Question Any online activity seems to make my wi-fi connection worse/act up?

shooby73

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Jun 25, 2016
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This is a phenomenon I have noticed and suspected for a number of years but have never been sure if it is really happening.

https://ibb.co/L1s4Vxv

I am already having wi-fi issues (terrible connection for an unidentifiable reason, I'm working on it) but it seems like they immediately get worse directly when I start to have any online activity. I went to bed at approx 220-230pm last night and you can see that the connection calms down right then. I get up this morning, and walk the dog, etc. I go to check email at noon. The connection starts going nuts again.

I'm not downloading anything, I'm not streaming huge 4k movies. I'm just opening my browser and checking gmail, then going to facebook to check messages. Maybe I'm watching a couple videos on facebook but when I close the window, the connection is still acting up. ***Also when I went to bed, I left (testmy.net) running speed tests for over 6 hours so it's not like my computer wasn't being internet active when I was asleep.

Is this a thing? How can (any) activity I am doing 'irritate' my wi-fi? It seems like just moving the mouse is enough to piss it off.

This has happened before with my old wi-fi receiver, but I recently got the Asus PCE-AC88 and that is what I am using in this example.

Hope I made this clear? Thanks

Specs:
3.30 gigahertz Intel Core i5-4590
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
6144 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded
Boot Mode: Legacy BIOS in UEFI

Board: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. Z97X-UD3H-CF
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz

8054 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600 [Display adapter]
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB [Display adapter]
 
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I would test to be sure it is the wifi causing it. Best would be to try a ethernet cable. Otherwise change the pingplotter to run against your router IP rather than a internet IP.

To a point that is expected condition when you are getting errors on wifi. The more data you transmit the more errors you take and the more data re transmission that must occur.

Getting damaged data on wifi unfortunately is extremely common. The most common cause is neighbors using the same radio channels as you. You can try other channels but it is so crowded and your neighbor maybe using one of the newer routers that attempt to use all the channels to increase the speed.

This is going to be all trial and error and unfortunately it will change as your neighbors usage changes. Your best hope is to force the router to only use 20mhz channels. This will cut the top speed but it give you a better chance to find some radio bandwidth that is not contested as much.

BUT i would still try a ethernet cable first. If you still have problems it could be something your ISP can fix which might be easier than the constant battle for overcrowded wifi space.
 

shooby73

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I would test to be sure it is the wifi causing it. Best would be to try a ethernet cable. Otherwise change the pingplotter to run against your router IP rather than a internet IP.
------------- Unfortunately, I cannot run an ethernet cable as I am getting this from the landlord's house. The top graph in my pingplotter is 10.0.0.1, the default gateway. Isn't that the router IP?

To a point that is expected condition when you are getting errors on wifi. The more data you transmit the more errors you take and the more data re transmission that must occur.
--------------sure but at this level? My download speeds are diving radically. When you see the flatline on pingplotter I can play online games, and stream on Twitch. Where you see it spiking, I sometimes can't watch a youtube video. That doesn't seem normal that's why I'm asking.

Getting damaged data on wifi unfortunately is extremely common. The most common cause is neighbors using the same radio channels as you. You can try other channels but it is so crowded and your neighbor maybe using one of the newer routers that attempt to use all the channels to increase the speed.
---------------I am aware that I have issues possibly due to (changing) neighbors' signals. I battle and have battled that for years. I got the PCE-AC88 as an attempt to cut through the noise. It turns out it is of no help at all. Like I said, other issues I am aware of, (that I might start another thread about). In general, things were great, until they weren't:

https://ibb.co/X4bG1RP - things were crap with the old receiver, until I got the new fancy Asus

https://ibb.co/L5ZQRnC - around 6am on this day things go to <Mod Edit>

https://ibb.co/wsCYMP1 - it gets worse and worse. I switch back to the old receiver just to troubleshoot, no change

This is going to be all trial and error and unfortunately it will change as your neighbors usage changes. Your best hope is to force the router to only use 20mhz channels. This will cut the top speed but it give you a better chance to find some radio bandwidth that is not contested as much.
------------------I'm not sure how to do that but i will give it a try. I moved the router channel to 11 a while back. Here's my current environment:

https://ibb.co/qkYFnkN

BUT i would still try a ethernet cable first. If you still have problems it could be something your ISP can fix which might be easier than the constant battle for overcrowded wifi space.
It's still not clear to me why my actions, no matter how small, would set the wifi off in a major, almost unuseable way. The neighbors aren't watching me and changing their settings the moment I sit at the computer. Thanks for the response!
 
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You have already tried a different card so it is not likely it is hardware.

The neighbors do not have to be watch you all they have to be doing is using their own computer for normal stuff. It can also be someone who lives in your house. In some cases this can actually cause more issues since many times the signal is being damaged at the router because the 2 end clients can not hear each others transmissions and send data at the same time. It can also be non wifi stuff like baby monitors or maybe a old style cordless phone.

Wifi you have very few things you can try. Most things are locked up inside the wifi radio chips to prevent people from exceeding the FCC restrictions.

Really the only thing you can control is the wifi channels and their width. You already have pretty much the best type of card since it has remote antennas and full power radios. In some ways a fancy card that tries to use 4x4 mimo is going to have more issues than a simple card that is only running one signal. Maybe your card has a setting that will let it run only 1x1 but not all cards have this, a lot of this function is locked inside the drivers and can not be changed.
 

shooby73

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You have already tried a different card so it is not likely it is hardware.

The neighbors do not have to be watch you all they have to be doing is using their own computer for normal stuff. It can also be someone who lives in your house. In some cases this can actually cause more issues since many times the signal is being damaged at the router because the 2 end clients can not hear each others transmissions and send data at the same time. It can also be non wifi stuff like baby monitors or maybe a old style cordless phone.

Wifi you have very few things you can try. Most things are locked up inside the wifi radio chips to prevent people from exceeding the FCC restrictions.

Really the only thing you can control is the wifi channels and their width. You already have pretty much the best type of card since it has remote antennas and full power radios. In some ways a fancy card that tries to use 4x4 mimo is going to have more issues than a simple card that is only running one signal. Maybe your card has a setting that will let it run only 1x1 but not all cards have this, a lot of this function is locked inside the drivers and can not be changed.
Thanks again for your help. Maybe I am not making my question completely clear or there is something I am missing in your responses. I understand interference from other wifi causes issues, what I don't understand is how the wifi can react so drastically from something as simple as me opening gmail. The question is about the intensity of the reaction, if they are related.

I am under the assumption that a flatline on pingplotter means it is interference-free. Maybe not? Maybe the interference is always there, and just re-activates when I start to 'move'?

There are no baby monitors nearby nor a cordless phone that I am aware of. My landlords and my neighbors are not up past 11pm, so I don't think we are conflicting directly.

As you said it probably isn't the hardware (the receivers at least). Is it possible that my motherboard/bios/software/win 10 is the issue? That would explain the instant reaction to my activity. I ran ping plotter on my crappy laptop which is another 5-6 feet further from the router and this is the result:

https://ibb.co/Xz1cCGx

Is it possible that my computer just doesn't like wi-fi? I have the latest bios, the latest updates in windows and drivers for the receivers. Is a computer 'rejecting' wi-fi a thing?

then there's this weirdness: big spikes from 11-4am (I didn't get home until about 1145) then everything is super cool between 4-10am....then it goes bonkers at 10 (I didn't get on until almost 1130am). Wilder than usual

https://ibb.co/gFLz2y5

Thanks
 
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When you have gone to a completely different wifi card it greatly reduces any possibility. I mean it could be your SSD or your video card or any number of other things but I don't really know how you see if those are the actual problem without some major changes to your machine.

I mean the next common test is to run on ethernet but I suspect that is not a option for you
 

shooby73

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Jun 25, 2016
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When you have gone to a completely different wifi card it greatly reduces any possibility. I mean it could be your SSD or your video card or any number of other things but I don't really know how you see if those are the actual problem without some major changes to your machine.

I mean the next common test is to run on ethernet but I suspect that is not a option for you
No unfortunately, unless I buy a 100+ foot all-weather cable and they let me string it from the house...
 
Maybe try to boot a linux usb image and see what happens. Unfortunately linux does not support all applications so you need a test case that causes the problem with something common. If this works you consider blindly reinstalling windows and hope it fixes it. If you have problems on linux it pretty much confirms it is some wifi issue outside your machine.
 

shooby73

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Jun 25, 2016
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Maybe try to boot a linux usb image and see what happens. Unfortunately linux does not support all applications so you need a test case that causes the problem with something common. If this works you consider blindly reinstalling windows and hope it fixes it. If you have problems on linux it pretty much confirms it is some wifi issue outside your machine.
This is a great idea that I have no clue how to do. Might you have a link to a website that explains it? Google is my friend but maybe you have a secret source. Thanks again for trying to help
 

shooby73

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This is one of those I built a USB image years ago that I still use and have no clue where I found the instructions. It is likely one of those things someone has made a youtube video on how to do since it is so common
I'll look for it. One last hiccup, maybe this means something to you? I switched to the old receiver last night to avoid the 'too many antennaes' thing you mentioned.

https://ibb.co/zsgKBpJ

The signal clearly calms down, so maybe that was an issue? ....except that at 815 this morning my router lost its internet all of a sudden and it hasn't come back. After the big red evil you can see I have internet but that's on the main house's modem which has even less reliable service (further away from me).

https://ibb.co/9vXdYzQ

Maybe it's my modem that is ticked off? I have an Orbi daisy-chained to the house modem. I did reset it remotely a couple times before I started this post.
 

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