My shaw cable guy was correct 5 years ago

The Problem

My router/modem from Shaw and Telus has always been set up to handle all my ethernet cable needs and a single ethernet cable goes to a switch that connects to all my ethernet connections in my house including one that goes to my Apple Airport Extreme that handles all my Wifi needs. My shaw/telus modem wifi is turned off because my base Airport extreme is setup much like a mesh wifi to other standalone Airport Extreme and Airport Express strewn all around the apartment. This setup has been like this for a long long time.

The Effect

A lifetime ago my shaw cable internet kept having outages and I blamed Telus for pulling on my shaw cable wires while they were installing their fibre just so I would change over to Telus from Shaw. I would have weekly outages that would go down for a few hours and then come back up. When I called Shaw they would always say that I’m the first to complain and that they show no outages in my area.

I was always elusive in explaining how my network was set up as my network has always worked and nobody could tell me that it wasn’t suppose to work that way. So when I told my shaw guy that I had a Apple Airport Extreme setup to act as my Wifi server separate from my my Shaw cable modem/router he told me that is probably where my problem lies and I told him that “look mister, my setup has worked for years and you are wrong.”. Nevertheless I kept having outages, so I finally gave in and switched to Telus.

Under Telus I had no problems at all. No outages… except when I pulled my MacBook off its all-in-one hub that connected to my HDMI 4k HDR TV and ethernet cable. I attributed the outage as my hub holding on to my mac id and duplicating my mac id giving me a network lock due to ip clash, or so I thought. The reason that I blamed my MacBook hub was that I pulled my MacBook off one hub and plugged the MacBook into the other hub (two different monitors), the whole local network would lock; no internet, no wifi.

So I bought a new hub that seem to solve the problem… until recently…

Once again, pulling the MacBook off the hub, locked my whole home network to the point where my internet was lost and my wifi signal seemed to be disable and my iPhone switches to LTE.

Then it dawned on me that with my Airport Extremes handling my wifi, when my MacBook is pulled from its hub/dock, it loses its ethernet connection and must solely rely on its wifi connection.

The Wifi Router address is 192.168.0.32 using DHCP and the main Telus Router wired address is 192.168.0.1, the DNS address is also 192.168.0.1.

Pulling the MacBook from its hub loses it connection to 192.168.0.1 so all routing has to travel through 192.168.0.32 instead and that is where the problem lies now and the whole local network hangs because of the routing to 192.168.0.1; the whole network doesn’t know how to get there because all communications is now only through 192.168.0.32.

The fix

So I pulled ALL my Airport Extremes off the network and enabled Wifi on my Telus Modem/router.

Luckily my Airport Express allows me to connect to a wifi signal without the need of an Airport Extreme Base and thus my alarm and Lutron hub can connect through an 100Mbps ethernet cable to my wifi wirelessly

With just the Telus modem acting as both the ethernet and wifi router, the problem is now resolved. Pulling the MacBook off the hub now immediately switches to the Wifi connection of the modem and built-in DNS within the Telus Modem resolves the routing.

There are no more MacBook name climbing like MacBook Main 12/ MacBook Main 13/Macbook Main 14, where every now and then my MacBook name gets changed because of duplication on the network. It probably happens when my wifi DHCP gets renewed and my ethernet ip doesn’t.

The Shaw Cable Guy was right

about my setup being the problem 5 years ago. He said that separating the Wifi from the modem will cause problems. The correct way is to bridge your modem to your Wifi router so it can handle both the ethernet and wifi connections and you do this by turning your modem into a bridged modem, passing all the responsibility of the modem/router to your replacement router. I didn’t want to do that because I did not believe the Airport Extreme was good enough to act as the router between my local network and the Wan.

If I had only listened at that time it would have saved me a lot of headache including the switch from Shaw to Telus, four brand new hubs, and a multitude of new cat 6 cables.

New future problems

Mesh Wifi is similar to what I had where one Airport Extreme is connected to the modem via a lan cable then communicates to the other Airport Extreme via Wifi. I can place several Airport extreme around the house where-ever I needed a stronger wifi signal. Mesh wifi is identical in operation as my Airport Extremes.

I don’t have a mesh network but having a built in mesh network with your modem/router would probably be a safe bet. However those that are buying the mesh wifi network separately from your modem/router may need to pay attention to how it integrates with your ethernet setup.

In addition there are a lot of AC gaming Wifi routers that claims to give you super fast AC wifi speeds and if you have a simple gaming setup where you only have on Gaming PC connected to your Super Wifi AC router, then there is no problem but be careful when you have both an ethernet cable and wifi connected.

What does this have to do with your My Cloud?

Everything and nothing. The Everything is of course the networking and how you have your local network setup. The nothing is that if you have simple network where you plug your My Cloud into the Modem/router and you access your My Cloud via Wifi and nothing else, there is no problem.

If you are like me with a multitude of routers connected together, you might want to listen to your Shaw Cable guy and switch your modem/router to bridge mode and let your new mesh wifi or new gaming AC WIFI router do its job by itself. If you want to use your old routers as a switch, be careful with your DNS and DHCPs because having two routers is like having two cooks in your house.

The My Cloud is a simple device that connects to the network via one single lan cable and if you cannot find your My Cloud, it is a network problem and not the My Cloud at all.