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Old 01-20-2014, 08:57 AM   #1
megory
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Teach me about TiVo and Wifi like I'm in 3rd grade

I've disconnected my Wifi router while I work out computer issues.

Last night, I started transferring shows from the main TiVo to bedroom TiVo, and then I remembered I had WiFi disconnected. It transferred 5 shows anyway.

My main TiVo shows that it is connected to Wifi with an excellent signal. How can that be when the Router is not plugged in to my Brighthouse box, only to power?

When I unplug power to the router, wifi is gone.

My iPad doesn't get WiFi while router disconnected. And Tivo doesn't update while Router down.

I guess I don't understand WiFi at all.

Please, can someone splain to me?
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:17 AM   #2
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That part is pretty simple, actually. The router itself creates a local area network (LAN) that all your devices can connect to with no regard to whether there is a connection to the outside world or not. What that means is that all your devices that are connected to the LAN can talk to each other and transfer data, but can't communicate with anything on the outside. That explains why you were able to transfer shows without having it connected to your Brighthouse box. They only needed to be able to talk to each other. I would imagine that the iPad still connects to the wifi but can't do a whole lot since it has no internet connection. Same with TiVo updating.


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Old 01-20-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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That is VERY helpful and thanks. But I don't understand how there is a LAN. Is it connected through the, um, air, or the plugs? I know nothing about this, but have wrongly thought I had a grasp. FWIW my ipad shows no wifi. But Safari shows no internet connection.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:46 PM   #4
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Most home networks are pretty basic. They have a LAN, which is the internal network that devices inside your home use to communicate with each other and is typically made up of a mix of WiFi and Ethernet connected devices, and a WAN which is the internet. The router sits between the two and acts as a bridge so your local devices can talk to the internet and vice versa. If you disconnect the WAN the LAN still exists so the devices inside your network can still talk to one another.

Now the perplexing part is that you said your TiVo was connected via WiFi. Are you sure? Is that the only connection the TiVo has? Newer TiVos have the option of using Ethernet and MoCa too. Could they have been using one of those? If not then if both TiVos use wifi then it's possible they reverted to an ad-hock network between them. WiFi can act in two modes. In one mode all devices connect to a central access point, like your router. But in the other mode two WiFi devices can setup a direct connection between one another and communicate directly. Perhaps when you removed the router (which was the access point) the TiVos automatically switched to ad-hock mode and started communicating directly? Or maybe they both jumped on your neighbors WiFi and used that to communicate instead. As long as both were on the same LAN it wouldn't matter if it was your LAN.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:32 PM   #5
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megory.... you are mixed up on your concepts

There are basically two aspects to this.

1) the internet, which is your connection to the outside world

2) your internal network, where all your internal devices(tivo, laptop, tablet computer, etc etc)are connected together and can see each other and can talk to each other.

Even if number one disappears, number two can keep functioning just fine. That is, information can still circulate on a strictly internal to internal basis. The internal devices cannot talk to the outside world but they can still see and talk to other internal devices.

Think of it this way...... if you have shows recorded to your Tivo, but you cancel your cable service(your connection to the outside world).... you could still play your recorded Tivo shows and watch them on your TV, right? How can this be? How can you be watching TV after your cable service has been cut off?

The concept is the exact same. Your internal products can still talk to each other, even if the connection to the outside world is lost.

TC

Last edited by True Colors : 01-20-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:35 AM   #6
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It's pretty simple that a 4th grader could get It catchs me off guard at times too and I scartch my head for a second or 2.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
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I would imagine that the iPad still connects to the wifi but can't do a whole lot since it has no internet connection.
Actually this isn't correct. iDevices (iphones, ipads, ipod touches) do something odd when connecting to wifi. They connect, if the connection is successful, they then immediately try to load a page on Apple's servers. If the page loads, then the device knows it has an internet connection, and it then visibly connects to the wifi (i.e. you get the little wifi symbol in the status bar at the top of the screen, and you can surf the net on the device).

If the device can't access that page, but instead gets a 'login to this wifi' page, it presents that to the user which is how you can then get access to free wifi at cafes, airports, etc. If it can't access that page, and doesn't get any sort of portal page, then it doesn't connect to the wifi. Then you don't have any network access at all.

A while back, Apple screwed up, and the page the iDevices connect to was returning the wrong value. None of them could connect to wifi for a few hours as a result.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:49 PM   #8
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Keen is correct about the iDevices.

Remember that the LAN predated the internet and broadband connections (I'm talking 10Base2), although today's devices tend to get really cranky and be kind of useless without an internet connection given that most services are internet-based, and most people only have LANs for the sake of sharing internet access.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:44 PM   #9
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It's pretty simple that a 4th grader could get ...
And as Groucho would have said, "Quick, someone go find me a 4th grader!"


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Old 01-23-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
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Actually this isn't correct. iDevices (iphones, ipads, ipod touches) do something odd when connecting to wifi. They connect, if the connection is successful, they then immediately try to load a page on Apple's servers. If the page loads, then the device knows it has an internet connection, and it then visibly connects to the wifi (i.e. you get the little wifi symbol in the status bar at the top of the screen, and you can surf the net on the device).



If the device can't access that page, but instead gets a 'login to this wifi' page, it presents that to the user which is how you can then get access to free wifi at cafes, airports, etc. If it can't access that page, and doesn't get any sort of portal page, then it doesn't connect to the wifi. Then you don't have any network access at all.



A while back, Apple screwed up, and the page the iDevices connect to was returning the wrong value. None of them could connect to wifi for a few hours as a result.

Weird...neither my iPhone nor my iPad do this.


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Old 01-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
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Newer TiVos have the option of using Ethernet and MoCa too. Could they have been using one of those? If not then if both TiVos use wifi then it's possible they reverted to an ad-hock network between them.
If memory serves (and megory's signature seems to confirm this) the TiVos in question are a S2DT and a TiVoHD (so no MoCA and no built-in ethernet on the S2). I'm pretty sure from previous discussions that the TiVo wireless G adapters are in-use.

That being said, your suggestion that they reverted to an ad-hoc WiFi connection seems to make sense. I've never seen that happen, but it's been a long time since I used wireless with my TiVos so I can't be certain.

Megory, when you go into the System Information screen, what wireless SSID and IP address are displayed for each TiVo?
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:08 PM   #12
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Weird...neither my iPhone nor my iPad do this.
They all do.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:27 PM   #13
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If I read it correctly, Megory has disconnected the WAN connection on the router and left the LAN in place. Isn't that all that is required for transferring shows? As long as the router is powered, the LAN is up and running and show transfer should work as normal.


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Old 01-25-2014, 05:02 PM   #14
megory
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If only I were a 4th grader instead of just a 3rd grade WiFi-er! Of course, a physical third grader would probably know more than all of us together.

This thread is a fount of information, and I think I understand more. Certainly more than my friends, but not nearly as much as you guys who get the whole picture.

While trying to get my system back up, I did something to my Asus RT-N66U, I changed a setting experimentally, then couldn't get WiFi back. After a day of trying on 3 different computers and exploring every trick I know, I got out a different, old LinkSys. That didn't work on any computer either.

After 3 days of hyper-focus and obsession, I gave up and bought a NetGear. That didn't work either (sigh) so I gave up, broke down and called Brighthouse. A very nice rep, Larry, (if you need more and are in Pinellas Cty, write to me) talked me through it, tested my lines, did some magic there, and finally said that he wasn't getting a signal on my old LinkSys.

So, I installed (on yet another computer) the NetGear and, voila! It works! And, he taught me that I don't have to be hard cabled! From the beginning of WiFi, I thought the router had to be connected via an ethernet cable.

All 4 computers work, all iOSs work, both TiVos work. Further, I reinstalled W7 on my main computer, and someday might reconnect Asus. Meanwhile, why fix what ain't broke.

Thanks for the education everyone here.
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