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Catfisch Cinema Home Wifi Upgrade (1 Viewer)

Dave Upton

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I ran a firmware update on the new router, and now it constantly loses the internet connection. I reboot it and it will maintain internet for a few hours or as little as a few minutes. The WiFi network still works, it just says it's lost contact with the modem.

I'm hoping I can push the firmware again from a file and that will fix it. If not, I don't know what else to do.
This is a common problem with TP-Link/Netgear/Consumer routers. Usually you can recover them by manually reflashing again.

If the management page isn't stable, you can usually recover them following vendor instructions:


Failing that, there is also a more technical way to recover them - but that's a last resort:

 

JohnRice

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This is a common problem with TP-Link/Netgear/Consumer routers. Usually you can recover them by manually reflashing again.

If the management page isn't stable, you can usually recover them following vendor instructions:


Failing that, there is also a more technical way to recover them - but that's a last resort:


Thanks Dave. by manually reflashing, do you mean by downloading the update and installing it using the web browser based method? The router isn't bricked, it just loses the internet connection, while the WiFi network remains functional.

I'm guessing that in the future I should do all firmware updates this way.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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Are you losing the wired connections too? Do you have a V1 or V2.6 version of the AX55?

I have one of these routers arriving next week.

My TP-Link C5 router has been stable since 2017 for me, with a few download-and-install firmware updates. My desktop is wired to the router so that connection has been used for any setup and update.
 
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DaveF

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I found my routers support Fast Roaming, so I turned that on. I’m hoping that does what it promises and they hop faster as I got from living room to bedroom and so on.

I also found Night Mode to turn off the status LED automatically at night, which will be good for the bedroom router.
 

JohnRice

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How odd. My TP-Link AX55 arrived today: it's version V1.6.
I just looked, and mine is v1.6 as well, which is not listed on their site. Also, I tried to register it on their site and it wouldn't let me, saying (I think) something like it wasn't for this market. To add to the confusion, it's called both an AX3000 and an AX55, but neither has a v1.6 on their site. It does have a US address on the box.

I'm tempted to just box it up and send it back. I don't think I have any choice, as I can't download firmware that I know is correct, and I'm simply not going to jump through hoops to get it straightened out.

Looking back, $100 for a powerful WiFi 6 router might have been unrealistic. It worked great, until I updated the firmware.
 
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JohnRice

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TP-Link says any unit with a V1.x should be treated as a V1.
Thanks Dennis. That's useful info. Of course, does that mean this is an old unit? Does the hardware version make a big difference?

Anyway, after I did a factory reset on the damn thing I decided to give it another chance. So, I configured it again. At least now I know what firmware to update it with.
 

DaveF

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I like the TP-Link software so much better than Apple’s (since abandoned) Airport software! It shows all devices on the network wired and wireless! I’m going through and identifying and labeling everything I can. Oh yeah, it lets you customize the display name for everything. (This probably isn’t new but I’m literally 10+ years behind the times on home network software.)

There’s a bunch of home management tools that I don’t care, but families with kids might like. You can set time limits and time on / time off for network access. I think you can also set prioritization for devices.

And I’ve turned on Fast Roaming which will hopefully help me out.

The two missing features so far are: no WPA3 and no ability to change the power of the routers (I’d consider turning down power on a couple to try and improve roaming behavior.)
 

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JohnRice

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OK, hopefully this is the last time I invade Dave's thread.

Regarding the hardware version, now I see this cryptic explanation of which firmware version to use on the firmware page.

Normally Vx.0=Vx.6/Vx.8 (eg:V1.0=V1.6/V1.8); Vx.x0=Vx.x6/Vx.x8 (eg:V1.20=V1.26/V1.28)

One of those things that's not exactly clear, unless you know what they're saying.

Something to note, I turned OFF the auto update feature. From now on I'll do them manually by downloading the firmware first and applying it directly.

We'll see if I still get internet drops.
 

JohnRice

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The two missing features so far are: no WPA3 and no ability to change the power of the routers (I’d consider turning down power on a couple to try and improve roaming behavior.)
Both are under Advanced>Wireless>Wireless Settings. That is using the web browser method.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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We got a cheap price from Amazon, probably due to them closing out "old stock".

I had lots of problems getting the AX55 up even from the wired connection from my desktop. I didn't realize you had to use the "web browser" method from the start. Then things went well. I'd forgotten since I last set up my TP-Link C5 in 2017. They tell you to open a browser and go to tplinkwifi.net, which turns out to be a "fake" URL built into the router. That's why you can access it without yet having connection to the Internet! They should make this more obvious in the instructions.

I still can't get my decade old laptop to see my wifi channels, even though it sees dozens of my neighbors. OOMA VOIP box is on wired connection and works well. But the most important thing is my TCL ROKU TV sees 5GHz wifi with more strength and speed.

old C5 router: fair strength, 27 MBS speed
AX55 router: good strength, 158 MBS speed

Getting better wifi at the TV was the prime reason for buying the new router. My TV is at the far end of the house from the router. Looks like the AX55 does the job without paying the extra for some kind of mesh hardware.

I updated to the 1.0.7 build 20220120 firmware using the web browser technique. No problems that I see.
 
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JohnRice

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We got a cheap price from Amazon, probably due to them closing out "old stock".

I had lots of problems getting the AX55 up even from the wired connection from my desktop. I didn't realize you had to use the "web browser" method from the start. Then things went well. I'd forgotten since I last set up my TP-Link C5 in 2017. They tell you to open a browser and go to tplinkwifi.net, which turns out to be a "fake" URL built into the router. That's why you can access it without yet having connection to the Internet! They should make this more obvious in the instructions.

I still can't get my decade old laptop to see my wifi channels, even though it sees dozens of my neighbors. OOMA VOIP box is on wired connection and works well. But the most important thing is my TCL ROKU TV sees 5GHz wifi with more strength and speed.

old C5 router: fair strength, 27 MBS speed
AX55 router: good strength, 158 MBS speed

Getting better wifi at the TV was the prime reason for buying the new router. My TV is at the far end of the house from the router. Looks like the AX55 does the job without paying the extra for some kind of mesh hardware.

I updated to the 1.0.7 build 20220120 firmware using the web browser technique. No problems that I see.
The easiest way to set it up is with the Tether app, but your mobile device has to have it's own data plan. So, an iPad with only WiFi ain't gonna work. Once I realized that, I used my iPhone. This way is easier because you can use the phone's camera to scan the code that comes with the router to automatically transfer all the access info. The code is on the bottom of the router, on the box, and on a card inside the box.

If it doesn't lose the connection to the modem in the next couple of days, I'll figure it went OK.
 

DaveF

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Just remembered to change my Primary DNS to 1.1.1.1

I set my Secondary to 8.8.8.8 though I don’t recall if that’s what I was using previously.

And turned on IPv6 because why not.

Fast Roaming is not doing what I’d hoped. But it’s not hurting, so oh well, I’ll leave it on.

I turned on QOS to prioritize streaming devices. Not sure it will make a difference in practice, but if we’re watching a movie, that should take priority over Instagram :)
 

DaveF

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Both are under Advanced>Wireless>Wireless Settings. That is using the web browser method.
Thanks for the tip: I didn’t know there was a web interface. I found that and it has a couple of features not apparent in the app.

But, my model doesn’t support WPA3. And overall the web controls for my model are very limited — doesn’t do most of what the app does — and it doesn’t have any router-level wifi controls either.
 

JohnRice

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Thanks for the tip: I didn’t know there was a web interface. I found that and it has a couple of features not apparent in the app.

But, my model doesn’t support WPA3. And overall the web controls for my model are very limited — doesn’t do most of what the app does — and it doesn’t have any router-level wifi controls either.
I didn't try the browser access until this afternoon, since that's the only way to update from a downloaded file. It does have a nicer interface and seems to have more features. Those will still vary with the unit being configured.
 

DaveF

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I didn't try the browser access until this afternoon, since that's the only way to update from a downloaded file. It does have a nicer interface and seems to have more features. Those will still vary with the unit being configured.
On the Deco, my take is the app could a couple of features from the web interface. But the web is missing almost all the management tools of the app.

I found the reboot feature in the web, but it doesn’t have a scheduler. I might set a reminder to hit the reboot button monthly.

If WPA3 were a priority, I need the WiFi6 (AX) series Deco models. I will always take more security when available. But my practical risk from only WPA2 is zero.

I’ll probably upgrade to WiFi6 in two years. I view this cheap mesh kit as stopgap until WiFi6 is cheaper and more mature.
 

John Dirk

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And turned on IPv6 because why not.

That's more or less true but I leave it disabled for a couple of reasons.

  • IPv6 adds no practical performance increase at this point but enabling any additional protocol does add some degree of extra processing for the network stack. It's likely negligible so no harm done on that front.
  • The larger concern for me is IPv6 eliminates NAT'ing, which affords a layer of security for most home networks. I'd be interested in @Dave Upton 's thought on this one but since there's no real reason to enable the protocol I have chosen not to for the time being at least.
 

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