Question

Anyone using a Sonos One hardwired to a range extender?

  • 22 January 2018
  • 8 replies
  • 453 views

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I had posted this thread earlier: https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/variation-on-the-at-t-u-verse-pace-5268ac-router-problem-6798455

Unfortunately, the problem has been back, and I've discovered a couple of other things:

- The speaker never seems to disappear when hard-wired to the router (or at least, I haven't yet seen it disappear). All well and good except where the router sits is no where near where I'd want the speaker, so that's a moot point. Besides, it's supposed to be a wireless speaker, so I want to be able to use it as intended. So it seems I'm seeing it drop off only when using wireless.
- When the Sonos is accessible with the app, it's also ping-able. I wasn't sure if perhaps it just didn't support ICMP at all (I have an older wireless-ready Blu-ray player that doesn't seem to support being pinged even when connected to the network), but that's because I only ever tried when it had disappeared. After rebooting my router and it becoming findable on wireless again (or hard-wiring it directly to the router), I see it does respond to pings.
- When the speaker disappears, it just seems to be for *inbound* packets. I'm primarily using it connected to a NAS where I've copied my music library, and I've learned the speaker seems to remember what it was playing so that if I pause it then press the play button on the top, it picks up where it left off. So I started it playing music from the NAS, paused it and left it alone. The next day I tried to access it with the app and it had disappeared again (nor would it respond to pings), but when I pressed the play button, it seemed to start streaming music from the NAS again. I let it play for a few minutes though admittedly if the speaker has a sizable local cache, it may not be pulling that over the network; but if it is, then the speaker has not been blocked by the router on the network. Besides, when it disappears, I can use an app called Fing which scans my local network and it sees the speaker.

So this would seem to point to some problem with using the speaker on wireless. Sonos tech support appears to have thrown up their hands on this (they advised me to post the problem to the community). Given it (so far) has not seemed to have a problem when connected via Ethernet to the router, I was thinking my only option would be to find a wireless range extender which can support a device connected to an Ethernet port, and connect the Sonos to that port (so the speaker never tries to use its wireless). I think they sell these so you can connect non-wireless devices to your local network away from your router, so I'm wondering if anyone has tried this? If so, what is the make/model of the extender you used?

Thanks.

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8 replies

When the player has gone missing, check whether the phone/tablet is using the 5GHz WiFi. Some routers won't consistently forward the controller's discovery broadcasts between the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.
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When the player has gone missing, check whether the phone/tablet is using the 5GHz WiFi. Some routers won't consistently forward the controller's discovery broadcasts between the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.

Thanks for your response. I do know that the phone with the Sonos app is on 5 GHz and the speaker is on 2.4. My router is configured for wireless band shaping, so that both the 2.4 and 5 radios share the same SSID/password (the config page in the router admin recommends this setup so it can move devices between radios as appropriate to optimize traffic). Sonos tech support first tried to point to this as the issue, but after I set the 2.4 radio to have its own SSID and connected the speaker to that, it would still disappear; the phone was still on the 5 GHz radio SSID. Admittedly I didn't think at the time to switch the phone to 2.4, but if that is the issue, then that's a pain to either keep my phone on the slower network when it can support the faster one, or remember to switch it just to use the speaker.

If what you describe is the issue I'm seeing, then I'm not sure why the speaker won't respond to pings when it has disappeared ... while the speaker is not responding, the other 2.4 devices on my network (two Roku boxes and a wireless printer) respond just fine. I'm assuming the app uses some form of broadcast to find the network address of the speaker (though it would be nice if the app config had an advanced option to provide a fixed IP address if you've set up DHCP in your router to give the same address to the speaker every time, as I've tried) ... I don't think ping uses broadcast, but if it did, then don't know why the other 2.4 devices work when the speaker doesn't.
Userlevel 7
You may have several issues going here.

1. My first suggestion is to re-familiarize yourself with how to integrate Sonos with a NAS:

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/79/kw/nas/session/L3RpbWUvMTUxNjYyNjU1NC9zaWQvZlVTQ3Bnd2tpUjlqSk1rcmUzNEpXQ09qYU5raUNYbWF2YjFydjNNelZ2dTd5ZjJoc0ElN0VrOTlmNEZVX3hYeFAzd2hwOVpwZVFKS2dtRU5qbkRNY2VQSWdjazR1ZSU3RTNWamF4TzN0U2FySHRJZ0IxNWNTamJzeURmZyUyMSUyMQ==

2. If you are using Boost Mode the frequency (5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz) should not be an issue as the Boost configuration is handling the connection for all your Sonos. If you don’t want to use a Sonos speaker I suggest you invest in the dedicated Sonos Boost component ($99 USD). I have a smart-tri band router and my phone connects at 5 GHz with the Sonos App and I have no problems at all.

3. After you have verified one (1) above:
- I suggest you get the Boost component. After you bring it on-line using the Sonos App….Stop.
- Unplug every device that uses Wi-Fi including the Boost
- Reset your router-just unplug it and wait for it to come back
- Starting with your Boost bring all Sonos back on-line one at a time.
- Bring your other Wi-Fi devices back on-line one at a time.

Good Luck & Cheers!
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@AjTrek1, thanks for your response. I don't believe the issue is the fact I'm streaming music from my NAS ... I have reviewed the NAS set up and it describes what I did. Plus my NAS is connected directly to the router so it's not an issue of both devices being wireless, and I've also used the "built-in" Tune-In radio feature to stream radio stations, and the same thing happens.

I'd really rather *not* have to purchase another device to make something work which should function out of the box, from Sonos or anyone else. The idea of the range extender was based on the fact that the issue didn't seem to happen when the speaker was directly connected to the router (which is not really of any value given where the router is located). The wireless signal is plenty strong enough throughout my one-story home, so the speaker *should* just work. If Sonos wants customers to be able to purchase their products and they just work, then they need to engineer them that way.
Regarding the 5GHz issue, there is no problem with having multiple bands on same SSID so changing that is pointless. What may be an issue is having your phone on 5GHz when operating Sonos in fully wireless mode. As @AjTrek1 correctly says, it is fine to have the phone on 5GHz when Sonos has a wired component, because this provides the bridge between the two bands.

Now, to be honest, I would be surprised if a router that allows the two bands to share a SSID did not allow bridging between the two, but it is simple and quick to rule this out or in. As an experiment, have the speaker wireless, then set your phone to allow connection to 2.4 GHz only (or just connect to it if the bands now have different SSIDs). Can you see the speaker. Then connect phone to 5GHz. Again, can you see the speaker?

Actually as I write this, it prompts a question. What do you mean by 'cannot see the speaker' - do you get a message saying 'Sonos system cannot be found', or what?
It's worth pointing out that, in the event that the router is not fully compliant in terms of forwarding the required protocols between bands, using an extender is also likely to be problematic. (Extenders are not officially supported by Sonos either.) Maybe wiring the Sonos player to a 5GHz extender would succeed in maintaining a connection to a phone that's also on 5GHz. But then things could fall apart again if the phone moves to the 2.4GHz band.
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@John B, thanks for your reply. What I mean by "cannot see the speaker" is two-fold: 1) the Sonos app gets the error you indicate, but along with that 2) I cannot ping the speaker, either (when it's working, it responds to pings from devices on the 5 GHz network). If it were a function of the router not bridging the two bands *and* the fact that ping does not work at that time, I would have expected anything on the 2.4 band to be unreachable, which is not the case (other 2.4 devices are ping-able when the speaker is not). And this problem is not persistent ... if I reboot the router, my 5 GHz phone can successfully communicate with the speaker on 2.4, but after a random period of time, the problem comes back.

As far as forcing the phone with the app to use 2.4, I'm trying to see if I can figure out how to make that happen. I'd really rather not create a 2.4-only SSID and switch my 2.4 devices over to it, but that may be the only way to try what you suggest.
To be specific the bridging failure between bands which some routers exhibit typically affects broadcasts. Sonos uses regular SSDP broadcasts to locate the players.