Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


311 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 199238 9-Aug-2016 16:40
Send private message

I've had problems the whole of last year and this. There hasn't been one solution. Chorus has been in, as have (below par) computer techs. Our ISP has tweaked things. We've tried an alternative router. We've done some googling and testing. All in all it's been a deep and dark hole I don't want to go down again. Hopefully that's enough for one lifetime.

But having thought we were alll clear, it appears we still have one problem. I have a newish laptop so when we're not on cable, we're both on 5G WIFI. And the system seems very reliable - just like the good old days. BUT our phones and tablet still use 2.4G - and sometimes it doesn't work. We've taken to doing a cold start on our router once a week, and it seems that might be keeping it clear.

We just wondered if anyone might have any suggestions as to why this might still be a problem? Relatively trivial - but still not as it should be.

Thanks


Create new topic
5039 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1617


  Reply # 1607116 9-Aug-2016 16:51
One person supports this post
Send private message

2.4GHz WiFi is increasingly unreliable in urban high density areas. The combination of huge numbers of WiFi access points, people running at maximum transmit power and wide channels to wipe over the top of everyone else and generic interference from microwaves etc means it can get pretty flaky.

 

If restarting your router fixes it temporarily, then it's likely one of two issues:

 

1) Router is faulty - replace it

 

2) Router is picking a more reliable WiFi channel on restart - if it keeps dropping though, this comes back to the interference above


536 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 154


  Reply # 1607121 9-Aug-2016 16:54
Send private message

Chances are you might be in a very 'noisy' 2.4 GHz WiFi environment. Download WiFi Analyzer (for Android) or an equivalent for iPhone (whatever that is) and check out the nearby 2.4 GHz networks around you. You may be able to find a relatively clear channel, (you should really only use Channel 1, 6 or 11), or you may find you're out of luck and in a very noisy area... not much you can do if that's the case!




311 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1607160 9-Aug-2016 18:18
Send private message

Thanks folks. Don't think it's the router - but we still have the spare we bought trying to solve the problems earlier so can try that when work gets a bit less crazy.

I guess the noise will have increased over the last year or two - I use inSSIDer on the laptop and there are more signals than there used to be.

I used to use channel 11 - now it keeps reverting to 1 for some reason - but I don't think that's the issue - it's usually during the day when we only pick up a few signals.

The signal strengrth in the lounge (usually my main router) is about 50 - not brilliant but definitely no problem. The 2.4 signal's still there when we can't connect.

BDFL - Memuneh
61156 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 11939

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1607163 9-Aug-2016 18:25
One person supports this post
Send private message

Find the least busy channel (1, 6 or 11) and change your router to use that. Most routers come with "Auto" by default and that's not great. Also change to 20MHz only if it's set to 20/40MHz.







311 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1607181 9-Aug-2016 18:59
Send private message

Thanks - I changed to 20 from 20/40 as part of the battles last year. I was on channel 11 at some stage but it has returned to default - so have changed it back.

216 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 82


  Reply # 1607288 9-Aug-2016 22:03
Send private message

There are a number of other things that could be causing this:

 

  • The 2.4 GHz spectrum is heavily affected by non-802.11 radio signals that can't be detected by residential routers as they don't have spectrum analyzers.
  • A number of public wireless vendors are using non-FCC channels (1, 6 and 11) and this can cause adjacent channel interference.  EOL in the Bay of Plenty is a good example.
  • The new cellular sites are raising the 2.4 GHz noise floors and if your wireless device does not have a filter then your 2.4 GHz performance could be adversely affected.  Again you need a spectrum analyzer to detect this.  If your wireless device is being affected and has external antennas then the use of notch filters should resolve this issue.

 


948 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 193


  Reply # 1607303 9-Aug-2016 22:53
One person supports this post
Send private message

RunningMan:

 

2.4GHz WiFi is increasingly unreliable in urban high density areas. The combination of huge numbers of WiFi access points, people running at maximum transmit power and wide channels to wipe over the top of everyone else and generic interference from microwaves etc means it can get pretty flaky.

 

If restarting your router fixes it temporarily, then it's likely one of two issues:

 

1) Router is faulty - replace it

 

2) Router is picking a more reliable WiFi channel on restart - if it keeps dropping though, this comes back to the interference above

 

 

 

 

3) Router is cheap ISP rubbish, go buy a decent one.




311 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1607440 10-Aug-2016 10:18
Send private message

I keep mixing up wifi and cellular coverage in my thinking. I don't know if they're both affected by the same things, but even though we live only 2-3 km from the CBD, our cellular reception is dreadful (especially in school holidays) - on a bend in the road with hills around most of it. Don't know if that affects non-wifi use of the 2.4 band - but it's hard to see anything else competing.

As for the router being cheap ISP rubbish - I've never had an ISP router (just as I've never used Telecom as my ISP). In the past my routers have been cheap - but now we run the business from home, I "splurged" (for me), When we had to get a second router last year, I got a cheaper one since it was mainly for testing - just to confirm my main one was, as I fully expected, not causing the problems. I probably wouldn't have chosen it - but I was trying to get a new router after my old one died on New Year's day last year and options that day were a bit limted by various factors.

1535 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 349


  Reply # 1607443 10-Aug-2016 10:22
Send private message

PhilANZ: - I use inSSIDer on the laptop and there are more signals than there used to be.

 

Yes, but at what signal strength compared to your wifi ?

 

inSSIDer & other laptop/ph based wifi anaylsers wont show all 2.4 traffic/signals. They only show wifi . Plenty of non-wifi
devices using 2.4 & 5.8 . Its better than nothing, but keep in mind it wont show the full story.

 

most often, the real issue is just people expecting too much from wifi . They expect it to go through 5 walls or 3 floors & still work perfectly
"our friends wifi doesnt have this issue" sort of thing :-)

 

Some sites just never will have reliable wifi, for various reasons out of their control.
If wifi is flaky at your home, chances are it will allways be flaky when run off a single access point .

 


On the other hand, if a restart fixes 2.4 every time, a new access point might solve the issue . Or not. Its a try it & see sort of thing
how far away from the router/access points are the 2.4 devices? how many walls/floors does the 2.4 go through to that device ?
any av senders, cordless phones , garage door openers,wireless security cams, toy RC helicoptors/cars ?

 

 




311 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1607494 10-Aug-2016 10:58
Send private message

Well, I'm in my office at the moment - where our extender is based. So my current signal is about 30 - but the signal from the main router is about 70. The strongest other signal is 70 - a bit weaker than the same signal in the lounge. There are a lot fewer signals than in the evening - most of the problems occur during the day when it's pretty deserted.

Our house is a small single floor wooden 80's house - very basic. When used oin the lounge the devices are usually 6 - 8 metres from the access point. There is open access to the source - but it's out of direct sight - although only just in one area.

The thing is the problem isn't a matter of decrease signal - it's still there according to inSSIDer. Restartng doesn't change that view (apart obviously from while it's down and inSSIDer can't detect a WIFI signal).

We have a cordless phone - but it's not used that often. Similarly the garage door opener is only used twice a day on average - and we're usually out of the house at the time. We don't have any of the other devices - don't know about the neighbours.

But IF restarting every weekend gets rid of the problem (too early to say for sure) that seems to me (bear of little brain) that maybe it is the router rather than interference?

908 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 275

Trusted

  Reply # 1608513 10-Aug-2016 12:22
Send private message

Do what @fretasm said with the channels.

 

And if you are still having problems, band steering is probably not working well. So short of spending $800 on a Ruckus R500. Get another access point, a 2.4 Ghz only will do fine. A unifi UAP is not bad and they are cheap. I use one at home.

 

Make sure it is away from your microwave and any radiology equipment. 

 

Turn off band steering on the existing router or set it to 5 Ghz only. Let the 2.4 devices talk to the UAP, and the other devices chat to the 5Ghz network running off the router.






1828 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 215
Inactive user


  Reply # 1608514 10-Aug-2016 12:23
Send private message

perhaps stop using the 2.4GHz band wifi and move to 5GHz instead 




311 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 1608669 10-Aug-2016 15:22
Send private message

I already reset is to 11 - don't know how it got back to auto.

When you say another access point, forgive my lack of nous - but the router we have is connected at the source (where the wires come in side). We have an extender in the offices (formerly children's bedrooms). That can also be set up as an access point - but never bothered because I don't know what one is. We also have our spare raouter which I think does the same.

Just trying to get me head around all of this - I assume an access point just plus into the router and serves from there? Can just see me messing up the main connection we have making dumb assumptions.

As for stopping using 2.4 - we have for laptops - phone and tablet are AFAIK - limited to 2.4. That's why it's a last annoyance rather problem that must be solved.

21380 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4333

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1608672 10-Aug-2016 15:26
Send private message

Oh, you have extenders. Well that will be your problem right there.

 

Try it with the router and no extenders and see if it still drops out. It probably wont and there is no fault at all with the router.





Richard rich.ms

Create new topic

Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.