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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Need help with bad WAP performance

    Hi,

    Maybe I'm spoiled with hard-wired connection, but I'm gettin' sick of my WiFi. I'm using an old LinkSys WRT54G as a WAP. Several months ago, I switched channels and that helped a -lot- for a while, but the last couple of months it's gotten crummy again. I ran inSSIDer and I dunno what the attached graph means but it sure -feels- like my experience... (Mine is the one in green).

    eg. I'll start downloading a file and it will stop... then start... then stop... then start. Nothing feels -even-. Performance between local computers is -usually- OK, but if I try to copy/move a large file between computers it takes a loooong time.

    I've asked a few people and gotten conflicting answers... If the signal was good, I'm told that the wifi should be no slower than cat-5 for internet surfing, but that's not my current experience.

    Any ideas?

    TIA,

    ---JC


    inssider.pnginssider2.png
    Last edited by suntower; 2012-08-17 at 00:32.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    It is not typical for such a rapid and considerable variation in signal strength from an AP, and that is likely to be the cause of your choppy file transfer.
    Are there any 'environmental conditions' which might explain the choppiness? (Such as DECT phones, microwave ovens, and the like)
    How far are the PCs from the AP, and is there anything in the way (like water tanks, walls, large areas of metal foil in plasterboard, perhaps).

    If none of the above, I would think you have two options:
    a) get a new AP
    b) use homeplugs
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    There are no other 'devices' in the area... however... the Linksys is on one side of a brick wall (fireplace) near the ceiling and my laptop is on the other side in the living room, prox. 18ft away.

    I just tried switching to Channel 9 and it seemed to help a bit---though the InSSider graph is just as choppy. (Although tomorrow could be back to the same crap.)

    I wonder if a 5ghz router is the way to go... or I could try moving the AP to another location.

    By 'homeplug' do you mean one of those AC adapters or something else?

    Thanks!

    ---JC

  4. #4
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    Do you use the wireless networking with a laptop? Does it support 811.n?

    The WRT54G is rather old. A new router will support 811.n, with much higher throughput. This requires support in your pc's for 811n, which may be natively available, or may require new (USB) adapters.

    My experience with 5Ghz routers has not been that good. Range is worse. A dual band router may be another option. In what concerns me, I am still with my Belkin N+ 2.4 GHz, that beats anything else I have tried, both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, in both speed and range.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I had the same router, but that was 2 routers ago. It was not bad, but uses a much older technology. I also have to agree with the new router philosophy.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the replies. I've done more experimenting. And it ain't the channel that's the problem. A part of it is the -wall- separating the router from the living room where the laptop is.

    If I place the router in the living room (where I don't want it), the signal strength jumps at least 15db and all the signal bouncing evens out a lot. I dunno how much that helps real-world performance, but it -looks- better. Another down side? It almost totally screws up my FM Receiver signal.

    So... I -guess- I should look @ a new router. How do I choose one that...
    1. Doesn't mess with my FM Receiver
    2. Is less affected by the brick wall.
    3. Has better real world performance.
    4. Costs less than $100.

    I'm even more confused because I read that the newer 5ghz routers, though faster, are actually -worse- when it comes to distance.

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks.

    ---JC

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    When you changed the router channel to 9 you were still overlapping a neighbouring network.

    Does changing the channel to 11/12 help?

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    What I did was purchase a router that has both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands. (Linksys E4200)

    inSSIDer 2.4.jpg inSSIDer 5.jpg

    Notice the difference! Plus the 2.4 GHz band can be affected by cordless phone, microwave ovens (at least mine was). The 5 GHz band is MUCH less crowded and is not nearly as affected. This morning some of the networks that normally show up on my 2.4 GHz band are not there. I suspect a couple of neighbors turn things off at night. It's fairly early morning here.

    My router is on the second floor on one end of the house in the back. We use our laptops on the first floor at the other end of the house in the front.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-08-18 at 06:28.
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  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    PS... @ Ted... what's interesting to me about your graph is that your signal is -50db even with a large distance. I can barely get -50db from 18ft away through the fireplace wall. So obviously your new router has much more 'power'.

    Cheers,

    ---JC
    Last edited by suntower; 2012-08-19 at 23:39.

  10. #10
    Star Lounger
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    Hi, thanks for the replies. I'll try channel 11, but moving to 9 has helped a bit on a consistent basis. It's clear that, in addition to 'the wall', the presence of 'pollution' from other networks is a big (if not -the- big) culprit. IOW: now that I'm using InSSIder all the time to monitor, I'm noticing that the only times the connection is dodgy is when the 'airwaves' are crowded. I haven't figured out which neighbour is the culprit, but it seems like I don't have trouble when there's no overlapping networks active.<br><br>So I think I'll do a bit more sleuthing for a few days and then... if it gets crappy again and there's no pattern, I'll start thinking about a new WAP.<br><br>CHEERS!<br><br>---JC<br>

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    That's the biggest reason why the 5 GHz band is so nice. No one in my neighborhood is using it, and I have many neighbors with home networks. This lack of interference seems the biggest difference.

    Also the 5 GHz band, although lowered power than the 2.4 GHz band, has better penetration it seems although for less distance. I'm probably 30 to 40 feet from the router, but no stone/brick construction, just wood frame conventional.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-08-20 at 05:41.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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