Network issues, possibly upgrading FiOS Quantum Router (Gigabit), suggestions?

AShiddyGamer

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Dec 13, 2012
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Hey all, putting the TL;DR first and the looong, tedious details below it.

TL;DR -
Using default FiOS Quantum router on Gigabit ethernet/wifi. Signal/speed issues and network connectivity issues on both mediums. Should I upgrade to a better router? Will it make a noticeable difference these days? If so, price shouldn't be an issue so throw your best opinions at me!

Looong, tedious details -

Been having some issues with our network recently, trying to decide if I should take the plunge and invest in a new router or if the standard Quantum Gateway is sufficient and just requires a little troubleshooting. I'm currently paying for internet-only gigabit service. I'm not too fussed about the cost if my best bet is an upgrade. Last time I bought a new router, it was back when everything on the internet followed the "Comcast/Verizon's routers are awful, upgrade to one of these, it's better in every way!" hype but some stuff I've been reading lately has lead me to believe that these ISP routers have upped their game and have become comparable performance-wise, with the competition just providing extra gimmicky features.

One of the issues is random fluctuations in speed both over wireless and ethernet. I've got my desktop hooked up via Cat-6 ethernet, from the ONT to the Quantum router, then another Cat-6 from the router to the desktop.
I do a lot of streaming/gaming on it and often notice sites taking fairly long to load, streaming quality dropping, even Youtube videos have me sitting while it buffers like it's 2008.
On wifi, I can be sat next to the router (which is next to my desktop), and my laptop/phone will hover around 2-3/5 "bars". Go one room over and this may drop down to 1-2, 3 if you're lucky, with occasional disconnections regardless.
In/out of the DMZ, ports forwarded or not, my NAT seems to consistently considered "strict".
Recently, internet has just completely gone out a few times, both ethernet and wifi. I'll still be able to connect to the router via 192.168.1.1, and it will say it still has internet access, but will only continue working after I reset the router/ONT/both.

So the router is the only thing that's still "default" in our home. I'm wondering if this could be a configuration issue causing this, just general finicky network being finicky, and/or if I'll see any sort of improvement to my network overall with an upgrade to a higher-end router.

If upgrading isn't such a bad idea, what would give me the best improvement(s)? Cost isn't much of an issue. I get a decent discount on plenty of electronics through my company. Even the most expensive router I could find, the Netgear Nighthawk X10, comes out to about $350, which includes the 2-year replacement warranty. Naturally, plenty of reviews shout things like the X10 being more expensive than it is useful, etc. So, as always, I defer to you fine folks!
 
First make sure it's the router holding you back.
Have you tested your speeds only on the modem?
Have you ever gotten the 1Gbs in tests?

Are you running any services or QoS on it?

For Wifi download an app to test the wifi band quality.
If it's highly congested it could be the reason it's poor when you are right next to it.
No Wifi will get you 1Gbs, but you should be able to get 150-300 Mbs to multiple devices easily.
 

AShiddyGamer

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Dec 13, 2012
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First make sure it's the router holding you back.
Have you tested your speeds only on the modem?
Have you ever gotten the 1Gbs in tests?

Are you running any services or QoS on it?

For Wifi download an app to test the wifi band quality.
If it's highly congested it could be the reason it's poor when you are right next to it.
No Wifi will get you 1Gbs, but you should be able to get 150-300 Mbs to multiple devices easily.
I haven't tested it directly to the modem/ONT yet, but should be able to manage that once I get done at work. Direct speed tests almost always show a great result though, sometimes even while I'm getting buffering issues on sites like Youtube. I quite often get speeds in the 950Mbps range down and up over ethernet, occasionally down to about 700-750ish. When I run into issues and run a speed test, I either get the same ranges or it'll start huffing up to that range and then rapidly drop down until I get something like 25 down 3 up (just absurdly low results in general).

I've not done any sort of services or QoS on it. The only interaction I've had with the interface is port forwarding and basic setup like security management.

I'll go ahead and test the band quality when I get home from work. We're currently in an apartment and it seems like we've gotten an influx in new neighbors so that could be a factor. I also get pretty good, consistent speeds over wifi when the connection is stable, usually in the upper range of what you mentioned. The instability is generally what causes the speed issues from what I've noticed.

If the issue is indeed the congestion, what is the best method to mitigate that? Would a new router just be useless in that scenario or do aftermarket routers provide features that might be helpful?

Thanks as well for the reply!
 
When you run the test it should tell you which channels are congested. If you're lucky there will be some free ones and you can switch your wifi over to those.

Unifi access points manage your wifi channels/bands to increase performance. I'd run the test before buying anything and also figure out your wired issue.
25Mbs on wired with a 1Gbs plan is pretty absurd. Hardware failure or bottleneck is normally consistently bad. Your line is maxed somewhere. It could be downloads or it's oversold.

The way wifi works now is it uses all the channels via mimo.
For apartments it's difficult to fix, because your neighbors might not want to work with you.
If they are also having poor wireless then maybe you can both solve it.
 
When a test is checking if you're strict or not it's going to look at specific ports.

Make sure you're testing the ports that you have forwarded from the device they are forwarded to.
You really just have to test with the service you are port forwarding for.
The ISP can be blocking inbound connections or specific ports.

You shouldn't open all your ports to get an open NAT. Port forwarding will get you there.
 

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