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Understanding Powerline Extenders & WiFi Hotspots

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#1 rp101


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  • Local time:03:32 AM

Posted 25 November 2017 - 06:24 AM

I have FTTC broadband supplied by a UK ISP (TalkTalk) that gives max download speeds of 76 Mbps - in reality this averages around 60 download & 12 Mbps upload speeds. This comes in to 1st floor of house & uses a Huawei HG635 router supplied by the ISP. Years back, I set up using an old powerline extender system to the downstairs to give wired input into TV, but I kept suffering from dropping & buffering issues. Consequently this week I updated the hardware to TP-LINKS AV1200 Gigabit Powerline ac Wi-Fi TL-WPA8630 KIT - the ethernet wired connections work fine, with me losing maybe a max of 10 Mbps at the TV end. But what I don't understand is the WiFi set up using the Adapter & Extender kit. The blurb boasts:

* Wi-Fi Clone – Automatically copies the network name (SSID) and password of your router with the touch of the Wi-Fi clone button
* Wi-Fi Auto-Sync – Makes it easy to add additional extenders to your powerline network by uniformly syncing settings such as SSID, password, Wi-Fi Schedule and LED Schedule for all network devices
* Plug, Pair, and Play –Set up your powerline network and start enjoying fast, seamless wired/wireless connections in a matter of minutes


Needless to say the plug & play takes a bit more than "a matter of minutes", but 6 hours after starting process I had the wired side sorted and the WiFi "working" & cloned (I think), but not synched as I would understand it. And this is where I would appreciate some help.


I thought the "cloning & synching" bits to mean that TPLink Extender WiFi (lets call it TPWiFi) is captured by the Router's WiFi signal (RouterWiFi), so that I can simply keep using my old 2.4 & 5 G RouterWiFi SSIDs & PWs. WRONG!! I had to go in to TP-LINKS app (tpPLC) & manually rename the TPWiFi SSIDs & PWs. Great - this does mean that I do not have to keep changing my wifi settings as I move about the house with my laptop. But this does not actually do what I thought - that is, pick up the strongest signal of the two (eg RouterWiFi 2.4 vs TPWiFi 2.4 or betweenRouterWiFi 5 vs TPWiFi 5) - it seems arbitary which of the two in any pairing it picks up (obviously it discrimates between 2.4 or 5 depending on my initial choice). So cloning & auto-sync (above) does NOT change MAC/ BSSID address, & effectively I am not getting the best signal (eg as I write, the difference in signal strength between RouterWiFi 2.4 vs TPWiFi 2.4 is 22% (51 vs 29%) and for RouterWiFi 5 vs TPWiFi 5 is 24% (31% vs 6%, with my laptop actually hooked in to the TPWiFi at -92dBm signal strength - the worst!). Clearly I am COMPLETELY misunderstanding what the WiFi component of these extenders do: if anyone can explain in simple English with words of 1 syllable as to what is actually going on, & how I might remedy it, I would be very grateful.


Many thanks

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