Can I use Sonos with a wireless range extender?

  • 7 November 2017
  • 6 replies

I am thinking of buying some Sonos Play 3.

My house has very impenetrable walls and I have had to install a Wireless Range Extender to get WiFi throughout the house. The arrangement I have is as below where Tom and Harry overlap but serve different areas.

The music would be on a Network Attached Disk attached to the router.

Can I locate a Sonos Play 3 in network Harry and access the music in the NAS?

Any advice will be gratefully received.

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6 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hey there, JohnHa. Thanks for reaching out, I'll be happy to clear up any questions you have. First things we want to do is get a clear understanding of the networks and how they are configured. Judging by the diagram you attached, the range extender is connected to the router by Ethernet and is creating a different network ("Harry"). In order for Sonos to see the entire system, we will need to tell the range extender to bridge the connection from Network Tom rather than create a separate network. On a mobile phone, this will look like one network ("Tom") for the whole house. You may need to consult the manual for your extender to find out how to enable a Bridge mode.

Once the range extender is set to Bridge mode, you should have no problem having Sonos access the network as a whole. Let us know if you run into any snags.

Thank you.

What I have discovered is that the controller (phone, tablet etc) must be on the same network as the Sonos speaker or the controller cannot see the Sonos speaker. However, if in the diagram above, I have the controller and the Sonos speaker on Network Harry, they can play the music stored on devices (NAS, PC etc) attached to Network Tom.

My Netgear Range Extender is actually connected by WiFi (but connected by Ethernet also works). The Range Extender creates a new, differently named network called Harry. I will check the manual to see if I can bridge the connection as you suggest so as to create a single, large network called Tom.

I will report back.
It appears that my Netgear N300 WiFi Range Extender Model EX2700 does not allow me to bridge so I will look for a bridging device.

I also saw Play one speakers silent with Wifi Repeater at which says:

As you may already know, each Sonos speaker acts as a range extender. In other words, you could have a speaker placed 1000 feet from your wifi router and as long as you had speakers placed close enough to each other to repeat the signal, it would connect to the last speaker. Keep in mind that your Sonos system creates and operates on it's own dedicated network once it is set up.

My experience is that even though I have strong and continuous streaming music via my Sonos network on my patio, I sometime need to move within my home Wifi network range to change songs etc via the app. We tried to solve this problem by using a series of different wifi range extenders and wifi repeaters on our home wifi network, none of which we liked the results.

When using a wifi range extender like the "NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender" set up near the back of my house, this seemed to help me get a signal outdoors but had a huge downside. This range extender sets up another wifi network. If my original network is called "HOME" it creates one called "HOME_EXT". Using an Iphone to connect to my wifi network, the iphone will connect to the first network it detects and will not switch back unless the originally connected network signal is lost. In other words if I am outside and it drops my HOME network and picks up my HOME_EXT network, it will keep that network connection even if I am standing next to my router with full HOME signal and only a slight HOME_EXT signal. I would have to take notice of which network it's connected to and actually go into my settings to switch the network. This became very annoying since you can't actually see the network you are connected to on your home screen but have to go into your settings. After doing this a dozen times in one evening, that range extender was unplugged and put in the drawer.

Another option I tried was a repeater that actually kept the same network. I don't have the model with me now. I am on a Fiber network that my TV and internet connect through the same COAX cable. I take this device and wire it to any coax connection as long as it is connected back to the original coax network in the house. Say, any cable that is also connected to a junction that includes the cable box or the router. What is does is it actually repeats and extends the same HOME network and it never actually switches networks so you have the same strong signal anywhere I go......... The only BIG problem with this is it confuses the Sonos speakers since there are two different access points now. Speakers would drop out and come back on, speakers would disappear on the Sonos app and later reappear etc etc. Really goofy stuff. I realized later that Sonos can only use one access point. When you have two identical access points like did, Sonos sees both and connects to each one randomly and it messes with the system.

So, as far as extending your Sonos system, use a boost or put in another speaker- I have 12 speakers on my system and they are placed evenly enough that I do not have any drop-out issues. I am however still searching for a wifi extender that doesn't mess with the Sonos sytem.
Userlevel 1
Question - Have you found an extender which does not mess with the Sonos system ?

The reason I ask is that your description describes exactly my problem. My system (with no extender) works great with no break up. Problem is that whilst music is broadcast fine to my furthest away speaker (a play 1) my phone to control it is out of range of the wifi. So if I use a range extender (TP link RE200) I can now use the controller but get really bad Sonos break up.
I was thinking of experimenting with Wireless Access Points but you seem to have problems with that.
> Have you found an extender which does not mess with the Sonos system ?

Not yet. But reading the quoted post suggests it won't be an ideal solution. A colleague extends his WiFi by placing another router in a further away room, and connecting it to his router by an Ethernet cable (actually Ethernet over mains cables). You need to disable the DNS server in the far router. I don't know if this will work with Sonos.

A Sonos Boost (or another Sonos speaker to extend the network?) may be the best solution.
No. Just no. It won't work with an extender.