TP-Link RE550 extender can connect only 2.4 band using WPS

philb2

Gawd
Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
931
I decided to get a TP-Link RE550 until I can get to installing a MoCA network in my house. (Probably several months, due to post-Covid complications.)

I used WPS, after lack of success using web browser setup (more below). Using WPS with the RE550 about 2 feet from my main router, I had no problem connecting to the 2.4 band. However, the RE5550 was never able to connect to the 5.0 band after repeated attempts. Major bummer.

The main reason for getting the RE550 is that the Roku stick on our bedroom TV is no longer connects to the WiFi. Distance issue, no doubt. Before trying WPS today, yesterday I set up the RE550 using a web browser, which worked on both bands. I could connect to both new _EXT bands using my PC. However, the Roku stick could not connect to the _EXT band, despite having a strong signal , and after entering the wifi password about 5 times.

EDIT: The Roku stick is a side issue here. However, I was working with the Roku stick this morning, and it no longer connects to my original 5.0 network. 2.4 still works, but it is just too slow. So my wife agreed that we should just order a new model. The new model has 4K support and voice remote control, which the current stick doesn't have.

I just got off the TP-Link web site, and submitted a trouble ticket for this issue. I don't expect a response before Monday or Tuesday at the earliest. I'm hoping that someone here has a suggestion to fix this RE550, so I can look like a "hero" to my wife. ;)
;):rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
11,228
One thing I would check is if your extender is trying to use a DFS frequency on the 5Ghz band. This is the first thing I check when any client device has issues connecting to any 5Ghz network.

If you're not familiar with DFS, it's allows WiFi networks to use extra 5Ghz spectrum that is typically reserved for weather radar. The catch is, weather radar always has priority, so any device that is allowed to transmit on a DFS frequency has to change frequencies immediately if weather radar is detected. I've noticed that there are many client devices that have issues connecting to networks operating on DFS frequencies. For example, all of my Samsung phones and tablets can connect to DFS networks just fine, but my Amazon Firesticks and my Amazon FireHD tablet cannot connect to any DFS networks. PCs are generally among the most forgiving, and this might explain why your PC could connect to the 5Ghz extender network but your Roku could not.

Another thing with extenders is that generally they just have 2 radios, a 2.4Ghz radio and a 5Ghz radio. If your extender connects to your source WiFi on one of those bands and also transmits an extender network on that same band, then you are asking one radio to perform two different tasks. For best extender performance, you should have your extender only broadcast on a single frequency band (5Ghz OR 2.4Ghz) and have that be the opposite of whatever frequency band your extender uses to connect to your source WiFi. So for example, your extender might connect to your source WiFi via 5Ghz and then broadcast only a 2.4Ghz network, or vise versa. With each radio only performing a single task, you will see increased speeds and reliability. This can be an easy workaround for DFS issues as you don't have to worry about that on 2.4Ghz and your 2.4Ghz extender network will give you better performance if the 2.4Ghz radio isn't also being used to connect to your source network. 2.4Ghz should be enough for streaming in almost all cases.
 

philb2

Gawd
Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
931
One thing I would check is if your extender is trying to use a DFS frequency on the 5Ghz band. This is the first thing I check when any client device has issues connecting to any 5Ghz network.

If you're not familiar with DFS, it's allows WiFi networks to use extra 5Ghz spectrum that is typically reserved for weather radar. The catch is, weather radar always has priority, so any device that is allowed to transmit on a DFS frequency has to change frequencies immediately if weather radar is detected. I've noticed that there are many client devices that have issues connecting to networks operating on DFS frequencies. For example, all of my Samsung phones and tablets can connect to DFS networks just fine, but my Amazon Firesticks and my Amazon FireHD tablet cannot connect to any DFS networks. PCs are generally among the most forgiving, and this might explain why your PC could connect to the 5Ghz extender network but your Roku could not.

Another thing with extenders is that generally they just have 2 radios, a 2.4Ghz radio and a 5Ghz radio. If your extender connects to your source WiFi on one of those bands and also transmits an extender network on that same band, then you are asking one radio to perform two different tasks. For best extender performance, you should have your extender only broadcast on a single frequency band (5Ghz OR 2.4Ghz) and have that be the opposite of whatever frequency band your extender uses to connect to your source WiFi. So for example, your extender might connect to your source WiFi via 5Ghz and then broadcast only a 2.4Ghz network, or vise versa. With each radio only performing a single task, you will see increased speeds and reliability. This can be an easy workaround for DFS issues as you don't have to worry about that on 2.4Ghz and your 2.4Ghz extender network will give you better performance if the 2.4Ghz radio isn't also being used to connect to your source network. 2.4Ghz should be enough for streaming in almost all cases.
Thanks.

As I think I already explained I've ordered a new Roku stick.

I got a basically useless response from TP-Link this morning in response to my trouble ticket. Told me try reset the device and try another method. I guess I will. If that doesn't work, then they will do a phone call.

Nothng about firmware version.
 
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