Author Topic: VM superhub with separate router?  (Read 2527 times)

VM superhub with separate router?
« on: January 10, 2019, 07:54:56 am »
My second generation Virgin Media superhub has to be rebooted every few days as the wifi slows down to a crawl - no idea why.  This is a PITA.  Some devices (Hive heating hub for example) have themselves to be manually rebooted after losing internet connection.

My question is:  how easy is it to switch the superhub to modem only and connect a separate router?  If I give the 5 and 2.4 channels the same names and passwords as the existing ones will my devices automatically reconnect to the new router or will they have to be re-configured?

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 07:59:46 am »
You can log into the SH & set it to modem mode. Plug a network cable into the first LAN port & the other end into the WAN port of your router.

Giving the Wi-Fi channels the same SSID doesn't necessarily allow devices to seamlessly connect though, you will probably have to reconnect most devices manually.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 08:01:36 am »

Giving the Wi-Fi channels the same SSID doesn't necessarily allow devices to seamlessly connect though, you will probably have to reconnect most devices manually.

Bugger.  That would be a very frustrating afternoon's work ahead then.  24 devices at latest count.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2019, 10:02:31 am »
I use exactly that config, with a superhub and an Ubiquiti Unifi WiFi hub, when I set it up I had no issues about equipment logging in with the same SSID and password as before. Note that if you are changing encryption type (eg, WPA -> WPA2 or the like) then it will need to be reconfigured.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 10:07:00 am »
I use exactly that config, with a superhub and an Ubiquiti Unifi WiFi hub, when I set it up I had no issues about equipment logging in with the same SSID and password as before. Note that if you are changing encryption type (eg, WPA -> WPA2 or the like) then it will need to be reconfigured.
Ah. That sounds positive. I suppose I could just try setting up the new router and if there are problems then I could revert to the super hub WiFi in the short term until I have time to re-configure the devices.

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Kim

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 12:42:05 pm »
Giving the Wi-Fi channels the same SSID doesn't necessarily allow devices to seamlessly connect though, you will probably have to reconnect most devices manually.

Bugger.  That would be a very frustrating afternoon's work ahead then.  24 devices at latest count.

WiFi roaming isn't properly a thing.  It's entirely up to the client to decide when to change access points, and many implementations will cling to the last dregs of a signal rather than re-associating.  Some clients are a bit more willing to jump to another access point if the SSID is different, which is arsebackwards, but there you go.  And even if they don't, it gives the non-technical user an familiar way to monitor/control the process.  An obvious downside of using different SSIDs is that it will pretty much guarantee the OS will tear down the network interface - closing all sockets - as part of the re-connection.

You can fudge it with higher-end gear, either by configuring the access points to forcibly de-associate clients with weak signals, or by doing a clever coordinated thing whereby all the access points appear to be the same one and client doesn't realise it's roamed.  None of this is ideal.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 02:47:19 pm »
I used to have the same SSID across two access points (the BT Hub and a repurposed router in AP mode). It sort of worked but eventually got annoying. iPhones, for some reason, kept asking for the password every time they moved between APs. Things would occasionally drop-out and have to be manually reconnected.

To be honest, having moved to two differently named SSIDs, it's a lot better with solid connections and less annoyance other than having to choose the correct SSID for where you are (but 90% of the time it's the one upstairs).
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Kim

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 03:29:21 pm »
iPhones, for some reason, kept asking for the password every time they moved between APs. Things would occasionally drop-out and have to be manually reconnected.

It's a fundamental principle of wireless networking that you always have one device that doesn't want to play ball properly.  The Mega-Global Fruit Corporation of Cupertino, USAnia get a lot of flack for it, but in my experience it's older Androids that are the main offenders.  And cheapo Windows laptops with shitty drivers that ostensibly understand the BRITISH region, but in practice only recognise the Japanese/USAnian/whatever channels.  (You can guarantee you'll get one of these if you live in a densely populated area where channel 13[1] has markedly less interference).


[1] Which isn't a thing in USAnia, so is never the default.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 03:57:05 pm »
Thanks all.  Will see how I get on.  I presume if I get a separate router configured now then it will be less hassle when VM give me new hub at some point in the future.

Gattopardo

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2019, 07:26:12 pm »
My second generation Virgin Media superhub has to be rebooted every few days as the wifi slows down to a crawl - no idea why.  This is a PITA.  Some devices (Hive heating hub for example) have themselves to be manually rebooted after losing internet connection.

My question is:  how easy is it to switch the superhub to modem only and connect a separate router?  If I give the 5 and 2.4 channels the same names and passwords as the existing ones will my devices automatically reconnect to the new router or will they have to be re-configured?

Straight forward, there are guides on how to do it.  Remember the non wireless log in details as they are different.

From experience some bits will just see the mac address change and need relogging in if the bit of tech doesn't hold the password saved.

Thor

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2019, 10:54:35 pm »
If the problem with the superhub is wifi, then could you simplify the solution by switching off wifi on the hub and connecting a wireless access point, SSIDs configured as before.

I have Vodafone broadband, the supplied router is known to be intolerant of too many wireless connections. A Netgear R7000, configured as WAP only, now takes care of the wifi, the supplied router does modem-ing, routing and DHCP and everything works perfectly.
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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 04:43:01 pm »
Just found this article about "cloning" routers to make the transition as painless as possible.

https://www.howtogeek.com/210597/clone-your-current-router-for-a-headache-free-router-upgrade/

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2019, 07:17:05 pm »
It's probably a terrible idea, but I have a VM superhub plugged into a couple of those TP link wifi repeaters that use the electrical cables in the house. My youngest is a mad keen gamer and is connected to the net every waking opportunity.
He's now hard wired into the repeater in his room and has zero issues with the router.

We have second one in the upstairs office - again with the PC plugged directly into it.

There are effectively three wifi zones in the house with three different passwords etc. all of our phones, tablets, laptops etc, switch between them seamlessly.


Kim

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2019, 07:30:53 pm »
There are effectively three wifi zones in the house with three different passwords etc. all of our phones, tablets, laptops etc, switch between them seamlessly.

Point of order:  This won't be seamless.  Sockets will be closed as the OS switches network.  You may not use anything that holds a TCP connection open long for enough to notice, of course, but this sort of thing rapidly becomes annoying if you're doing large file transfers, ssh sessions or whatever and want to move between rooms.

Those Ethernet-over-mains things are a work of Stan, but they frequently outperform the Devil's Radio and are often a pragmatic alternative to installing proper network cabling.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2019, 02:08:45 pm »
Well - that was a morning wasted!

Got everything set up for the swap.  Followed the advice in the link above & took screenshots of every relevant page of the VM SH setup, read the procedure several times from several sources, got the new router sited and cabled up, switched the VM hub to modem mode and......  nothing.

After connecting the new router, powering up and connecting the 3 ethernet cables (one to MacPro, one to a switch with various wifi hubs and another to a HDD dock), I wasn't able to log in to either the new router (192.168.0.1) or even the VM SH (now theoretically changed to 192.168.100.1).  Certainly no wifi.

I then spent a while swapping out cables, rebooting things in different orders and finally unplugging the new router and connecting the MacPro directly to the Superhub (bottom ethernet port, which flashed appropriately).  Nothing, zilch.

A phone call to VM CS wasn't revealing, although she was able to return the SH to its original state (something I of course had been unable to do myself) so at least I'm back to square one, but no explanation as to what might have been the problem.  I am being sent a new SH - the newer version (although from what I read that can be even more problematic).

Oh well, I tried.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2019, 04:15:21 pm »
It sounds to me that you're overthinking and, possibly, confusing terms.

You are NOT replacing your router, you are substituting the WiFi hub on the router for a separate one

First, connect up any device by wire to make sure you are connecting ok.

Then, switch off wireless hub on the superhub router, it's a single setting.

Then, configure your wifi hub. Connect up with wire, change the SSID and password as appropriate. Switch OFF any DHCP on your Wifi. as a diagnostic you should see that it has acquired an IP address and gateway from the Superhub, that means you're good to go.

That should be it.

ETA, if you ARE replacing the whole shebang (why?) that's a different matter, but in that case you will have powered down the superhub and can power it back up again to resume as you were.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2019, 04:21:18 pm »
It sounds to me that you're overthinking and, possibly, confusing terms.

You are NOT replacing your router, you are substituting the WiFi hub on the router for a separate one

First, connect up any device by wire to make sure you are connecting ok.

Then, switch off wireless hub on the superhub router, it's a single setting.


That's precisely what I did (after having read extensively about the exact configuration from several sources including Virgin Media's own help page).

The problem was when the VM hub rebooted after being switched to modem mode - at that point it wouldn't connect to any other device (via ethernet) - the new router, the Mac Pro... nothing.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2019, 04:28:42 pm »
...and there's your problem, possibly.

You don't need (or, probably want) to be in Modem mode. All you need to do is go into Advanced settings and disable both wireless channels. Job done. You want (at least, I'd want in your position) to have the Router working as a router and summat else handling the Wifi. That job is done by a WiFi hub connected into a wired port.

As above, if that's NOT what you want, why? 

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2019, 04:35:33 pm »
...and there's your problem, possibly.

You don't need (or, probably want) to be in Modem mode. All you need to do is go into Advanced settings and disable both wireless channels. Job done. You want (at least, I'd want in your position) to have the Router working as a router and summat else handling the Wifi. That job is done by a WiFi hub connected into a wired port.

As above, if that's NOT what you want, why?

That certainly is what I want.  Maybe I have totally misunderstood what's required.  Everything I'd read about doing this with the Superhub 2 suggested putting it into modem mode as a pre-requisite of allowing the 3rd party router to operate successfully.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2019, 04:51:54 pm »
You are confusing router and wifi hub. These are two separate functions.

The superhub seems to function well as a router, I can see no reason to replace it. However, because of (a) WiFi performance issues or (b) location, which will be governed by the proximity to the cable ingress point rather than optimum wifi coverage it makes sense to change the WiFi hub. This is NOT the router. So, if your box is combined router / hub (what is it, by the way?) then you need to bypass/ignore/defeat the router on the new box.

What you want is for the new box to plug into the Superhub by wire and then connect up to that by Wifi, describing it as a router is wrong and the route  :demon: of all your issues here.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2019, 04:58:12 pm »
Strictly there are three parts to the setup.

The "modem" part connects your kit to the wider network.  This connects on an Internet legal address, something like 136.132.160.25

The router part creates your local network and connects it up to the provider's network. This connects that 1 IP address to multiple internal devices, which will have addresses like 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x and provides a firewall between the two. This means that you can use multiple devices on that one IP address

The WiFi hub is just  a bit of electronics that allows wireless to connect, much as if you had put wires into the hub. Think of it as a multi-way adapter, like a mains extension with several sockets.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2019, 05:03:25 pm »
Thanks for all the advice Ham.  Just so you know what's involved, I have a Virgin Media Superhub Mk 2 (with the dodgy wifi) -

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/templates/selfservice/vm/help/customer/locale/en-GB/portal/200300000001000/article/HELP-2407/Modem-mode-on-your-Virgin-Media-Hub

and was trying to add a T-Link Archer C2 router to handle wifi networks (and 3 connecter ethernet devices) - 

https://www.tp-link.com/uk/products/details/cat-9_Archer-C2.html

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2019, 05:10:24 pm »
OK, so you do have  a router and what you are trying to do is right and, supposedly, supported but much more complex than you wanted. I'll have a look at the manual and see what you need to change. This is what I have, and something a little more like what you wanted, like this. Almost certain you can get what you have to work, by the way.

Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2019, 05:27:28 pm »
OK, the box you have bought is a "better" router than the Superhub (if you needed the features, which is unlikely) and, if it was working properly it should work...

I've had a look at the manual and I can't see an easy way to configure the router as passthrough, so you may be best waiting for the updated Superhub and following the instructions. Not the end of the world, you have a decent box, just not quite what you were looking for by the sound of it.

Kim

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Re: VM superhub with separate router?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2019, 07:00:01 pm »
I'd expect modem mode to make it do PPPoE or something.  You'd need a router behind it to do anything useful.
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