TP-link powerline AV500 problems

Dave163

Novice Member
Hi, would appreciate help. I live in a three storey Victorian terraced house in Birmingham. I use the top floor as my study. A Virgin media broadband cable comes into a Superhub, into which is wired my desktop PC and network printer by ethernet cable. Unfortunately the wifi signal outside of this room, from the Superhub, is very weak, but I need to be able to get online from any room in the house, especially the lounge on the ground floor. We have thick walls and solid wood floors throughout which doesn't help, and have recently decorated so I didn't want to start running cables around the house.

The initial idea was to get a range extender and plug it into a mains socket, but my gear didn't like that as it kept forever shifting networks from the weak Home network to the strnger Home_EXT network and back again. That went in the bin.

So a few months ago I bought a TP-link AV500 powerline kit consisting of a plug at the Virgin router end and a couple of access points which are plugged into mains sockets in the living room and kitchen at the back of the house. One of the attractive features was that ist said on the box that it was highly recommended by AVForums! (Actually I bought one access point initially, but I recently bought a second one, from a different shop and different batch, to see if the problems I was having with the first one were due to a faulty device.)

I set the access points to clone mode, so they all broadcast the same home network name and wifi password.

At first it all worked OK but problems soon started. The main issue is that when I am connected via wifi using a laptop the connection frequently drops. It goes from having a strong signal (five bars in the taskbar of strength) to having five bars, but a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark, and on network settings it says I am connected to the home network but not to the internet. Which is rubbish, because if I plug an ethernet cable from the powerline adaptor in say the living room, into my laptop's network socket, I can get straight onto the internet. If I disconnect from the home network and reconnect, wireless internet connectivity is restored....for a while.

What is even more annoying is that I have three laptops, one of which rarely shows this problem, one of which I can be on for a few minutes or several hours, before it happens, and one of which is barely ever able to connect since within seconds of showing it is wirelessly connected, the yellow triangle appears and the connection is lost. But I know that laptop's wireless adaptor is working fine since I tried connecting it to my mobile phone as a wireless hotspot using my phone network and turning off all home wireless signals, and it pairs with the phone and lets me surf the net indefinitely.

There are other issues too - v e r y s l o w to connect sometimes, and then when it has connected to the laptop, the signal drops and I can't then connect. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow internet speeds.

I don't to my knowledge have other radio signal equipment blasing out noise (can't rule out the neighbours doing so though) and the signal drops regardless of whether the microwave, washing machine etc are on at the time.

I have tried probably most of the "usual" stuff - I restricted the DHCP IP address range at the Virgin router, and have manually configured IP addresses outside that range for my desktop, all laptops and printer. Plus I have manualy configured IP addressess outside the router range for both TP Link plugs. I have got them on channels 1 6 and 11 and have checked that these are the best channels using INSSIDER.

I've tried putting the access points in many different power sockets but the problems persist. Also I have tried using just one or the other access point in case one is faulty, but both exhibit the same problem.

I don't want to throw yet more stuff out and get a really powerful wireless router like the Nighthawk unless really necessary (it might give me a strong download signal but if the signal from my laptop can't reach it from the living room it's pointless). But I cannot fathom what more I should tinker with to get the AV plugs working reliably.

The shop where I bought it from said the only thing I hadn't tried was to put both Powerline adaptors to the same IP address as the Virgin wireless router modem (168.192.0.1), and that's about the only thing I haven't yet tried. Bit reluctant as I don't know what effect that would have or whether it would cause network conflicts etc.

Can anyone suggest anything else to get these wretched things working, if they are so good that AVForums recommend them? I'd even be prepared to pay for someone to visit the house to do some diagnostics and maybe try with different kit or different powerline adaptors if necessary to see if they can get something working better, but not sure who I could call to do that, since IT companies all seem to just do expensive wired jobs for offices. Thoughts?
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Don't bother using the same IP addresses in more than one device as this cannot work as each device needs a unique address to work properly. You can try setting unique SSIDs on each wifi AP as this at least allows you to choose the best connection at your location and ensure your devices are not hopping around between APs.

You should also use the powerline utility to check the signal/link speed between powerline devices and see how they are performing in their preferred locations too.
 

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