Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Arris Modem DHCP Lease Time

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,221
468
Colorado
Extender only if you still have weak wifi upstairs. You can change wifi channels on the extender, it should be fairly straightforward. I will see if I can find a manual on the extender that goes into wifi setup, and will share some Mac and iOS tools that you can use to find the right channels to use. It gets kind of involved, but is fairly easy thing to do/

My approach tends to be, spend the least and change the least as possible. A year from now, there could be great alternatives so save now. Even with a new extender upstairs, it may only incrementally help, so why go to great expense for little benefit.
 
Comment

heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,277
1,345
Extender only if you still have weak wifi upstairs. You can change wifi channels on the extender, it should be fairly straightforward. I will see if I can find a manual on the extender that goes into wifi setup, and will share some Mac and iOS tools that you can use to find the right channels to use. It gets kind of involved, but is fairly easy thing to do/

My approach tends to be, spend the least and change the least as possible. A year from now, there could be great alternatives so save now. Even with a new extender upstairs, it may only incrementally help, so why go to great expense for little benefit.

Awesome. And yeah, I was able to get into my Actiontec settings yesterday but did not know what channels to change it to. I can take a screenshot of what my settings are if that’d help?
 
Comment

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,221
468
Colorado
on iPhone, install the Apple Airport Utility if you don't have it. Then, in Settings > Airport Utility, enable WiFi Scanner.

Now, open the app, don't worry that there are no access points. In the upper right corner, click Scan and let it run for a minute, then stop it.

What you will see is all of the WiFi signals in range of your current location. It will show channels these use, and a signal strength (RSSI). RSSI readings closer to 0 (-30 for instance) are stronger than -90. Anything over -80 you can ignore, these are too weak\far away to interfere with your network. Jot down all of the network signals below -80, these are the most likely conflicts. You will see your own in there, probably something for 5Ghz like channels 36 and above. You will also see 2.4Ghz with channels 1-11 or so. As you write them down, do so on a graph=like line with ch 1-11 for 2.4, and ch 36 -159 or so for 5Ghz. Then, along that line, tick where each signal is on the spectrum to easily find gaps where you will set your channels.

5Ghz has shorter range, you may not even see neighbors networks with channels 36+, but if you do, note them. 2.4Ghz is generally more problematic, there are only a handful of channels, and range is longer so you will likely see neighboring networks, again note the channels with these.

When tuning 2.4Ghz channels, you generally want to avoid channel 6, it is where all the garbage signals occur. Microwave ovens, radar, bluetooth, wireless home phones, wireless keyboard\mouse will generally be using this frequency\channel. If you choose channel 1, you will actually use 1-3. If you choose 3, you will use 2-4 or 5 and so on. Basically, 3-4 channels are used when you set a channel on the router or extender. So, you are looking for where in the spectrum the stronger neighbor signals are, and trying to fill gaps with yours to minimize overlap. Same with 5Ghz, but that may not be as saturated and there are more channels to play with.

It's a game of pin the tail on the donkey, if neighbors know how to do this, channels will be changed from time to time, and stomp on each other. To understand what you are trying to do here, think of AM and FM radio. AM is like 2.4Ghz, it has longer range due to longer signal waves (lower frequency). As you move between cities, you may pickup two broadcasts from radio stations using the same frequency (channel), so you hear two sets of voices or music, and have to try to filter that with your ears. But, if the neighboring city has no AM stations near the frequencies of nearby cities, there is little chance of overlap, just static from weak signals (you are not getting all of the data or hearing electrical interference). More often, at night (limited light to interfere with signals), the overlap occurs because longer distances for the signal to travel before it is too week to pick up.

So, changing WiFi channels is like telling 1 radio station to use 89.3 instead of 89.7 to avoid overlapping. FM (and 5Ghz) is higher frequency so it doesn't travel as far, but same idea. So, you are tuning your network to broadcast and listen on certain frequencies. Clients learn which channels to use from the source when they join the network.

As I think I mentioned, WiFi 6 (802.11ax) has a filtering mechanism in which it sees a bit in the header of each packet that indicates which network authenticated it. So, the router or extender can more easily drop these without deeper inspection to make room (priority) for authentic packets. Thus, it is less prone to interference from neighbor networks. But it is new, more expensive, and few devices use AX yet (the next 1-3 years, most new devices will support AX).

Before you spend money on AC WiFi gear (WiFi 5), try your best to live with it and tune it for now. When WiFi 6 prices drop, and devices support it, then may be a good time to look into investing in new equipment, that may be in 2-3 years. WiFi 6 also has longer range, faster speeds, in addition to resilient to interference. So, a single WiFi 6 router may cover your whole home without an extender.

By now, you are probably thinking...jeez, how can this ever work. Thus is the downfall of WiFi. I generally try to hardwire as much as possible. This reduces the number of WiFi signals bouncing around. Think of a highway, today with everyone sheltered in their homes, few cars on the road, so going the speed limit is easy. But in normal rush hour with too many cars, things slow down. Taking cars off the road speeds things up for everyone, in your lane (channel), and surrounding lanes.

I think you have two Ethernet ports in the extender, probably 4 on the router. If you connect a 4 or 8 port switch to one of the ports, you can connect 4 or 8 devices to a single port on the router\extender. Generally, you can use up to 3 or 4 switches on a single run of cable before things get mucked up. So, Router > Switch > Switch > Switch > PC\Mac\Streaming device, etc. Each switch can have several ports connected to devices...this is how you build out larger networks like in offices. In your case, MOCA is the medium (wire) that carries the data, and the Extender is effectively a switch. So, one switch connected to the extender to get ethernet to several devices would work well, particularly if the MOCA connection is good.

Back to your MOCA. Your router is MOCA 2.0, bonded I believe. Think of this like a 1Gbps ethernet connection. The extender is MOCA 1.1, I believe. This is basically a 100Mbps connection. If you only have a couple devices connecting through the extender, 100Mbps is probably more than enough, even 4k video streams are not more than 15-20 Mbps. But, the filter might be lowering the extender to router MOCA connection to 50 Mbps or so due to filtering out higher frequencies. The new splitter should bring the MOCA link up to 100Mbps or better, thus improving things considerably.

Once things are working reasonably well, consider using different WiFi names on the router and extender. Like NETWORK and NETWORK_E. For devices that are near the extender, only connect them to the extender WiFi, devices near the router, to the router WiFi. You can even do NETWORK\NETWORK5 and NETWORK_E\NETWORK_E5 to split 2.4 and 5Ghz into different networks. This allows you to join the best network in a given location for a given device and not roam to the others and cause congestion for other devices. For things like iPad, iPhone that roam, join all of the networks and let the device sort out the best to use.

Is your head exploding yet?
 
Comment

heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,277
1,345
on iPhone, install the Apple Airport Utility if you don't have it. Then, in Settings > Airport Utility, enable WiFi Scanner.

Now, open the app, don't worry that there are no access points. In the upper right corner, click Scan and let it run for a minute, then stop it.

What you will see is all of the WiFi signals in range of your current location. It will show channels these use, and a signal strength (RSSI). RSSI readings closer to 0 (-30 for instance) are stronger than -90. Anything over -80 you can ignore, these are too weak\far away to interfere with your network. Jot down all of the network signals below -80, these are the most likely conflicts. You will see your own in there, probably something for 5Ghz like channels 36 and above. You will also see 2.4Ghz with channels 1-11 or so. As you write them down, do so on a graph=like line with ch 1-11 for 2.4, and ch 36 -159 or so for 5Ghz. Then, along that line, tick where each signal is on the spectrum to easily find gaps where you will set your channels.

5Ghz has shorter range, you may not even see neighbors networks with channels 36+, but if you do, note them. 2.4Ghz is generally more problematic, there are only a handful of channels, and range is longer so you will likely see neighboring networks, again note the channels with these.

When tuning 2.4Ghz channels, you generally want to avoid channel 6, it is where all the garbage signals occur. Microwave ovens, radar, bluetooth, wireless home phones, wireless keyboard\mouse will generally be using this frequency\channel. If you choose channel 1, you will actually use 1-3. If you choose 3, you will use 2-4 or 5 and so on. Basically, 3-4 channels are used when you set a channel on the router or extender. So, you are looking for where in the spectrum the stronger neighbor signals are, and trying to fill gaps with yours to minimize overlap. Same with 5Ghz, but that may not be as saturated and there are more channels to play with.

It's a game of pin the tail on the donkey, if neighbors know how to do this, channels will be changed from time to time, and stomp on each other. To understand what you are trying to do here, think of AM and FM radio. AM is like 2.4Ghz, it has longer range due to longer signal waves (lower frequency). As you move between cities, you may pickup two broadcasts from radio stations using the same frequency (channel), so you hear two sets of voices or music, and have to try to filter that with your ears. But, if the neighboring city has no AM stations near the frequencies of nearby cities, there is little chance of overlap, just static from weak signals (you are not getting all of the data or hearing electrical interference). More often, at night (limited light to interfere with signals), the overlap occurs because longer distances for the signal to travel before it is too week to pick up.

So, changing WiFi channels is like telling 1 radio station to use 89.3 instead of 89.7 to avoid overlapping. FM (and 5Ghz) is higher frequency so it doesn't travel as far, but same idea. So, you are tuning your network to broadcast and listen on certain frequencies. Clients learn which channels to use from the source when they join the network.

As I think I mentioned, WiFi 6 (802.11ax) has a filtering mechanism in which it sees a bit in the header of each packet that indicates which network authenticated it. So, the router or extender can more easily drop these without deeper inspection to make room (priority) for authentic packets. Thus, it is less prone to interference from neighbor networks. But it is new, more expensive, and few devices use AX yet (the next 1-3 years, most new devices will support AX).

Before you spend money on AC WiFi gear (WiFi 5), try your best to live with it and tune it for now. When WiFi 6 prices drop, and devices support it, then may be a good time to look into investing in new equipment, that may be in 2-3 years. WiFi 6 also has longer range, faster speeds, in addition to resilient to interference. So, a single WiFi 6 router may cover your whole home without an extender.

By now, you are probably thinking...jeez, how can this ever work. Thus is the downfall of WiFi. I generally try to hardwire as much as possible. This reduces the number of WiFi signals bouncing around. Think of a highway, today with everyone sheltered in their homes, few cars on the road, so going the speed limit is easy. But in normal rush hour with too many cars, things slow down. Taking cars off the road speeds things up for everyone, in your lane (channel), and surrounding lanes.

I think you have two Ethernet ports in the extender, probably 4 on the router. If you connect a 4 or 8 port switch to one of the ports, you can connect 4 or 8 devices to a single port on the router\extender. Generally, you can use up to 3 or 4 switches on a single run of cable before things get mucked up. So, Router > Switch > Switch > Switch > PC\Mac\Streaming device, etc. Each switch can have several ports connected to devices...this is how you build out larger networks like in offices. In your case, MOCA is the medium (wire) that carries the data, and the Extender is effectively a switch. So, one switch connected to the extender to get ethernet to several devices would work well, particularly if the MOCA connection is good.

Back to your MOCA. Your router is MOCA 2.0, bonded I believe. Think of this like a 1Gbps ethernet connection. The extender is MOCA 1.1, I believe. This is basically a 100Mbps connection. If you only have a couple devices connecting through the extender, 100Mbps is probably more than enough, even 4k video streams are not more than 15-20 Mbps. But, the filter might be lowering the extender to router MOCA connection to 50 Mbps or so due to filtering out higher frequencies. The new splitter should bring the MOCA link up to 100Mbps or better, thus improving things considerably.

Once things are working reasonably well, consider using different WiFi names on the router and extender. Like NETWORK and NETWORK_E. For devices that are near the extender, only connect them to the extender WiFi, devices near the router, to the router WiFi. You can even do NETWORK\NETWORK5 and NETWORK_E\NETWORK_E5 to split 2.4 and 5Ghz into different networks. This allows you to join the best network in a given location for a given device and not roam to the others and cause congestion for other devices. For things like iPad, iPhone that roam, join all of the networks and let the device sort out the best to use.

Is your head exploding yet?

Just a little, lol! And it's funny that you mention the Ethernet ports. that was how this whole thing started. I was able to work from home, received a computer that was only able to accept a hard wired connection, and plugged into ethernet on the Actiontec and didn't work. tried countless cables, nothing. only solution was to buy a USB wifi adapter to plug into the computer and it was able to work. So after that, it was what made me want to start looking at optoins for upgrading this guy.

My internet from Spectrum is 100 Mbps. Not a lot, I know but it was an upgrade from my 60 mbps.
 
Comment

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,221
468
Colorado
Just a little, lol! And it's funny that you mention the Ethernet ports. that was how this whole thing started. I was able to work from home, received a computer that was only able to accept a hard wired connection, and plugged into ethernet on the Actiontec and didn't work. tried countless cables, nothing. only solution was to buy a USB wifi adapter to plug into the computer and it was able to work. So after that, it was what made me want to start looking at optoins for upgrading this guy.

My internet from Spectrum is 100 Mbps. Not a lot, I know but it was an upgrade from my 60 mbps.

If the ethernet doesn't work off the extender, it is the MOCA link no doubt. I assume WiFi is coming from the router since the Extender is basically non-functional. That is where naming things different can identify which WiFi you are connecting to, a good troubleshooting tool if nothing else.

100Mbps is decent, mine is only 75 with Comcast, more than enough for what I need. But, I may be in a new position with the opportunity to work from home 90% of the time, so may investigate more bandwidth. But in my area, it is Comcast or bust.

Looking forward to when 5G home internet arrives, it promises much faster speeds and low prices due to not having to run expensive equipment to every home. Should get interesting.

In your case, once you resolve the connectivity to the extender, you should be good. The existing extender should be able to keep up with the Spectrum speeds. But, if 5G comes along at much faster speeds, you may want to consider upgrading the extender then...or upgrading to WiFi 6.
 
Comment

heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,277
1,345
If the ethernet doesn't work off the extender, it is the MOCA link no doubt. I assume WiFi is coming from the router since the Extender is basically non-functional. That is where naming things different can identify which WiFi you are connecting to, a good troubleshooting tool if nothing else.

100Mbps is decent, mine is only 75 with Comcast, more than enough for what I need. But, I may be in a new position with the opportunity to work from home 90% of the time, so may investigate more bandwidth. But in my area, it is Comcast or bust.

Looking forward to when 5G home internet arrives, it promises much faster speeds and low prices due to not having to run expensive equipment to every home. Should get interesting.

In your case, once you resolve the connectivity to the extender, you should be good. The existing extender should be able to keep up with the Spectrum speeds. But, if 5G comes along at much faster speeds, you may want to consider upgrading the extender then...or upgrading to WiFi 6.

Same here with Spectrum for me. Wish there were other options like FiOS or even AT&T (not compatible in my area) to give them competition.

I’m going to play with more of the channels today with my Actiontec. I notice that the 5Ghz network has higher numbers for channels, like 40 and above from what I recall. Since 5Ghz has a shorter range, is that the best option? To go higher?
 
Comment

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,221
468
Colorado
5Ghz is often the best choice because shorter range means less chance neighbors networks are in range. Also, as you note, more channels which helps reduce conflicts with neighbors. And it is generally faster than 2.4Ghz (more bandwidth). But, shorter range means as you roam farther from the router or extender, the signal gets weaker and so too the speeds.

Before you get too wrapped up in WiFi tuning, concentrate on getting the splitter replaced and restoring connectivity between the extender and router. That may take care of things.
 
Comment

heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,277
1,345
5Ghz is often the best choice because shorter range means less chance neighbors networks are in range. Also, as you note, more channels which helps reduce conflicts with neighbors. And it is generally faster than 2.4Ghz (more bandwidth). But, shorter range means as you roam farther from the router or extender, the signal gets weaker and so too the speeds.

Before you get too wrapped up in WiFi tuning, concentrate on getting the splitter replaced and restoring connectivity between the extender and router. That may take care of things.

So I guess the 60 second outage every 12 hours is something from the modem‘s end. I was downstairs yesterday and it still did it. it worked for a day or so after the spectrum rep changed the wifi channels last week, but it’s back it seems. Like I said, not a big deal, but still wondering what in the world is causing it to go out like clock work 12 hours apart from each other.
 
Comment

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,221
468
Colorado
So I guess the 60 second outage every 12 hours is something from the modem‘s end. I was downstairs yesterday and it still did it. it worked for a day or so after the spectrum rep changed the wifi channels last week, but it’s back it seems. Like I said, not a big deal, but still wondering what in the world is causing it to go out like clock work 12 hours apart from each other.
Have you replaced the splitter?
 
Comment

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,221
468
Colorado
I have not. The one from amazon isn’t going to get here for another 3 weeks. Do you think replacing that splitter will help the modem get a better signal, even if the modem is downstairs?
Probably. I think you current splitter is for lower frequency TV signals. Until that is addressed, I would hold of on any other changes, other than channel tuning maybe.
 
Comment

heyyitssusan

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2,277
1,345
Probably. I think you current splitter is for lower frequency TV signals. Until that is addressed, I would hold of on any other changes, other than channel tuning maybe.

So I just noticed, just happened last night and this morning.. no outages at that 8:23 time like there used to be. I wonder what happened, or maybe the neighbors changed something on their side and something was interfering with signal? No complaints here, just hoping it stays that way.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.