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ROSAN27
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Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

Hi, I have just purchased TP Link Deco M5 Home Mesh WiFi system with 3 nodes. I have installed it by following the instructions on the app which was very easy to do and with no problems. Once all set up I now have an another WiFi network to choose from in addition to the one being provided by the Virgin Hub 3.0. Since the install I have read with interest that the recommended set up should be by putting the V Hub into modem mode? As far as I can tell I do not have any issues and I have extended my WiFi around the house with this additional network. The original Virgin network is still being used by many devices especially home automation plugs, bulbs etc which is great as I haven’t had to reconnect them. Also I have other kit hardwired to the V Hub which I understand all the ports except one become disabled when in only modem mode. To this end can anybody explain the likely problem by not putting the V Hub into modem mode and is it worth changing? If it is better to go down this route could it be explained step by step please? Many thanks in advance.

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gary_dexter
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

If you leave the hub in router mode you need to make sure you set the Deco app to run in Bridge or AP mode and not Router mode. 


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Roger_Gooner
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Message 3 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

If you leave the hub in router mode you will have two DHCP servers running which is not a good thing in a home setup.

The Deco is designed to replace a router, so run it with the hub in modem mode. As the Deco has only two Ethernet ports you'll need an unmanaged network switch (see my sig for an example) to add ports. This is the configuration:

Hub in modem mode --> Main Deco --> switch --> Slave Deco units
                                           --> other devices
--
Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG1008D 8-port gigabit switch, V6
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Andrew-G
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Message 4 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

The advice above is well meant and accurate, I'm not sure from your original query that you will follow all of it. To start off, you need to know that a hub is a combined cable modem and a wireless router.  You can further separate the functions of the wireless from the routing function (referred to as DHCP) that manages all connected devices on the network.

In simple terms, you don't want to have two routers doing DHCP on the same network, it causes a range of peculiar problems.  So you need to decide whether the Deco is in router mode, and you put the hub in modem mode, OR ALTERNATIVELY you can have the Hub in router mode, and you turn off the DHCP function of the Deco by enabling it in "Access point mode". 

Because the Deco is a more modern, purpose made bit of kit, it usually makes more sense to enable the Deco as the router, and have the Hub in modem mode, as you know that means you can't use the other ethernet ports on the Hub.  Don't forget that there's a spare ethernet port on the primary mesh node, and two on each of the secondary nodes - those can be used whether the Deco is in either router mode or access point mode.  There's no obvious and inherent problems of using the hub as a router in this way unless you've got a lot of connected devices - the Deco will manage over 100, experience with the Hub 3 reported in the forum suggests it can get confused when there's more than 25, although some people dispute that.

if you want to use the Hub 3's ethernet ports, then you should do two things:

1) The Deco should be in "Access point mode" to avoid having two DHCP routers fighting each other for control of the network.  If you search the TP-Link web site there's very good and clear instructions on this, and in the manual (I've got a Deco M4, and I can see that TP-Link do excellent instructions).

2) Go into the Hub's setting and turn off the 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless signals.  There's no point in using the rough wireless of the hub when you've got a decent mesh system, both because the mesh will be stronger and more stable, and all the Hub will be doing is broadcasting a competing wireless signal.

If we've still lost you, say so, and I'll try and make it clearer.

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ROSAN27
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Message 5 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

Thank you for the replies so far.

What I don’t understand is that you are given very easy instructions to set the Deco M5 up by using an App on a mobile device. However at no time does it mention that you should ensure that, as the Deco’s default setting is ‘Router’ mode, the device you are connecting too should be in another mode ie ‘modem’ mode in the case for a Virgin Hub. Or in fact that if you do have a router to connect to then ensure the Deco is in access point only mode? It’s quite annoying that the set up for the average person suddenly goes from very easy, by following simple instructions, to all of a sudden having to understand all the acronyms, set up options and a lot more complicated understanding. From what I understand now the best set up will be by putting the V Hub into ‘modem’ mode and leaving the Deco as is (router mode). I already use a network switch therefore sorting the additional hardwired devices will not be difficult to sort. If it wasn’t by chance I happened to come across the info online with ref to this set up I would be none the wiser as I have already said at the mo (with an incorrect set up) all seems ok???

Thanks again 🙂

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Roger_Gooner
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

One day your incorrect setup might fail and you won't know why, so get it done right now.

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Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG1008D 8-port gigabit switch, V6
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legacy1
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Message 7 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

If all mesh setups do the following by auto then it should work but best in modem mode.

When the Mesh does DHCP it will fine a server if the server gives a RFC1918 address space (192.168.xxx.xxx) it can go to AP mode but heres where things get tricky in modem mode because you have other devices wanting a IP plus the mesh and with the hub booting up you get the temp 192.168.100.xxx so the mesh goes to AP mode then the lease runs out and you get the WAN IP and the mesh goes to router mode but if the mesh don't block other devices getting a IP a device might end up with the WAN IP! Before the mesh gets it. So with any mesh system that are good at auto or you can select what mode it needs to be in.

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jub956
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Message 8 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

Hi,

You state that going into modem mode will disable the other ethernet ports on the Hub 3.0.  Is it possible to install a small switch onto the active ethernet port and then connect the TP Mesh onto that switch and other ethernet connected devices?  Or by putting the Hub 3.0 into modem mode the live ethernet port will only have one IP address and has no means of assigning IP addresses?

Thanks

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DJ_Shadow1966
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Message 9 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

Hello

In modem only mode only one device can be connected to the hub, what you need to do is Hub in modem mode to Deco M5 Mesh to Switch to Other Devices.

Regards Mike

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Andrew-G
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Message 10 of 33
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Re: Virgin Hub 3.0 and Deco M5 Mesh

If you really want to, you can leave the hub in router mode (which makes all ethernet ports active), turn off the hub's wifi, and configure the Deco in access point mode.  But that leaves you relying on the Hub's low spec routing abilities, so it's a cheapskate option that may work, or may cause odd problems if it struggles with connected devices. 

Personally, I'd go with @DJ_Shadow1966 's recommendation, of putting the hub in modem mode, and have the switch downstream of the primary Deco.  There have been (IIRC) some issues with Netgear switches connected to TP-LInk kit, so stick with TP-Link and get something like this.

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