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heyyitssusan

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Feb 9, 2014
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Hi guys,

I'm pretty new at the "networking" side of things. I just found out how to long into my modem. Anyways, I have an Arris Modem through Spectrum. The lease time is at 3600. My internet seems to "flicker" at the same time every day, and exactly 12 hours apart. Luckily when it happens though, it's for a minute or less and I'm back on and connected for the rest of the day. Still annoying especially since I'm working from home now.

After doing research online, it looks like when the DHCP lease is up, it obtains a new IP address and that's what causes it to flicker for a bit?
Apparently some people have issues with lease time on Arris modems too.

I think I have to increase my lease time, but to what so that this doesn't happen again? Can anyone out there assist? I don't want to mess anything up when I do change it and get myself worst off than I already am.

Thanks!
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
DHCP lease times are managed by the server (Spectrum). When 50% of the lease time has passed, the host (in this case, your modem) will start requesting renewal. If the modem reads 3600 (minutes), that means 2.5 days, so every 1.25 days (18 hours), it will try to renew the lease. The traffic germinated by DHCP is negligible, so it would not cause flickers in your service. Further, it is not renewing every 12 hours the way your service flickers do. Think of a lease renewal as a heartbeat, the modem reaches out to the server and says, I am still here, please renew my lease, all in a few KB of data. The server responds with a similar sized packet acknowledging and it is done, so service interruptions.

Look for something else causing issues. Maybe your router is on a scheduled reboot setting? If it is WiFi that is disrupted, maybe you have something that floods the airwaves with signals every 12 hours that causes issues?

Check logs on your modem and router to see if the connections are being reset.
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
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DHCP lease times are managed by the server (Spectrum). When 50% of the lease time has passed, the host (in this case, your modem) will start requesting renewal. If the modem reads 3600 (minutes), that means 2.5 days, so every 1.25 days (18 hours), it will try to renew the lease. The traffic germinated by DHCP is negligible, so it would not cause flickers in your service. Further, it is not renewing every 12 hours the way your service flickers do. Think of a lease renewal as a heartbeat, the modem reaches out to the server and says, I am still here, please renew my lease, all in a few KB of data. The server responds with a similar sized packet acknowledging and it is done, so service interruptions.

Look for something else causing issues. Maybe your router is on a scheduled reboot setting? If it is WiFi that is disrupted, maybe you have something that floods the airwaves with signals every 12 hours that causes issues?

Check logs on your modem and router to see if the connections are being reset.

I actually was lucky to chat with a Spectrum rep who was pretty knowledgeable. He said it had to do with the WiFi channels I was on and reset a few things on the back end to ensure the connection is stronger. Said that a reboot should do the trick. Funny how after that was done, I noticed the speeds were a bit faster afterwards. hopefully that fixes the issue of no more interruptions.
 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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I actually was lucky to chat with a Spectrum rep who was pretty knowledgeable. He said it had to do with the WiFi channels I was on and reset a few things on the back end to ensure the connection is stronger. Said that a reboot should do the trick. Funny how after that was done, I noticed the speeds were a bit faster afterwards. hopefully that fixes the issue of no more interruptions.
That makes sense, bur may not fully account for the cycle of dropouts every 12 hours unless the router resets itself when there is too much interference.

WiFi is the most problematic part of home internet service. A lot of things interfere with signals, not least of which is neighbors WiFi signals. The problem with tweaking your channels is, if your neighbors are savvy, they are doing the same and eventually you end up with the problems re-appearing.

If your router has the ability to use a different SSID (network name) for 5Ghz vs 2.4Ghz, you might try setting them up like NETWORK and NETWORK5G. Then, on devices that can use 5Ghx and are in range of a good signal, delete the 2.4 network from the device's settings and only connect to the 5Ghz net.

This will help in three ways, 5Ghz has a shorter range which means less interference from neighbors. It is also less susceptible to interference (microwave, radar, wireless home phones, bluetooth). Second, 5Ghz has more channels, so even if neighboring networks are close enough to yours, easier to get on different channels. Third, 5Ghz has more bandwidth, so faster speeds.

This approach also reduces clutter for devices that can only use 2.4Ghz like smart home devices.

Finally, use wired connections whenever possible. With enough wireless clients just in your home, traffic on WiFi can be a problem, not so with ethernet. If running ethernet cable is a problem, power line adapters are a great way to use the home electrical wires to get ethernet from the router to a switch in another part(s) of the home to connect several devices.

The newest WiFi routers use WiFi 6 (802.11ax). This standard was designed to reduce problems with overlapping signals from neighbors and is generally faster and longer range. It is still costly, but will come down in price quickly. Endpoints mostly cannot use WiFi 6 yet, but it is backward compatible and newer devices will support it soon.
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
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That makes sense, bur may not fully account for the cycle of dropouts every 12 hours unless the router resets itself when there is too much interference.

WiFi is the most problematic part of home internet service. A lot of things interfere with signals, not least of which is neighbors WiFi signals. The problem with tweaking your channels is, if your neighbors are savvy, they are doing the same and eventually you end up with the problems re-appearing.

If your router has the ability to use a different SSID (network name) for 5Ghz vs 2.4Ghz, you might try setting them up like NETWORK and NETWORK5G. Then, on devices that can use 5Ghx and are in range of a good signal, delete the 2.4 network from the device's settings and only connect to the 5Ghz net.

This will help in three ways, 5Ghz has a shorter range which means less interference from neighbors. It is also less susceptible to interference (microwave, radar, wireless home phones, bluetooth). Second, 5Ghz has more channels, so even if neighboring networks are close enough to yours, easier to get on different channels. Third, 5Ghz has more bandwidth, so faster speeds.

This approach also reduces clutter for devices that can only use 2.4Ghz like smart home devices.

Finally, use wired connections whenever possible. With enough wireless clients just in your home, traffic on WiFi can be a problem, not so with ethernet. If running ethernet cable is a problem, power line adapters are a great way to use the home electrical wires to get ethernet from the router to a switch in another part(s) of the home to connect several devices.

The newest WiFi routers use WiFi 6 (802.11ax). This standard was designed to reduce problems with overlapping signals from neighbors and is generally faster and longer range. It is still costly, but will come down in price quickly. Endpoints mostly cannot use WiFi 6 yet, but it is backward compatible and newer devices will support it soon.

Hmm that is some good information. Thanks a ton! Yeah I used to be able to use Ethernet from my WiFi extender but somehow that function doesn’t work anymore, probably because the WiFi extender I have is from Time Warner and they are now Spectrum, and doesn’t use those anymore. Eventually I will probably buy a third party WiFi extender once theirs craps out.

do you know of any good power line adapters? I have not heard of them before. How do they work? My modem is downstairs and I have an extender upstairs to get the wifi to reach. Would it work for those circumstances?
 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
Hmm that is some good information. Thanks a ton! Yeah I used to be able to use Ethernet from my WiFi extender but somehow that function doesn’t work anymore, probably because the WiFi extender I have is from Time Warner and they are now Spectrum, and doesn’t use those anymore. Eventually I will probably buy a third party WiFi extender once theirs craps out.

do you know of any good power line adapters? I have not heard of them before. How do they work? My modem is downstairs and I have an extender upstairs to get the wifi to reach. Would it work for those circumstances?

I have had good luck with TP Link, I would recommend something like this. You plug an ethernet cable into the router and one of the adapters, then plug the adapter into the wall. On the remote end, same thing, a cable to the extender then plug it in. Don't plug these into power strips, they have to go directly into a wall outlet, but you don't lose an outlet as they have a passthrough power outlet to plug other devices into it. It works best if the plugs on both ends are on the same electrical circuit, but that is not an absolute requirement.

The idea is, data packets are sent at different frequencies than the 50-60Hz power frequencies. Think of it like a radio where the medium (air for radio, wires for electrical) carry a signal. If you tune your radio to FM 100.5, you hear the signal sent on that frequency, but ignore AM and FM signals on other frequencies. The adapters specifically filter, looking for signals in the 50-250MHz frequency range which is ethernet data. 100Mb generally uses about 62MHz frequencies, 1000Mb is at an even higher frequency.

Power companies have toyed with the idea of providing internet service over their power lines, but have generally stayed out of the game. But, it is technically possible.

Would it work for your situation? Most likely. Poor, old wiring might have lower performance, but it should work. The AV2000 line is the latest standard (I think), using multiple frequencies (aka channels) to simultaneously send more packets, thus the faster speeds. Same idea as MIMO with WiFi.

I have used this in several setups for family and friends and never had an issue. It is basically plug-and-play.
[automerge]1585502887[/automerge]
Also, not sure why the extender would not work, Spectrum and Time Warner are one and the same. It may be the extender is shot, in which case, a replacement may be in order. Or, maybe the ethernet cable is damaged. Or maybe the router doesn't like extenders of a different breed (unlikely).

Start with the power line adapters, if that doesn't do the trick, you might want to set the WiFi name different on the extender in case it conflicts with the router. The ethernet puts everything on the same network, but the WiFi would be isolated from each other. Last thing would be a new extender, but try other things first.
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,427
1,742
I have had good luck with TP Link, I would recommend something like this. You plug an ethernet cable into the router and one of the adapters, then plug the adapter into the wall. On the remote end, same thing, a cable to the extender then plug it in. Don't plug these into power strips, they have to go directly into a wall outlet, but you don't lose an outlet as they have a passthrough power outlet to plug other devices into it. It works best if the plugs on both ends are on the same electrical circuit, but that is not an absolute requirement.

The idea is, data packets are sent at different frequencies than the 50-60Hz power frequencies. Think of it like a radio where the medium (air for radio, wires for electrical) carry a signal. If you tune your radio to FM 100.5, you hear the signal sent on that frequency, but ignore AM and FM signals on other frequencies. The adapters specifically filter, looking for signals in the 50-250MHz frequency range which is ethernet data. 100Mb generally uses about 62MHz frequencies, 1000Mb is at an even higher frequency.

Power companies have toyed with the idea of providing internet service over their power lines, but have generally stayed out of the game. But, it is technically possible.

Would it work for your situation? Most likely. Poor, old wiring might have lower performance, but it should work. The AV2000 line is the latest standard (I think), using multiple frequencies (aka channels) to simultaneously send more packets, thus the faster speeds. Same idea as MIMO with WiFi.

I have used this in several setups for family and friends and never had an issue. It is basically plug-and-play.
[automerge]1585502887[/automerge]
Also, not sure why the extender would not work, Spectrum and Time Warner are one and the same. It may be the extender is shot, in which case, a replacement may be in order. Or, maybe the ethernet cable is damaged. Or maybe the router doesn't like extenders of a different breed (unlikely).

Start with the power line adapters, if that doesn't do the trick, you might want to set the WiFi name different on the extender in case it conflicts with the router. The ethernet puts everything on the same network, but the WiFi would be isolated from each other. Last thing would be a new extender, but try other things first.

Awesome. i have a TP Link wifi adapter on my computer for internet connection to WFH and it's plug and play as well. So with this, it basically extends the wifi but you can use Ethernet with it as well? What would be a good "location" to plug it in? Just where-ever is a closest to where I want to plug the ethernet cable into the computer?
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,427
1,742
I have had good luck with TP Link, I would recommend something like this. You plug an ethernet cable into the router and one of the adapters, then plug the adapter into the wall. On the remote end, same thing, a cable to the extender then plug it in. Don't plug these into power strips, they have to go directly into a wall outlet, but you don't lose an outlet as they have a passthrough power outlet to plug other devices into it. It works best if the plugs on both ends are on the same electrical circuit, but that is not an absolute requirement.

The idea is, data packets are sent at different frequencies than the 50-60Hz power frequencies. Think of it like a radio where the medium (air for radio, wires for electrical) carry a signal. If you tune your radio to FM 100.5, you hear the signal sent on that frequency, but ignore AM and FM signals on other frequencies. The adapters specifically filter, looking for signals in the 50-250MHz frequency range which is ethernet data. 100Mb generally uses about 62MHz frequencies, 1000Mb is at an even higher frequency.

Power companies have toyed with the idea of providing internet service over their power lines, but have generally stayed out of the game. But, it is technically possible.

Would it work for your situation? Most likely. Poor, old wiring might have lower performance, but it should work. The AV2000 line is the latest standard (I think), using multiple frequencies (aka channels) to simultaneously send more packets, thus the faster speeds. Same idea as MIMO with WiFi.

I have used this in several setups for family and friends and never had an issue. It is basically plug-and-play.
[automerge]1585502887[/automerge]
Also, not sure why the extender would not work, Spectrum and Time Warner are one and the same. It may be the extender is shot, in which case, a replacement may be in order. Or, maybe the ethernet cable is damaged. Or maybe the router doesn't like extenders of a different breed (unlikely).

Start with the power line adapters, if that doesn't do the trick, you might want to set the WiFi name different on the extender in case it conflicts with the router. The ethernet puts everything on the same network, but the WiFi would be isolated from each other. Last thing would be a new extender, but try other things first.

Yeah, I’m shopping third party extenders ahead of time in the event it does crap out. Spectrum told me since they don’t make that model anymore or carry extenders since they are Spectrum now and not Time Warner (which is true, I looked on the actiontec website and the model I have is replaced with an upgraded model) I just want to be prepared So I know which one to get.
 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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483
Colorado
Awesome. i have a TP Link wifi adapter on my computer for internet connection to WFH and it's plug and play as well. So with this, it basically extends the wifi but you can use Ethernet with it as well? What would be a good "location" to plug it in? Just where-ever is a closest to where I want to plug the ethernet cable into the computer?
Yup. Far enough from the router to avoid conflicts, close enough to minimize gaps, and central enough to serve devices in the dead areas.
It can connect both the extender, and computers or other Ethernet devices to the net. If you connect it to an Ethernet switch, it can connect multiple Ethernet devices. Just think of it like a regular Ethernet cable run.
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
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Yup. Far enough from the router to avoid conflicts, close enough to minimize gaps, and central enough to serve devices in the dead areas.
It can connect both the extender, and computers or other Ethernet devices to the net. If you connect it to an Ethernet switch, it can connect multiple Ethernet devices. Just think of it like a regular Ethernet cable run.

Alright, another question for you. I’m going to shop WiFi extenders just in case the current one I have craps out now. What would be the best one to get for reliability and range that’s pretty easy to set up and affordable? Mine is hooked up via coax and just the power cable.
 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
Alright, another question for you. I’m going to shop WiFi extenders just in case the current one I have craps out now. What would be the best one to get for reliability and range that’s pretty easy to set up and affordable? Mine is hooked up via coax and just the power cable.

Aha, so if it is connected (to the router?) via coax, that is a MOCA connection. The new Spectrum router may not have MOCA, or may support a different version of MOCA, or the interior coax wiring my have been disconnected somewhere between the router and extender.

Maybe we should start over, take inventory of all your gear?

What is the router model?
Does it have a modem built in, or separate?
Does the modem, router or modem\router combo have a coax port for more than the incoming coax from Spectrum? It is usually marked "MOCA".

What is the extender model?
What are the ports on it?

Do you have reasonably easy access to your coax wiring (assuming the router and extender can connect via MOCA), particularly where it junctions all the cables?

Do you already have ethernet cable running from the router to the extender?
If so, is it good cable (connect a pc\mac to it to test the connection)?

So, an Access Point or extender connected via Coax (MOCA) or Ethernet (Cat5,6 or Powerline) is connecting its WAN port to your router's LAN, and will act as a bridge to put ethernet and WiFi clients on the router's LAN over the connection to the router.

Some Access Points\Extenders can connect wireless to the router, but this typically has several disadvantages. If the signal is weak between the router and Access Point, the speeds will be slow. This connection is typically sharing bandwidth between clients and uplink to the router, so both router and AP will have less capacity. Thus, wiring to the router is generally preferred.

Any Access Point\Extender connecting via cable to the router should work, because it is also on the same local network. Wireless connected extenders may not work, routers may or may not support wireless extenders very well. And sometimes, it may work better using different network names on the router and extender. But, lets start with getting a better understanding of what you have before you go wasting money on something that won't help.
 
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heyyitssusan

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Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
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Aha, so if it is connected (to the router?) via coax, that is a MOCA connection. The new Spectrum router may not have MOCA, or may support a different version of MOCA, or the interior coax wiring my have been disconnected somewhere between the router and extender.

Maybe we should start over, take inventory of all your gear?

What is the router model?
Does it have a modem built in, or separate?
Does the modem, router or modem\router combo have a coax port for more than the incoming coax from Spectrum? It is usually marked "MOCA".

What is the extender model?
What are the ports on it?

Do you have reasonably easy access to your coax wiring (assuming the router and extender can connect via MOCA), particularly where it junctions all the cables?

Do you already have ethernet cable running from the router to the extender?
If so, is it good cable (connect a pc\mac to it to test the connection)?

So, an Access Point or extender connected via Coax (MOCA) or Ethernet (Cat5,6 or Powerline) is connecting its WAN port to your router's LAN, and will act as a bridge to put ethernet and WiFi clients on the router's LAN over the connection to the router.

Some Access Points\Extenders can connect wireless to the router, but this typically has several disadvantages. If the signal is weak between the router and Access Point, the speeds will be slow. This connection is typically sharing bandwidth between clients and uplink to the router, so both router and AP will have less capacity. Thus, wiring to the router is generally preferred.

Any Access Point\Extender connecting via cable to the router should work, because it is also on the same local network. Wireless connected extenders may not work, routers may or may not support wireless extenders very well. And sometimes, it may work better using different network names on the router and extender. But, lets start with getting a better understanding of what you have before you go wasting money on something that won't help.

Modem is ARRIS TG1682G. I don’t think mine is a router built in, cause according to the spectrum website, mine is a modem/voice combo.

access point is an ActionTec WCB3000N. I see a coax splitting that it’s connected to.
Ports are just 2 Ethernet, a coax and a place for the power cord to plug in. I have the power and coax plugged into a splitter. The modem is downstairs in the master bedroom, and the AP is in my room. I have great signal downstairs, but when I get upstairs, it becomes a dead zone and this AP has been the solution for that this whole time.

As far as Ethernet goes, I don’t have anything hooked in cause it’s too far to stretch the cable.
 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
The TG1682G is a combo router\modem according to specs, if it were not a router, you would have another unit connected to the modem. This supports MOCA 2.0 according to specs, and the WCB3000N seems to support MOCA 1.0.

Several Amazon reviews suggest the MOCA connection either needs to be "authorized" by your cable company, or is set in the router settings and needs to be periodically reset. From a screenshot here, I suspect it just needs to be toggled to enabled on the Arris. On the Actiontek, apparently there is a privacy setting that needs to be disabled? You might have to tinker with the settings on both units.

So, MOCA is similar to Powerline Ethernet, but is integrated into these two units.

On the Actiontec unit, there should be an LED for MOCA that would light up green if there is a good coax (MOCA) connection.

If this doesn't resolve your issues, there could be a disconnect in the coax cables between the units. Not sure how to advise on that, it is unique to each home.

If you grow frustrated with all of this, the extender would be simplest to replace.
 
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heyyitssusan

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The TG1682G is a combo router\modem according to specs, if it were not a router, you would have another unit connected to the modem. This supports MOCA 2.0 according to specs, and the WCB3000N seems to support MOCA 1.0.

Several Amazon reviews suggest the MOCA connection either needs to be "authorized" by your cable company, or is set in the router settings and needs to be periodically reset. From a screenshot here, I suspect it just needs to be toggled to enabled on the Arris. On the Actiontek, apparently there is a privacy setting that needs to be disabled? You might have to tinker with the settings on both units.

So, MOCA is similar to Powerline Ethernet, but is integrated into these two units.

On the Actiontec unit, there should be an LED for MOCA that would light up green if there is a good coax (MOCA) connection.

If this doesn't resolve your issues, there could be a disconnect in the coax cables between the units. Not sure how to advise on that, it is unique to each home.

If you grow frustrated with all of this, the extender would be simplest to replace.

Yeah, the COAX light is green. Actually, all the other lights are (power, 2ghz and 5ghz). I will have to check out that the Arris settings again.

is there a huge difference between MOCA 1.0 and 2.0? the Actiontek has worked fine for me for all these years, but I just want to be prepared to have another replacement in mind in the event it does crap out.

for the extender, what do you think of this? https://eero.com/shop/eero-3-pack
would this work, or would it have to be something with MOCA?
 
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techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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MOCA 2 is faster (up to 1Gbps) than 1.0 (100Mbps) and there may be subtle differences, but they are compatible.

Eero is intended to replace your router and extender. It can interconnect with either WiFi or ethernet. It does not inherently support MOCA, but MOCA can be implemented with adapters much like power line to send data over existing wires. Again, MOCA uses existing coax cables, power line uses the electrical lines in the home. Your current gear has MOCA adapters built in, but standalone adapters exist as well.

The 3 pack you linked is dual band and I would assume shares the client and uplink WiFi connections. What this means is lets say you have the first unit installed and it gives wireless clients speeds of 500 Mbps. You connect a second unit wirelessly, and clients connecting to either would get about half the speed, or 250 Mbps because the capacity of the radios is split between clients and linking between the two units. Add the third and wireless bandwidth drops even further. But, there is also the question of signal strength between units (more below). If you could set these up with ethernet links between units, the speed drops are eliminated.

Eero makes trip-band also, where one band is dedicated to the links between units. So the speed drops are reduced or eliminated because the third band is dedicated to transfers between units. But, again, signal strength between units is key to success.

Each Eero connecting wirelessly, dual or tri-band, needs a strong signal to either the router, or another Eero device that has a strong signal to the router. Think about the rooms where your WiFi is currently weak, it is because the router's signal is weak in that area. Eero would have the same issue. But, if it were possible to chain these so an intermediate unit could get a strong signal to both the router and the farthest remote unit, then it would work. Again, dual band wireless uplinks being less capacity than tri-band.

With Ethernet connectivity between units, you would get your best performance. That could be with power line or MOCA adapters if running ethernet cable is impractical.

To build an optimal Eero based network, you would need:

1. New Modem (without router) that supports your Spectrum phone service.
2. Eero Mesh system
3. Powerline or MOCA adapters (3) to carry signals between the units. Three units can work together, you don't need a dedicated pair for each connection.

Alternately, New Modem, Eero Tri-Band system and use wireless interconnect, either way, there is considerable cost in upgrading.

Using what you have may be good enough, for now. Look at the settings on both ends and see if you can't make it work. Next step if it doesn't get better is to start considering alternatives.

Spectrum provides modems at no cost in most cases as I understand, but if you are going with your own router\WiFi, make sure to ask for modem only, no router built in.

What about alternatives? There are many choices. My setup is a Synology RT2600 router with Synology RT2200 mesh access point, connected via ethernet cable. It covers my 2000 sq ft on each level quite well. I have also used Apple Airport products in the past, they worked almost as well as Synology, though Airport Express were slower than the Synology 2200. I could have set my RT2200 to use a wireless connection, the signal is strong enough at the second location, but it would have slowed WiFi down everywhere due to dual band.

Finally, there are new WiFi 6 devices just now hitting the market. WiFi 6 (802.11ax) has greater range, speed, and is better able to manage conflicts with surrounding WiFi networks (interference). These systems tend to be a bit pricey still.
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
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MOCA 2 is faster (up to 1Gbps) than 1.0 (100Mbps) and there may be subtle differences, but they are compatible.

Eero is intended to replace your router and extender. It can interconnect with either WiFi or ethernet. It does not inherently support MOCA, but MOCA can be implemented with adapters much like power line to send data over existing wires. Again, MOCA uses existing coax cables, power line uses the electrical lines in the home. Your current gear has MOCA adapters built in, but standalone adapters exist as well.

The 3 pack you linked is dual band and I would assume shares the client and uplink WiFi connections. What this means is lets say you have the first unit installed and it gives wireless clients speeds of 500 Mbps. You connect a second unit wirelessly, and clients connecting to either would get about half the speed, or 250 Mbps because the capacity of the radios is split between clients and linking between the two units. Add the third and wireless bandwidth drops even further. But, there is also the question of signal strength between units (more below). If you could set these up with ethernet links between units, the speed drops are eliminated.

Eero makes trip-band also, where one band is dedicated to the links between units. So the speed drops are reduced or eliminated because the third band is dedicated to transfers between units. But, again, signal strength between units is key to success.

Each Eero connecting wirelessly, dual or tri-band, needs a strong signal to either the router, or another Eero device that has a strong signal to the router. Think about the rooms where your WiFi is currently weak, it is because the router's signal is weak in that area. Eero would have the same issue. But, if it were possible to chain these so an intermediate unit could get a strong signal to both the router and the farthest remote unit, then it would work. Again, dual band wireless uplinks being less capacity than tri-band.

With Ethernet connectivity between units, you would get your best performance. That could be with power line or MOCA adapters if running ethernet cable is impractical.

To build an optimal Eero based network, you would need:

1. New Modem (without router) that supports your Spectrum phone service.
2. Eero Mesh system
3. Powerline or MOCA adapters (3) to carry signals between the units. Three units can work together, you don't need a dedicated pair for each connection.

Alternately, New Modem, Eero Tri-Band system and use wireless interconnect, either way, there is considerable cost in upgrading.

Using what you have may be good enough, for now. Look at the settings on both ends and see if you can't make it work. Next step if it doesn't get better is to start considering alternatives.

Spectrum provides modems at no cost in most cases as I understand, but if you are going with your own router\WiFi, make sure to ask for modem only, no router built in.

What about alternatives? There are many choices. My setup is a Synology RT2600 router with Synology RT2200 mesh access point, connected via ethernet cable. It covers my 2000 sq ft on each level quite well. I have also used Apple Airport products in the past, they worked almost as well as Synology, though Airport Express were slower than the Synology 2200. I could have set my RT2200 to use a wireless connection, the signal is strong enough at the second location, but it would have slowed WiFi down everywhere due to dual band.

Finally, there are new WiFi 6 devices just now hitting the market. WiFi 6 (802.11ax) has greater range, speed, and is better able to manage conflicts with surrounding WiFi networks (interference). These systems tend to be a bit pricey still.

Gotcha. So it’s more work than I expcted. I looked on the ActonTec website and they have an updated WiFi extender to the model that I currently have now. Maybe I should stick with them and get that device when this one craps out since it seems like it supports MOCA.

I think what I’m looking for is something that will just take the place of the Actiontec and work with the Arris Without having to get a new modem, etc.
 
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heyyitssusan

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MOCA 2 is faster (up to 1Gbps) than 1.0 (100Mbps) and there may be subtle differences, but they are compatible.

Eero is intended to replace your router and extender. It can interconnect with either WiFi or ethernet. It does not inherently support MOCA, but MOCA can be implemented with adapters much like power line to send data over existing wires. Again, MOCA uses existing coax cables, power line uses the electrical lines in the home. Your current gear has MOCA adapters built in, but standalone adapters exist as well.

The 3 pack you linked is dual band and I would assume shares the client and uplink WiFi connections. What this means is lets say you have the first unit installed and it gives wireless clients speeds of 500 Mbps. You connect a second unit wirelessly, and clients connecting to either would get about half the speed, or 250 Mbps because the capacity of the radios is split between clients and linking between the two units. Add the third and wireless bandwidth drops even further. But, there is also the question of signal strength between units (more below). If you could set these up with ethernet links between units, the speed drops are eliminated.

Eero makes trip-band also, where one band is dedicated to the links between units. So the speed drops are reduced or eliminated because the third band is dedicated to transfers between units. But, again, signal strength between units is key to success.

Each Eero connecting wirelessly, dual or tri-band, needs a strong signal to either the router, or another Eero device that has a strong signal to the router. Think about the rooms where your WiFi is currently weak, it is because the router's signal is weak in that area. Eero would have the same issue. But, if it were possible to chain these so an intermediate unit could get a strong signal to both the router and the farthest remote unit, then it would work. Again, dual band wireless uplinks being less capacity than tri-band.

With Ethernet connectivity between units, you would get your best performance. That could be with power line or MOCA adapters if running ethernet cable is impractical.

To build an optimal Eero based network, you would need:

1. New Modem (without router) that supports your Spectrum phone service.
2. Eero Mesh system
3. Powerline or MOCA adapters (3) to carry signals between the units. Three units can work together, you don't need a dedicated pair for each connection.

Alternately, New Modem, Eero Tri-Band system and use wireless interconnect, either way, there is considerable cost in upgrading.

Using what you have may be good enough, for now. Look at the settings on both ends and see if you can't make it work. Next step if it doesn't get better is to start considering alternatives.

Spectrum provides modems at no cost in most cases as I understand, but if you are going with your own router\WiFi, make sure to ask for modem only, no router built in.

What about alternatives? There are many choices. My setup is a Synology RT2600 router with Synology RT2200 mesh access point, connected via ethernet cable. It covers my 2000 sq ft on each level quite well. I have also used Apple Airport products in the past, they worked almost as well as Synology, though Airport Express were slower than the Synology 2200. I could have set my RT2200 to use a wireless connection, the signal is strong enough at the second location, but it would have slowed WiFi down everywhere due to dual band.

Finally, there are new WiFi 6 devices just now hitting the market. WiFi 6 (802.11ax) has greater range, speed, and is better able to manage conflicts with surrounding WiFi networks (interference). These systems tend to be a bit pricey still.


I assume this will be the best option for me if I want to replace my extender.
 
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heyyitssusan

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OK I managed to get into my ActionTec settings and I noticed how it shows “network stations” and some are connected via 802.11 and some are via MOCA. what do those mean?
 
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techwarrior

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802.11 is a broad term for WiFi networks, it is generally followed with a, b, n, ac, ax, etc.

Network stations probably refers to anything it sees on the local network. It probably shows just MAC addresses (12 alpha-numeric characters), and maybe IP addresses. MOCA is network too, and you probably just see the MAC of the router listed there, or maybe also the extender. So, that suggests connectivity over MOCA.

Try changing the name of the WiFi on the extender to something different than the router. Then connect to the extender WiFi and test speeds.

One of the fluky things about multiple access points with WiFi is, devices don't always connect to the nearest one. By temporarily using different network names, you know for sure which access point you are connected to, so speed tests are more meaningful.

That linked Actiontek would likely be an improvement over the one you have. It offers 802.11ac (WiFi 5) which is faster than older WiFi. And, it is MOCA 2.0 Bonded, meaning more bandwidth between the extender and router (which has 2.0 as well). I am not entirely certain if the router has restrictions on what extenders it may support, but Spectrum may know since they supplied the router.

Have the twice daily dropouts discontinued since Spectrum tweaked your channels?
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
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802.11 is a broad term for WiFi networks, it is generally followed with a, b, n, ac, ax, etc.

Network stations probably refers to anything it sees on the local network. It probably shows just MAC addresses (12 alpha-numeric characters), and maybe IP addresses. MOCA is network too, and you probably just see the MAC of the router listed there, or maybe also the extender. So, that suggests connectivity over MOCA.

Try changing the name of the WiFi on the extender to something different than the router. Then connect to the extender WiFi and test speeds.

One of the fluky things about multiple access points with WiFi is, devices don't always connect to the nearest one. By temporarily using different network names, you know for sure which access point you are connected to, so speed tests are more meaningful.

That linked Actiontek would likely be an improvement over the one you have. It offers 802.11ac (WiFi 5) which is faster than older WiFi. And, it is MOCA 2.0 Bonded, meaning more bandwidth between the extender and router (which has 2.0 as well). I am not entirely certain if the router has restrictions on what extenders it may support, but Spectrum may know since they supplied the router.

Have the twice daily dropouts discontinued since Spectrum tweaked your channels?

Well I was not working yesterday and did not notice a drop out at 3:06 pm like I normally do, but that was because I was downstairs closer to the modem than the Actiontek. I’ll pay attention today to see if it does.

Yeah I use the 5G network upstairs and 2G downstairs. I can tell it’s correct cause when I go upstairs, the 2G network runs super slow until I connect to the 5G. So any device I use the most upstairs is on the 5Ghz network.

The annoying thing is, spectrum won’t tell me anything regarding which WiFi extender would work since the one I have is a legacy device and they don’t support them anymore So they can’t even tell me what channels to put the Actiontec on and which 3rd party devices are compatible. I’ll have to ask again and see if I get another rep who would be more knowledgeable.

Also, if I were to get this updated Actiontec, it does come with a new coax cable. I have my devices on a coax splitter right now since my cable box is hooked up to it too. Should I just use my current coax cable and just screw it into the device or should I actually swap out the coax and use the new one? Will it make the speeds better?

ETA: Spectrum says they can’t confirm if it will work or not since it’s a third party device and they don’t support third party devices. *sighs* I mean I assume it would since it supports MOCA, and my Arris modem supports it, and I figure if my old AP would work with it, this would should. *hopefully*

ETA2: Spectrum seriously just tried to sell me a 2nd modem, saying that they recommend I purchase one to get WiFi in the whole house. 🙄 also, there would be a $50 trip charge if I had a rep come out and install a 2nd modem.
 
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techwarrior

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The splitter may be a problem. What does the label on the splitter say? Maybe you can snap a picture of the label?
 
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heyyitssusan

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The splitter may be a problem. What does the label on the splitter say? Maybe you can snap a picture of the label?

904C5027-0898-4A2B-B456-EA271F9BB654.jpeg


The Actiontec says it comes with a coax splitter too
 
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heyyitssusan

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If worse comes to worse, would something like this work? Setup seems pretty easy, and only need to hook the extender up to power supply. I was reading some spectrum stuff on reddit, and some have said spectrum cut off their MOCA connections. The only reason I have this Actiontec is that it’s a “grandfathered“ plan. So I’m kinda afraid that the Actiontec won’t even work if I upgraded to that new one and installed it myself. But then again, my modem does support MOCA and that’s how my modem is hooked up so they can’t shut it off.

 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
Start with replacing the splitter. MOCA uses higher frequencies so you may be filtering out data. Something like this.

That should help with connections using the upstairs extender, better throughput to the router. It may be enough to take care of things.

In networking, a lot of errors may cause resets on some devices, that may be why the network goes out every 12 hours. If that takes care of it, well a pretty cheap fix.

MOCA uses frequencies up to 2600 MHz or so, the filter is rated for lower frequencies which may have been ok for TV signals, but when you updated the router, it may have caused issues using that splitter.
 
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heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,427
1,742
Start with replacing the splitter. MOCA uses higher frequencies so you may be filtering out data. Something like this.

That should help with connections using the upstairs extender, better throughput to the router. It may be enough to take care of things.

In networking, a lot of errors may cause resets on some devices, that may be why the network goes out every 12 hours. If that takes care of it, well a pretty cheap fix.

MOCA uses frequencies up to 2600 MHz or so, the filter is rated for lower frequencies which may have been ok for TV signals, but when you updated the router, it may have caused issues using that splitter.

Hmm that’s a good point. should I replace the splitter first, and then the extender later on?
 
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