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I thought I would share my recent experience with my home network. 
Having had a DS for many many years (started with a Sneaky back in the days of Bute) i of course, realise that it is important to have a solid networking environment as the basis of a Linn streaming system. I often hear disparaging comments about broadband suppliers own brand routers. I am in the UK and have had my broadband supplied by BT Openreach forever.  Their early routers where always a bit flaky, but I stuck with them and up until a month ago, I was using the BT Hub 6 with no issues.  Being locked down, working from home and accessing my office via broadband, I decided to purchase a new top of the range router. I had the added advantage of being able to buy this through my business, so I plumped for a TP-Link Archer that was guaranteed to provide Wi-Fi all through my home. Cost £180. The Wi-Fi was not really an issue as it’s only my iDevices that need Wi-fi. My office laptop, 3 TV’s, Sky box and DS are all hard wired on my LAN. First thing I noticed was how unfriendly a user interface it had. Too many options with not a lot of explanation as to what each option did. Within the first week I was getting drop outs when using Roon, something I had never had before. My Sony OLED would give me a spinning disk while watching Netflix. It was also terrible at connecting to my wife and I’s IPhones and IPads with an annoying delay when you used them. It was if it dropped the Wi-fi connection every time you locked the screen and took up to 30 seconds to reconnect when you unlocked the screen. I could not understand why this all singing and dancing router was worse than my BT, cheap as chips, device. Even my fellow Rotarians said my connection was bad during our weekly Zoom meetings. 
I did all the usual stuff like check for updates, check the settings, etc. but no improvements. The last straw was two days ago, when my Sky box said it was not connected to the internet and I had to spend an hour sorting it out, only to find Roon was not seeing the server. So I swap out the TP-Link and put back the BT Router and everything is back working just fine as it did before. 
 

At the age of 65, you would think I would have learned that IF IT AINT BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.

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IF IT AINT BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.

That's true, but nevertheless we sometimes want some change in this times....

I'm using a Cisco Meraki MX65 and an MR42 access point. Works very well, both Wired and Wireless (Linn, Roon, Netflix,...). Everything is cloud managed with a lot of documentation and support (if necessary). Only disadvantage is that you need a yearly license (warranty for the equipment included). 

https://meraki.cisco.com

I've read about someone who has more than ten Linn DSM's. Could only dream of that...

LD
 

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Billz, sorry to hear the new router doesn’t work well. Hopefully it is easily returned.

I always assume the newest products are better than the previous versions, but that is obviously not always the case. ‘I find another issue is our tendency to automatically upgrade to the latest software, which doesn’t always work out well

LudwigD, yes it is true about the multiple DSM’s in one home. One of the guys in Michigan has 23 Linn DSM’s in his home, one for every bedroom room, family rooms, basement recreation room and his amazing Home theatre/listening room. It was all purchased at the Linn dealer in Ann Arbour Michigan that ThomasOK works at.. I have stayed at this home a couple of times, and it is a wonderful showcase for Linn.  The owner of all the Linn systems has a home theatre with 2 pairs of Klimax 350’s, 2 Linn Klimax 345 subwoofers and a Linn Klimax 340 centre channel speaker. The main entrance to the home theatre has a double thick metal studio door to keep the sound of the music and movies from interrupting the rest of the house.

‘The number of servers and computer networks required to serve all these rooms is unbelievable, set on racks about 7 feet high and more than 12 feet long. The wire bundles leaving that room to branch throughout the house are mind boggling. 

Edited by Paulssurround
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I use a Fritzbox (Mesh), which is very common in Germany and very reliable. If my provider fails, I buy a prepaid card for the internet, which I then insert into a stick in the Fritzbox and the box switches over to internet access.

Edited by Johannes
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3 hours ago, Billz said:

I had the added advantage of being able to buy this through my business, so I plumped for a TP-Link Archer that was guaranteed to provide Wi-Fi all through my home. Cost £180. 

From the name and price point I am guessing I have the same router as you - TPLink Archer VR2800. Sorry to hear of your experience but I must say my experience couldn't be different! I find the user interface absolutely fine with a 'Simple' interface or a more 'Advanced' for those who want to dabble. My Linn system is now totally reliable (touch wood). Wifi devices connect quickly (Mac, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Android, PC, Alexa, cameras a total of nearly 30 devices). All that having been said if I was buying now I might go for a mesh wifi system rather than an all in one router and be looking for wifi 6 for future proofing.

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I'm guessing that the issues you had are more symptomatic of a duff router. These days the standard ISP-provided routers are pretty good for most "standard" home installations; certainly much improved over the earlier models. The "premium" brand home kit, e.g. TP-Link / Draytek / Linksys (the domestic brand of Cisco) are generally only required for either large homes, wifi-unfriendly environments or if you want to put some kind of QoS in place (e.g. separate networks for guests/kids, etc.). Same for business-grade kit such as Cisco Meraki.

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1 hour ago, entdgc said:

From the name and price point I am guessing I have the same router as you - TPLink Archer VR2800. Sorry to hear of your experience but I must say my experience couldn't be different! I find the user interface absolutely fine with a 'Simple' interface or a more 'Advanced' for those who want to dabble. My Linn system is now totally reliable (touch wood). Wifi devices connect quickly (Mac, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Android, PC, Alexa, cameras a total of nearly 30 devices). All that having been said if I was buying now I might go for a mesh wifi system rather than an all in one router and be looking for wifi 6 for future proofing.

Yes, that’s the model. Maybe there is a fault with it. It’s obviously still under warranty but I think I will install it in my office. I have a very basic TP-link router in the office supplied by a local independent telecom supplier. Incident.y, I thought I would count how many connected device I have and I was surprised to find I have 22 excluding 7 Hive radiator valves and 6 lamp bulbs.

24 minutes ago, Andyt916 said:

I'm guessing that the issues you had are more symptomatic of a duff router. These days the standard ISP-provided routers are pretty good for most "standard" home installations; certainly much improved over the earlier models. The "premium" brand home kit, e.g. TP-Link / Draytek / Linksys (the domestic brand of Cisco) are generally only required for either large homes, wifi-unfriendly environments or if you want to put some kind of QoS in place (e.g. separate networks for guests/kids, etc.). Same for business-grade kit such as Cisco Meraki.

I had no problem with my ISP provided router and you are probably correct that anything else is overkill for a standard sized home. I will just leave well alone as far as my network is concerned. 

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If the router doesn't work for you, return it.  The TP Link Archer is supposed to be one of the better (best?) routers out there. 

The more powerful routers sometimes have settings requirements that aren't all that transparent (UPNP, port forwarding, etc) that your BT router's defaults are optimal.  I have a Netgear R7000 router that was a real pain to figure out all the settings for my NAS drives and cameras (security system).  It's been up and running now for several years and I've had zero problems (so much so that I bought one for our other house and three for my kids).

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18 hours ago, Paulssurround said:

LudwigD, yes it is true about the multiple DSM’s in one home. One of the guys in Michigan has 23 Linn DSM’s in his home, one for every bedroom room, family rooms, basement recreation room and his amazing Home theatre/listening room. It was all purchased at the Linn dealer in Ann Arbour Michigan that ThomasOK works at.. I have stayed at this home a couple of times, and it is a wonderful showcase for Linn.  The owner of all the Linn systems has a home theatre with 2 pairs of Klimax 350’s, 2 Linn Klimax 345 subwoofers and a Linn Klimax 340 centre channel speaker. The main entrance to the home theatre has a double thick metal studio door to keep the sound of the music and movies from interrupting the rest of the house.

‘The number of servers and computer networks required to serve all these rooms is unbelievable, set on racks about 7 feet high and more than 12 feet long. The wire bundles leaving that room to branch throughout the house are mind boggling. 

Amazing ! Would like to see something like this... !

LD

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Have used BT and it's various routers for years.
I found the key to a solid network is make sure everything that's connected via LAN, or Wi-Fi, has a fixed IP address.

It's a pain to set up, but you only do it once.

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20 hours ago, PaulH said:

Have used BT and it's various routers for years.
I found the key to a solid network is make sure everything that's connected via LAN, or Wi-Fi, has a fixed IP address.

It's a pain to set up, but you only do it once.

Yes Paul, I had done this and I was surprised to find that when I put it back in my network, the setting were still there. Everything is stable now I am back with my BT Hub 6. Thanks.

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  • 1 month later...

+1 for fixed IP addresses. And it's good practice to maintain a list of the IP addresses, and other settings, in case you need to swap the router. I had to replace my Fritz!Box recently, and learned that my saved profiles did not help me much. When I loaded the profile into the new (same type!) router, it lost all three telephone lines. Vodafone service told me, restoring data would disrupt the connection, and I had to input everything manually. In spite of this I tried loading all data except the telephone profile, and it fixed the lost connection issue. But it did not restore all my network security settings. The Fritz!Box software is an awful mess, and obviously the design of the profile data is ill conceived. So better keep some screenshots, unless you want to read the settings from the XML files of the profile data.

Edited by TooManyCatweazles
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

It seems I have spoke too soon. My network seems to be playing up again. Roon keeps dropping out and today I couldn’t connect at all. After a bit of faffing about I reloaded it, only to discover I don’t have a backup despite having scheduled backups set. Still problematic and not showing album art. In an effort to get some music, I try using the Linn app and discover Minimserver is no longer working. I am also experiencing drop outs with thr a Linn app not discovering the ADSM. 
 

I think it’s a network issue but not sure where to start. Everything that is connected by LAN cables, like TV, laptop, Sky, etc work fine, although Roon is still problematic on my LAN connected laptop. Should I try another router? Is it my switch? Or could it be my QNAP NAS ( although this streams movies to my TV with no problem). Any help appreciated.

update: I have turned off the wi-fi in my TP-Link homeplugs as I want to ensure that are not causing any issues. I have installed Kazoo Server and it seems to be working. Minimserver would not start, something to do with a ‘copy’ file.

EDIT: It seems that my NAS has suffered a malware attack and this has led to the loss of the Roon backup as well as the album art and also many of the tracks on my nas. See my post regarding this here: WARNING: QNAP MALWARE ATTACK - Troubleshooting - HiFi WigWam

Edited by Billz
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Everything that is connected by LAN cables, like TV, laptop, Sky, etc work fine, although Roon is still problematic on my LAN connected laptop.

Just curious - do you have a way to test your LAN cables? 

I realize this may sound like overkill, but I'd suggest checking each cable run with a cable tester; some switches and networking equipment have the ability to check the cable connections from software, or there are inexpensive options for this out there (like this one): https://www.amazon.com/iMBAPrice-Network-Cable-Tester-Phone/dp/B01M63EMBQ/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=ethernet+cable+tester&qid=1619977373&sr=8-8

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Should I try another router? 

Yes. Leaving aside any functionality differences between off-the-shelf and ISP provided devices, purely from a privacy/security standpoint one should only use ISP provided hardware for their modem/internet gateway, and manage local area network devices using a separate, personalized LAN with hardware you purchase yourself.

I realize there are plenty in this thread doing exactly the opposite (e.g. using an ISP provided device to manage their LAN). While the results may be certainly functional, the fact is that leaving the IP tables and MAC address information for all of your connected devices in a router which may be accessed at anytime remotely by your ISP is not a very good idea. You either have a lot of trust for your ISP (and by extension the people working for them) or perhaps simply aren't concerned with your data privacy.

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Is it my switch?

I didn't see what switch you were using, however I have seen not only failed ports on switches cause network anomalies, depending on which switch you are using and how much traffic you are running through it, the things can tend to hang from time to time and need to be rebooted.

Testing the cables will eliminate the possibility of a shorted cable causing a bridge loop on any of the switch interfaces (and overloading/freezing the switch) so even though it seems like overkill that's personally where I would start.

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EDIT: It seems that my NAS has suffered a malware attack and this has led to the loss of the Roon backup as well as the album art and also many of the tracks on my nas. See my post regarding this here: WARNING: QNAP MALWARE ATTACK - Troubleshooting - HiFi WigWam

That's unfortunate. 

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Thanks for all the replies and advice. Turns out that one of the TP-Link WiFi power line adapters was causing an issue with my WiFi. I removed it from my network and the connection became stable again. I now have my NAS all back to normal as well and everything appears to be working perfectly fine now. Thanks again, everyone.

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