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blueblood1872
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Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

Hi,

I know this subject seems to have been discussed to death but to a networking novice like myself, there is so much conflicting advice on so many different devices it's hard to see what is what.

The problem I'm having is the concrete walls of the house. The Wifi signal upstairs in the house, from a 200mb service, can be as low as 5mb in some places. We moved from EE recently and I've seen many videos online on how to use an old router as a way of extending the signal in other parts of the house. So, I have an ethernet cable run from the Hub3.0 to upstairs. I've seen on another thread, here...


https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Networking-and-WiFi/Connecting-2nd-router-to-HUB-3-0/td-p/46686...

...some advice but it is conflicting, in that, it states you have to lose the ability to connect to the primary Hub3.0 wirelessly in order to connect another router as a range extender and another person you can still have that ability but I'm not clear what I would have to do

Is it indeed possible to connect ANY router, in my case an EE Smart Hub, to the VM Hub3.0 to use as a Wifi range extender upstairs and still be able to make wireless connections to it?

I'm confused between messages 2 & 3 of the 6. Can someone please explain to me if, what I'm looking to do possible and if so, how? 


Many thanks in advance for any help

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gary_dexter
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Message 2 of 9
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

Yes it can be done. Most EE routers are rebranded BT Hubs. 


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-tony-
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

the normal method when adding a 3rd party hub is to put the VM hub into modem mode and then use the new router for wired and wifi connections 

but there are other ways - the 2 things you need to know is can you turn off Dhcp in the EE hub and can you change its internal address

assuming you can then you should be able to add it and keep the VM hub in router mode

so log into the EE hub and go to settings and see if the 2 things above are possible - turn off DHCP and set its internal address to 192.168.0.xx - xxx can be anything you want other than 1 or 100 - lets say 199 do that and save

not sure what the connections are on the EE hub but i assume it has 4 lan connections - connect one of those to one of the lan ports on the VM hub and if all is right you will have wifi from the EE hub - its ssid will be whatever it is or what you set it to as will the password - if you want to change that you will have to use the 192.168.0.199 addy

there may be lights flashing on it complaining its not connected to a phone line - thats easily solved with black tape

 

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jem101
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

@blueblood1872 well yes it is confusing sometimes and really that’s because, behind the scenes IP networking really isn’t that easy and ISPs such as Virgin Media know they have to simplify things as much as possible and provide equipment that just works out of the box. The problem is that although this might be fine for 90% of users, when it doesn’t work for a particular case, then all bets are off!

So from first principals (and some of this is deliberately over simplified), think of the VM hub as actually being three separate devices or boxes all in one. Firstly you have the cable modem, this converts the incoming connection from the cable into a form that network devices can understand. Secondly we have the router, this is the device that allows more than one device to ‘share’ the single connection you have coming in, and lastly there is the WiFi access point which broadcasts a signal and allows wireless devices to connect.

And when all three work together properly, then fine. The issue often is that the VM hubs are really good as cable modems, reasonable as a router, but often hopeless as a WiFi access point, and the reason is cost, they are built to a budget and spending, say an extra £10 on a better chip or component doesn’t seem much but multiply that up by, say ten million units……

So you have a choice, the VM hubs allow for ‘modem mode’ in which they disable everything other than the cable modem part itself, so you have to supply your own router and wireless provision - usually this is the better option, it gives you the most control but, naturally the hub isn’t broadcasting any wifi and will only allow one device to connect to the internet - sorting all that out is up to you and usually that would be your own router which can allow multiple devices to connect.

There is a sort of halfway house though, in which you leave the hub in its default router mode, but just turn off the WiFi provision and have your own kit to do wifi. What you are looking at here is a wifi access point, often though, just to confuse things, a third party router can be set up in, what’s called access point mode so all of the router functions are disabled just leaving the wifi working. The VM hub does all the routing features  own device sorts out the wifi. What you don’t really want is both the VM hub and your own device working as routers, yes it does work and you probably won’t experience any issues but oddball and apparently weird stuff can happen and unless you know how IP networks and routing work, it can all be a bit baffling.

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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

Actually there are 4 parts, the fourth being a network switch that supplies the 4 Ethernet ports. Of course you could class the 2 phone sockets as the 5th part, but you have no control over them. All in all there are lots of functions crammed into a very cheap device, that’s why running in modem mode removes a lot of load off of the very slow and basic CPU in the device.


Tudor
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jem101
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender


@Tudor wrote:

Actually there are 4 parts, the fourth being a network switch that supplies the 4 Ethernet ports. Of course you could class the 2 phone sockets as the 5th part, but you have no control over them. All in all there are lots of functions crammed into a very cheap device, that’s why running in modem mode removes a lot of load off of the very slow and basic CPU in the device.


Yep, absolutely true, in my defence I was simplifying things a bit and don’t really want to go into layer 2 stuff, but @Tudor is correct and we should consider the switching part of it and that logically would be between the router (layer 3) and WiFi access point (which is a layer 2 feature).

I’ll get my coat😀

But, yes, it is a cheap product built to a budget which sometimes struggles to work effectively for some users.

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blueblood1872
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

Thanks for your reply. It's much appreciated.

I've read that the most common method is the modem mode but unfortunately that doesn't help our predicament as we wouldn't be able to connect to the Hub3.0 downstairs wirelessly. So. it will have to be the other method. I know I can turn off DHCP but I'm not sure where or how to change the EE Hubs IP, I'll need to look for that. Also, can I ask, to make sure I'm on the right track, Do I run the ethernet cable from one of ports 1-4 on the VM Hub to the Internet/WAN input of the EE Hub?

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blueblood1872
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Message 8 of 9
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender

Thanks for your reply. It's much appreciated.

I've read that the most common method is the modem mode but unfortunately that doesn't help our predicament as we wouldn't be able to connect to the Hub3.0 downstairs wirelessly. So. it will have to be the other method. I know I can turn off DHCP but I'm not sure where or how to change the EE Hubs IP, I'll need to look for that. Also, can I ask, to make sure I'm on the right track, Do I run the ethernet cable from one of ports 1-4 on the VM Hub to the Internet/WAN input of the EE Hub?
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g0akc
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Re: Connecting an old modem/router (EE Smart Hub) to a Hub3.0 as a WiFi range extender


@blueblood1872 wrote:

Thanks for your reply. It's much appreciated.

I've read that the most common method is the modem mode but unfortunately that doesn't help our predicament as we wouldn't be able to connect to the Hub3.0 downstairs wirelessly. So. it will have to be the other method. I know I can turn off DHCP but I'm not sure where or how to change the EE Hubs IP, I'll need to look for that. Also, can I ask, to make sure I'm on the right track, Do I run the ethernet cable from one of ports 1-4 on the VM Hub to the Internet/WAN input of the EE Hub?


Which EE hub is it?

On many of the ISP hubs the ‘WAN’ socket  (often red) isn’t a true WAN port (only support PPPoE). Therefore use one of the LAN sockets (often yellow) as the ‘data input’ to the EE hub.  Other end of cable from one of the sockets on the VM hub.

I use a similar set up with an old BT hub.

The EE hub will be an additional wireless access point and switch.

The VM hub will remain the router in the home network.

On the EE hub;

  • turn off DHCP
  • set management IP address (its address) to say 192.168.0.2 - same subnet as VM hub.
  • set IP address range to be 192.168.0.xx
  • turn firewall off (your firewall will still be on VM hub.

if you need more help let me know - pm me if you want 

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I know a bit about Wi-Fi, Telecoms, and TV as I used to do it for a living but I'm not perfect so don't beat me up... If you make things you make mistakes!
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