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87 posts

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Topic # 123446 8-Jul-2013 11:52
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I am still trying to get to the bottom of very 'laggy' wifi network performance. I am still not really sure if this is a wifi problem (new TPLink WDR3600), or an Internet problem (VF/TV cable Warpspeed!)

Clues are:

1. Using a new Samsung laptop and the new router and TC/VF's fastest connection, I regularly wait for seconds while browsing webpages while absolutely nothing happens. (e.g. Stuff.co.nz regularly stops responding due to a slow-running script; Speedtest form time to time chooses 'closer' servers than Snap Chch, such as New Plymouth!)

2. Speedtest results are all over the place. Sometimes ok at about 10/1 or even 10/10! (go figure), but often significant delays when again simply nothing happens, or overall rates down to under 0.1Mbps.

3. Wifi 'connection speed' varies between 108Mbps and 1.0

4. Now swithed router to channel 13 on 2.4Ghz but no improvement. Signal strengths reported only about -70-80 or -50-60 depending on device.  Have one or two other neighbouring networks on chanel 1 (usualy, neigbouring primary school), and channel 9 (weaker and only intermittently visible). Certainly not as much contention as I find in most people's houses I visit!!

5. Wired PC performance seems to be not so badly affected (Speedtest-wise) as usualy achieve nominal 100/10 speeds.

I find it really hard to believe that this is just normally 'poor' wifi performance. The overall standard seems significantly worse than what I thought was my obsolete combination of a Linksys WRT54G and a Dell Latiatude with a 2200b/g wifi card.

Anyone with any new suggestions about how I might be able to more clearly identify where or what the problem us.

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  Reply # 850765 8-Jul-2013 12:06
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Have you got a wi-fi friendly cordless phone?
Do you have anything else in the house or nearby using the 2.4Ghz band?
Where is your AP located in relation to the devices your using to connect the AP?

I cant understand why speedtest's would give you any indication about poor wifi performance.
Are you sure the issue isnt with your actual broadband connection and/or internal house wiring?

How many users have you got using this WIFI AP and what else is running on the network?

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  Reply # 850767 8-Jul-2013 12:11
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What OS are you running? Do you have up to date drivers for your network card, have their been reported issues with the laptop and its network card. What browser are you using?

Router appears to be much more capable than 2.4GHz (is dual band), why aren't you running it this way? Where is the router located? How hot does it get, is it on the floor or off the ground? Are you using the right DNS settings (see the TC website)? Can you try your laptop on another network (someone elses house)? If you connect a usb drive to the router and copy a large file from the usb drive to the laptop how fast is this (size/time)?

Hope this helps,

Jon

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  Reply # 850778 8-Jul-2013 12:33
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How did you go with the suggestions from the other topics you posted a couple months back regarding router firmware etc?

Can you expand on what prevents you from using the dualband function?

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  Reply # 850781 8-Jul-2013 12:36
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Step 1 - identify potential suspects

1. Wifi Card in device
2. Wifi AP
3. Wifi Network/Radio Space
4. Router
5. Internet Connection

Step 2 - identify test cases

1. Speedtest to specific test server at specific time of day
2. Load times to specific web site at specific time of day

Step 3 - Test

1. Test devices against test cases over 3 separate times using wired, then wireless - document results
2. If both are the same, issue IS NOT 1,2 or 3
3. If wired is fine, wireless is not, it IS 1,2 or 3

Step 4 - Troubleshoot
You can test 1 by using a replacement usb wireless card ($40 or less)
You can test 2 by using a replacment/borrowed AP ($50 or less)
3 is a pain to test, but you can use inSSIDer to see other networks/what is around.
4 you can beg/borrow another router to test
5 is a black hole - you will have to do the usual (check wiring, master splitter) then go crying to your ISP.







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  Reply # 850792 8-Jul-2013 12:48
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Thanks for the suggestion about copying a file from a USB plugged in to the router. I'll definitely give that a goo since it should be a good way to test the wifi component. Haven't systematically tried the laptop elsewhere but actually on a recent trip to Oz using a Mifi it seemed to work perfectly fine.

As to other queries:

Cordless phone is no more or less wifi friendly than it was before the new router and laptop.

AP (router) is sitting right where the old one used to sit, on a desktop near the cable modem it connects to. All this one one room of a modern two-story townhouse. It gets plenty of air, but no water.

At varying times there will be three laptops and at lease two mobile phones plus occasianl additional phones/tablets connected to this AP, plus  wired connections to a print server, Xbox, and-gosh - an old-fashioned desktop PC.

I'm only using the 2.4GHz band because of the valid observations from others than the 5Ghz band performance drops off dramatically once you leave the room.

Web/internet performance is of course a function of both the internet connection and the LAN (in this case wifi) connection. The wired PC performs well in a Speedtest context, which points the gun at the wifi. However the overall behaviour I observe looks to me like it could be an interaction of the wifi connection with a perhaps 'spotty' Internet connection. I find it hard to believe that the wifi alone could be so up and down.

Router is running latest release TPLink firmware and I haven't seen any reference to problems with wifi connections peculiar to the Samsung 9 Series (running Windows 8, IE10 metro and desktop versions).

Using TC DNS settings.





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  Reply # 850795 8-Jul-2013 12:51
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Cool.

Hows the wifi perform when your in the same room of where the AP is located?



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  Reply # 850804 8-Jul-2013 13:01
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Yeah... much better of course.. which really does point the bone at the wifi performance of the TPLink router which appears to be very poor compared even to the ancient Linksys WRT54G.


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  Reply # 850817 8-Jul-2013 13:14
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Ever played around with wifi extenders / repeaters?

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  Reply # 850818 8-Jul-2013 13:14
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Sounds like a number of devices for just 2.4GHz. It looks as though it should optimise for both bands, ie. yes 5Ghz would get worse out of the room, but this should push the connection to 2.4.

Maybe two routers, one for 2.4 and one for 5Ghz is best (this is what I do).

Jon



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  Reply # 850823 8-Jul-2013 13:20
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Never tried wi-fi extenders or repeaters because with the old router I never needed to. There's progress for you.

I'm still astonished about how badly the wifi performance of this device seems to drop off. Sit next to it, and no problems. Go through 5m away (through two doors admittedly) and things are worse but still usuable. Step a futher 2M into the next room and the thing virtually shuts down altogether. Does this seem right?

 

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  Reply # 850831 8-Jul-2013 13:35
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Consider the wall linings, doors and anything else that will obstruct a radio signal.
Have you tried locating the AP in a different room or say in the hallway?


Edit, assume you have played with the power levels of the antenna on the AP itself?


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  Reply # 851163 8-Jul-2013 19:30
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imd6662: Never tried wi-fi extenders or repeaters because with the old router I never needed to. There's progress for you.

I'm still astonished about how badly the wifi performance of this device seems to drop off. Sit next to it, and no problems. Go through 5m away (through two doors admittedly) and things are worse but still usuable. Step a futher 2M into the next room and the thing virtually shuts down altogether. Does this seem right?

 


Is it maybe a steel framed house (faraday cage effect)?
Must say range in my house is good. Even sees through the outside wall (40cm brick). Up to 15m.

Raising the router as high as possible is best.

Have you tried all three connection types? eg. 2.4/5/dualband. If it has mimo antennas, you might find it performs best on the dualband approach?

Jon

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  Reply # 851183 8-Jul-2013 19:47
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How many wireless networks are around you? I for example have 28 wireless networks taking up all of the 2.4GHz channels so I can't run my router at 2.4GHz in Wireless N mode, instead I had to switch it to 5GHz and have a WRT54GL running at 2.4GHz for those devices that don't support it. The WRT runs pretty horrible due to the wireless interference, for some odd reason 40MHz 2.4GHz Wireless N doesn't work, I have to use Wireless G to even stay connected on 2.4GHz.






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  Reply # 851210 8-Jul-2013 20:30
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Nope, no steel framing nor lead-lines walls. Jut good old Giboard and hollow core doors.

Have actually set the antenna on low based on some other advice, but high made no difference either.

Only have two or three neighoubring networks of which only one is constantly visible.

This afternoon tried Jon's suggestion about copying files... not too bad. Tonight, it cant even complete the copy operation.

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  Reply # 851486 9-Jul-2013 12:30
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If the problem is intermittent, it is likely interference related - just because it used to work with a different box in the same location doesn't mean something else in your environment didn't change around the same time.

Having said that - TP-Link aren't well known for their WiFi pedigree, so it might just be poor quality control, something loose inside the box that fails under load/heat.

Amazon reviews on the product aren't exactly glowing - ease of operation seems to make many people happy, but signal strength/reliable connection upsets many others.

Try resetting the whole thing to factory defaults - leaving it unsecured for the duration of your testing - and run the tests again. Make sure to have both bands enabled for your tests - there's precious little point disabling the 5GHz radio on a simultaneous dual band AP.

Once tested, enable security & do your configuration one step at a time, re-testing as each step is undertaken. Pain in the ass? Sure. Reliable diagnostic? You bet.

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