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Contributor

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1 Message

Wed, Jun 6, 2018 5:43 PM

AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender - AirTies 4920

I installed the AirTies extender to my network.  It shows up in my network connections.  Should I connect to that device?

Also, it asks for a passcode.  I do not use one on my home network and prefer not use one with my extender.  Can that be done?

Responses

Employee

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2 Messages

a year ago

The time is accurate by minute but off by several hrs as it uses some crazy timezone

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

Employee

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2 Messages

a year ago

You are testing the airties almost identical to the way we are taught to do it. Very happy to hear that they are working well for you.

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
gr8sho

ACE - Professor

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2K Messages

a year ago

New user here.  Also new to Mesh connectivity as the wifi extender I was using worked using a separate SSID.  The purpose of test driving the AirTies is to see if it solves a problem we're having here holding stable WiFi Calling calls on cell phone.

 

Some initial impressions.  Some devices do not willingly want to connect to the 4920, at least as I see the behavior reported by Smart Home Manager.  And I've seen some of the cynical remarks about the app, but this is ATT's mobile solution for managing the 4920 and it needs to be trustworthy.  The information in the management console of the BGW210 seems to agree with the app.  Within the browser console interface I would like to see the wifi signal strength meter visible in addition to the Mesh indicator. 

To coax a device to connect to the 4920 in some cases involves cycling the WiFi connection on the device itself.  Not sure why this doesn't happen on its own as this my expectation of how Mesh should work.  Device should gravitate to the most convenient radio connection, for instance if I'm on my cell phone using wifi calling, the best connection should travel with the location of the device on the fly.

 

Presumably the device I received was new although it's hard to tell with stuff that comes in brown boxes that are not shrinkwrapped.  It was brought here by a tech in answer to a service call.  The device updated itself over the wifi connection to the RG to firmware version 2.49.2.12.7084.  So far 5 devices have connected to the 4920 although I expect to see more connect over time.  Oddly you cannot use the management console of the 4920 to view connected devices.  Surely this must be an oversight. 

 

A main question I have is about using it connected via Ethernet to the host.  I have the option to do it and given the layout of my house should have enough overlapping coverage.  I haven't come across any documentation on doing but I assume plugging it into Ethernet port 1 will work and the device will autoconfigure itself.  Any concerns on doing this or is it recommended to use the device freestanding?

 

Lastly, the management console provides what looks like a signal strength graph.  However I can't tell if the information provided indicates good service or not.

 

Thanks, and Cheers

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Teacher

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14 Messages

a year ago

So many questions, so few answers. You have posed a number of issues with
the phone app that AT&T provides. I wish I had the answers you are looking
for.

It seems your main question was regarding the Ethernet connection to the
Airties. I have experimented with such an arrangement and found it did not
make any difference. From what I have read the Ethernet connection only
helps on the back haul of traffic, it does not speed up or improve the wifi
connection. To implement this it was just a matter of connecting Ethernet
cable between the two devices.

We also use wifi calling and found a significant improvement in phone
quality and consistency. Since that feature is implemented inside our
iPhones I am not sure how much the AT&T hardware has to do with the
improvement. For some reason, according to local cell service maps, we are
in a narrow dead area. Turning on wifi calling made all the difference.

I think you touched on the biggest issue with the Airties, it does not
function as a true mesh device in that it does not pass off devices. After
six months of using the Smart Home Manager section under Tools called
Network Health Check - Advanced it makes absolutely no sense. Devices seem
to avoid the Smart Extender and cling to the Gateway. I have tried
innumerable locations and combinations. Having a three story home, the
Gateway in the lowest level gets the most devices, even though the Smart
Extender is in the center of the second level. Just now, I am on the third
level and connected to the lowest level, go figure.

I have become more frustrated with the device during the past two weeks as
it seems to be overall very slow. Performing Speed Tests inside the app
does not confirm a problem. My next plan is to move the gateway to the
second level. Since I may have to run telco cable and Ethernet it may be
something I do not want to do.

The lack of any sort of sponsored and moderated forum on the product is
annoying. I, as perhaps many of you, have found this discussion by
accident. Not much information out there. If you look back at some of my
previous posts there were some links to Australian discussions and some
other testing procedures. Good luck.

Contributor

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1 Message

a year ago

I just installed 2 Airties extenders last night. I have a 3000 sq. ft. 2 story house. I left the RG upstairs in the center of the house and put the Airties downstairs in opposite corners of the house. I only used the Smart Home app for the install and not the RG UI. The install was very simple and took about 20 minutes total. Once the install was completed it took a while for the Airties to appear in the Smart Home app but they did eventually appear and then it took a while longer for my 19 devices to show as connected to the Airties and RG. When I checked it today using the Network Health Check feature in the app everything was as it should be with the Airties showing as wireless extenders and multiple devices connected to each extender. This is only one mans experience but I can say that by using the app and following the steps as written the system is working exactly as advertised. The final test for me was to check my WiFi security cameras to see that none of them lost connectivity overnight which is the main reason I got the extenders. I’m sorry that not everyone has the same good experience that I have but if it doesn’t work like it should I would suggest doing the install again using the app. 

Tutor

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4 Messages

a year ago

Same thing here...I’m wondering if this was a waste of $50 - I wish there was a way besides hardwiring to force certain devices to connect to the extender. Otherwise,  if none of the devices are connected and the extender is obviously working - what’s the point?!?

Tutor

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3 Messages

a year ago

Same issues, same frustrations. I got an extender to cover my ground floor (gateway upstairs) but I still have the same dead spots and weak signal issues. The AT&T app shows the extender on the network but always says zero devices are connected to it. The only way I can ever see if something is actually connected to it is to run a WiFi test in the Tools section of the app. When it completes, tap the Details button and it will show if you’re connected to the gateway or the extender. It tells me it’s connected to the extender in that pop up even if the device is showing as connected to the gateway on the network list. However, I can only do this on my phone or iPad, which are able to run the app. There’s no way to know if my computers, Ring cameras, and 30 other devices are connected to the gateway or the extender. It is clear that my devices don’t automatically hop over to the extender. I had to cycle the Wi-Fi off/on on my iPad to get it switch to the extender when it’s literally 10 feet from my sofa (compared to the gateway, which is upstairs and tucked away in a bedroom). 

 

I gave Google WiFI a trial run last week and absolutely loved the extra info the app provided. It was clear as a bell what devices were connected to each of the three Google nodes. The coverage around my house was better, but the speeds were slower than devices connected directly to the gateway. It’s hard to pay Google $300 for slightly slower speeds. Also, there’s a bug (perhaps intentional) in AT&T’s gateway settings that throttles the speed to devices if you place them in DMZ plus mode. You need to do that to avoid a double NAT situation, but it only gave me access to 40Mbps of my 1000Mbps fiber speed. I reluctantly returned them and put my hopes back in the AT&T equipment, but the extender issue is driving me crazy. I really can’t tell any difference with the extender plugged in.

Teacher

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14 Messages

a year ago

Well ever since my first complaint of not being able to tell which devices are connected to the extenders, ATT has updated the SmartHome Manager app. I can now clearly see which devices are using either extender 1 or extender 2.

What’s odd is that some devices will choose extender #2 and show a weak Wi-Fi signal when extender #1 would be the closest and best choice. Sigh...

Tutor

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4 Messages

a year ago

I have these same issues, and even the wired AirTies go "offline" occasionally.  I can't get many devices to connect to the local airtie. As someone has indicated, you can now see some connected to an AP but not many.  What is truly frustrating is you can have a device (like a Nest Thermostat) within two feet of the wired AP and the device still shows as having a weak or lost connection.  One IT tech I just spoke with wants me to install Ubiquity, but my feeling is that the likelihood new hardware will fix the issues is low.  Before ATT Gig, we had Comcast and my own NetGear RG AC1900 and their AP's - same issues then, just slower speeds.  

Tutor

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3 Messages

a year ago

Based on my short trial of the Google WiFi hardware, I think either it or the Eero system would be fantastic solutions . . . IF AT&T didn’t hobble DMZ-plus mode, which is needed to enable the third-party router to manage the network. 

Tutor

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4 Messages

a year ago

Is it helpful to establish static IP addresses or a subnet space for certain devices or types of devices, such as TV's and Printers?  

 

I've wondered whether to define a Guest Network SSID and use that for connecting certain devices (thermostat, fire alarms, lights, garage doors) leaving the main SSID for everyone's phones, laptops, etc.

 

OR if turning off 5GHz on the Arris 210 hoping remote devices connect to the local AirTies if the 5GHz signal is now stronger locally.  There seem to be many configuration options to optimize a home LAN but few ATT techs or even local "home IT" people that seem to know what to do.

Tutor

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4 Messages

a year ago

Thank you for at least letting me know I’m not the only one...##- Please
type your reply above this line -##
--
Naomie Moore Vlahogeorge 7th Grade Science Youngsville Middle School
Lafayette Parish School System
summest

Teacher

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31 Messages

a year ago

I found out how my devices were connecting by using a Wi-Fi analyzer. You can observe the MAC address to see what you device is connected to. Also, I can tell the extender is working since it mimics the base unit. The trick is to stay under 40 feet from the extender and base.

 

The graph below shows the signal is stronger on the extender when I am closer to the extender.

 

extenders.jpg

Teacher

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14 Messages

a year ago

If you turn off 5Ghz at the Arris - wouldn’t the AirTies then not be able to broadcast 5Ghz band since they wouldn’t be receiving it because it is not being broadcasted?

Tutor

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4 Messages

a year ago

I don’t know... I have Ethernet direct wired - is that only for backhaul?