on my AP and my hue hub is upstairs on the router. I don’t think they interfere with each other.

Here’s a thought, I have my cable box and Mr DVD player stacked in the nook beneath my tv. The AP is on one side and the ST hub is on the other. So, there is a small stack of metal between the two.

Would it be possible to our something metal between yours?

Also, I used to live in a house that had rebar in the brick walls ( 80’s Florida hurricane idea). That signal sucked in that house.

I used metal coat games and aluminum foil and made my antennas directional. Couldn’t hurt to focus all of the signal into the home our into the direction you are having trouble.

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One must keep in mind that zigbee channel is not the same as wifi channel. See more here

Funny you mentioned your set up. I spent most of this week redesigning my whole network. I haven’t checked channel interference since last summer, and boy was I surprised to discover that my next door neighbor is an HA addict ( which explains why I was seeing unknown devices popping up occasionally), plus my other neighbor is a true networking freak with two powerful routers and three extenders. No wonder I was having so many issues. I ended up getting a secondary router (rt 68u) and a Netgear ac1200 extender for my second floor. I kept my quantum fios as primary with wifi enabled and the asus as secondary. Had to change all of my channels because of course, they were on the most congested frequency. I think after this weekend, I will have a much stronger network. I can tell already that the lag on my hue bulbs is really unnoticeable now.

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PowerLine ethernet adaptors work great.

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Wireless networking has become very complex with all of the gadgets , protocols and hardware combinations. I tried the FIOS quantum router in hopes of replacing my Asus so I can consolidate hardware, but I was getting 25mb down standing right in front of the thing, compared to 50 with my Asus. Needless to say, I sent it back.

I actually tried that with my cable box too with my MOCA extender. There’s just some dead spots in 2.4ghz all over my house. I once used an app that gives you a heat map of your wireless network (the name is slipping me) on my Mac and walked the house and saw them. I highly recommend those with network related issues does that as well.

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To an extent, it can vary between ‘better than WiFi but still won’t beat direct Ethernet’ and ‘darn right awful’.

As for having ST hub away from your WiFi, mines right next to my access point at the moment and I don’t have any issues. I could probably do better channel separation with regards to WiFi/ZigBee but it’s been working so well so far I haven’t bothered.

Love my ST hub and will continue to do so.

I didn’t realize they had Ethernet 5 6 and 7. What version should I get?

I run 6e it is real good for what you are doing and has better shielding than 5 or 5e

What ever you can find at the store… the hub won’t push the limits of cat5, or cat4 for that matter. There is no reason to buy cat6e unless you’re wiring your whole house with it and want to be ready for 10gb when ever it becomes consumer ready. This is one case where going cheap won’t hurt.

Definitely the cheapest cable you can find. 5e is the minimum you can get these days pretty sure. Like sidjohn1 said, cat6 is only needed for when wiring a house, and then only to future proof. And no, cable’s that say they are SO MUCH BETTER than others, aren’t, they are a waste of money.

Go ask your cable provider, sometimes you can convince a tech to custom make you a cable at whatever length you need. I’m a network engineer so I just do it for all my friends. 1000’ of cable and a few bags of cheap ends lasts a LONG time. :wink:

In this case… true… in some others… not so true… lol

I’ve turned down friends that own casino’s and friends that “simply” want me to wire their houses. I set realistic expectations. :slight_smile:

That wasn’t meant as a jab… In one of my previous occupations they type of cable was just as important as the type of filters in our RF generators… Cables and connectors can and do make a major impact on the performance of a system.

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Oh no doubt! I deal with fiber mostly, very much the same thing. But when it comes to a home, meh, anything will suffice, as long as you know how to crimp/punch properly.

6e doesn’t exist, some companies started labeling it 6e arbitrarily but there is no such standard, there is however, 6a but for the most part it’s not necessary.

@toomuch unless you get an amazing deal for 5e over 6 (not 6a), just get Cat6 and make sure it’s UNshielded (UTP) and not shielded (STP), not properly terminating STP (which most people don’t) is far worse than just running UTP.