Question Need feedback on odd and persistent Wi-Fi disconnection issue

Apr 18, 2019
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I've been banging my head against this issue for far to long so I'm here to seek some feedback. I'm having persistent disconnection issues on certain device on my home Wi-Fi network. In general, randomly, my smart speakers (several Echo Dot's and one Google Home Mini) and one or two computers will lose their Wi-Fi connection. When I check on one of the computer it's simply disconnected and after a few minutes it reconnects and so do all the IoT devices. I've actually caught the network disappear and reappear while using one of the computers.

Normally I would diagnose this by changing infrastructure hardware. However, I've done that and the problem persists. Initial configuration was 4th Generation Apple Airport Extreme with internal Wi-Fi disabled and a Ruckus ZoneFlex 7962 access point attached. First I swapped out the ZoneFlex 7962 for another identical unit. Same problem. Then I swapped it out for a ZoneFlex 7372. No improvement. Next, I changed the 4th Generation AirPort Extreme to a 6th Generation model. Same issue. My latest test was to switch to a random D-Link 802.11n access point I had floating around my shop. It's connected via a different Ethernet pathway to the router. Same damn problem (although I haven't observed the network disappearing, just the connection being lost).

I'm pretty much running out of ideas here. Every components of the infrastructure has been replaced. The only thing that hasn't changed are the clients and replacing those isn't an option.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 
Wifi is extremely hard to troubleshoot because you can not see the radio waves and there are few tools in the end equipment. Most consumer grade equipment assumes everything always works fine and does not even contain logging. Things like echo dots are designed for the technically illiterate. Gee why can't I just say alexa why is my wifi dropping.

Not sure what to really suggest. You have to determine if it is the wifi you are losing or if it is the internet first. Leave a machine on connected via ethernet to the main router and leave a ping run to something like 8.8.8.8. When you see a outage see if you see a corresponding outage in the ping. This will tell you if the problem is really the ISP connection going down. You can also leave a ping run to your router IP. This will show if the router itself is being reset or goes down. Checking the wifi itself is very tricky. PC have a slightly better log you will sometime see messages in the event log. Your goal here is to see if the wifi itself is going down or if the wifi radio is staying up buy you just can't contact the router. Not sure it matters. The most common cause of wifi is interference which is random. Most times it is your neighbor using his wifi differently than he was a few minutes before. Can be one of those fancy cars with wifi hotspots driving past your house.

I would plug every device you possibly can into ethernet just to reduce the amount of interference you have between you own devices. If possible reduce the number of radio devices you have. You want to avoid any of the mesh or repeater stuff unless your other option is no wifi coverage. If you can get OK coverage from the main router it tends to work better than a repeater. If you are using router as AP on ethernet cable consider reducing the radio power on the units...if it has that feature.
 
Apr 18, 2019
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Yes, Wi-Fi can be extremely hard to troubleshoot. Hence my predicament. Connection loss is limited only to the Wi-Fi network, not the ISP connection. Connection loss also seems to be limited to older devices and the smart speakers. There are other Wi-Fi networks that I can see but all have much lower signal strength and I've manually moved channels to avoid interference.

The main router has Wi-Fi disabled. Access is via a single centrally located AP (which until the latest test devices were all commercial grade).

I've replaced every component on the infrastructure side except the ISP. I know how to test. What I don't know is what the heck is going on with my 2.4GHz network.
 

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