Anyone have any advice on mesh wifi networks?

Safer with a switch. Using a router would require custom configuration that is probably more trouble than it’s worth.

Edit: key point would be to disable DHCP while still retaining the ability to manage the router

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Depends on the device. Some have switches built in, some don’t. You also have to fiddle with the settings, to make sure it’s not doing dhcp or firewalling stuff. I’d spring for something like this: https://smile.amazon.com/Ethernet-Splitter-Optimization-Unmanaged-TL-SG105/dp/B00A128S24

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I’m not as much of a heavy commercial networks person as pillbox (more ISP and corporate LANs, with home LANs built to professional standards) but I’d agree: ethernet switches are cheap enough and good enough that you can simply drop them in to solve a multitude of problems, and because people who want more features buy a router instead they generally don’t get in your way with unwanted fribbles and frills.

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OK, so I need some help from you network people.

As I mentioned, I still have a mystery remote wifi point that is offline and impossible to remove.

I also realised that my remote wifi points are only communicating with the primary point by the wifi mesh, and not the ethernet cables linking them.

Despite this, I realised I could connect a remote wifi point to our ethernet, and my computer to the remote wifi point, and thereby get internet access for the computer without needing a third-party switch, despite the fact that the remote point still doesn’t use the very same connection that the computer does!

None of this makes any sense to me. I know it might be impossible to untangle for anyone unfamiliar with Google Wifi, but all I know is that the offline ghost wifi point still has Google help teams baffled, and the ethernet links are supposed to automatically take over from the mesh connection without any setting up by me.

Modem <> Primary wifi <> 2F ethernet (workings unknown, all behind the walls)
? <> offline mystery wifi point
1F ethernet <> remote wifi point (“not wired”) <> computer (wired)
3F ethernet <> remote wifi point (“not wired”)

At this point, I’d say any further progress would require ununknowing the unknowable workings behind the wall. Those ports terminate somewhere (and if they don’t, then certainly they are less than useful).

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Can’t something be understood from the fact that computers plugged directly or indirectly into the LAN ports are indeed connected to the internet?

My assumption is a simple switch behind the wall on the 2F where the optic fibre and ethernet connect to the modem, but I don’t understand how that is interacting with the wifi devices.

The renovation company who installed the LAN ports profess total ignorance and left us with no documentation, which is nice.

If that’s the case, then there’s an Ethernet switch somewhere in the house, plugged into mains with flashing green (or amber) lights.

I’m sure no such device is in our house. At least where we can see it. The optic fibre is suspended across the street, goes right into our 2F wall, and straight to the modem provided by the nationalised telecoms company that installed the optic fibre. There’s a WAN port and and LAN port on the same wall panel as the optic fibre connection. The modem is connected to the WAN port, the primary router to the modem and the LAN port. The modem is an “ONU” type, with no other ports, and not a router AFAIK.

Any other possibilites?

In my rather extensive experience, there is no way to make jacks in the wall do anything at all without active, power-consuming hardware at the other end (or, technically somewhere in between, but let’s not get into that).

Now, technically, there have been a few products in the past where the jack on the wall was, itself, a switch; but these typically had more than 1 port and were often also wifi APs - I mostly saw these in the hospitality sector and would really not expect to encounter one in a residential setting.

Do you have a laptop to do additional investigative work with? Even better would be two laptops and a familiarity with manually setting IP addresses for the network connection in Windows (or OSX or whatever you use)

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No, no laptop other than a rudimentary Lenovo tablet running Windows that we don’t use any more.

I do not currently know how to access network settings from my desktop computer (you mean the LAN, right?), but I can work on that.

Hmm. Okay. I’d hate to see you lugging a desktop computer between floors trying to test. When you connect your desktop computer to the jack on 2F, does it establish a link? Does it get an IP address assigned to it?

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On the 1F, yes and yes.

Oh, we do also have a SFF desktop computer with ethernet ports I could lug around, or simply connect to the LAN port on the 2F instead of the primary router.

Is that when the 2F wall jack is connected to your router?

If 1F works when 2F is not connected to your router, there’s a router somewhere in your house as well.

Yes. I will have to try it without the (known) router and see what happens tonight. A hidden router would explain a lot, but seems unlikely.

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When I disconnect the primary router from the LAN, the 1F computer remains online, but if I then connect the computer directly to the LAN instead of the remote wifi point, the computer goes offline.

That said, the 1F computer is connected to the internet when the primary router is connected to the LAN and the 1F is also connected to the LAN.

An additional bit of information that might help: in the various configurations where the 1F computer can see the internet, load a page such as https://www.whatismyip.com/ and make a note of your public IPv4 address; if that changes, that’s quite interesting. (The “ISP” field may also be informative, if one of them is one that you think you’re using and another one isn’t.)

No change in all three viable configurations.

OK. So you only seem to have the one connection to the outside world. That’s good.

Oh hang on, is this a reasonably modern computer (last 5 years or so)? In which case it may be using a built-in wifi link automatically when the wired connection doesn’t work, and not making it obvious that it’s doing so. This happened to a friend of mine recently.

Nope, no WiFi. This is 20 characters (why is this a rule?)

Because it’s fun seeing what people will say to pad out their responses~

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