Question Internet Connection has slowed down ?

Aug 13, 2022
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Hi,

I've back to my place after couple months of unpresence, for that time everything in my home including pc and router was disabled just in case, when I came back and turned everything on I noticed that Internet is not good as it was.
On pc (connected by Ethernet Cable) is relatively good, but when I start to download something, watching movies or streams then everything takes long to load, losing quality etc. I can't do many things at once, if I focus on one thing then it somehow works, but still not perfect.
The biggest problem I have on Wi-Fi, it's impossible to do anything on phone, small files takes hours to download, short movies like music on yt or tiktoks not even loading, not to mention longer ones, only thing that works somehow is Messenger, but only messages, but still I have to wait couple minutes to send something, and if someone send me a picture or video, no chance to open it.
I was thinking that it has something to do with a new phone that I bought, because I bough it in Germany and I came back to Poland, but it's still Europe, so don't know that's the reason, altough the similiar problem was when family from Germany comes to me and when their phones connected to my Wi-Fi the connection slowed and I must restart router couple times a day, but then the phones says that they are connected but don't have acces to Internet, now I'm connected and there is no "no access" alert.
It's weird because diagnostics seems fine, I pinged with both cmd and router and it's perfect, no packets lost, checked speedtest also great (100/100 like it supposed to be), but there's one thing, immediately after launching everything for the first time speedtest don't shown a downloading speed, only upload and ping, but I assumed that it's because of some updates running in background, so no big deal. After return everything was set like it was before when all worked fine.

Things that I done:
  • Changed phone settings from 5g to lower (I thought 5g might be interfering, because router is WAN/3g, 4g, but without any modem so I'm not using 3 or 4g)
  • Turned off bluetooth in phone
  • Checked on other phone that I've been using before when everything was fine
  • Rebooted router to factory settings
  • Changed DNS to google ones (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) on router settings, pc and phone
  • Changed Wi-Fi channels to different ones
  • Changed router settings
  • Updated router firmware
Is the router broken or should I call the ISP?
I really hope for solution, because it's driving me crazy, and I wrote this at many sites, and get no responds...
 

punkncat

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My thoughts would be that since you were gone for an extended period and return to find this issue, it would probably be best to contact your ISP first. One of the first things they do is the "checklist" but often have more tools available to try and troubleshoot. Might even need a tech to come out and check things. Could be some issue on their end that you didn't notice when it happened due to not being there.
 
Maybe try to disable IPv6 in your pc and if that fixes it try to find a way to disable ipv6 in the router since many devices it hard to change network settings.

Since your speedtest is good the ISP is likely going to say it sees no problems.

You said you did ping, did you try to ping 8.8.8.8. If you get no packet loss the ISP again is going to say everything is fine. What you might try is use steam or some other downloader and download something you know is going to take a long time. Use one of the setting to limit how much bandwidth it takes. Set it to some value like 50% of what you pay for. Then run the ping command. Since there is plenty of extra bandwidth the ping should not be affected. What you are testing is maybe there is a problem that only shows up under load. I would ignore small variation sin the ping latency what you are looking mostly for is packet loss.

With this being multiple devices affected it can't be something simple like a bad port in the equipment. Maybe see if there is some combination of devices that cause this. Try turning off the wifi radios and plug only 1 pc into the router to see if the problem happens. If you have the option you could also try plugging into the modem and bypass the router.
 
Aug 13, 2022
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Maybe try to disable IPv6 in your pc and if that fixes it try to find a way to disable ipv6 in the router since many devices it hard to change network settings.

Since your speedtest is good the ISP is likely going to say it sees no problems.

You said you did ping, did you try to ping 8.8.8.8. If you get no packet loss the ISP again is going to say everything is fine. What you might try is use steam or some other downloader and download something you know is going to take a long time. Use one of the setting to limit how much bandwidth it takes. Set it to some value like 50% of what you pay for. Then run the ping command. Since there is plenty of extra bandwidth the ping should not be affected. What you are testing is maybe there is a problem that only shows up under load. I would ignore small variation sin the ping latency what you are looking mostly for is packet loss.

With this being multiple devices affected it can't be something simple like a bad port in the equipment. Maybe see if there is some combination of devices that cause this. Try turning off the wifi radios and plug only 1 pc into the router to see if the problem happens. If you have the option you could also try plugging into the modem and bypass the router.
IPv6 I've had turned off before, same issue with it on and off, I don't have ipv6 adress on connection details or in cmd, on router I don't see option for that.
Downloading a 1GB file took about 5 minutes without any limits, so it's good and it was like that before, pinging 8.8.8.8 seems fine, during the download ping time increased from 6ms to 20-50ms. I pinging for a half an hour and noticed that when I open a new tab in browser it sometimes jump from 6ms to 7ms, and only one time request timed out.

So far on the pc it seems to be fine, high quality videos or streams loading without problem, but Wi-Fi is still terrible, low quality short videos buffering endless.

There's one more thing I checked now, as I said high quality streams have no problems with loading, but the streamers have a high upload speed, so I've asked my gf with bad upload to stream for me on Discord and her stream was loading endless, then I joined by phone on mobile data transfer and I managed to watch the stream, and I think that on pc I could've at least join and watch the streams with lags coming from uploader, not from my side. When I stream others don't have lags, and everything is right, so I guess my upload is fine.

When it comes to multiple devices, after rebooting router I had only my pc connected and this issue still occured. Unfortunately I can't tell how it was right after I've came back and turning all on, because I made it all at once, start the router and when pc was turning on I've connected with phone. For now my pc and phone are the only devices in network, pc by cable, and phone by Wi-Fi. Sometimes I've had about 8 devices connected and there wasn't any problems, except as I mention in original post, connection lost when connected with phones from other country, which was weird, but after restarting network everything was back to normal.

Unfortunately I don't have option to plug modem.

The biggest problem is with this Wi-Fi, it has 100kb at best, no matter if the phone is on the router or in another room, I know that wi-fi is weaker than cable connection, but come on...
 
Before we get too far off you are now saying the problem is only on wifi that the pc connected via ethernet is ok.

Wifi is extremely hard thing to troubleshoot. Most issues are a result of interfering signals from your neighbors or low power radios in your end devices. Portable device favor battery savings over performance.

When you say video stream I assume you mean live content and not say netflix. Netflix can use very large buffers to hide issues on wifi. Things like twitch though do not use that much bandwidth. I think the maximum allowed is 8mbit. The messy problem comes is twitch will re-encode these to lower rates if you watch at a different resolution or set the rate slower. This sometime causes poor quality. You are best off running it in source mode.

Still if you are getting massive data loss on wifi it can affect the speeds.

You are very limited on wifi what you can try. You try to use the other radio band 2.4, or 5.....or if you have bleeding edge equipment 6. You change the radio channels but this is very hit and miss since almost all channels are massively over crowded. You can also set the channel width to 20mhz. This will greatly reduce the maximum speed but it should be more stable because there is less radio signal to interfere with. As a example on 2.4g there is only 60mhz of total bandwidth. If you use 40mhz you can't fit 2 signals without overlap. If you use 20mhz you can put in 3, normally why you see the recommended 1,6,11 channels. Of course this ignores that your neighbors likely are running 40mhz so everyone is stomping on the middle ie channel 6.

Do you have a old router laying around. You could set it to AP/bridge mode and connect it the main router with ethernet. The goal here is to see if the wifi radios in the main router are somehow defective.
 
Aug 13, 2022
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10
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Before we get too far off you are now saying the problem is only on wifi that the pc connected via ethernet is ok.

Wifi is extremely hard thing to troubleshoot. Most issues are a result of interfering signals from your neighbors or low power radios in your end devices. Portable device favor battery savings over performance.

When you say video stream I assume you mean live content and not say netflix. Netflix can use very large buffers to hide issues on wifi. Things like twitch though do not use that much bandwidth. I think the maximum allowed is 8mbit. The messy problem comes is twitch will re-encode these to lower rates if you watch at a different resolution or set the rate slower. This sometime causes poor quality. You are best off running it in source mode.

Still if you are getting massive data loss on wifi it can affect the speeds.

You are very limited on wifi what you can try. You try to use the other radio band 2.4, or 5.....or if you have bleeding edge equipment 6. You change the radio channels but this is very hit and miss since almost all channels are massively over crowded. You can also set the channel width to 20mhz. This will greatly reduce the maximum speed but it should be more stable because there is less radio signal to interfere with. As a example on 2.4g there is only 60mhz of total bandwidth. If you use 40mhz you can't fit 2 signals without overlap. If you use 20mhz you can put in 3, normally why you see the recommended 1,6,11 channels. Of course this ignores that your neighbors likely are running 40mhz so everyone is stomping on the middle ie channel 6.

Do you have a old router laying around. You could set it to AP/bridge mode and connect it the main router with ethernet. The goal here is to see if the wifi radios in the main router are somehow defective.
Yes, on pc it's fine, the only thing is those livestreams from people with low upload, but I can live with that.
I mean streaming from twitch, but it's the same with streaming platforms, I don't have netflix, but I tried Hbo max and prime video, and on pc it works fine in the best possible quality, but on phone over WiFi the app loads for hours, so I can't even play the video. On youtube or friends' videos on messenger I get some 144p and see only pixels.

As for the neighbors, that was my first thought, so I switched channels, tried almost every one, not just the recommended one, but the less crowded one based on the WiFi Analyzer app, I also switched the band, but it makes no difference if it's 20 or 40mhz, so I left it on Auto.

I don't think I have the option to change the radio band, so the default is 2.4, the router is years old, is not that old, but no longer new, so it doesn't have such features.

I thought about creating a bridge, but for now I don't have such an option.
 
Wifi analyzer is close to worthless. All it shows is how many other routers are set on certain channels it does not show how many active devices there are. You could have 10 routers idle or doing simple web surfing and 1 router doing a massive download. The router doing the download would cause much more interference.

In any case if you only have 2.4g you have very limited options. You likely have massive amounts of overlap. This is all guessing with wifi there is no tools use home user can get that will show actual radio power and actual radio interference.

It could be that the radio chip failed in the router especially since you said you get poor performance even very close to the router.

What you might try is very cheap dual band router. Your end devices likely support 5g unless they too are rather old. You should be able to get a router with a 1200 number on it for under $50. You might find one at a yard sale for $5.
They do sell used/refurbished routers on both amamzon and ebay. This is one example for $20.


Note this one only has 100mbps wan and lan ports which will be ok if you only have 100mbps internet but if you are going to upgrade your ineternet look for devices that have gigabit wan/lan. They generally are only slightly more expensive on these lower end routers.
 
Aug 13, 2022
5
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10
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Wifi analyzer is close to worthless. All it shows is how many other routers are set on certain channels it does not show how many active devices there are. You could have 10 routers idle or doing simple web surfing and 1 router doing a massive download. The router doing the download would cause much more interference.

In any case if you only have 2.4g you have very limited options. You likely have massive amounts of overlap. This is all guessing with wifi there is no tools use home user can get that will show actual radio power and actual radio interference.

It could be that the radio chip failed in the router especially since you said you get poor performance even very close to the router.

What you might try is very cheap dual band router. Your end devices likely support 5g unless they too are rather old. You should be able to get a router with a 1200 number on it for under $50. You might find one at a yard sale for $5.
They do sell used/refurbished routers on both amamzon and ebay. This is one example for $20.


Note this one only has 100mbps wan and lan ports which will be ok if you only have 100mbps internet but if you are going to upgrade your ineternet look for devices that have gigabit wan/lan. They generally are only slightly more expensive on these lower end routers.
So it's more a matter of a broken router? No matter what options I try, they are unlikely to help anything?
Before I buy a new one, I'll try to borrow one from someone to make sure.
Thanks anyway.
 
Unfortunately because a lot of people did stuff like running on radio bands only available in some countries the FCC kinda forced the wifi chipset manufacture to lock them down.
It would be nice if they allowed more diagnostic information but your general users has no clue how to set even basic stuff so there is no real push from consumers to do more.

Pretty much you know
  1. Your internet is likely good since a ethernet connected machine does not have issues.
  2. Since it affects mulitple devices with the only common factor being wifi it means it is not likely the end devices or application software.
So this leaves very little other than the wifi itself. You generally are best off leaving the wifi setting on their defaults but there is very little you can change and set to begin with.

With wifi you have already tried the standard things. Maybe a firmware update on your router. Most times the firmware loaded into the wifi chips is not updated very often.
So even if you were to find a newer router firmware it might contain the same firmware that is loaded into the wifi chips. None of the router makers document this stuff, the only reason people know this is because the guys that run third party router software
talk about it. Note third party router software can not change the firmware that is loaded into the wifi chips.

Do any of your phones have hotspot ability. This will be kinda expensive and if you do not have strong cell service it might not work well. It would be more a test setup to verify that it is only when you do wifi with the router it has issues.

At some point you just get desperate with wifi and replace hardware. Many times you don't really know what fixed it because you could also be using different radio channels or maybe different/more advanced forms of wifi data encoding that the old router did not support.
 
Aug 13, 2022
5
0
10
0
Unfortunately because a lot of people did stuff like running on radio bands only available in some countries the FCC kinda forced the wifi chipset manufacture to lock them down.
It would be nice if they allowed more diagnostic information but your general users has no clue how to set even basic stuff so there is no real push from consumers to do more.

Pretty much you know
  1. Your internet is likely good since a ethernet connected machine does not have issues.
  2. Since it affects mulitple devices with the only common factor being wifi it means it is not likely the end devices or application software.
So this leaves very little other than the wifi itself. You generally are best off leaving the wifi setting on their defaults but there is very little you can change and set to begin with.

With wifi you have already tried the standard things. Maybe a firmware update on your router. Most times the firmware loaded into the wifi chips is not updated very often.
So even if you were to find a newer router firmware it might contain the same firmware that is loaded into the wifi chips. None of the router makers document this stuff, the only reason people know this is because the guys that run third party router software
talk about it. Note third party router software can not change the firmware that is loaded into the wifi chips.

Do any of your phones have hotspot ability. This will be kinda expensive and if you do not have strong cell service it might not work well. It would be more a test setup to verify that it is only when you do wifi with the router it has issues.

At some point you just get desperate with wifi and replace hardware. Many times you don't really know what fixed it because you could also be using different radio channels or maybe different/more advanced forms of wifi data encoding that the old router did not support.
I updated the firmware at the beginning, but the thing is that the latest update is from October 2015 and it's a beta, so I didn't want to risk with instability so I used the stable full update from March 2015. Should I try this beta or try some even older version of the firmware?

I will check how the hotspot works when the other phone charges, but everything is fine with the wifi on the phone, I checked with friends and family and it worked fine.
 

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