Problems with WiFi

Discussion in 'The Pub (Off topic discussion)' started by Xenfinity, May 16, 2014.

  1. Xenfinity

    Xenfinity New Member Verified Provider

    May 11, 2014
    Is it just me, or is WiFi highly unreliable perhaps about 40% of the time 20% of the time?

    At home, WiFi is reliable for about 80% of the day, but when it isn't, it's on and off, around 40% and 60%, respectively.

    During this unreliable time, I get results that can look like this:

    Or like this:

    Or... like this:

    (The results are of different days, but it cycles like that within the day.)

    I've tested three routers, one, two, or three on at the same time, on channels 1, 6, and 11.

    Regardless of router, while the connection is unreliable, I cannot make new connections to any of the three routers and struggle to find the beacons of any routers.  The software (doesn't matter if it's Windows, Linux, Mac, or a mobile operating system like iOS) seems to get stuck on looking for beacons.  The software switch for "airplane mode" doesn't respond until several seconds later.

    Existing connections sometimes fail.  Doesn't matter if I'm using the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n router.

    It feels like a jammer takes effect during the time when my ping skyrockets.

    Curiously, this doesn't happen anywhere else that I've discovered yet, suggesting that there is interference somewhere in my house.

    All three routers sit in the same room, where there is a wired printer, wired computer, and a wireless laptop.

    I've got these questions:

    • What software tools can I use to measure the effect of these unreliable times?
    • What could be causing this unreliable WiFi?

  2. Magiobiwan

    Magiobiwan Insert Witty Statement Here Verified Provider

    May 15, 2013
    Any other homes/Wifi hotspots nearby? 802.11 is very prone to interference. If there are other Wi-Fi APs nearby on the same channel as yours, you'll get interference that screws with your signal. If you can, try using 802.11a (5GHz band), or 802.11n (5GHz band). 5GHz has MUCH less interference than the 2.4GHz band.
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  3. drmike

    drmike 100% Tier-1 Gogent

    May 13, 2013
    Well.... Care to share the devices you have tried for Wifi - the APs?  Curious what the general chipset and mw output is on your gear.

    "All three routers sit in the same room, where there is a wired printer, wired computer, and a wireless laptop."

    Are all threee routers/APs on at the same time?

    How far are the nearest 2-3 houses?  What is the basic construction of the house you are in?   Masonry, wood, wood + metal siding? Full wall of glass/sliding door in that room with your wifi + devices?

    Do you notice any pattern on the times when this happens?   Start logging precise date/times....

    I've found, in my own environments that on 2.4Ghz, microwave ovens create massive issues.   Interference from a microwave oven can travel hundreds of feet.  I once upon a time had neighbors with a rogue microwave that I determined when it was feeding time for them.   Probably 100 feet away and totally killed my wifi

    Am I right here? --- your AP is in the same room as your devices that fail to connect properly? If so, that's very weird / somewhat rare.  See gear involved, look for time of events and microwave.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2014
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  4. LusoVPS

    LusoVPS New Member Verified Provider

    Jun 2, 2013
    Are you sitting on a cable/adsl/other?

    The contention ratio on a cable connection can hit the 200:1. On adsl these values are much lower but still exist, of course.

    Or maybe, as someone said previously, there are too many wireless networks available? Give it a try a connect by cable and perform the same tests.
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  5. VMBox

    VMBox New Member Verified Provider

    Sep 12, 2013
    I suggest running inSSIDer

    It's helpful to see if a neighbor is running on the same channel as you which could create interference.
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  6. Flapadar

    Flapadar Member Verified Provider

    May 16, 2013
    I find the difference quite large.

    Wifi :


    Wired (Via powerline adapter):


    That being said I'm fairly sure Sky's given me a dodgy router that can't cool itself properly. They refuse to help unless I buy a phone and test the line. 
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2014
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  7. Magiobiwan

    Magiobiwan Insert Witty Statement Here Verified Provider

    May 15, 2013
    Try using inSSIDer to see if you've got others nearby using the same channels. Try turning all but one of your AP's off as well, especially if they're close by. The 2.4GHz band is just too crowded. As soon as I get my new laptop, I'm switching my home over to 5GHz (with 2.4GHz still mixed in for compatibility), as my laptop is the last 802.11g device in the house. it's not TOO bad out where I live, but in an apartment complex, 802.11a (or 802.11n/ac on 5GHz) would DEFINITELY make a HUGE difference. 
  8. wlanboy

    wlanboy Content Contributer

    May 16, 2013
    Yup, just copy the inSSIDer result.
  9. Xenfinity

    Xenfinity New Member Verified Provider

    May 11, 2014
    Thanks for the input, everyone!

    I actually switched ISPs at home from Time Warner Cable to AT&T U-verse.

    The Arris cable modem/router seemed to be the culprit, since everything started working since the new ISP put in its own modem/router.

    Ping has consistently increased by about 28ms to and from anywhere, though, but the reliability has greatly improved.  The interference with the other routers is pretty much gone.

    Strange how the Arris wireless router would've caused interference with itself and everything around it, though.

  10. BlackoutIsHere

    BlackoutIsHere New Member Verified Provider

    May 16, 2013
    Charter gave me an all in one router/modem when I first signed up and switching to a good router helped me a lot (especially since the 2.4G band is in high demand).  I see my neighbors with routers spanning several channels and they probably have one or two computers.  Personally I find 5Ghz is great when the signal strength is there.

    @Xenfinity is your new router 5Ghz or only 2.4Ghz?
  11. William

    William pr0 Verified Provider

    Oct 10, 2013
    I use a 5Ghz Wifi in a area with a shitload of 2,4Ghz interference (2 of 3 ISPs put a default wifi on each modem, they are secure but obviously create interference, cannot be disabled on one of them even) and never have any issues, 8MB/s easily external and very stabli pings, internal easily 100Mbit also.

    I'm using a Dlink DIR825 with dd-wrt and EU/Austria legal 5Ghz channels set.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2014