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Please help with my home network config and setup!

Last response: in Networking
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3 April 2013 08:23:37

Hi guys,

I'm really glad to have found this forum because I'm having trouble with the small home network that I recently tried to setup.

Here are my network components:

1 modem (fiber 20mb, China Unicom)
1 router (ASUS RT N66U with latest firmware)
1 access point (ruckus wireless z7363)
1 NAS (QNAP TS210)
1 TV Box (Maige TV)
1 networked music player (Linn Sneaky DS)


Problems I'm encountering:
1. Network kept dropping the networked music player. Sometimes the player cannot be detected (even though it has been assigned an IP). Sometimes the music fades in and out

2. TV Box streams with slight lag despite high internet speed

What I've tried:
1. Assigning static IPs to TVBox, Access Point and Networked music player (not sure if this will resolve things)
2. Bought a Netgear 8 port switch. Haven't installed into the network.
3. Turned off wifi from Router, only use Access Point's wifi signal

Here's the current network setup
1. Modem connects to ASUS router
2. ASUS's 4 Lan Ports are respectively connected to QNAP, Linn, TVBox and Ruckus Access Point (using ethernet cables, not sure if they all of them are cat5e)
3. Laptops, iphones, ipads, androids are connected to the wifi signal from Ruckus Access Points
4. Just using DHCP until recently tried to assign static IPs to some devices

Any Advice on how to optimize the network and fix those problems would be most appreciated. I understand that ASUS RT N66U has many toggles and features one can play with but I didn't dare to mess things up. Also if any of you is familiar with settings of Ruckus AP, that would be wonderful too.

Thanks guys! Look forward to hearing from you.

More about : home network config setup

3 April 2013 09:43:13

Many things can be done to help the situation. In no particular order:

Use static addressing for permanently connected items and wireless items from the home (your family's own ipods, pads, phones etc)
and keep DHCP on for visiting items.

I am presuming you are already using WPA2.

Change your subnet mask to reduce the number of nodes in your network. '255.255.255.0' gives 254 nodes, 255.255.255.128 gives 126 nodes, 255.255.255.192 gives 62 nodes, 255.255.255.224 gives 30 nodes 255.255.255.260 gives 14 nodes. Each addition of the next lower binary singleton gives that number less two available nodes. Your ISP gives you an IP with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.255 ie zero nodes (a special case for a direct connection to your modem/router). The fewer excess nodes available than needed reduces the network overhead so more data less chaff.

Give the wireless access point an address outside the normal network range. DHCP still controlled by the router.

Turn off UPNP on every windows machine unless you absolutely need it.

An example:

router address 192.168.0.1 (private addressing range class C)
subnet mask 255.255.255.260
3x windows boxes IPs 192.168.0.2-4
wireless printer 192.168.0.5
phones,pads,pods x5 192.168.0.6-10
NAS 192.168.0.11
TV 192.168.0.12
Music stream 192.168.0.13
Wireless AP 192.168.0.254
one remaining IPs 192.168.0.14 available for visitors

if that is insufficient then use subnet mask of 255.255.255.224 for 30 nodes.

Also try changing the channel the AP is using, your neighbours my be crowding.

Q

Edited to get rid of sleeplessness induced errors
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3 April 2013 09:52:41

Flying-Q,

You are cool! Few followup questions:

1. Now that I bought the network switch, does that change things? I plan to not use the ethernet ports at the back of router and switch all the wired connections to the network switch.

2. I assume I change the subnet mask from the router, not AP. How come the AP can have an IP that is outside of normal network range? What does DHCP controlled by router mean?

3. What does turning of UPNP do? I use Macs so not sure where that will be. I know ASUS router has UPNP enabled and that QNAP has UPNP enabled. I think if you turn them off then you cannot play media remotely?

4. Also the router IP address starts at 192.168.1.1. Why is yours 192.168.0.1? Is it different?

5. Would gateway still be 192.168.1.1 or do I need to change that as well? Do I need to touch DNS setting?

Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

Flying-Q said:
Many things can be done to help the situation. In no particular order:

Use static addressing for permanently connected items and wireless items from the home (your family's own ipods, pads, phones etc)
and keep DHCP on for visiting items.

I am presuming you are already using WPA2.

Change your subnet mask to reduce the number of nodes in your network. '255.255.255.0' gives 254 nodes, 255.255.255.128 gives 127 nodes, 255.255.255.192 gives 63 nodes, 255.255.255.244 gives 31 nodes 255.255.255.260 gives 15 nodes. Each addition of the next lower binary singleton gives that number less one available nodes. Your ISP gives you an IP with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.255 ie 1 node (your modem/router). The fewer excess nodes available than needed reduces the network overhead so more data less chaff.

Give the wireless access point an address outside the normal network range. DHCP still controlled by the router.

Turn off UPNP on every windows machine unless you absolutely need it.

An example:

router address 192.168.0.1 (private addressing range class C)
subnet mask 255.255.255.260
3x windows boxes IPs 192.168.0.2-4
wireless printer 192.168.0.5
phones,pads,pods x5 192.168.0.6-10
NAS 192.168.0.11
TV 192.168.0.12
Music stream 192.168.0.13
Wireless AP 192.168.0.254
two remaining IPs 192.168.0.14-15 available for visitors

if that is insufficient then use subnet mask of 255.255.255.244 for 31 nodes.

Also try changing the channel the AP is using, your neighbours my be crowding.

Q


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3 April 2013 10:28:07

atytse said:
Flying-Q,

You are cool! Few followup questions:

1. Now that I bought the network switch, does that change things? I plan to not use the ethernet ports at the back of router and switch all the wired connections to the network switch.

It makes little difference as each port is, in theory at least, equivalent. Go with what helps cable runs the best.

Quote:

2. I assume I change the subnet mask from the router, not AP. How come the AP can have an IP that is outside of normal network range? What does DHCP controlled by router mean?

subnet mask is in the router yes. The router literally routes the signals from all connected items accordintto the rules you give it. The AP must have its gateway as the router's address.

Quote:

3. What does turning of UPNP do? I use Macs so not sure where that will be. I know ASUS router has UPNP enabled and that QNAP has UPNP enabled. I think if you turn them off then you cannot play media remotely?

Windows is unpleasant in the way it handles UPNP. My son's home setup includes a couple of wirelessly connected PS3s and they cannot access the internet if his windows boxes have UPNP enabled.

Quote:
4. Also the router IP address starts at 192.168.1.1. Why is yours 192.168.0.1? Is it different?

replace x.x.0.x in my example with x.x.1.x to fit your router's default. Class C private addressing is in the range 192.168.x.1-255

Quote:
5. Would gateway still be 192.168.1.1 or do I need to change that as well? Do I need to touch DNS setting?

gateway = router address - in your case 192.168.1.1 no need to change DNS as that is given by ISP. On windows boxes leave IP as 'Get Automatically' and that will sort out DNS as well.

Q

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3 April 2013 10:36:02

Looks like I just got beaten to that one :) 
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3 April 2013 14:07:49

Thanks all. Keep your ideas and advice coming if there are more tricks I can try with. Thanks Flying Q and lukeconft!
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3 April 2013 14:59:00

Oops, problem encountered, please come to the rescue FlyingQ!

My router ASUS RT N66U wouldn't allow me to change the subnet! It says 255.255.255.244 is not a valid IP!

I believe it will allow me to change from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.0.1. Should I do that and retry?

Thanks.

Flying-Q said:
atytse said:
Flying-Q,

You are cool! Few followup questions:

1. Now that I bought the network switch, does that change things? I plan to not use the ethernet ports at the back of router and switch all the wired connections to the network switch.

It makes little difference as each port is, in theory at least, equivalent. Go with what helps cable runs the best.

Quote:

2. I assume I change the subnet mask from the router, not AP. How come the AP can have an IP that is outside of normal network range? What does DHCP controlled by router mean?

subnet mask is in the router yes. The router literally routes the signals from all connected items accordintto the rules you give it. The AP must have its gateway as the router's address.

Quote:

3. What does turning of UPNP do? I use Macs so not sure where that will be. I know ASUS router has UPNP enabled and that QNAP has UPNP enabled. I think if you turn them off then you cannot play media remotely?

Windows is unpleasant in the way it handles UPNP. My son's home setup includes a couple of wirelessly connected PS3s and they cannot access the internet if his windows boxes have UPNP enabled.

Quote:
4. Also the router IP address starts at 192.168.1.1. Why is yours 192.168.0.1? Is it different?

replace x.x.0.x in my example with x.x.1.x to fit your router's default. Class C private addressing is in the range 192.168.x.1-255

Quote:
5. Would gateway still be 192.168.1.1 or do I need to change that as well? Do I need to touch DNS setting?

gateway = router address - in your case 192.168.1.1 no need to change DNS as that is given by ISP. On windows boxes leave IP as 'Get Automatically' and that will sort out DNS as well.

Q



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3 April 2013 15:02:46

your options for last octet are :

128 - 128 host addresses
192 - 64 host addresses
224 - 32 host addresses
240 - 16 host
248 - 7 hosts
252 - 4 hosts
254 - 2 hosts
255 - 1 host
I've provided you the number of hosts that you can use with the relevant subnet mask.
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3 April 2013 15:20:12

Oops it's 224 not 244. Thanks luke!
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4 April 2013 04:51:51

I can't assign an IP outside of IP pool for the Access Point. What am I doing wrong?
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4 April 2013 09:14:32

atytse said:
Oops it's 224 not 244. Thanks luke!

Sorry about that. It was a typo that propagated.
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4 April 2013 09:15:52

atytse said:
I can't assign an IP outside of IP pool for the Access Point. What am I doing wrong?

Not sure what is wrong as I have exactly that setup for my home.
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4 April 2013 09:17:35

I ended up fixing it by shortening the IP Pool by 1 and then leaving that extra 1 ip for AP. Setting works but the networked music player is still funky. Maybe it's hardware problems afterall...
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4 April 2013 09:18:09

Aha! My router automatically bridged the connection to the AP from outside of the DHCP range. I never noticed that in 3 years!
My bad.

Put the AP inside the DHCP range
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4 April 2013 09:21:31

What are you getting issues with on the music player? Streaming from the NAS or streaming from the internet? Or both?
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4 April 2013 09:27:25

I use my laptop as control point, installed open source software (songcast), trying to stream from computer to the music player. Keeps dropping every now and then and it couldn't be detected until you plugged off its power and plugged it back in. It'll be ok for a while then same problem occurs.
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4 April 2013 09:32:04

lukeconft said:
your options for last octet are :

128 - 128 host addresses
192 - 64 host addresses
224 - 32 host addresses
240 - 16 host
248 - 7 hosts
252 - 4 hosts
254 - 2 hosts
255 - 1 host
I've provided you the number of hosts that you can use with the relevant subnet mask.


the number of hosts is always 2 less than the denary equivalent of the binary digit just added. So:
128 - 126 host addresses
192 - 62 host addresses
224 - 30 host addresses
240 - 14 host
248 - 6 hosts
252 - 2 hosts
254 - 0 host
255 - 1 host (special case)

the reason for this is that the first address in any subnet is the broadcast address and cannot be assigned to any individual host (with the exception of the special case where there is only one host) and the last is unnassignable as well. Effectively, the binary addresses, 00000000 and 11111111 are off limits (except that special case).
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4 April 2013 09:37:26

atytse said:
I use my laptop as control point, installed open source software (songcast), trying to stream from computer to the music player. Keeps dropping every now and then and it couldn't be detected until you plugged off its power and plugged it back in. It'll be ok for a while then same problem occurs.

Do you mean it will stop responding and playing a song mid-song? and then the Linn be missing from the network until it is rebooted?

Are there any other errors on the net or is it just the Linn?
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4 April 2013 09:40:54

Flying-Q said:
lukeconft said:
your options for last octet are :

128 - 128 host addresses
192 - 64 host addresses
224 - 32 host addresses
240 - 16 host
248 - 7 hosts
252 - 4 hosts
254 - 2 hosts
255 - 1 host
I've provided you the number of hosts that you can use with the relevant subnet mask.


the number of hosts is always 2 less than the denary equivalent of the binary digit just added. So:
128 - 126 host addresses
192 - 62 host addresses
224 - 30 host addresses
240 - 14 host
248 - 6 hosts
252 - 2 hosts
254 - 0 host
255 - 1 host (special case)

the reason for this is that the first address in any subnet is the broadcast address and cannot be assigned to any individual host (with the exception of the special case where there is only one host) and the last is unnassignable as well. Effectively, the binary addresses, 00000000 and 11111111 are off limits (except that special case).


Yeah, my bad. Saying 'host addresses' was misleading. I believe broadcast address is the last address in the range and the first is the network address, unless you are using IP subnet zero, which you almost definitely aren't. But yeah, nicely pointed out.

It does sound like an issue with the Linn from the description you've just given.
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4 April 2013 09:47:49

lukeconft said:

Yeah, my bad. Saying 'host addresses' was misleading. I believe broadcast address is the last address in the range and the first is the network address, unless you are using IP subnet zero, which you almost definitely aren't. But yeah, nicely pointed out.

Yup. 00000000 = network address, 11111111 = broadcast address. I used to get them mixed when I was studying this stuff. It seems I still do when I haven't slept enough. Thanks lukeconft.
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4 April 2013 09:49:24

Yep pretty much.

2 things happen:

1. Either couple seconds of the song will be skipped (faded out and no sound for couple seconds)
2. Or Songcast won't detect the music player at all, thus not being able to play it.

Flying-Q said:
atytse said:
I use my laptop as control point, installed open source software (songcast), trying to stream from computer to the music player. Keeps dropping every now and then and it couldn't be detected until you plugged off its power and plugged it back in. It'll be ok for a while then same problem occurs.

Do you mean it will stop responding and playing a song mid-song? and then the Linn be missing from the network until it is rebooted?


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4 April 2013 09:53:50

atytse said:
Yep pretty much.

2 things happen:

1. Either couple seconds of the song will be skipped (faded out and no sound for couple seconds)
2. Or Songcast won't detect the music player at all, thus not being able to play it.

Flying-Q said:
atytse said:
I use my laptop as control point, installed open source software (songcast), trying to stream from computer to the music player. Keeps dropping every now and then and it couldn't be detected until you plugged off its power and plugged it back in. It'll be ok for a while then same problem occurs.

Do you mean it will stop responding and playing a song mid-song? and then the Linn be missing from the network until it is rebooted?



If this has happened both wirelessly and wired then you have a culprit in the Linn. Is it under warranty?

Before going down that route have you tried with the laptop connected via ethernet cable? Just on the off chance it is the laptop end. Does it happen from any other source?

Q
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4 April 2013 10:01:18

Same thing. Tried couple laptops controlling. Hmm...should be under warranty but boy, have only played with it for less than a month!

Any Linn experts on Tom's Hardware I wonder?

Flying-Q said:
atytse said:
Yep pretty much.

2 things happen:

1. Either couple seconds of the song will be skipped (faded out and no sound for couple seconds)
2. Or Songcast won't detect the music player at all, thus not being able to play it.

Flying-Q said:
atytse said:
I use my laptop as control point, installed open source software (songcast), trying to stream from computer to the music player. Keeps dropping every now and then and it couldn't be detected until you plugged off its power and plugged it back in. It'll be ok for a while then same problem occurs.

Do you mean it will stop responding and playing a song mid-song? and then the Linn be missing from the network until it is rebooted?



If this has happened both wirelessly and wired then you have a culprit in the Linn. Is it under warranty?

Before going down that route have you tried with the laptop connected via ethernet cable? Just on the off chance it is the laptop end. Does it happen from any other source?

Q


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4 April 2013 10:11:27

Probably worth posting in the home audio section or something, someone may know something.
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Best solution

4 April 2013 10:52:52

As we seem to have exhausted the network possibilities would you be so kind as to award a best answer to lukeconft or myself?

Cheers and good luck with onward diagnosis.

Q
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5 April 2013 09:22:50

What do you guys think about turning off the firewall for the router?
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5 April 2013 11:50:23

Bad idea, unless you are willing to put the pix in front of your entire network and create ACLs to block unwanted traffic.
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5 April 2013 11:57:12

Thanks! Wish I could vote up your answer as well!
lukeconft said:
Bad idea, unless you are willing to put the pix in front of your entire network and create ACLs to block unwanted traffic.


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5 April 2013 12:01:09

Haha, doesn't matter too much, glad to be of help!
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