Devolo Magic 2 Wifi Set up and issues

Jsouthco

Standard Member
Hi All,

Hoping someone here can help save my sanity with Devolo Magic 2 Wifi and Sky Superfast broadband / Sky Q. I have attached an image of my set up which isn't overly complex.

Here are my problems:
  • Sky Wifi was dropping out constantly which causes issues with home working and conference calls
  • I installed the Devolo Dlan and Wifi power lines and all settled down with a few drop outs now and then
  • I switched up to Sky Broadband Superfast as they renewed my package and got the SR203 Sky Q Hub ..... but still the Wifi was flaky
  • Recently upgraded the Devolo Magic 2 Wifi Next after glowing reports of major improvements with MU-MiMo and Seamless Mesh with Access Point Steering. Each of the Devolo Magic 2 Wifi's are plugged into their own socket so no interference from double sockets or other devices plugged in. All Devolo Magic 2 Wifi plugs are sync'd with the same SSID and password
  • Switched off all Wifi in the Sky Q broadband Hub, the Sky Q main box and the Sky mini so no wifi enabled through Sky boxes anywhere in the house
  • Installed the new Devolo Magic 2's and thought I had built a mesh network that would be 21st Century ready
  • I have Cat 6 running into kitchen media area - but no Cat 6 yet to the living room area as we haven't renovated there yet
So the challenges:
  • I am constantly getting 'Proximity errors' and drop outs on the Sky Mini box (which is hard wired CAT6) and it is losing connection to the Sky Q box. Something is interrupting the connection between the main Sky Q box (Cat 6 to Devolo Magic 2 back to the Sky Q Hub) and the Sky Q mini (Hard wired Cat 6 from the Sky Q hub)
  • The Wifi is hugely intermittent across the house with regular drop outs and goes incredibly slow intermittently with lots of buffering on end devices
  • If I move from room to room with my end devices I have to stop and start Wifi to make the end device connect with the nearest Devolo Magic 2 Wifi, (that indicates to me that Access Point Steering is not working)
  • There is a huge range difference in performance speeds for all of the Magic 2 plugs .... in the Devolo cockpit - 1 running at 1070MB/s, 1 running at 571MB\s and 1 running at 401 MB/s as we speak and they are all using the same ring network and in their own sockets
  • Today I was watching a training video hardwired directly through Cat 6 back to the Sky Q Hub (SR203) and the video kept buffering intermittently which indicates there is either something wrong with the service coming in (maybe Sky are throttling it) or the Sky modem/router is pants and that's what is causing all the problems.
  • Will it help if I get rid of the Sky Q Hub SR203 and bought a suitable 3rd party Modem router like a TP Link Archer or something similar that is compatible with Sky Superfast Broadband service. I am at the end of my tether with the Sky Broadband Super 'Dropout' service!
Apologies this is long but hopefully it helps explain my pain and hoping someone can provide some guidance please.

Thanks for your Help.
 

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shewbs

Member
Hello Jsouthco,

Thanks for the diagram, that helps a lot.
There are quite a few moving parts there, and thus possibilities for problems, so I'd be tempted to strip back the scenario to simpler ones and add devices after confirming everything works as expected e.g.

1. Simplest case, Sky Hub -> Sky Q via an RJ45 cable
2. Sky Hub -> Sky Q via TP Link
3. Sky Hub -> Sky Q via TP Link x2
4. Sky Hub -> Sky Q via TP Link x2 in different rooms
5. Sky Hub -> Sky Q via TP Link x2 in different rooms + Sky Q via RJ45
6. Sky Hub -> Sky Q via TP Link x2 in different rooms + Sky Q via TP Link
etc.

The above might be a bit laborious, but you should be able is isolate the thing or things (and it's worth assuming it might be multiple!) that are causing your problems.
Given you have multiple problems, the Sky Hub would be my first suspect.

In addition:
- Check your broadband speed
- Running network speed tests using something like iperf3 (free), or similar will help to view throughput, latency, and packet loss.

Good Luck. Do let us know how you get on.


Shewbs
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
By my count you are on something like your fourth Wi-Fi solutions, none of which are working well. That's telling me the problem is possibly environmental, e.g. a local interference source, rather than an equipment fault per se.

BTW - AP steering (if indeed your AP's implement it, not all do,) requires client devices that support it - if you have older clients they may not.

With so many AP's, you are very likely to have something called co-channel interference if you have not tuned the radio channel plan optimally. Basically, in Wi-Fi "only one thing at a time can transmit" on each channel until any hotspots tuned to the same or similar radio channel are some distance apart. To mitigate this it's best to ensure nearby hotspots are tuned to different radio channels. For "only" three, I'd forego any "auto tune" and set up the channel plan manually. For the 2.4GHz waveband choose channels from the set [1,6,11] and for the 5GHz waveband, just ensure they are different. You might also disable "40MHz" ("fat" or "wide") channels in the 2.4GHz waveband if your equipment offers it. That will half the advertised speed, but might lead to a more stable deployment which paradoxically could offer faster overall throughput as the air-time competition may be reduced and the retry and error counts possibly decrease.

Even then. it's not guaranteed to be trouble free (Wi-Fi is fundamentally fickle and unreliable) but we are along the way to giving it it's best chance of success.

HomePlugs use a "common bus" operating paradigm over the mains wires - in the jargon it's its own "collision domain" - which means at any given time only one plug can be sending over the mains. The "master" plug mediates "who's turn it is to transmit." Thusly, the more traffic there is competing for the HomePlug links, the more chance there is of it tripping over each other and either it has to queue up (or "buffer") somewhere or it gets silently dropped causing the endstations to have to re-transmit.

As ever, if you want fast reliable data networking then the best solution is to get the drill out and install UTP cabling to run ethernet.
 
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