Multiple wired zones causes router to fall over?


Userlevel 4
Badge +11
Hello all! I need some technical suggestions. Something is going wrong.......

A few months ago our Virgin Media Superhub 2.0 lost the plot, so the nice man from Virgin gave us a Superhub 3.0. Since then the two zones at the other end of the house drop out when the microwave is working. We have a connect wired at the router end of the house. So now most mornings when heating milk for the kids or porridge for the wife the radio drops out. On occasion the drop out means that Sonos is screwed altogether and the only way to recover is to restart the router. Being a new model it takes longer to start up than before.... *sigh*
So over Christmas we did some decorating and I took the opportunity to run a cat 5 cable from the front of the house to the rear. I crimped the plugs on and connected the Connect in the dining room. Sonos stopped. So did the router.
I restarted everything. No joy, and a blinking white light on the Sonos players. The internet was now back but the Sonos app can't see any of the Sonos system. I unplugged the ethernet cable, no joy. Restarted everything with the ethernet cable disconnected from the Connect in the Dining Room and everything is back.
I have since checked the ethernet cable with a laptop as suggested by a friend - the ethernet cable and the router cope with that fine. So why not the Connect?

Please let me know if I need to post up more info. I currently have a stereo pair of Play 1s, a Play 3, two Connects and one Connect Amp. Only the study Connect is wired. I have an ethernet cable from the router to the study and then some kind of ethernet hub with the PS4, PC, Connect & PVR all running from it. The hub was there with the Superhub 2.0 and I had two wired components for a while with no problems. All I am hoping for is a system that copes with the microwave again!

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

32 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Sounds to me like the wire is the issue running to the connect. I would bet if you took it over to router and used a pre-made cable to plug it in you would find it works (and be best way to confirm that)
The whole thing is possibly falling over because of a 'network storm' - looping caused by your network not dealing with Spanning Tree Protocol properly. Is there any setting on the router for enabling STP? Do you have any switches or extenders? (Can I just confirm - have you ended up with one or two wired components?) Going back to the microwave issue, have you tried changing SonosNet channel?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
could be as well. I'm not familiar with those hubs and how they handle STP.
This may be of interest

http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Networking-and-WiFi/super-hub-3-and-sonos/td-p/3142092
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
Thanks both for the input.

John B - I checked the link in your second post and there are many people in that thread that have the same issue as me - a second wired bit of Sonos causes the internet to fall over and the Sonos App to be unable to find the Sonos system.
And to both of you - the Study Connect was always wired, I was adding a cable to the Dining Room Connect. After reading the Virgin Media thread I disconnected the Study Connect and reinstated the ethernet cable to the Dining Room connect. Sonos is working perfectly like that. Time will tell if the Microwave still messes it up! It would be nice to have multiple wired components - I am a domestic electrician and have a belief that hard wired cables are doing a job with less interference and so are inherently more stable - but if Sonos can cope like this then I am happy.
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
From a user called Jonny B on the Virgin Forums:
"Sonos warned Virgin that there was an issue with how the new routers responded to Sonos but this wasn't altered before roll out. For those others reading this with the same problem, if two speakers on the network are wired in by Ethernet and you have a Superhub 3 it won't work (any other router is fine). It is an issue with the Superhub, not Sonos."

Anyone from Sonos checking this thread? Is this an issue that is general knowledge? Are you aware of a fix?
Hi Nick. My understanding is that there is no fix that Sonos can come up with, short of reinventing the laws of networking. SonosNet is a mesh network that fundamentally depends on the LAN handling STP correctly (if more than one device is wired, creating the possibility of data 'loops') - which the Virgin Hub 3 evidently does not.

If the microwave causes a problem, please experiment with the SonosNet channel, although if you change that you may need to change the channel on the hub as well to avoid a clash.

If you want to wire more Sonos devices there may be the option of putting the Virgin hub into 'modem only' mode and buying another router to create your LAN.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
It could be possible to have your wired devices connected to a separate switch, which is then connected to the Virgin Superhub. Since they would only be going through the Virgin Superhub for internet data, and would otherwise be able to communicate within the confines of that separate switch, that might resolve the issue.

Make sure that it's an unmanaged switch, and that it's not on Sonos' incompatible hardware list. If it says smart or managed, stay away as those can have more advanced settings that may need to be set to work with Sonos.
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
Thanks both. The incompatible hardware lists the Arris TG-1682G, mine is the Arris TG2492LG-VM. The issue on the incompatibility list is the same as I appear to be getting with the same workarounds that you have mentioned. I'll look into a switch to go by the router to connect the Sonos to.
The microwave has always been a problem, I messed around with the Sonos Net channel (& router channel) in the past to get it stable. It was relatively, but the new router has messed that up. If I can get it all wired, I feel that is the better long term solution.
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
To keep my findings up to date -
Wiring only the Dining Room with ethernet is giving me stable Sonos at the moment - at least certainly more stable than before. However adding any other zone via the router causes a suspected Network Storm and Sonos cuts out within 60 seconds of the cable being plugged in and the Sonos App becomes unable to see the Sonos system. Using a switch causes the same problem, although Sonos can last for up to 5 minutes with the switch between the router and the Sonos. The switch I used is a TP-Link TL-SF1005D V14 5-Port 10/100Mbps Desktop Switch.
So far Virgin Media have avoided replying to my messages.
Although saying that, none of the Sonos reps have acknowledged this thread yet either. I'm not expecting a instant solution, but an acknowledgement would be nice. 🙂
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
I experienced exactly the same last yesterday and spent a few frustrating hours trying to work out why my network wasn't working before I discovered that the problem was when I had more than one Sonos unit wired to the router.

Yesterday I was changed over to the Superhub3 and only my upstairs wired devices were working properly. As soon as I connected the downstairs Sonos gear via ethernet the internet dropped and the wired PC couldn't see the router and the Virgin V6 box couldn't see the router. This setup didn't have this problem on the old hub.

I only have 1 wired Sonos player upstairs and I now have a working system with that one going straight into the back of the router and all the other zones set to wireless. The other wired devices are going through Netgear switches but these are dumb ones which are the GS109 and GS104 variety. I believe they're all of a high enough version to be compatible as they were working ok with my previous 3 routers.

I have noticed a setting in the Superhub but I'm not sure what it means (see attachment)


Userlevel 5
Badge +5
Actually I've just noticed that my 8 port GS108 is a GS108v2 which appears on the incompatible hardware list. I'm confused now because it didn't cause problems with any of my previous routers. The 4 port GS104 switches that I have are all later versions.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
More information....

I swapped out the GS108v2 switch for a GS108v3 switch and plugged 2 Play1s into it and immediately the whole switch lit up and all the ports were flashing like crazy and the PC which is connected to the same switch lost connection to the router and internet.

The GS108v3 isn't on the incompatible hardware list so I'm not sure what's going on here. Is it because I've already got one Zoneplayer plugged into via Ethernet upstairs?
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
I have tried a couple of switches and haven't yet found a solution to enable me to have more than one bit of Sonos kit wired with the Superhub 3. If you are trying to connect more than one bit of Sonos then I'd say good luck! My system has been working flawlessly for 9 months since I only wired one zone near the microwave and did not wire any others. If you need to wire more than one then you may have to buy a new router and put the superhub 3 into modem mode.
I've no idea what that setting is, but if it is to do with the firewall it probably shouldn't affect STP?
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
Thanks for the reply. I've come to the conclusion that I'll have to run everything wireless except the one that I ZP90 that I have plugged into the router via Ethernet. It appears that Sonos are blaming Virgin and they may well be right but I doubt Virgin will do anything about it.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
Would it be possible for someone technical from Sonos to contact Virgin Media about this problem? It's going to happen a lot more in the future as more people have to change to the Superhub3 so it would be in both parties interest to try and sort it in my opinion. I'm not prepared to spend any more money on this as I've had multiple problems with Sonos over the last few months (awaiting a software fix from Sonos) and to be honest I'd rather sell my Sonos gear than spend anything else on it at the moment.
If wiring multiple Sonos units across a SuperHub3 crashes the network then the SH3 is the culprit. It would be blocking STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) traffic, which Sonos needs to avoid network loops.

In that case I wouldn't hold out hope for a speedy fix from VM. All you need do to avoid the issue is to wire the Sonos system via a single port on the SH3. This means that if you want to wire multiple Sonos players you either need to daisy-chain them (with no more than 3 or 4 in a line), or invest in a small dumb switch. A little GS205 is only £12.

As for the network going crazy with the GS108v3, was it perhaps the GS108E? This is managed and could well need an option enabled.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
I already have dumb switches and none of them are managed ones. It's not just 2 Sonos players connected directly to the back of the virgin hub that causes this, it's more than one connected anywhere on the network. The others I've tried to connect are via dumb switches and the problem still persists.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
You could also ask Virgin Media if they have any spare SH2 devices available (e.g., from customers leaving the network). My SH2 works fine with Sonos; I returned the SH3 they sent me because luckily I was aware of the STP issue.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
It was a SH2 that they took away from me. I need the SH3 for my 350 broadband and the 2 V6 boxes apparently.
It's not just 2 Sonos players connected directly to the back of the virgin hub that causes this
That wasn't what I said. I said "multiple Sonos units across a SuperHub3", in other words where the wired path between Sonos units anywhere in the network has to traverse the SH3. It only takes one errant device to block STP traffic between Sonos units.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
So are you suggesting running a cable from the back of the wired sonos player and then into switches?
I'm simply saying you should only use one port on the SH3 to feed the entire Sonos system.
Userlevel 5
Badge +5
OK I think I get what you're saying. Take 1 cable from the SH3 into a switch and then take all the Sonos zones from there?
OK I think I get what you're saying. Take 1 cable from the SH3 into a switch and then take all the Sonos zones from there?Correct.