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need help filling in gaps in my knowledge

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goldiep
Chatterbox

Our faster broadband upgrade is due to start within the next few days, giving the opportunity to extend connectivity for more things, e.g. laptops and TV’s.  Am wondering what sort of added equipment we’d need for the best results, but need to fill the gaps in my knowledge first, to be able to make the right decisions.  Some of the gaps needing answers are as follows.

 

Extender Kits.

 

I’ve known about these for some time, and seen the TalkTalk version on offer, which use the electric socket wiring in the house, to extend signal / connecting ports, but don’t know anything about what the various bits of the kits can do. 

 

Do they give the ability to connect by either WiFi or cable, it’s not a question of one or the other, but not both from the extended system is it?  Is it down to setting each piece of equipment independently?  For instance, set up a PC or laptop, for WiFi, and a TV or printer, for cable, via these extender kits? 

 

The kits come in 2 parts, connector and extender. 

 

As I understand it, the connector goes into a socket near the router, and is then connected, via Ethernet cable, to the router.  The extender is then plugged into another socket, elsewhere in the house, the signal being carried through the power cables of the house.  However, say we want to be able to connect in more than 1 other room, we’d need another, or other, extenders, which only come paired with another connector.  Can the spare connector be plugged into a socket in another room, to run something via cable from? 

 

Also, the extender, with its antenna, transmits the WiFi signal, but is there an Ethernet port on it too, for connecting via cable?  Can the extender, in fact, be used for both at the same time, i.e. have a TV connected via cable, and a laptop set up for WiFi, both getting the signal from the extender? 

 

We’ll have a new router with this new package, which will leave us with a spare one, the one we’re using now.  It’s a TalkTalk router too, with WiFi capability.  Could we plug this in somewhere else on the power circuit to use as an extender / connector?

 

How do smart TV’s work with all this too? 

 

I’ve read a cable connection is always better, signal wise.  Do smart TV’s come with built in abilities to connect via the Internet?  Can they receive Freeview, and the catch up options say, just by connecting a cable via an extender or connector?  The sticks / dongles, or whatever they are called, are any of them worth looking at, do they give Freeview, plus other options, perhaps channels that Freeview alone doesn’t?

KeithFrench
Community Star

First off, Wi-Fi extenders do have the capability to not only improve Wi-Fi reception to certain areas of a property, but if the current WiFi congestion is not investigated first, they can also make matters much worse.

 

The current WiFi extnder is of a quite high specification allowing dual band WiFi to be extended over the house wiring, as well as supporting one Ethernet connection to the remote point.

 

Smart TVs are always best connected by Ethernet cable or powerline adapters like the one you are talking about.

Keith
I am not employed by TalkTalk, I'm just a customer. If my post has fixed the issue, please mark it as the Best Answer.
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Community Team

Hi goldiep,

 

How are you getting on? Do you need any further assistance? 🙂

 

Thanks

 

goldiep
Chatterbox

Hello Michelle,

 

Thanks for getting in touch.  Along with yours, I had one other reply, which gave me some information about the extender kits, which confirmed I was thinking along the right lines.  Other gaps in my knowledge; and I've plenty of them to keep me going, I'm still wondering about, are about our existing TalkTalk router, and whether or not it can be incorporated into the extender system. Plugged into a socket like the other extender units?

 

Also, and this is a new question I forgot to ask in my last list, don't know if it's something you've ever had to address.  We have a summer house we'd like to extend the signal capability to, it's all part of the house wiring system, although not on the same ring mains as the house, but it comes out of the same consumer unit / fuse box, on a circuit of its own.  I'm not sure if being in the same consumer unit is going to be the same as being on the same circuit, but there again, upstairs and downstairs are on different circuits in a house anyway, which is just the same really I suppose. 

 

Another of the questions I asked originally, and I realise I might have been in the wrong section of the Forum to ask it.  It's about smart TV's.  Our main TV predates this sort of thing, a second one has it, but it isn't used, because, as yet, there's no means of connecting.  Once our faster broadband comes into play, and the extender system is up and running, the second TV will have one of TalkTalk's tv boxes connected to it.  We would like another Smart TV for the summerhouse, but don't want another tv box.  With a connection via ethernet cable, what is it possible to do with a Smart TV?  They presumably have built in capabilities to get Freeview via the Internet, but what about the sticks / dongles  which are available, do any of these give Freeview, plus other channels for instance?

 

Cheers for your help!

 

Peter G.

goldiep
Chatterbox

Hello Keith,

 

Thanks for filling in some of the gaps in my knowledge.  As much as anything, it confirmed I'm thinking along the right lines with the extender kits.  I just need time to install and use the stuff now, to become more familiar with it.

 

Cheers for your help!

 

Peter G.

KeithFrench
Community Star

Hi @goldiep

 

Your questions are really difficult to answer, especially if you want guarantees, as there are too many factors that will be unique to the property of yours.

 

I think you need to give more information on what you mean by incorporating the router with the PLA extender. Don't forget that if you do not first check channel congestion before getting the extender, you could actually find the extender could make reception worse than it is now (all depending on the router & extender placement & what is in between them). 

 

Powerline adapters are designed to work across one ring main. In your situation, they may work, but at a reduced speed or they may not work at all. No one can give you a guaranteed answer on that, you will need to try it.

 

With your additional smart TV in your summerhouse, assuming that the PLA connection is OK, what you can do with the Smart TV will be down to the capabilities of whatever TV you buy.

Keith
I am not employed by TalkTalk, I'm just a customer. If my post has fixed the issue, please mark it as the Best Answer.
OCE's and Community Stars - Who are they? 

goldiep
Chatterbox

Hello Keith,

 

Thanks for your further input.  I appreciate what you say about the difficulty in answering the questions.  I always thought there would be an element of 'try it and see' about setting up this extended signal system, also with whatever TV fits our needs.

 

You say about checking 'channel congestion'. 

 

Well, there's another gap in my knowledge I didn't know I had!  I wonder how many other people have the same gap, and didn't know about it?  So tell me, how does anybody go about checking the 'channel congestion'?

 

Regarding what I mean about incorporating our existing router. 

 

We'll have a new router with this new faster broadband package, plus any extenders / connectors we may get / need. Let's say the existing router, with all its ethernet ports etc, is plugged into a dedicated socket in the summerhouse, to use as the signal extender / connector there. Can it be done do you think, or does this come under the 'try it and see' heading? 

 

There's an existing power supply in the summerhouse, which comes from the house consumer unit, it's run in 2.5mm.  It could be connected, as a spur, to the upstairs ringmain, which is only inches away from the consumer unit, there's enough slack cable to reach.  I'm going to run a heavier supply to the summerhouse anyway, because there's a similar sized structure going next to it, which will be used as a craft room. 

 

What you say about ringmains, i.e. signal 'working across one ringmain'.

 

This is where I wondered about the sales blurb of these extender kits.  'Plug the connector and router together, then into a socket, then, via the house wiring system, the signal is carried to wherever you need it in the house.'  The router, if it's to be connected directly to the main phone socket, is usually downstairs in houses.  This means it's the downstairs ringmain which will carry the signal.  Plugging in an extender, to an upstairs socket; which is most often where extra connections are needed I'd say, will be pointless. In which case, I think we can take it that the said 'blurb', is misleading then. 

 

The question becomes, 'how to get the signal to the upstairs ringmain', and the rest of the house?  Which is why, I wondered if, magically, it somehow managed it through the consumer unit, it being the only location where all the wiring comes together.  Knowing everything in a consumer unit is separated into so many 'ways' or 'circuits', I couldn't see how this 'magic' would be possible.  How might it be possible I wonder, is it something you've encountered?

 

Cheers!

 

Peter G.

KeithFrench
Community Star

OK let's just deal with the possible Wi-Fi congestion issue.

 

Slow speed, intermittent dropouts, breaks in the signal, or no signal on some or all devices, might be caused by Wi-Fi interference from other local networks, which can also lead to a permanent reduction in speed. No ISP can be responsible for your local environment, this is mainly a by-product of the popularity of Wi-Fi.

Generally speaking, the 2.4GHz band suffers much more from interference than the 5GHz band, but the 2.4GHz one can sometimes have a better range, but this all depends on your local area.

I'd suggest the rest of this post is carried out in several key areas, such as near the router & a couple of places in the property further away, particularly where you were thinking of locating the Wi-Fi extender.

 

Please see my attached guide on Wi-Fi interference & initially look at the section called "Are you suffering from interference – prove it first". This section includes full details of Wi-Fi analysers that I recommend for Windows, Windows phone & Android and Apple operating systems. However, I have no way of testing the Apple product. Do not worry about interpreting the results, I will do that for you.

Please post the screenshots that I have requested in my guide, from the analyser you are using (also in my attached guide). Please ensure that the analyser is maximised (if Windows) before taking the screenshots & upload them via the "Photos" button on the post editor's toolbar as large images. If they are too small, I will not be able to read them & although I can enlarge them, this just puts the text out of focus. If you prefer PM them to me. If you do PM me, then please add a link in there to this thread, so as I can find it easily.

Keith
I am not employed by TalkTalk, I'm just a customer. If my post has fixed the issue, please mark it as the Best Answer.
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goldiep
Chatterbox

Hello Keith,

 

"Happy New Year" to you and yours!

 

Thanks for the latest information post, re testing WiFi signal.

 

Up until now however, we haven't chosen to try WiFi.  The ideal location recommended for placing the router, i.e. directly into the main phone socket, not close to metal objects or other equipment, where it's likely to get hot, or on the floor, is exactly where ours would have had to go.  So we thought WiFi wouldn't stand a chance.  Instead, there's an extension from the main phone socket to upstairs, close to our PC.  We plugged the router into this, and connected to the router via cable, both the PC, and the TV, which is also close by.  We have one of the TalkTalk TV boxes with this TV.

 

If we can get these extender kits to work, via the house wiring, there's no reason why anything else we'd like to run from the signal, couldn't be connected by cable either.  I'm going to move our main phone socket in the near future anyway, to a location where none of the above problems will apply, save for the fact that the router would be sighted near the proposed new smart TV. If a TV falls within the category of equipment that is.  I had the phone engineer leave plenty of extra cable, so I'd be able to do this, when he came to sort out a problem a few years ago.  With the Internet, modems / routers, computers, tv's etc, moving the main socket has become more and more necessary.  Then when I later learned of these extender kits, it all became more of a worthwhile task to get on with.

 

I don't understand why they say these things can take a signal around a whole property, via the house wiring though, when a house is wired in separate circuits.  It doesn't seem to specify which wires are used, live, neutral, or earth, or if it's all of them. If it's just one, it struck me, that one way it might work, is if the earth cable was used.  All the earth cables come together in one block in the consumer unit, so could carry a signal around the whole property.  The only thing then is the fact that to actually earth the cable, it's bonded to the copper plumbing and gas pipes all over a house, and all the lighting and cooker earth wires as well are in there. So I don't know what effect this would have on the signal strength. 

 

It is going to be, as we say, a question of, 'try it and see', to find out how it all works out.

 

Thanks again for taking an interest.

 

Cheers!

 

Peter G.

KeithFrench
Community Star

Let me know if you want my help.

Keith
I am not employed by TalkTalk, I'm just a customer. If my post has fixed the issue, please mark it as the Best Answer.
OCE's and Community Stars - Who are they? 

goldiep
Chatterbox

Hi Keith, 

 

If anything crops up, I'll certainly be back in touch!

 

Cheers:thumbsup:,

Peter G.