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Ubiquiti Port Blocking with wired PlayBar


Hi all,

I've attached a network diagram here. I'm experiencing some super odd network issues that I can't pinpoint. I've been reading about STP, port blockling, and other shenanigans. Completely speculative so far.

I had an extreme case the other day where my throughput dropped to 10Mbps to the Internet. I could patch my computer at my desk directly in to the ISP modem and immediately get 1Gbps (~920Mbps on Speedtest, 3 different sources). When I plugged it all back in to the network with the router and switches in front (no resets), 10Mbps. After switch resets I could iperf over switches and get ~920Mbps. Internet connectivity doesn't get up that high but I definitely am up that way. That is also something odd I'm troubleshooting with Ubiquiti at the moment.

Currently my 8 port switch is listing the PlayBar at 100Mbps blocked...

Curious if there are optimal or recommended settings for an Ubiquiti UniFi based network? Am I doing anything obviously wrong here?

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Best answer by ratty 14 March 2017, 14:38

Why would SonosNet bridging wirelessly limit the bandwidth?
Sonos is compatible with Classic STP paths costs. Where RSTP costs are used these will exceed SonosNet wireless path costs, resulting in a wireless path being preferred over wired. This is mentioned in posts to the thread I referred you to. A potential workaround is to configure all relevant switches to use Classic STP.

Where a wireless path over SonosNet gets preferred, it will clearly throttle bandwidth. The best throughput I've seen from a single SonosNet wireless hop is 12-13Mbps.

Can I just disable wireless on the Playbar and force Ethernet, would that stop whatever is happening?
You could, though it's not a Sonos approved practice so they're reluctant for directions to be posted here. Google would locate the requisite URLs.
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Go here for info about Sonos and STP.

At a casual glance the 8-150W switch implements RSTP, in which case its path costs will be such that SonosNet could bridge the switch wirelessly. This would chime with the limited bandwidth you're sometimes seeing.

Sometimes the PLAYBAR's port (3) might block, which would be relatively harmless. At other times the Netgear's port (2) could block, and traffic to all the Netgear's wired devices would have to come via SonosNet PLAYBAR->BRIDGE.

BTW what model is the Netgear?
The Netgear is a GS605 v4. Yes, both 8-150W and 8-60W are using RSTP. Why would SonosNet bridging wirelessly limit the bandwidth?

Can I just disable wireless on the Playbar and force Ethernet, would that stop whatever is happening?
Why would SonosNet bridging wirelessly limit the bandwidth?
Sonos is compatible with Classic STP paths costs. Where RSTP costs are used these will exceed SonosNet wireless path costs, resulting in a wireless path being preferred over wired. This is mentioned in posts to the thread I referred you to. A potential workaround is to configure all relevant switches to use Classic STP.

Where a wireless path over SonosNet gets preferred, it will clearly throttle bandwidth. The best throughput I've seen from a single SonosNet wireless hop is 12-13Mbps.

Can I just disable wireless on the Playbar and force Ethernet, would that stop whatever is happening?
You could, though it's not a Sonos approved practice so they're reluctant for directions to be posted here. Google would locate the requisite URLs.
So I've disabled the wireless bridge on my PlayBar. I'll see if that helps. Nothing else Sonos besides my bridge is connected via Ethernet. I'm debating whether I want to change that. Unsure of what would be more optimal / less headache free.

Any easy tools I can use to monitor network flooding (storm?) ? How can I tell it's happening?
You don't appear to be suffering from storms, just from an inappropriate spanning tree due to the effect of RSTP path costs. You'd know if you had a broadcast storm: port LEDs would flash crazily and the network would grind to halt.

See how things go with the PLAYBAR wireless disabled. Ports 2 and 3 on your 8-150W should remain in the forwarding state.

If you wanted to wire some more Sonos devices, say to an additional GS6xx switch, it should be fine. They're unmanaged switches which don't participate in STP so they won't affect the wired path costs between connected Sonos units. If you wire a PLAY unit you could dispense with the BRIDGE.
Thanks Ratty. I was planning on getting rid of the NEtgear and plugging everything in to the UniFi switches. If I plug the BRIDGE in to the 8-150W will I run in to the same STP issues?

Thanks for all of your answers. I did read through the STP thread.

That was fun 🙂 Now I wish I had a simple web interface that I could add the products to to issue commands via a web gui of some sort (simple reset, disable wifi, and other useful actions like troubleshooting vs. manual method).
If I plug the BRIDGE in to the 8-150W will I run in to the same STP issues?
No, assuming the PLAYBAR is the only other wired device and its wireless is disabled.

Where people run into STP issues with Sonos often the simplest solution is either to wire just one device, or potentially to daisy-chain a few units out of a single switch port. However daisy-chaining requires a bit of care, since making the 'network diameter' too big (the maximum number of switch/bridge devices in a path across the network) can risk instability.

Are the PLAY speakers not within wireless range of the PLAYBAR? If so, you could dispense with the BRIDGE and re-enable the PLAYBAR's wireless. You'd also benefit from the later SonosNet 2.0 tech; BRIDGE only supports 1.0, with less range/resilience.

Are the PLAY speakers not within wireless range of the PLAYBAR? If so, you could dispense with the BRIDGE and re-enable the PLAYBAR's wireless. You'd also benefit from the later SonosNet 2.0 tech; BRIDGE only supports 1.0, with less range/resilience.


If the PLAYBAR has the same wireless range / capability as the BRIDGE then yes, everything is within range. I have an 1800sqft condo so it's not really big. I've went OVERKILL on the wireless but the walls are tick plaster and brick so I've had wireless issues in the bedrooms.

DIdn't realize the BRIDGE was discontinued (I just plug, play, and go with this stuff..)

So in this scenario would I re-enable the wireless and kill the bridge off? Would I still experience the blocking? I imagine so...
If anything the PLAYBAR's wireless range should be somewhat better than the BRIDGE.

Re-enable the PLAYBAR's wireless and remove the BRIDGE entirely. You'll then just have one wired Sonos device. No possibility of a network loop, so the switch port won't go into the blocking state.
I'll try this tonight at home. Two things 1) you saved me a switch port 2) and some headaches 3) and I can throw the BRIDGE away.. didn't realize I could do that ! 🙂
BRIDGE (or BOOST) has always been optional, given that a player could be wired instead if it was convenient to do so. Every player is a 'bridge' to SonosNet.

On top of that, since a few years back one hasn't actually had to wire any Sonos devices at all. They could all be configured to attach to the WiFi, in 'Standard Setup'. For systems beyond a modest size, though, it's still recommended that you wire at least one device and use SonosNet mode.
BRIDGE (or BOOST) has always been optional, given that a player could be wired instead if it was convenient to do so. Every player is a 'bridge' to SonosNet.

On top of that, since a few years back one hasn't actually had to wire any Sonos devices at all. They could all be configured to attach to the WiFi, in 'Standard Setup'. For systems beyond a modest size, though, it's still recommended that you wire at least one device and use SonosNet mode.


Interesting, the standard setup seems like it would be a good fit considering I have ethernet backhaul to all APs in my place

Attached the network matrix found at :1400/support/review

If you had to pick one path in this scenario that you were going to convert everything to 100%, would it be SonosNet?

If it works okay I'd recommend you stick with SonosNet mode. It's a known quantity, and you have more than a handful of Sonos devices.

The matrix -- albeit based off the BRIDGE as root -- is healthy. Signal strength to 'Vera' is satisfactory, so long as interference doesn't intrude, and it has several alternative (2-hop) paths available across the mesh if it needs them. 'Kitchen' is seeing a bit of ambient noise, probably from some nearby kit, but nothing to be concerned about.
Vera is double brick double plaster 🙂 Understandably, but there is an AP in that room which makes me think I may be better off getting rid of SonosNet. My WiFi coverage is pretty damn good.

In the kitchen there is an Amazon Dot on top of the PLAY:5. There is a lot of wireless noise in the building and surroundings as I'm in a metropolitan area.

A bit torn now with SonosNet.
A bit torn now with SonosNet.
If it ain't broke...
More comments on the matrix.

The LR and RR satellites for the PLAYBAR have reverted to the 2.4GHz mesh since you knocked out the PLAYBAR's wireless. This is not good. They should be on a direct 5GHz connection to the PLAYBAR. If they aren't, there's a risk that audio could drop out due to latency and buffer underflow.

Do as I suggested. Re-enable the PLAYBAR's wireless and remove the BRIDGE entirely.

Vera is double brick double plaster 🙂
Vera can see Master at good signal strength. The mesh will pick a different path if necessary. It's self configuring.
Removed the BRIDGE, re-enabled WiFi on the PLAYBAR. Here is the updated matrix post new configuration.

How are you seeing LR/RR satellites are 2.4GHz vs 5GHz, I don't see anything obvious stating? Assuming ANI level 0 is a good thing, but how do I know it's utilizing 5GHz? I should start using some Google Fu 😛
Removed the BRIDGE, re-enabled WiFi on the PLAYBAR. Here is the updated matrix post new configuration.
Looks pretty healthy. Vera has slightly elevated ambient noise (ANI=0 is good; the max is 9) but nothing to worry about.

How are you seeing LR/RR satellites are 2.4GHz vs 5GHz, I don't see anything obvious stating? Assuming ANI level 0 is a good thing, but how do I know it's utilizing 5GHz?
In the earlier matrix the LR/RR were connecting to the BRIDGE, which only talks 2.4GHz.

Now they're connecting to 5C:AA:FD:A7:09:52, which is the PLAYBAR's 5GHz radio. You can see that its MAC is +1 with respect to the 2.4GHz radio.

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