Suggestions on wifi extender or access point

  • 23 November 2016
  • 4 replies

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My setup consists of an AT&T Uverse modem/router in downstairs bedroom, a Play 5 in next room over and a Sonos Connect upstairs and on the other side of the house. I frequently go long periods of time without having any network or dropout issues. But lately I have been having all kinds of problems. All of a sudden I can't browse my library, or one of my zones disappears, or songs drop out for no real reason and will do so repeatedly. Then all of a sudden it comes back on. Or just goes completely haywire and goes to the next track and plays 10 seconds before dropping out again and displaying the "insufficient buffer" error.

I suspect that part of the problem might be the signal from AT&T. I pay for the 18 Mbps plan but am lucky to get 10-12. And this can drop down to the single digits during peak hours. This is the fastest plan available at my location and AT&T is the only game in town at the moment. So switching ISP is not an option.

So I have tried various things like wiring in the Connect upstairs - I have an ethernet jack up there that feeds directly from the modem/router in the bedroom. Even wired in I still get dropouts and odd behavior. It isn't as bad as when I was connecting wirelessly but it still happens. And I don't know how much of the improvement can be attributed to the wired connection as I also manually changed network channels as well.

So I am wondering what else I should try. Should I purchase another router to do "downstream" from the AT&T modem/router (which I can't get rid of completely because I think it houses some proprietary signal equipment that I need to use the UVerse signal)? I don't know much about these devices other than they are not cheap - or that they range in price from $40-$400. Any suggestions?

I am wondering if anyone here has had similar experiences and what you did to resolve the issue.

Thanks in advance!

Best answer by ratty 23 November 2016, 17:11

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4 replies

If your local library doesn't play consistently, and zones go missing, it's a local network issue and nothing to do with internet performance.

Where is the library stored? Other the CONNECT which you tried wiring is the PLAY:5 wired as well?
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Part of local library is stored on an Asus laptop, the other part in an iMac.

I have not tried wiring the PLAY:5.

What can I do to resolve a local network issue like this?
The usual mantra for connectivity problems arising in a system which hitherto worked fine is "restart everything on the network". This will at least flush out any possible duplicated IP addresses. That's certainly worth doing.

However if your problem comes and goes it could be wireless related. Are the computers wired or wireless? Wireless will be somewhat less reliable.

You clearly set the system up in 'Standard Setup' (using the WiFi). Temporarily wiring the CONNECT would have switched it to 'BOOST Setup' (SonosNet mode).

Are you able to wire the laptop as a test? If so I suggest you wire the CONNECT to the router again, and hook the laptop to the CONNECT's second port. Local library playback from the laptop ought to be flawless.

If that works, leave the laptop wired and see if the PLAY:5 behaves itself. Then try wiring the laptop to the router. Do you see where we're going with this? Change one thing at a time until something goes wrong, then we'll have an idea of where the problem could be found.
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Thanks for the suggestion - so far so good with the laptop connected to the CONNECT and the CONNECT wired in.