Question Computers in my house have terrible Wi-Fi connection, but phones are okay

richjohnwalk22

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I am struggling to gain a consistent Wi-Fi with two computers in my house, along with my laptop.

My modem is Vodaphone, and the details are as follows (barring some addresses here and there):

Protocol: Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)
Network band: 5 GHz
Network channel: 108
Link speed (Receive/Transmit): 300/300 (Mbps)
DNS suffix search list: broadband
Manufacturer: Qualcomm Atheros Communications Inc.
Driver version: 3.0.2.201

The Computer in the conservatory uses the Wi-Fi card 802.11n (LB Link). It connects directly to the modem next room, and yet struggles to get 0.5 mbs.

The Computer in my bedroom uses Realtek 8812AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC. It cannot connect to the modem whatsoever (one-or-two rooms away), and struggles to consistently connect to the TP-Link Wi-Fi Extender, which is a RE300 AC1200 that goes up to 1200Mbps.

My laptop (as well as my dad's laptop) connects to the modem directly even from one-or-two rooms away just fine, and even connects to the TP-Link Wi-Fi Extender in my bedroom just fine, except when it occasionally break-up connection and then automatically reconnects instead of staying connected consistently. My laptop uses Killer Wireless-N 1202 Network Adapter.

Strangely enough, everyone's phones in the house is able to use both modem and wi-fi extender just fine, but my computers and laptops struggle to connect to either consistently.

If anyone could give me some ideas as to how to solve this problem, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you.
 
When you have a repeater in the network it makes stuff very complex to troubleshoot. Even when it works perfectly it will greatly impact the speed. It takes very careful placement of the repeater to get best results. It needs to be placed where it can get a strong signal from the main router but still provide a signal to the remote rooms. This can be extremely challenging when the problem are walls etc that absorb large amounts of signal. The worst place for the repeater is in the remote room that is having reception problems. It will not get a better signal from the main router than the wifi in the machine will. The repeater needs to be placed 1/2 between in most cases.

The other thing I notice is your router is using channel 108. This channel is in a restricted area because of stuff like weather radar. Depending on the country there are different powers allowed. It tends to be best to use a channel under 50. Those are allowed to be used at full power in most countries. There is also a block from about 150-160 that is allowed in most countries. Many end devices also do not support these restricted channels so you will not even see the network.
 

jasonf2

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Oct 11, 2015
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Causes and solution with something like this can be a little complicated, but the short answer is usually upgrading your access point. At the current time I suggest going with a wifi 6 (802.11ax) router and would stick with a higher end name brand like ASUS or Netgear. And higher bandwidth numbers on the box relate to higher antenna count and do usually relate to performance. Now to the complicated part, why. Poor connectivity is usually related to interference issues but what is causing it?. This can be network congestion, physical obstacles in the path of signal and distance to access point. Part of this can be reduced by using a wifi analyzer (downloaded to your smart phone) and finding the cleanest channel you can and switching your access point to it. You can also switch to the 2.4ghz band as it has better penetration and range. But as you are only running a 300 mbps access point on N you are still going to have a less than optimal connection due to limited channels (2). There are several technologies that have been integrated into the .ax protocol that offer significant improvements over the .n protocol. While not all of your devices will receive the full benefit of going wifi 6 going to a higher gain multi antenna access point will more than likely make a pretty significant improvement. As an evolutionary point 802.11n to 802.11ac had pretty significant per channel bandwidth and range gains on a low device count network. The evolution of .ac to .ax didn't have huge bandwidth increases (ie the speed on the box numbers) but real world performance was significantly increased because it is much more robust in networks that have lots of high bandwidth devices playing together. It also gave a refresh on the 2.4ghz band that had not been seen in several generations. Again to gander the most from this you will need to have wifi 6 (ax) on both ends of the network. This can best be achieved by pci expansion card in desktop and usb dongle upgrade on laptop. Regardless the upgrade should still benefit all of your devices. A 300mbs .n access point was pretty low end even for .n.
 

richjohnwalk22

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Nov 5, 2017
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Current update:

Since I've moved the Wi-Fi extender to another room outside of my bedroom, performance on my bedroom computer only lasted for roughly 5 to 10 minutes before breaking connection. PS4 has been turned off just in case, but no further changes. Connection on my laptop is stable, but still occasionally breaks up Internet connection out of the blue and then turns itself back on again (though strangely enough, it doesn't do the same with my bedroom computer immediately).

The computer in the conservatory seems to have been resolved by either switching to a different wi-fi card, or turning the modem off and on again, according to a relative of mine.

Network channel seems to juggle between 12 and 52 depending on the placement of the Wi-Fi extender.

I've also neglected to mention that my current PCI-E is a Wireless 1200Mbps WiFi Card 2.4/5GHz Dual Band Network Adapter.

Is it vital that I upgrade to a PCI-E Wifi 6 Adapter with 3000Mbps 802.11.ax?
 
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jasonf2

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Oct 11, 2015
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Current update:

Since I've moved the Wi-Fi extender to another room outside of my bedroom, performance on my bedroom computer only lasted for roughly 5 to 10 minutes before breaking connection. PS4 has been turned off just in case, but no further changes. Connection on my laptop is stable, but still occasionally breaks up Internet connection out of the blue and then turns itself back on again (though strangely enough, it doesn't do the same with my bedroom computer immediately).

The computer in the conservatory seems to have been resolved by either switching to a different wi-fi card, or turning the modem off and on again, according to a relative of mine.

Network channel seems to juggle between 12 and 52 depending on the placement of the Wi-Fi extender.

I've also neglected to mention that my current PCI-E is a Wireless 1200Mbps WiFi Card 2.4/5GHz Dual Band Network Adapter. The Protocol is also WiFi 4, 802.11n.

Is it vital that I upgrade to a PCI-E Wifi 6 Adapter with 3000Mbps 802.11.ax?
The bandwidth number does not necessary relate directly to range, but as a general rule of thumb the higher bandwidth premium routers and devices that manufactures produce usually have the best range and antenna gain. That is why when you look at the back of the box you will see differences in the coverage area advertised by the manufacturer even though they are all a wifi 6 router. In your case my guess is that simply upgrading your access point (router) will make the connections much more livable. For optimal you need to match your access point bandwidth to the device bandwidth but that is not always possible. As a caveat though you will probably not achieve advertised speeds. For a 3000mbps connection to happen the access point and device will have to be right next to eachother. I have a wifi 6 router and pcie wifi 6 card with external antennas that are across the house from each other and they get about 1000 mbps and I am very happy with that considering it is punching a couple of walls and 20-30 ft. That is with an ASUS AX6000 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX88U) and a Asus AX3000 (Pce-AX58BT) Next-Gen WiFi 6 Dual Band PCIe Wireless Adapter.
Update: I just looked at my connection and it is pulling 2162/1441 Mbps (down/up) on 5g. I have recently updated the router and drivers so it is doing better than when initially purchased. Again I am very happy with the connection considering.
 
Upgrading to wifi6 will not make any difference unless you also upgrade everything else to wifi6. It will just drop back to 802.11ac (ie wifi5) to connect to the older equipment. At the current time I am very suspect of much of the wifi6 stuff. A lot of the glowing reviews come from manufactures or from people who many times are tech reporters with almost no real technical knowledge. Wifi is much harder than most other tech to test and review because the house/location it is being tested in actually makes more difference than the technology. Although you see end consumers saying wifi6 can be faster you do not see much saying it actually support more users better.

In any case wifi6 does not solve what I suspect is your major issue. Because you are using a repeater means you are not receiving signal in the remote rooms. wifi6 is just a different method of putting data in the radio stream it does not actually go through a wall any better.

Your repeater should not be using channel 12. First this is a 2.4g radio band and second unless you live in say the UK it is not a valid band. Even where it is allowed I would not use it because some manufactures make equipment that is designed to work in mulitple countries and do not want to deal with making special models for certain countries.

I would turn off the repeater and test how good your coverage is in different rooms. Adjust the channel on the main router so you get optimum results for those rooms. I would then try different placements for the repeater and see what effect it has on the locations that used to work well as well as the new areas you are getting coverage.

In general my recommendation is to not use wifi extender to begin with.

Look at using something like MoCA if you have coax tv cable or powerline network devices. You can if you need wifi at the remote end of these use your repeater as a AP instead. Since it is no longer using wifi to connect to the main router it will perform much better.
 

jasonf2

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Upgrading to wifi6 will not make any difference unless you also upgrade everything else to wifi6. It will just drop back to 802.11ac (ie wifi5) to connect to the older equipment. At the current time I am very suspect of much of the wifi6 stuff. A lot of the glowing reviews come from manufactures or from people who many times are tech reporters with almost no real technical knowledge. Wifi is much harder than most other tech to test and review because the house/location it is being tested in actually makes more difference than the technology. Although you see end consumers saying wifi6 can be faster you do not see much saying it actually support more users better.

In any case wifi6 does not solve what I suspect is your major issue. Because you are using a repeater means you are not receiving signal in the remote rooms. wifi6 is just a different method of putting data in the radio stream it does not actually go through a wall any better.

Your repeater should not be using channel 12. First this is a 2.4g radio band and second unless you live in say the UK it is not a valid band. Even where it is allowed I would not use it because some manufactures make equipment that is designed to work in mulitple countries and do not want to deal with making special models for certain countries.

I would turn off the repeater and test how good your coverage is in different rooms. Adjust the channel on the main router so you get optimum results for those rooms. I would then try different placements for the repeater and see what effect it has on the locations that used to work well as well as the new areas you are getting coverage.

In general my recommendation is to not use wifi extender to begin with.

Look at using something like MoCA if you have coax tv cable or powerline network devices. You can if you need wifi at the remote end of these use your repeater as a AP instead. Since it is no longer using wifi to connect to the main router it will perform much better.
The EU is working with a 300mbps vodaphone .n integrated access point that more than likely has very limited gain and probably an integrated antenna. While those devices will drop back to the device spec the higher gain and better antennas on a premium device will help more than anything. I am not a tech writer and have had dealt with wifi all the way back to 802.11a/b The AX devices are the real deal, especially when working in high device count bandwidth intensive environments such as my kids streaming on everything at once in 4k. I am not saying that if you have an 802.11g device that you are ever going to get more than 54mbps, but anything post .n will see gains from better antennas and gain. MOCA is so slow that I would go mesh network or figure out someway to get an ethernet cable across long before messing with cable or powerline. In application experience many of these residential neighborhoods are dealing with access point overload. I ran a remote worker setup for a number of years where we were seeing 50+ available access points on the wifi analyzer, all with fair amounts of gain, in an individuals house. Because of the house setup we had to run a wireless bridge to get it to the EU's office. It was so bad that we couldn't find a clear channel to run on. As we ran this for an extended period of time .N, .AC and .AX hardware were all used for the bridge setups. Because of the office setup and VOIP connection reliability was a big deal and we fought it forever until we put in the .AX. The .N was pretty worthless, AC was a major improvement and .AX was the only really stable one.
 
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The EU is working with a 300mbps vodaphone .n integrated access point that more than likely has very limited gain and probably an integrated antenna. While those devices will drop back the higher gain and better antennas on a premium device will help more than anything. I am not a tech writer and have had dealt with wifi all the way back to 802.11a/b The AX devices are the real deal, especially when working in high device count bandwidth intensive environments such as my kids streaming on everything at once in 4k. I am not saying that if you have an 802.11g device that you are ever going to get more than 54mbps, but anything post .n will see gains from better antennas and gain. MOCA is so slow that I would go mesh network long before messing with cable or powerline.
I am not sure why you thought this was referring to you as a tech writer. It is more the stuff you see published on sites where I wish someone with a actual technical back ground did these. Pretty much you see what I consider shills for manufactures who cut and paste stats but have not done any actual scientific tests.

In some ways they are no better than you some random guy on the internet who posts "works good for me". I can also be the random guy that says it work horrible for me and cancel you out. I personally only use wifi on devices I don't really care about performance only that it works.

You would have to get the actual model number and look up the output power in data bases like the FCC reports where manufactures must conform to certain testing so you can compare. In general most modern ISP routers put out the same radio power and use the same radio chipsets as commercial devices. It not like any router manufacture actual makes their own radio chipsets.

So a couple examples as to why you can not combine the concept of "speed" and coverage.

So lets say a wall blocks 100% of the signal. It really does not matter if I am using wifi6 or 802.11g. You get 0db of signal means you get no data no matter what.

Now lets take a unrealistic situation to illustrate the problem with combining the concept of coverage and speed.

So I take a wifi6 router and restrict it to ONLY running qam1024. I also take a old 802.11b router.

At 5ft from the router I get say 15 db of signal and the wifi6 router get 600mbps of transfer rate and the 802.11b get 5 mbps. Now we move away from the router until the signal level drops to say 7db. At this distance the wifi6 can't run QAM1024 so you now get ZERO mbps. The 802.11b device still can get its 5mbs. So I can make the claim 802.11b has better coverage than wifi6.

In many ways I can always claim a simpler signal always will go farther. Look at radio transmission, sending morse code goes much farther than a usable voice transmission.

So why is my claim that a 802.11b router will always be better than wifi6 any more invalid.

This is the problem. Wifi vendors are cheating by picking certain combinations that make their products look good. If you look purely at the signal levels which is what is tested in the FCC reports you get much less difference.

There really needs to be some standard way to test this or you get the guys in the marketing departments making up lies which is then amplified by all the people just repeating the data.

Now this is ignoring the huge factor that the end devices are 1/2 the connection so a manufacture would have to give you a coverage table with every possible device combination.

I really don't know I am waiting for wifi6e and hoping all the extra radio bandwidth and less neighbors stomping on me actually lets this technology perform.


You have not look at moca in years if you think it is slow. Now the manufacture say this is 2.5g but it is extremely common to find people reporting they get full gigabit speeds. It is the best second option when you can not use a actual ethernet cable.
 

microtank

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I mean... to save time and money.. 5 ghz isn’t great for a obstacle course like a wall. More of the same room. Try configuring the adapter to 802.11 n while connecting to a 2.4 ghz signal. Spending a substantial amount of money on bandwidth and routers with mesh isn’t really worth it all. 10 mbps is really all a user needs. And to be honest I’m using my phone to write this, and it will not exceed 2 mbps. However, the importance is signal and consistency of that signal. I’ve ran 7 devices simultaneously at a bandwidth of 6 mbps. It was flawless and they stayed connected and worked very well.

a upgrade is not the solution. it’s the configuration of the devices
 

jasonf2

Honorable
Oct 11, 2015
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I am not sure why you thought this was referring to you as a tech writer. It is more the stuff you see published on sites where I wish someone with a actual technical back ground did these. Pretty much you see what I consider shills for manufactures who cut and paste stats but have not done any actual scientific tests.

In some ways they are no better than you some random guy on the internet who posts "works good for me". I can also be the random guy that says it work horrible for me and cancel you out. I personally only use wifi on devices I don't really care about performance only that it works.

You would have to get the actual model number and look up the output power in data bases like the FCC reports where manufactures must conform to certain testing so you can compare. In general most modern ISP routers put out the same radio power and use the same radio chipsets as commercial devices. It not like any router manufacture actual makes their own radio chipsets.

So a couple examples as to why you can not combine the concept of "speed" and coverage.

So lets say a wall blocks 100% of the signal. It really does not matter if I am using wifi6 or 802.11g. You get 0db of signal means you get no data no matter what.

Now lets take a unrealistic situation to illustrate the problem with combining the concept of coverage and speed.

So I take a wifi6 router and restrict it to ONLY running qam1024. I also take a old 802.11b router.

At 5ft from the router I get say 15 db of signal and the wifi6 router get 600mbps of transfer rate and the 802.11b get 5 mbps. Now we move away from the router until the signal level drops to say 7db. At this distance the wifi6 can't run QAM1024 so you now get ZERO mbps. The 802.11b device still can get its 5mbs. So I can make the claim 802.11b has better coverage than wifi6.

In many ways I can always claim a simpler signal always will go farther. Look at radio transmission, sending morse code goes much farther than a usable voice transmission.

So why is my claim that a 802.11b router will always be better than wifi6 any more invalid.

This is the problem. Wifi vendors are cheating by picking certain combinations that make their products look good. If you look purely at the signal levels which is what is tested in the FCC reports you get much less difference.

There really needs to be some standard way to test this or you get the guys in the marketing departments making up lies which is then amplified by all the people just repeating the data.

Now this is ignoring the huge factor that the end devices are 1/2 the connection so a manufacture would have to give you a coverage table with every possible device combination.

I really don't know I am waiting for wifi6e and hoping all the extra radio bandwidth and less neighbors stomping on me actually lets this technology perform.


You have not look at moca in years if you think it is slow. Now the manufacture say this is 2.5g but it is extremely common to find people reporting they get full gigabit speeds. It is the best second option when you can not use a actual ethernet cable.
This conversation is purely speculative, so I am not going to be able to convince you one way or the other. You might as well be arguing the merits of putting in an ethernet cable if you are going moca. By the time you put two LV old work boxes in the walls and fish the cable on keystone jacks you get a reliable point to point connection rather than a maybe with the moca adapter you pick up off of the shelf at best buy. With the ethernet done properly I should have a 0% packet loss and the lowest possible ping and a pretty much guaranteed 1000mbps duplex signal set.
Wifi's greatest failing (and MOCA for that fact) in my opinion has nothing to do with bandwidth, but latency. In a perfect world (or on ethernet cable done properly for the most part) when a packet is sent on one end it is received verbatim on the other end free of defects. Wifi doesn't work in a perfect world though, it is sharing its frequency spectrum with literally every other device and household item making noise inside of it. So unlike ethernet, packet loss is the norm, not the exception and the protocol has to recognize the failure, request a resend, receive the resent packet, verify it and then pass it on to the device. The mechanism by which this process is performed is why your 802.11.b argument simply doesn't hold up. The 2.4ghz signal between .AX and .B is going to have exactly the same penetration characteristics and maximum data cap capability per channel. At 0 percent signal it doesn't matter what you are trying to send. However at any signal level that will be usable the the ability for the .ax to punch a max 1gbs signal in contrast to the .b at a max 11mpbs (The 54mbps number you stated wasn't available on 2.4ghz until the .g standard was released) is going to be night and day different. Especially when we put in advanced multi device mimo and time delay algorithms for multiple devices that only exist in the .AX standard. There is a reason we don't use morris code today (even though computer communication is a distant cousin of it), and it is the same reason we don't see any .b networks in anything but very specific applications. It may be easier to push with less error handling but it is so slow that the other alternatives have completely overtaken it.

If you want the best don't use wifi go with ethernet. But that isn't the subject of the thread. If the signal loss is too much a mesh repeater network or moca are alternatives, but I would start with a better router that is mesh capable and get the boost on all of my local devices not working on the signal boundary perimeter first and then set a repeater if necessary before I put MOCA devices on that are only going to help a couple of points on my network, especially not knowing what or how the coax network is installed in the home.
 

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