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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

Yeah, with drops everywhere, a wired solution would be the best bet. Unifi is certainly the default for that. But both Eero and Google Wifi support wired mesh points. Google wifi is really good and removing the mesh aspect makes it very appealing and cost effective.

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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@dleute wrote:

Yeah, with drops everywhere, a wired solution would be the best bet. Unifi is certainly the default for that. But both Eero and Google Wifi support wired mesh points. Google wifi is really good and removing the mesh aspect makes it very appealing and cost effective.


 

What do you mean by Google Wifi removes the mesh aspect? You mean the wireless mesh?

 

Would I see the same throughput as Orbi to my devices with Google Wifi wired in? I heard very subpar reviews from Google Wifi which leans me towards Unifi, but Google Wifi would be a much more user friendly solution for the people that own the home.

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Master

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@Dynamiteboy wrote:

I used both, and it seemed to exibit issues with both, but let me verify. I also played music with Sonos app via Mac and saw the speed drops.


 

Ok, but keep in mind that if your phone was using the wireless connection, then you will necessarily see a speed drop.  I believe the Spotify App works as follows--the audio stream comes in from the WAN, goes over Orbi's wireless to your phone, then back out your phone, again over wirless, to the Orbi to get to the Sonos.

 

So, you would have two clients using the wireless connection (the phone and the laptop.)  And, the phone has two data streams (audio in and audio out).  Since all these streams are sharing the same RF spectrum, you will NOT see maximum speed.  You would have a similar issue if you play music stored on the phone.

 

 

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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

With google wifi wired in, it should beat Orbi and any other mesh network currently available handily.

My personal experience with google wifi is excellent. I gave one to my mom it was so simple. Performance was great even for my needs. But the mesh does slow thinkgs down without a dedicated backhaul. It still got to my internet access limits, but that was probably maxing it out in 3 point mesh mode.

If I had wired them, you would only have been limited by the 2x2 connections to the client. Would have been an amazing solution. Same with Eero.

I'd try Google Wifi next due to cost. It was as good or better than eero and significant less costly with no real downsides. (eero has a few more features and is slightly easier to use, but seemed more like a black box, so when it didn't work it would just fail and not be useful).

Note, I have not tried any of these in wired mode. They may have other caveats that I haven't experienced. But, in theory, they are great options for wired drops. Orbi can not do that yet (but may in the future)

--Derrek

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Master

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@Dynamiteboy wrote:



About the just move to a Unifi solution though... Probably should have done this in the first place as the house has wired drops already...

I have both Orbi and Unifi (in different homes.)  They have their proper applications, but the Unifi would be better in a home where there are already wired drops.  You have complete control with the Unifi APs and once it's setup you shouldn't need to change anything.  Buy the CloudKey and you can manage the system remotely.

 

Message 105 of 149

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi



 

Ok, but keep in mind that if your phone was using the wireless connection, then you will necessarily see a speed drop.  I believe the Spotify App works as follows--the audio stream comes in from the WAN, goes over Orbi's wireless to your phone, then back out your phone, again over wirless, to the Orbi to get to the Sonos.

 

So, you would have two clients using the wireless connection (the phone and the laptop.)  And, the phone has two data streams (audio in and audio out).  Since all these streams are sharing the same RF spectrum, you will NOT see maximum speed.  You would have a similar issue if you play music stored on the phone.

 

 





 

I can see the speed drops on the laptop in the same location, even when using the Sonos app or spotify app on the phone.


 

Message 106 of 149
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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi





I have both Orbi and Unifi (in different homes.)  They have their proper applications, but the Unifi would be better in a home where there are already wired drops.  You have complete control with the Unifi APs and once it's setup you shouldn't need to change anything.  Buy the CloudKey and you can manage the system remotely.

 


 

Don't mean to get the forum too off track, but a couple of questions for you regarding a Unifi setup.

  • Since there is only a modem, would you recommend the Unifi USG as the router?
  • Also can you access the Unifi Controller remotely without the cloudkey? Maybe using a Dyndns and the public IP?
  • Do you use a Unifi switch? If so what is the benefit to using it in the Unifi Deploy?
Message 107 of 149
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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@dleute wrote:

With google wifi wired in, it should beat Orbi and any other mesh network currently available handily.

My personal experience with google wifi is excellent. I gave one to my mom it was so simple. Performance was great even for my needs. But the mesh does slow thinkgs down without a dedicated backhaul. It still got to my internet access limits, but that was probably maxing it out in 3 point mesh mode.

If I had wired them, you would only have been limited by the 2x2 connections to the client. Would have been an amazing solution. Same with Eero.

I'd try Google Wifi next due to cost. It was as good or better than eero and significant less costly with no real downsides. (eero has a few more features and is slightly easier to use, but seemed more like a black box, so when it didn't work it would just fail and not be useful).

Note, I have not tried any of these in wired mode. They may have other caveats that I haven't experienced. But, in theory, they are great options for wired drops. Orbi can not do that yet (but may in the future)

--Derrek


 

Hey Derrek, 

 

Thanks for all your input. I will definitely consider google Wifi as an alternative to a Unifi setup (and hope that sonos doesn't interfere). It just bugs me not getting to the bottom of this Orbi thing so I will keep trying to narrow down the issue. There is simply no reason and Sonos and Orbi shouldn't be able to work together.

 

Jonathan

Message 108 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

 

There is no guarantee of fixing this issue with unifi or google wifi if the interference is on the client side of Orbi. 5ghz interference is 5ghz interference. If you are lucky they simply won't cross channels. I still can't determine Sonos 5ghz channel selection. So I can't tell you if it's possible to avoid it on Google Wifi or Unifi.

All those unifi questions is why I went with the other units. I just want something that works, I don't want to be a network admin in my own house. Plug-in, turn-on get good results. That's what I want. Smiley Wink Google Wifi certainly did that. I just really wanted the strong backhaul of orbi and the 4 ports on both satellites.

Orbi is currently doing that for me. Though earlier today there may have been a few issues. I couldn't prove it was Orbi though.

--Derrek

Message 109 of 149
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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@dleute wrote:

 

There is no guarantee of fixing this issue with unifi or google wifi if the interference is on the client side of Orbi. 5ghz interference is 5ghz interference. If you are lucky they simply won't cross channels. I still can't determine Sonos 5ghz channel selection. So I can't tell you if it's possible to avoid it on Google Wifi or Unifi.

All those unifi questions is why I went with the other units. I just want something that works, I don't want to be a network admin in my own house. Plug-in, turn-on get good results. That's what I want. Smiley Wink Google Wifi certainly did that. I just really wanted the strong backhaul of orbi and the 4 ports on both satellites.

Orbi is currently doing that for me. Though earlier today there may have been a few issues. I couldn't prove it was Orbi though.

--Derrek


I completely understand. I would love to use Orbi and will continue to in situations where there is no option for a wired backhaul. Maybe even Orbi will update in the future for a wired backhaul. They are the obivious choice for wireless backhauls without a doubt.

 

I just don't understand how the Sonos setup I am working with could have all the issues that no one else is experincing. If there was a client side interference this major due to Sonos, that would, like you said effect literally any wireless system I deployed and I cannot imagine that to be the case.

 

What I will do is test with a single TP-link router on 5ghz in boost setup for Sonos and see if I can replicate my Orbi speed drops.

 

One last hail mary, any chance a Non-boost setup wouldn't cause me to have these speed drops? If I have full coverage with Orbi, I don't technically need a Boost setup.

Message 110 of 149
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Master

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@Dynamiteboy wrote:




 

Don't mean to get the forum too off track, but a couple of questions for you regarding a Unifi setup.

  • Since there is only a modem, would you recommend the Unifi USG as the router?
  • Also can you access the Unifi Controller remotely without the cloudkey? Maybe using a Dyndns and the public IP?
  • Do you use a Unifi switch? If so what is the benefit to using it in the Unifi Deploy?

 

  • You can use any router you want. The Ubiquiti routers can be difficult to configure until you get used to them. If you have a single WAN IP address and no special routing requirements, USG should work fine. I have multiple WAN IPs and VPN requirements, which cannot be handled by USG's GUI, so I use an Edgerouter LIte. The USG seems like a work in progress to me too.  I had the Unifi APs and cloudkey working with a Verizon FiOS router before that.
  • The Unifi cloudkey is just a tiny Linux stick to run the controller software. You could access this using DynDNS and a public IP, like any other server on the LAN. There is also a "Cloud" setting that allows you to reach the controller from a UBNT account with no firewall setup.
  • If you don't want the key for some reason, you can run the controller software anywhere, like a PC on the LAN or on an Amazon cloud server. I believe you could even run the controller at your location and have the client's APs report back to it.
  • Once the APs are setup, you don't need the controller running, unless you wish to monitor things. So, you could just use it during setup and maintenance.
  • I use Unifi switches, but they are not required. The benefit is integration with the controller.  You can see what's connected where, port speeds, how much power POE devices use, update firmware on all devices, cycle power on POE ports, etc.

To get started I'd recommend a couple APs plus the cloudkey, and worry about the switches and USG later.  You said you need a router, but you could use any old wifi router with the radios OFF.

 

Message 111 of 149
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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

thank you that info helps a lot.

 

Is the point of the cloud key only if there is not a computer always online running the controller software? Does the controller just start an http web server with the monitoring features that you can access remotely? 

 

I just don't see the point of a cloudkey if its not the only way to access the controller remotely. Its not cheap either, basically the cost of another AP.

Message 112 of 149
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Master

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

 


@Dynamiteboy wrote:

thank you that info helps a lot.

 

Is the point of the cloud key only if there is not a computer always online running the controller software? Does the controller just start an http web server with the monitoring features that you can access remotely? 

 

I just don't see the point of a cloudkey if its not the only way to access the controller remotely. Its not cheap either, basically the cost of another AP.


I guess it's hard to explain. The "controller" is a software application.  So, there is no controller, unless you install one on the cloudkey, or on an another computer somewhere.  If you have a cloudkey, the cloudkey IS the controller, not a way to access the controller.

 

The controller stores the network configuration.  The controller also allows real-time monitoring if you leave it running.

 

The benefit to the cloudkey is it's a tiny, POE powered, always-on, Linux computer dedicated to running the controller software.  Mine says it's using 2.6 watts right now, which is way less than a PC would use.

 

Unifi also has a "cloud" application that let's you remotely access any number of controllers that you own. I think, but am not certain, you can use the cloud whether you use the cloudkey as your controller, or if you run the controller on a PC.  There's also an iPad app that works on the LAN or over the cloud.

Message 113 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

 

If the intereference is from Sonos 5ghz which is the current theory, I doubt using a wifi setup will fix that. 5.1 surround sonos would still generate it's own 5ghz network for surround communication. Will it be smart enough to "dodge" the existing 5ghz networks because it's now in wifi instead of boost mode? I doubt it.


I think there aren't a lot of people that do extensive speed testing while running music through a sonos 5.1 surround speaker set. It may be a common issue with 5ghz interference in that setup. It does seem odd that your results are so much worse than others.

I'm not imagining that? You do have some speakers in surround sound mode, right?


--Derrek

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Master

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

 

 


@Dynamiteboy wrote:

 

I just don't understand how the Sonos setup I am working with could have all the issues that no one else is experincing. If there was a client side interference this major due to Sonos, that would, like you said effect literally any wireless system I deployed and I cannot imagine that to be the case.

 

What I will do is test with a single TP-link router on 5ghz in boost setup for Sonos and see if I can replicate my Orbi speed drops.

 

One last hail mary, any chance a Non-boost setup wouldn't cause me to have these speed drops? If I have full coverage with Orbi, I don't technically need a Boost setup.


 

I can't tell if my earlier point was clear or not.  Seems like it was not.

 

It's important to understand that you will NOT see maximum WiFI throughput with more than one device concurrently using the WiFi!!

Wireless devices share the same radio spectrum and must coordinate to avoid colliding with each other.  This coordination drops the throughput substantially.

 

If your prior testing involved streaming media from your phone, while doing a Speedtest from your wirlelesss laptop, then the speed drops are entirely normal.

 

Similarly, if you were to setup your Sonos in a non-Boost configuration, then you would have 9 Sonos devices using WiFi, plus your Speedtest laptop would be sharing the same WiFi channel, and you would see even worse speed drops.

 

I'm not certain yet that your results are anything beyond normal and that you actually have an Orbi/Sonos problem.

 

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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

 

I second what st_shaw said.

All wifi traffic is actually serialized. Each client gets a very brief section of time to communicate then moves on to the next client. It goes in this rotation very very quickly. It is entirely serial.

MU-MIMO changed this but is not supported by *anything* client side currently. So, some wifi traffic means significant throughput reduction. This is especially true if the devices all have different antenna ranges and capabilities. Everything slows down to the lowest common denominator.

You may have some old device on the orbi network that is killing you. This is one reason tri-band routers started band steering putting older devices on one network/antennae set and better devices on the other one. Etc.

--Derrek

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Guru

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

The Galaxy S7, release March 2016, supports MU-MIMO.

Message 117 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

Exploding phone brands definitely do not count. Smiley Wink

I have a dongle that supports it too. The problem is it's not particularly helpful until every device supports it. I don't want to live on an S7.

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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@st_shaw wrote:

 

 


@Dynamiteboy wrote:

 

I just don't understand how the Sonos setup I am working with could have all the issues that no one else is experincing. If there was a client side interference this major due to Sonos, that would, like you said effect literally any wireless system I deployed and I cannot imagine that to be the case.

 

What I will do is test with a single TP-link router on 5ghz in boost setup for Sonos and see if I can replicate my Orbi speed drops.

 

One last hail mary, any chance a Non-boost setup wouldn't cause me to have these speed drops? If I have full coverage with Orbi, I don't technically need a Boost setup.


 

I can't tell if my earlier point was clear or not.  Seems like it was not.

 

It's important to understand that you will NOT see maximum WiFI throughput with more than one device concurrently using the WiFi!!

Wireless devices share the same radio spectrum and must coordinate to avoid colliding with each other.  This coordination drops the throughput substantially.

 

If your prior testing involved streaming media from your phone, while doing a Speedtest from your wirlelesss laptop, then the speed drops are entirely normal.

 

Similarly, if you were to setup your Sonos in a non-Boost configuration, then you would have 9 Sonos devices using WiFi, plus your Speedtest laptop would be sharing the same WiFi channel, and you would see even worse speed drops.

 

I'm not certain yet that your results are anything beyond normal and that you actually have an Orbi/Sonos problem.

 


I understand your point, but here's what I haven't made clear, there is no devices on this Sonos network other than the laptop, phone and sonos. No I should not see my 120mb/s internet line drop to 20-80mb/s EVERY single test. If Sonos is really consuming this much bandwidth, most average home internet connections of 50mb/s could not even play Sonos music. This is clearly interference of some sort and not just bad reporting because of a speed test. I understand that speedtests aren't always reliable, but if they weren't reliable at all, no one would use them for anything. I wouldn't call this minor interference, this is massive interference I am seeing. A drop in 40%-80% of my connection speed. 

 

The phone or the computer is no doing anything else other than Sonos, and Speedtesting. There is no other traffic on the network. Of course I wouldn't hook back up all 30 devices in the house and then speedtest. Who knows which one would be updating in the background or something.

 

That being said speedtesting a network even at a large company you can see your paid for speeds (or close to them) exactly because of this serialization. You can't claim that speedtests become irrelevant just because there are other devices connected to the network. If your point is true how come I can speedtest my home network on my phone while there are 25 wireless devices simultaneously connected to both bands and still pull 130-150 (150 being my paid for speed)?

 

OR my work network which we have a business line of 100mb/s with hundreds of devices and I can still speedtest 85-100mb/s. Those are the speedtest results I am used to seeing despite network traffic or radio interference.

 

I will continue to test and report back. 

Message 119 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

I agree, something is going on on your network. But it could still be wifi interference.

Can you test on 2.4 and 5 separately? 2.4 should be able to pull your full download speed if near the router/satellite. IF both channels see the same level of interference, I would say it's isolated to orbi or an entirely different source of interference.

My first orbi did not work right. My second has been nearly flawless.

Also, one other story: I was testing the linksys ea9500 recently. I saw these weird drops in bandwidth from my macbook while I was testing. However, I was option clicking the wireless menu to produce detailed info. Doing this briefly interrupts wifi on a macbook and reduces signal for a few seconds. I discovered that and a few other tools I had running was triggering that cycle. Speed would drop basically anytime I had my performance tools open. Story: router that was possibly perfectly fine got returned.

Anyway, it seems like there is some other thing going on. I would limit the Sonos to one speaker then test. Add another, then test. Etc. At least isolate when the problem happens. I had a speaker next to a router once that killed my wifi. Smiley Wink

--Derrek

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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi


@dleute wrote:

I agree, something is going on on your network. But it could still be wifi interference.

Can you test on 2.4 and 5 separately? 2.4 should be able to pull your full download speed if near the router/satellite. IF both channels see the same level of interference, I would say it's isolated to orbi or an entirely different source of interference.

My first orbi did not work right. My second has been nearly flawless.

Also, one other story: I was testing the linksys ea9500 recently. I saw these weird drops in bandwidth from my macbook while I was testing. However, I was option clicking the wireless menu to produce detailed info. Doing this briefly interrupts wifi on a macbook and reduces signal for a few seconds. I discovered that and a few other tools I had running was triggering that cycle. Speed would drop basically anytime I had my performance tools open. Story: router that was possibly perfectly fine got returned.

Anyway, it seems like there is some other thing going on. I would limit the Sonos to one speaker then test. Add another, then test. Etc. At least isolate when the problem happens. I had a speaker next to a router once that killed my wifi. Smiley Wink

--Derrek


Will do, The bridge is close to the router though? This was my original thought on the interference, but it is necessary for Sonosnet.

Message 121 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

 

The bridge isn't a speaker. It doesn't generate a magnetic field of significance (or it shouldn't). I had an 8 inch bass speaker blasting into an older router. Wasn't a good plan.

It doesn't hurt to separate by a few feet (length of a short ethernet cable), but it shouldn't be necessary. Also, a bridge is always on. Any interference shouldn't change *unless* it is 2.4ghz interference from the basic sonosnet. I don't think the bridge would repeat the 5ghz network. But I don't know the details about sonos 5ghz network.

--Derrek

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Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

These 2 articles are giving me some interesting testing ideas. Do you think it would be smart to wire in all Sonos components? The first article recommends this.

 

https://bsteiner.info/articles/disabling-sonos-wifi

https://en.community.sonos.com/setting-up-sonos-228990/sonos-slowing-down-network-giving-buffering-i...

Message 123 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

My gut feel is it's not a good idea. The issue is Sonos uses a protocol called STP. This protocol is designed to deal with network loops in this kind of broadcast networking. The problem is it's behavior is unclear when mixing with multi-point mesh networks via wireless. I think this has been the issue with eero and Sonos. One of the articles mentioned it briefly.

However, doing it won't hurt anything (might crash the ethernet network instead). So if it solves your problem, might be the answer for you.

You shouldn't need to decativate the network in the sonos device. It prefers wired if it's available. I'm not sure how 5.1 works when all wired.

 

I would still love to know if this happens on both 2.4 and 5ghz connections. And if it's definitely only limited to the 5.1 mode.


--Derrek

Message 124 of 149
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Apprentice

Re: SONOS Compatability with Orbi

Have you considered other wireless devices? Wireless phones? baby monitors?

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