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Mesh WiFi Connectivity Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I place nodes when adding to existing mesh WiFi?
Why does my child node keep losing connection to my mesh WiFi?
Why did my device lose connection to my Linksys mesh WiFi system?
Why does my wireless client stay connected to a mesh node when a closer one is available?
 

Where do I place nodes when adding to existing mesh WiFi?

Strong signals between nodes are critical for high speeds and wide coverage in mesh WiFi.  Placement of your child nodes, therefore, will be important.  Generally, it’s best to keep nodes within two rooms or one floor of each other and limit walls and obstacles between nodes.  Make sure the node is out in the open.  Avoid placing it in a cabinet or behind a TV.  Try to keep it away from large panes of glass and large metal objects like refrigerators, fish tanks, or microwaves.  
The good news is the Linksys app guides you through the process so you can be confident your nodes are placed in good spots.

Scenario:

I want to add nodes to my existing Linksys mesh WiFi system to expand coverage throughout my home.

Solution: 

Before you begin, make sure that any child node that you want to add to a mesh system for the first time is in its factory defaults.  If you have used the node with another mesh system or someone gave you a used node, be sure to factory reset it.  To know how, click
here.

Make sure your child node is within range of another working node (a parent node or child node with a solid blue light).  We’ll help you determine “in range” during the process but remember to be within two rooms or one floor of a working node and limit walls and obstacles between them.

Adding a child node

 
Step 1:  
Connect a phone or tablet to your home WiFi and log in to the Linksys app with your email address or router password.

Step 2:  
Tap the menu sf333430-001_EN_v1.png icon and then select Set Up a New Product.
 
sf333430-002_EN_v1.png
 
Step 3:  
Tap on Add Another Node to xxxx (where the xxxx is your existing WiFi name).

 
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Step 4:  
Tap on To extend my Wi-Fi with a new child node.
 
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Step 5:  
Turn ON Bluetooth® if prompted.  Otherwise, tap I would rather set up without Bluetooth.

 
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Step 6:
The Linksys app will show you how to place your child nodes.  Tap Next to continue.

 
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Step 7:
Plug the additional node into a power source within range of another node then tap Next.

 
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Step 8:
Node detection will begin.  This could take up to 3 minutes. 
 
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To view the full steps on adding the node, click here.

Why does my child node keep losing connection to my mesh WiFi? 

Scenario: 

I’m having trouble with established child nodes disconnecting from my Linksys mesh WiFi system.

Solution:

If established child nodes in your mesh WiFi become disconnected, consider what has changed in your home or within your mesh WiFi.  Have you moved your modem, parent node or any other child nodes?  Did you get new furniture, change your home’s layout or get a major electronic appliance?  All of these can affect how your nodes communicate.

A good way to tell how well the nodes in your mesh WiFi are talking to each other is a measurement called RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator).  RSSI is recorded in dBm or decibels per milliwatt.  The RSSI scale begins at 0 dBm (excellent signal) and is expressed in negative numbers from there, with -70 dBm and below being a poor signal.  Your parent node will not have an RSSI because it is wired to your modem.

To check a node’s RSSI, follow the steps below:

Step 1:  
In the Linksys app, tap the menu icon and then choose Network Administration.

Step 2:  
Tap on a node to view the node details screen.  

Signal Strength is the first line under the node name.  If your node’s RSSI is less than -60 dBm, move it to a new spot.

Move the node closer to another working node (light is blue).  Once the relocated node has a blue light (about 2 minutes if you unplugged it), check if the signal strength improved.

Things to consider: 
  • Make sure the node is out in the open.  Avoid placing it in a cabinet or behind a TV.  Try to keep it away from large panes of glass and large metal objects like refrigerators, fish tanks, or microwaves.
  • Child nodes are only as good as the node they are connected to.  So, if you’re not connecting to the parent node, use the node detail screen to make sure that node you’re connecting to has a good RSSI (0 dBm to -50 dBm is excellent; -70 dBm or below is poor). 
  • The firmware of your mesh network could be out of date.  Check for available updates in the Linksys app (Network Administration) or at LinksysSmartWiFi.com (Connectivity / Basic).   A firmware update will also restart your mesh network, which often fixes small connectivity issues.  To learn how to update your firmware, click here.

Why did my device lose connection to my Linksys mesh WiFi system?

Scenario:
 
My phone was working fine on my mesh WiFi network, but suddenly stopped connecting to any node.

Solution:
 
There are many reasons a device might not be able to connect to your WiFi.  Here are some common ways to try to fix the problem:

 
  • Make sure your mesh WiFi is working and restart the device
Before troubleshooting, confirm whether it’s a specific device that can’t connect or it's a networkwide issue.  If no devices are connecting, troubleshoot the network.  Are the lights on all your nodes blue?  Make sure the network and power cables on your modem and nodes are securely connected.  Is the modem getting an internet signal from your ISP?  If the network seems in order, try restarting the device that’s having trouble connecting.

If it appears there is a networkwide problem, the quickest and easiest remedy could be restarting your modem and all nodes.  Unplug the modem and all nodes in your system; then plug them back in.  When the lights on your nodes are blue, try to connect again.  If one or more nodes has a red light, move it closer to one that’s blue until it joins the mesh network.
 
  • Use the correct WiFi name and password
If someone changed the WiFi name and password that you usually use to connect to the network, you’ll need that new information.
 
  • Get closer to a working node
It’s possible you are not within range of a working node in your mesh WiFi or there is some obstacle between you and the closest node with a blue light.  Environmental conditions – other electronics, wireless device usage by neighbors on the same WiFi channel - can also cause WiFi interference.

You can use the Channel Finder feature in the Linksys app to automatically find the best channel.  For instructions, click here.  You can also manually change your WiFi channel at LinksysSmartWiFi.com.  To know more, click here.
  • Some less common, but possible issues if your devices are losing connection
 
  • Your mesh network might have recently updated to a new firmware that doesn’t work with your older devices.  Make sure the device has the most current operating system (phones and tablets) and current drivers for wireless adapters (computers).  It’s possible that an old device might not work anymore.
To check from the Linksys App:  Go to the menu > Network Administration.  Tap on each node to check the firmware version.  If you have the latest version, an Up to date label will display.

To check from LinksysSmartWiFi.com:  Go to Device List.  Click on each node to view the firmware version.  If you have the latest version, an Up to date label will display.
 
  • Someone might have turned ON the MAC address filter on your network and not given the device access to WiFi.  Talk to whoever controls settings in your network to see whether that could be the problem.  To know more about MAC address filtering, click on the links below:
  • The firmware of your mesh network could be out of date.  Check for available updates in the Linksys app (Network Administration) or at LinksysSmartWiFi.com (Connectivity / Basic).   A firmware update will also restart your mesh network, which often fixes small connectivity issues.  To learn how to update your firmware, click here.

For more information about common factors that affect your router's WiFi performance and what you can do about it, click here.

Why does my wireless client stay connected to a mesh node when a closer one is available?
 
Scenario:

While roaming around my house, my phone maintains connection to a node even when I am closer to a different node.

Solution:

Linksys intelligent mesh allows wireless devices to switch among mesh nodes as a user roams among them, but the devices decide when to make the change.  A device’s roaming aggressiveness can result in a device remaining connected to a node even when there is one closer with a better signal.

Roaming aggressiveness is based on something called RSSI or Received Signal Strength Indicator.  RSSI is measured in decibels per milliwatt, with 0 dBm being the strongest and lesser signals in negative numbers.  For some devices, if RSSI falls below -70 dBm, it will look for another access point with a stronger signal.  If the RSSI never falls below -70 dBm, those devices might very well stay connected to a node even though there could be a better option.

 The way to counter a device that is hanging on to a connection with a low RSSI is to turn OFF the WiFi on your device and turn it back ON.  The device likely will choose a node with a better (closer to 0 dBm) RSSI.
 
QUICK TIP:  The Google Play™ Store and App Store® offer several apps that allow your device to read and analyze RSSI levels in your WiFi.  Search for WiFi Analyzer in the App Store or Google Play Store.

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