Using multiple routers to increase coverage

Need some help here please as I’m stuck.

I use 3 routers currently all hardwired to each other.

  1. The normal router supplied with your incoming fibre line (Huawei);
    this then connects to no.2 below

  2. Telkom D-Link (not via direct network cable, but through those wall socket TP-Link
    devices that uses electricity lines) which in another part of the house connects to a

  3. An older version Telkom D-Link. From this router I have a direct network cable to the Venus in the garage.

So my remote console is via a dedicated old old old laptop that wifi connects to this last router which works perfectly most of the time - sometimes the Venus will randomly just change its IP address and I have to find the new one with the Victron connect app and put it in the laptop for it to work again. Not a big issue but it may hint towards the problem I’m experiencing.

  1. So I recently I acquired another router (a TP-Link) which I want to add in this chain (which
    must now be the one to which the Venus must connect to with network cable. The
    dedicated old laptop must also then connect to this one via wifi.

So basically, I want wifi in the garage now with the use of router no 4.

Connected it in the garage, had a friend sort out the IP address stuff and all that goes with it (or did he???), gave this wifi its own name, and it worked. For about an hour…

I tried removing this network and adding it again, and it worked once more.
Thereafter it refuses to even allow me to connect to it. The strange thing is, our cell phones and my other laptops does connect to it.

Granted, the laptop is very old and have not been updated in years, but this old laptop does connect to both the other 2 wifi routers in the chain with no problem.

Also noteworthy is mentioning that when trying to connect to this last router with the old laptop, it wants a network key/pincode that is printed on the bottom of it (despite it being configured with a password for this new network. (it doesn’t allow you to enter the password, it wants numbers only)

Now when I use my newer laptop to connect, it also asks for the network key/pincode (which it states its wrong when so entered), but allows you to enter the password, and accepts it.

I am out of ideas. My first thought would be that it might be clashing IP addresses, and I have no idea which routers has static or dynamic addresses and if this is an issue, or whether the issue lies with the old laptop (bearing in mind that it has no problem to connect to any of the other routers.

The message I get when attempting to select this new network from the old laptop states “The settings saved on this computer for the network do not match the requirements of the network”

Currently each router has its own name and wifi password. Should I rather look at making at one big network with the same IP address and one password?

Any ideas on where to start troubleshooting?

For the IP that changes, look into dhcp reservation, all my iot devices are on dhcp but i assign their mac address to a certain IP on the router running dhcp so they always get the same ip.

Are you referring to the various routers I have?

Or to the Venus which regularly changes its own IP address? The latter I can live with, but between the latest router and my old laptop, there is some sort of problem. Would one and the same static IP address for all of them sort my issue out?

I am actually so clueless with this, think I’m talking such nonsense here. But I don’t know where to start looking.

I set my network up with all wifi hot spots have the same SSID and password. That way you only enter it once and the device will switch to hot spots as you move the device around the house.

What you also need to do for that to work well though is ensure only one device is handing out IP addresses on your network. Otherwise you will have issues. One of the routers should do that and you should disable that on the other ones. This is disabling DHCP server on 2 of the 3 routers you have. You may wish keep DHCP active on the one connected to the fibre to keep things simple.

That way only one device is handing out IPs in your network so you don’t get IP range conflicts.

You would also probably assign a static IP to all the routers.

The above can be tricky to do and could land you in a spot where you cannot connect to the web interface of a particular router if you don’t work carefully. Hopefully you can reset the config on that router at that point.

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Thanks, I’m getting someone who will understand all the IT jargon above and see what we can do.

I’ll give feedback here. I even thought about updating the laptop as far as it will go, but the guy who gave it to me said I should stay away from any updates. Apparently it doesn’t like that and all sort of things crash on it. Currently its only purpose is to have a immediately available remote console, and to program 2-way radios.

Usually a laptop should not gave an impact on network connectivity. Your setup seems very non-standard. Not sure you can ask for help without sharing much much more.

My advice, just get a mesh wifi system especially if you have different brands/ages of routers. All my issues are gone and wifi signal is great throughout the house. The app (TP Link Deco in my case) sets up everything for you.

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How does this mesh thing work? Is it also different units you setup through the house? And do they connect wireless to each other or through lan cable? Because laying cables is a problem as I have no ceilings. I’d have to do trunking on the outside walls around the house etc.

You say TP Link. Is it those devices that do date through power lines? I have on of those up and running already.

Please give a little more detail.

Yes, it’s multiple units and you can buy additional units separately as required. You don’t have to wire them up with ethernet but you can. They do some smart traffic handling like handing off devices as you move through the house, smart routing of traffic between them to the main one that’s connected to the fibre etc. I have the Deco M4s, it was at a good price point while being Gigabit Ethernet and up to 850mbps wifi.

Essentially, it is multiple WiFi APs with the same name, and your devices can jump from one to the other as you walk around… but the critical part is that the APs are made by the same manufacturer and they know about each other and how to “hand over” a connection to make it seamless.

So essentially it’s the same setup you have now, with the multiple APs, but they do some clever “mesh” stuff so that devices can always connect to the closest antenna without your WhatsApp video call dropping out :slight_smile:

Thanks, so they will have to be in wifi range of each other and powered by ac I suppose.

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I believe it is a mixture of repeating over a radio signal, and/or cabling, and some components can be powered via PoE where a cable is involved. Probably depends on exactly what system you decide to install.

For example, if you walk down a long corridor in a hospital, you may see those little Wi-Fi warts on the ceiling. Those are likely wired, uses PoE, but they are still meshed into one “AP”.

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A note for those that want to create their own mesh with multiple access point routers by setting the SSID and password the same on them all.
There is one small thing that catch out many people and then their devices sometimes don’t want to switch to the other access points:

  • You need to also manually set the channel that is used to be the same. If you keep it on auto the channels will not match and any moving device (like your phone in your pocket or notebook) will not switch to the closer AP using a different channel.
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Thanks Louis, I’ll mention this to the friend who’s going to help me with this.

Going to first try and see if I cannot get all my existing routers to do this. Then I’ll consider this mesh thing.

It is not critical for me that my devices switch over to other hot spots as I move through the house, I actually want this donnerse laptop to connect to one router and STAY on it.

ek is geneig om saam te stem, die mesh stelsels kry baie goeie writeups - sal ook eendag daai pad gaan…

@Swartkat if you are feeling adventurous (and your current routers support it) you could also look into installing the OpenWRT firmware on your current routers and using one of the mesh packages.

Lol noooooooooooooooooo.

Hate being adventurous when it comes to technology. I was born in the BC era. (before computers)

Man I am not to clever when it comes to tech stuff (especially solar equipment) . bought 5 higher class extenders for my home, same brand as my router… turns out to be too many and have constant issues, seems like devices dont know to witch router to connect… i hate networking…

Have a few Ubiquity Wifi points. So I thought, let me extend the wifi reach with non-Ubiquity.

Did it all by the “book” … actually, all that was suggested here.

I got warning upon warning at the most inappropriate times from Victron … Communication monitoring.

Some “here, hold my beer” moves just give you drama.

Critical stuff, bugger this Wifi thing. UTP cable, like the Cerbo, PC’s.
Laptops, phones = Wifi.
If the laptop is critical, then UTP it is.

I agree 100% wirh @karischoonbee

A wifi mesh is definitely the way to go, 1 wifi SSID to connect to and it automatically switches you between Access Points and manages the frequencies so they don’t interfere with each other. TP-Link is a pretty good cost effective option and there is good compatibility between there models so you can add on very easily.

Having separate access points is a nightmare as you are inevitably connected to the incorrect access point when you move around in your house and interference between access points is a problem. Wifi Extenders are also a problem as they only have one radio in them and as a result halve the wifi bandwidth as they have to relay everything.