Signal Strength


I’m new to this forum, kindly assist me if you can as I have many questions…

I currently have a total of 10 sonoff devices , all Wi-Fi, (basic , dw2, inching relay ) connected to my ZTE MC 888 LTE router .

The problem is that the Inching relay (and some dw2 switches) are connected several metres away from the router and the signal reaching these swithes is very ,very weak.

I was thinking of buying the Sonoff hub to solve this.

Q1. Can all the Wi-Fi switches connect directly to the Sonoff hub (32 device/zigbee hub ) ?..does the hub support this OR is the hub meant only for zigbee switches ?..please confirm this ?

Q2. Does the Sonoff hub (32 device/zigbee) push out a much more stronger signal than the ZTE MC888 router ?..which device will have a greater range?

Q3. When pairing the hub to the router , do you only have to enter the router name and password once for the hub ?..or do you still have to enter the router password for all other switches individually?

Q4. If the Hub does work better than the router…suppose I decide at a bit later on to change the router to a different brand /model …which will now mean that I will have to pair the hub again with the New router…Do I still have to enter just once the new password/name of the router for the hub or will all the switches require new pairing with the hub again ?

Thank you for your advice in advance.

Hi there, welcome to the eWeLink forum!

  1. Due to different protocols (Wi-Fi and Zigbee are two different protocols), Wi-Fi devices cannot be added to a Zigbee gateway.
  2. I searched on Google and found that the ZTE MC888 router is a Wi-Fi router, while the Sonoff hub (32 device/Zigbee) is a Zigbee router. Therefore, these two routers cannot be directly compared.
  3. The process of adding the Sonoff hub (32 device/Zigbee) in the eWeLink app may vary depending on the device model, but if you use the quick pairing method, you only need to enter the Wi-Fi name and password once, and the sub-devices under this hub do not need to enter any information.
  4. When you need to change the router model, you need to delete the hub device from the eWeLink app first, and then re-add it. The sub-devices under this hub will automatically come online, and there is no need to re-enter any Wi-Fi or password information.

Hi Stephen
Thank you for your feedback.
I know that you are well versed with Sonoff devices however I still have some doubts.
If you go to this link :

It takes you to the page that says the Sonoff Zigbee Bridge is “Dual protocol supporting” ie. Wi-Fi and Zigbee.
{see image on that page }
also if you scroll down, there are some visual examples of the Zigbee hub being used to control the Blinds , Fan , Humidifier and light .
It shows the Zigbee hub communicating with the Wi-fi Smart switch and Wi-Fi Smart Plugs to turn an appliance on or off.
Are these examples incorrect ? Was there supposed to be a Icon/Picture of a Wi-fi Internet Router between the Zigbee hub and Wi-fi Smart Switches ?

Thank You.

Hello! Based on my understanding, I’d like to explain how the Zigbee bridge and the eWeLink app work together. The Zigbee bridge is connected to eWeLink through Wi-Fi, which allows it to act as a bridge between the Zigbee sub-devices and the eWeLink app.
The visual example on the website like the one I attached below, I think it’s achieved by creating a scene and selecting the Wi-Fi devices and Zigbee sub-devices as triggers or actions.

You shouldn’t read “dual protocol” verbatim. It means that the bridge connects to your WLAN and is capable of coordinating ZigBee devices and make them work with eWeLink cloud.
This is not the first time Sonoff has paid little attention to the use of words and terms in descriptions. This leads to misunderstandings and misjudgements of hardware and software capabilities. Sometimes it looks like guys writing instructions and/or descriptions have no idea and make up their own stories :slight_smile:

1 Like

Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 Bridge Home Automation App Control ZB Bridge Remotely control ZigBee and Wi-Fi devices on eWeLink APP.

Should be:

Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 Bridge: Home Automation App Control, ZB Bridge, Remotely control ZigBee devices on eWeLink APP.

It doesn’t control WiFi devices itself and thus no need to mention that. It is indeed confusing people and that results in unnecessary support requests. It would save the support people from some efforts if you write the product descriptions in the correct way…

Thank you all for that clearing that up .
I had misunderstood that the Zigbee bridge controlled Wi-fi switches directly and therefore I could not see what was the reason of having a bridge when you could just install wi-fi devices only. I understand the Zigbee bridge better now.
…Unfortunately , its a little too late… I have already purchased and installed the wi-fi devices already.
Had I know better, I would have installed the zigbee bridge and zigbee switches only . I think that is the way to go… Which brings me to my intial Topic " Signal strength "

I stay in a hilly area , my house is below road level , the driveway gate motor{ fitted with the Inching relay} is above the roof level at the roadside several metres away from the wi-fi router. On the ewelink app , the Inching switch signal strength is bearly visible , sometimes losing signal totally.

So the Question still remains : Zigbee Bridge vs Wi-Fi router , Which device pushes out the strongest/ furthest signal ?

I believe knowing this answer will help others select the correct protcol smart switches in future . Some reasons being :
-Many house are double story , smart switches are mounted far from the router or hub.

  • Many Wi-Fi routers are fixed to a room and cannot be moved Eg Fibre routers
  • Different design/Location of houses eg L shaped , below/above road level , reinforced walls , Metal balusrades/ Railings etc. these absorbs the signals , shortening the distance that the signal travels.

It will also help to know the distance that all Wi-Fi and Zigbee smart switches/devices travel in open air.
For example : What is the circumference distance of the Signal of a Basic Sonoff smart switch ?

I think this is an Important specification that must be included with every device.

This can and will help the consumer select products to suit their household.

Thank you.

StephenJ (eWeLink Staff) explained that already. WiFi and ZigBee are two different protocols, based on different principles. The share 2,4 GHz band (though some devices also use 784 MHz in PRC, 868 MHz in Europe and 915 MHz in the US and Australia) but Zigbee is a low-power, low data rate, and close proximity (i.e., personal area) wireless ad hoc network that makes use of mesh technology on regular basis. Therefore, discussing the matter of the signal strength is pointless when comparing WiFi to ZigBee. It’s like comparing oranges and apples :sunglasses:
From my experience, any ZigBee device that is battery operated performs much better than any similar WiFi device (i.e. door sensor): battery life, latency, reliability are in favour of ZigBee. You must know that some non-battery ZigBee devices (Ikea’s Tradfri bulbs, Sonoff ZBMINI-L2) work as routers (relays). Having several routing devices usually greatly extends coverage and signal penetration. Since it’s a mesh network, it regulates connections and routes to be smooth and efficient. The most capable router is the coordinator. It forms the root of the network tree and may bridge to other networks (WiFi). There is only one Zigbee coordinator in each network. Since it starts the network, it stores information about all the devices connected. Those not connected are disregarded. Any Zigbee end device talks only to the parent node, either the coordinator or a router, and has no higher functions (Sonoff ZigBee button). As you see, the practical performance of a ZigBee network is not the same as of WiFi.

Thank you all for the clear explainations regarding Zigbee devices. If I had been told all this much earlier then ,all of my smart switches would have been Zigbee devices. Its too late now to change from wifi to zigbee. The cost would just be too much. Thank you again.

You’re welcome.

I would be more cautious. Zigbee has its good points and weaknesses, and so does WiFi. Not in every application is Zigbee better. It depends on what you want to achieve and how you plan your automation; whether you want to stay with the manufacturer’s cloud-based solutions or whether you have the time and skills to play around with advanced options. Of course, this requires a broader elaboration but you can easily find such topics on the Internet.