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Question Need advice for new AP

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
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Currently I have an Amplifi HD as my router. It handles the wireless needs of our upstairs and DHCP for the entire house. I have a hard wired connection from it to a 5 port switch in my family room. One of the ports on the switch feeds my downstairs AP, a D-Link DIR-842. This handles wireless for the downstairs although the 2 units do mix in some areas of the house. Downstairs we are running into a lot of connectivity issues. Random drops on mobile devices occur frequently as well as slow speeds and sometimes no internet despite the fact that my TV is streaming just fine directly from the same switch. So I'm looking for some advice for a new AP. When I bought the Amplifi HD about 18 months ago I had it in my head that if my other AP didn't perform well then I would pick up one of the Amplifi Mesh Points. Well the meshpoints have been out of stock for a while now and there is no telling when they might be back in stock. Sure I can pick one up from Amazon for twice the actual retail price, but that's not happening. Any other units that will work with the Amplifi HD or do I just need to stick with a router configured as an AP still?
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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I'm not exactly sure the issue is what you think it is with the information you are posting. You seem to have an unbalanced network setup. Have you tried just for testing purposes connecting the DIR-842 using the network cable that you are using connect to the 5 port switch (essentially removing the 5 port switch as a go-between) and testing to see if the wireless devices connecting to the DIR-842 are working better? You can use a network coupler to connect the cable that you feed to the switch with the cable that you have run from the switch to the DIR-842 if you don't otherwise have a way to run a cable directly to the DIR-842 (something like: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15697).

It is possible that you are exceeding the capabilities of that 5 port switch, which is why I suggest testing this way first before you go and spend money on something that won't fix your actual problem. Also, what revision of the DIR-842 do you have (A1, B1, C1, C2, C3...)? If you are on a C1, C2, or C3 you might be able to flash it to DD-WRT or OpenWRT (the others are not supported). Doing this might also help as DD-WRT or OpenWRT are typically much more feature rich allowing for better configuration as an Access Point in most cases compared to stock firmware (and are maintained to patch security vulnerabilities).
 
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In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
211
20
81
I'm not exactly sure the issue is what you think it is with the information you are posting. You seem to have an unbalanced network setup. Have you tried just for testing purposes connecting the DIR-842 using the network cable that you are using connect to the 5 port switch (essentially removing the 5 port switch as a go-between) and testing to see if the wireless devices connecting to the DIR-842 are working better? You can use a network coupler to connect the cable that you feed to the switch with the cable that you have run from the switch to the DIR-842 if you don't otherwise have a way to run a cable directly to the DIR-842 (something like: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15697).

It is possible that you are exceeding the capabilities of that 5 port switch, which is why I suggest testing this way first before you go and spend money on something that won't fix your actual problem. Also, what revision of the DIR-842 do you have (A1, B1, C1, C2, C3...)? If you are on a C1, C2, or C3 you might be able to flash it to DD-WRT or OpenWRT (the others are not supported). Doing this might also help as DD-WRT or OpenWRT are typically much more feature rich allowing for better configuration as an Access Point in most cases compared to stock firmware (and are maintained to patch security vulnerabilities).
I don't think I am exceeding the capabilities of the switch. It is a D-Link DSG-1008 (which is an 8 port not 5 port after all) Here are the devices connected to the switch.

1. AV Receiver (firmware updates)
2. BluRay player (firmware updates)
3. HTPC (only when in use for movie playback from my server)
4. TV (for streaming services)
5. DIR-842 (for wireless devices)

So I don't see how I could be exceeding the switch capabilities. Also, the switch would not cause lost connections from wireless devices to the DIR-842. In the meantime I have temporarily installed a DIR-655 in place of the 842. It was "retired" as my main router when I bought the AmplifiHD. I forgot I had it. So I'm going to test it for a couple of weeks and see if the problems persist or go away.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,607
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That is another good test to do especially since you had it sitting around. Again, the main idea is simply to make sure if you are going to spend money to fix a problem in a more complex network that the item you are replacing is indeed the culprit of the problem.

You are probably correct in that the switch is probably not the bottleneck/culprit given the devices you posted that are on it and their usage cases. That said, with standard consumer level network equipment, you would be amazed as to how many corners were cut to hit a price-point resulting in a device that can't really do what people thought it should be able to do. It is why I tend to look for enterprise level equipment especially for switches (wifi routers/access points are typically fine at consumer grade when simply selecting ones that support third-party firmwares).
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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Wonder OP was using same SSID family room and downstairs. Try to use different SSID and see if situation improves.
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
211
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Wonder OP was using same SSID family room and downstairs. Try to use different SSID and see if situation improves.
I do, in fact, have the same SSID on both units. But it has been that way for some time and the problem I'm having is new. Why would the same SSID cause trouble?

The 655 has helped quite a bit I believe. I still see an occasional disconnection on my phone, but I'm not getting the lost internet notification of my son's Echo Dot since I made the change. I would get that at least once a day with the 842.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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Wifi signal strength fluctuate greatly during the day. Even if you own several UBNT's AP units, it won't do seamless signal handoff unless you own a mesh system (You have one, but you don't have its mesh points). Let alone you own units from different brands. Use different SSID so you know which router or AP you are connecting to.

https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeNetworking/comments/776y43/_/dojx2u2
 
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In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
211
20
81
Wifi signal strength fluctuate greatly during the day. Even if you own several UBNT's AP units, it won't do seamless signal handoff unless you own a mesh system (You have one, but you don't have its mesh points). Let alone you own units from different brands. Use different SSID so you know which router or AP you are connecting to.

https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeNetworking/comments/776y43/_/dojx2u2
OK, so after I changed the downstairs AP I was still having some trouble on a couple of devices. They would randomly lose connection to the downstairs unit despite being 6' away. So I changed the SSID on the upstairs unit as I have several smart home devices downstairs that I didn't want to have to reconnect to a network. The devices that were dropping connectivity have been working fine ever since. Only issue I have now is that I can not get 2 of my devices to connect to the downstairs unit at all. When they try to connect they show no Internet and then it drops the connection and reconnects to the upstairs device. I have no idea why they won't connect properly. I tried removing the wireless network from the device and restart, then reconnect, but no luck.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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See if there are reset buttons on the devices and reset them, then reconnect them again to the downstair AP.
 

DaaQ

Senior member
Dec 8, 2018
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OK, so after I changed the downstairs AP I was still having some trouble on a couple of devices. They would randomly lose connection to the downstairs unit despite being 6' away. So I changed the SSID on the upstairs unit as I have several smart home devices downstairs that I didn't want to have to reconnect to a network. The devices that were dropping connectivity have been working fine ever since. Only issue I have now is that I can not get 2 of my devices to connect to the downstairs unit at all. When they try to connect they show no Internet and then it drops the connection and reconnects to the upstairs device. I have no idea why they won't connect properly. I tried removing the wireless network from the device and restart, then reconnect, but no luck.
Try forgetting the networks, and double check the connect automatically option that is typically default setting is eithe ask first or not set to auto.
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
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Still having trouble with the wireless, not as bad as it was before, but still not working as well as I could like. So after looking at options I noticed that the router and mesh points are back in stock at the Amplifi store. I decided to order another router and will use that downstairs. This will give me a true mesh network with an Ethernet backhaul from the downstairs router to the main one upstairs. Should be here Friday.
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
211
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Got the second router on Friday and installed it. Wow! Should have done it when I bought the first router! Signal strength is almost max throughout the entire house. Speedtest shows same speeds as wired on some devices. Handoffs seem to be quick as well. Very happy with the outcome so far!
 
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