Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup

Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup
Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup
2020-04-14 03:02:52 - last edited 2020-04-20 13:23:52
Model: Deco M5
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:

Existing devices:
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- AT&T Residential Gateway (ARRIS BGW210-700)
- TP-Link 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Network Switch (TL-SG1024)
- TP-Link 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Network Switch (TL-SG1008D)
- TP-Link 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Network Switch (TL-SG1005D)

 

New device:
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- TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System (Deco M5)

 

Currently, my home setup has the following network topology:

 

Internet > BGW210 (port labeled ONT)
BGW210 (port 1) > 24-port switch (port 1)
24-port switch (ports 2-8) > various rooms (each with its own 8-port/5-port switch)

 

The BGW210 also provides (crappy) wifi in my 2-story house, hence the need to replace the wifi with the Deco M5.

 

My question is how (and at which point of the topology) do I introduce the 3 Deco devices? My initial thinking was to choose 3 of the rooms & connect each Deco device to the respective hubs in that room. Someone at work told me that wouldn't work. I'm not that great with networking, so most of what he told me went right over my head :)

 

Would appreciate some help before I bother the TP-Link chat support personnel.

 

I saw the following FAQ but it confused me even more than before:

 

https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/1432/

 

Help please!

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Re:Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup-Solution
2020-04-14 16:09:22 - last edited 2020-04-20 13:23:52

@fh4pres 

 

You will be using a Ethernet backhaul by wiring them to the switches. However, before you do that, connect one of the Deco units to the switch that will give it internet, and then set everything up, then while still in the same room, power another Deco to add it (the app will walk you through). When you have added all Deco units, now switch the Deco to AP Mode (Deco app go to More > Advanced > Operation Mode) . This will kill most of the features in the Deco, but with AP Mode you can put the Decos in any room you want (all Decos can lead to the main router). If you leave the Deco in router mode, then the rest of the Decos will need to connect behind the main Deco like the FAQ shows (https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/1432/).

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Re:Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup
2020-04-14 03:06:20

@fh4pres  also, I heard/read about "Ethernet backhaul" but I have no idea if that even applies to my setup (maybe it does?)

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Re:Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup-Solution
2020-04-14 16:09:22 - last edited 2020-04-20 13:23:52

@fh4pres 

 

You will be using a Ethernet backhaul by wiring them to the switches. However, before you do that, connect one of the Deco units to the switch that will give it internet, and then set everything up, then while still in the same room, power another Deco to add it (the app will walk you through). When you have added all Deco units, now switch the Deco to AP Mode (Deco app go to More > Advanced > Operation Mode) . This will kill most of the features in the Deco, but with AP Mode you can put the Decos in any room you want (all Decos can lead to the main router). If you leave the Deco in router mode, then the rest of the Decos will need to connect behind the main Deco like the FAQ shows (https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/1432/).

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Re:Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup
2020-04-14 18:51:02

@Tony thanks for the explanation!

 

Following up on this:

 

it sounds like I want to keep the Deco system in "AP mode" and set up "ethernet backhaul". This would provide maximum flexibility of moving the different Deco units around the house to different rooms with ethernet ports (which all go back to main 24-port switch in the data closet), as well as preserve the features provided by the Deco system (AV, parental controls, etc).

 

In case I decide to switch the Deco system to "Router mode", I would need to disable routing on the existing router (I think it is called "IP Passthrough"?). For that, I will contact my ISP tech support. Once that is done, would the wireless devices served by the new Deco system (tablets/laptops, phones, ring doorbell, etc) no longer be able to communicate with the ethernet-based devices (desktop PC, Synology NAS, smart TVs, etc) that are currently connected to existing router via the same main switch, since they would be on separate networks/subnets?

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Re:Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup
2020-04-15 20:14:40

@fh4pres 

 

The drawback of AP mode in the Deco is you are pretty much left with the wireless coverage and mesh capabilities, meaning you can walk form one node to another and it will just switch over. The features like HomeCare would be disabled, here is a FAQ that talks about it: https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/1842/

 

Now if you want the Deco to run in router mode, you will just need to place one of the Deco units directly to the router, and then place the switch behind it or have it so that the other two Deco units will not go to the AT&T, but to the Deco over the network. Using a Ethernet cable does give you the best possible performance, but if wiring will be too much of a pain you can just disconnect the Ethernet cable from the two slave Deco units and they will connect via Wi-Fi.

 

So maybe something like this:

                                                                                  <------ Switch <----- Deco

AT&T Residential Gateway <-----Deco <----- Switch <------ Switch <----- Deco

 

If you go with the router mode route I would leave the AT&T device as is, mainly to see if your network works well as is. If you notice any issues of services possibly being blocked or any issues arising then look at setting the AT&T as a bridge where it turns into a dumb device passing the internet to the Deco.

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Re:Network topology - help needed with adding Deco M5 wifi to existing AT&T U-verse Fiber setup
2020-04-20 13:24:29

@Tony this worked perfectly!

 

Thanks again!

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