Making the most of my new ethernet setup - Advice Please!

Greetings, learned ones of this esteemed forum .

I’ve just extended my home and it’s now too big to run all my devices from one centrally-located wifi router. So I’ve installed two ethernet links running to different parts of the building with the aim of connecting my Atom and two MuSos and, eventually, improving the wifi coverage throughout.

Being out in the sticks, I rely on a fairly basic 4G wifi router supplied by the mobile carrier EE. That sits in my listening room/home office upstairs. It has two LAN outputs, one of which is currently plugged into the Atom, the other feeding one of the ethernet links that runs from there to the kitchen/dining room at the other end of the house.

In the dining room I’ve plugged in a simple TP Link wireless router I had lying around and that provides WiFi for the room as well as feeding the MuSo via ethernet from one its LAN ports.

So far, so good. The MuSo is much happier, no longer dropping its connection sporadically as was its prone to do on a weakish WiFi signal. That part of house also benefits from having strong WiFi again.

But what can I do to improve things further? The obvious weakness is that when you move from one end of the house to the other with mobile devices you have to manually select the stronger WiFi signal, which is a minor irritant. Also, with the Naim gear, I can see both the Atom and the MuSo on my iPhone when i’m on the Dining Room WiFi but upstairs I only get the Atom.

On top of that, I’ll soon finish decorating the living room downstairs where there’s a second ethernet port from which I plan to run the other MuSo, the TV and a NAS to feed the whole network as well WiFI for that area too. (I have another old multi -port WiFi router available to do that if required)

So how do I join it all it up most effectively so all three Naim devices can stream from the NAS and use the multi-room functionality built in and whole house benefits from extended WiFi coverage without us having to hop between three SSIDs?

I’m using both LAN ports on the 4G router , as I say, so I’m guessing i’ll need at least to add a switch at that end to feed the living room too? And what are my options on solving the ‘three WiFis’ issue?

So far apart from the price of 60m of ethernet cable and its installation this has cost me £0 - so I don’t mind spending a bit more to optimise the whole set up.

All sensible suggestions welcome.

Hi, the routers you have used to add wifi coverage are in effect adding new networks rather than extending the one you already have. I would suggest that you use Mesh devices that work together to provide a single network which should give you seamless coverage throughout your home.

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Indeed. Having two routers will give lots of problems. Put the EE router into modem mode and get a good mesh setup.

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Mesh is ok although an alternative is to plug a Ubiquiti wap into your router - you will need to do so via a power injector. At the end of your cable to kitchen, install a poe switch, netgear or ubiquiti do one, connect another Ubiquiti wap into a poe port and you have another port or the option to add the Muso to that switch and anything else or a further wap. Ubiquiti is good kit and you won’t suffer signal loss which can occur with mesh; prices may be similar.

Unless a large distance between the wifi sources (when they stop overlapping) and a huge amount of devices to connect over wifi, I would choose one wifi source and the other with wifi disabled and only used for ethernet - so you can invest in a couple of good switches (e.g. one near the router and one at destination to split between devices that need it?) or similar. Once your local music is connected and all your Atom and Musos as well, there should be visibility throughout and no issues…

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Another vote for a mesh system here. They are relatively cheap and simple to set up. Ours has been great in providing coverage over a large converted barn. Can’t really fault it and simple to install


As the OP has wired links, wired backhaul can be used with mesh and give full strength wifi and a single network. That’s what we do anyway, and you can walk around the house with a phone on wifi and never know to which unit you are connected. It’s totally seamless and even I can set it up.


Which MESH systems have a wired backhaul? Haven’t been able to find such a beast yet (although I haven’t delved too deeply into the specs of all the options)?

“HP Aruba instant on” for starters. We have 3 ap11 units, all wired. I replaced a similar ubiquiti system with the HP one, and it’s better. You don’t have to run the controller software yourself for example, it’s fully cloud based.


Robert may I ask, what was your reasoning behind replacing Ubiquiti with HP and what do you consider better please?

My ASUS Zenwifi AX support wired backhaul.

Look into a system like the Netgear Orbi, TPLink Deco, ASUS zen. Solves your problem if implemented correctly.

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Any reason you didn’t include Ubiquiti in your suggestions?

We have the Google Nest wifi pro and that does it. We tried the Asus Zen wifi AX and found it difficult to use and to get the Naim units working properly. The Nest is much simpler to set up.

What issues did you have with Naim + Zenwifi AX? Asking since I have some issues now and then.
And those went out the door when you replaced it with Nest?

The Qb2 upstairs wouldn’t work if the Asus unit to which it was connected was wired, only if it was wireless. But we wanted it wired as the Mac also connects to it. Additionally, we used to lose various Naims from the network from time to time. After a year or so I sent it back to Amazon for a refund. That was after speaking to Asus who couldn’t work out what was going on and said it must be faulty. I never got to the bottom of it, but the Nest just does its thing and I never have to think about it. Even firmware updates are automatic.

Some ISP supplied routers don’t allow this. The early Google mesh devices also didn’t allow you to turn off DHCP, so certain combinations we’re guaranteed to cause double NAT problems. Perhaps the current Google models (Nest) are more flexible? Just something to be aware of for anyone contemplating a mesh setup.

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Thanks everyone for your responses.

I think I’m hearing what I suspected anyway - that I didn’t really need to put in the ethernet lines and could have gone straight to a mesh solution. Still, it was cheap enough as the electrician was here doing a big wiring job anyway and who knows they may prove useful at some point.

I’ll check out the various products you’ve suggested. But in the meantime, one last question m’luds:
The TP Link wifi router i’m using offers both ‘Access Point’ and ‘Ranger Extender’ settings. Could either of these effectively turn that box into a mesh unit to overcome the ‘double WiFi’ issue? Or are those for something else?

I needed a 3rd one and availability was limited for a matching model. The controller software had to be running somewhere (I had it installed on a spare raspberry pi) to change or monitor it. There was a constant error reported by the controller, I don’t recall the details, but it needed a fix in firmware that was unresolved for months, and I got fed up waiting.
I sold the pair I had and replaced with the HP Aruba x 3 and all those issues are gone.

It’s certainly worth trying the TPlink as a range extender as you already have it. Whether that gives adequate coverage all over your house is another matter, but worth a try before you start spending on more stuff.
I’m not familiar with TPlink routers, but you may need to use different settings depending on whether you wire it to your main router or just use WiFi. The former is usually the better option, but make sure any settings you use are correct.

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