Boost - a private and reliable network?

  • 13 December 2016
  • 4 replies

Does anyone use a Boost with their Sonos system? My room is at the end of the hall and even with a Router + Extender wifi is very spotty (lots of interference with walls, other devices, and networks). Unfortunately, this has proven to be a disastrous pairing with my two PLAY:1s (and wanting to add a 3rd). Does the boost actually set up a network separate from my Router? Can I use other devices besides Sonos on it (i.e. iPhone and laptop)?

To make matters more difficult my SF apartment is a bit outdated and I do not have an Ethernet port in my room. Would a Boost work with a phone line to Ethernet adapter? Or a powerline to ethernet adapter? Any other suggestions to this tricky situation?

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4 replies

Yes, the boost sets up a separate network. Also 2.4Ghz, I believe, and would be susceptible to the same interference as your current router (although you could put it on a different channel than your router) If I were you, I'd try changing my router's channel first, to see if there's a clearer signal that way.

I've read here in these boards that you could technically use SonosNet to connect other devices, but it's not a full high speed network. Set up to carry music signals, and not high bandwidth stuff like video and the like. So I'd guess that it'd be fine for web browsing, but probably not much else.

There are a lot of posts here on these boards regarding power line ethernet extenders, which are not supported by Sonos. Some seem to work, some not. I'm not familiar enough to comment, but a few minutes of searching might turn up volumes of information for you.

Fortunately, my place on the Peninsula doesn't have this issue. But I do have to commute to the city, and that's no fun.

Hope you can work it out!
A BOOST would provide the PLAY:1s with their own dedicated wireless channel, but assuming it's wired to the distant router it's unlikely to provide sufficient range on its own. In that case you'd need to wire one BOOST to the router and locate another -- connected to power only -- somewhere in between the first BOOST and the PLAY:1s. This may not be feasible.

A BOOST does not provide a wireless signal for regular WiFi devices, however Androids running a Sonos controller can be configured to attach to SonosNet. A BOOST -- or any Sonos unit on SonosNet in fact -- can also be used to wire a third party device to the network since the Sonos Ethernet ports extend the network.

I would suggest that in the circumstances described you experiment with a pair of Ethernet-over-Powerline (HomePlug) devices instead. One would be wired to the router. One would be in your room, with a PLAY:1 wired to it. With luck they'll work well enough. If the second EoP device also has a built-in WiFi you can use that to support your other devices.

If I only wire one PLAY:1 to the EoP device will that PLAY:1 bounce the signal to the other(s) PLAY:1? I was told Sonos speakers do this with the Boost via the support chat (don't know how true this is) but that's obviously over a wireless network. If that's so, do you know if that works with a hardwired connection (with just one PLAY:1 hardwired over Ethernet)? Will the PLAY:1s be on different networks technically? I have the PLAY:1s set up to my Extender so its under my networks name _EXT. If the first EoP is wired to my router that would be just my networks name (minus the _EXT).
You can wire any Sonos device. This will put the system into SonosNet mode. (Although called 'BOOST Setup' you don't in fact require an actual BOOST.) The second PLAY:1 will talk to the wired one.

The Sonos units will be on the same network as everything else. You should be able to control them from a phone/tablet using either the router's WiFi or the *_EXT extender WiFi.