Question New wifi extender worked for about a day. Ethernet delivers same slow speeds.

Sep 5, 2020
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Hi, i'm brand new to the forums, and my knowledge on computers is somewhat limited, but have been digging around for solutions for my problem on here for a while now. Unfortunately, nothing seems to work.



About 3 weeks ago, I did a few internet tests on a few of the pcs in my house. All of them were running about 70-100 Mbps down. This was very striking to me because I have never gotten over 5 Mbps on my personal pc. My pc is somewhat new, I got it about a year ago, and it always seemed to run very slow from the get go. I figured that we just had slow internet, because I wasn't aware of how much we were supposed to be getting.

I tried countless things to try to get my speeds on par with the rest of the pc's in my house. Resetting the router and modem does nothing, different USB wifi adapters do nothing, I looked for AMD quickstream, and similar flow controlling programs (not sure if that's the right term, forgive me) on my pc, but was unsuccessful in finding anything. Task manager says no programs are running similar programs to quickstream that I'm aware of, though I could be wrong.

At one point, I decided to log into the router and see if anything was up with it. I brought my PC downstairs, and hooked it up to ethernet, and it ran fantastically with around 100 Mbps, I was elated. I thought, well, I can't bring the router upstairs, but I can purchase a wifi extender and hook an ethernet cable up to that, and use it as an access point. So I went to best buy, and I purchased a very expensive netgear AX1800 4-stream wifi mesh range extender, since our router is the netgear nighthawk R7000. I got home and set it all up, and it worked FANTASTIC... for one day. Then it got slower. And slower. And slower. And now im back to 5 Mbps down, and restarting the extender does nothing. I tried factory resetting the extender, to see if it just needed a kick, nothing. It's almost worse now because it keeps disconnecting every 1-2 minutes for a split few seconds at a time.

I tried factory resetting the router, nothing. Ethernet gets great speeds when the PC is plugged directly into the router. And it works perfectly fine with a USB wifi adapter when the pc is in the same room as the router. Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I assumed a wifi extender would, you know, extend the wifi. Though I'm sure I could be doing something wrong, I'm not too savvy with these matters. Regardless, this extender has been proving very unreliable as of writing.

In the end, is my only option to move my pc closer to the router? Or is my wifi extender able to be salvaged? Is there a reason it would only work for one day? Did I mess up something?

Here are my PC specifications:
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Motherboard: ASRock A320M-HDV R4.0
  • Power Supply: EPower Technology EP-400PM
  • ISP: Comcast
  • # of devices connected: 6-8 active daily
If there's anything I missed that's crucial please let me know.
Thanks.
 
This comes from not spending the time to learn how things really work and only reading the marketing mis information and not the fine print where limitations are explained.

Sounds like all you did was put put the extender in your room and then hooked it up with a ethernet cable. That is really not much different than the USB connected adpater. Both devices get poor signal between the router and your room. How it is then connected to the PC is not the problem, the problem is the wifi signal which is exactly the same.

For a "extender" to work it needs to actually get a better signal. You could for example place it in the same room as the router and then run a ethernet cable back to your room. Not realistic but demonstrates how these devices really work. You might get it to work placing it 1/2 between your room and the router and running it as a repeater. This might help but you now have 2 wifi signals that can get interference and it still does little good if you can not place the repeater in a location that gets good signal and can still retransmit it to your room. Very thick concrete walls can't really be fixed because the repeater must be on one side or the other and it doesn't matter which signal is being absorbed by the wall.

Any form of wifi repeater/extender should be your very last option. Obviously ethernet cable is best. Then you would consider powerline networks or MoCA if you have tv coax in both rooms.
 
Reactions: digitalgriffin
I agree with all that Bill said, but going to add some speculation. Using the extender as an access point is the best way to further the reach of your WiFi. Hopefully you were able get the extender (AP now) much closer to your room upstairs. Why did your connection slow down again? This is my speculation ... your computer has reconnected to the router and is not connecting to the extender(AP). That extender is designed to used the same WiFi name (SSID) as your router. Using a single SSID makes things "simpler" for the user because one name and password is used no matter where you are in the house. The downside is the user does not know what source he is connecting to. You would think that devices would pick the strongest signal and connect to that, but in WiFi if a device has a decent connection it will use that connection until reaches a low quality threshold and then look for a stronger signal. I would access the extender's setup and change the SSID (for example, router would be network1 and extender would be network2). Then from your computer you can see both WiFi sources, their signal strengths and, if needed, make modifications to the extenders location and orientation to get a better (stronger) signal.

Let us know what you find out.
 
Reactions: digitalgriffin
Sep 5, 2020
3
0
10
0
This comes from not spending the time to learn how things really work and only reading the marketing mis information and not the fine print where limitations are explained.

Sounds like all you did was put put the extender in your room and then hooked it up with a ethernet cable. That is really not much different than the USB connected adpater. Both devices get poor signal between the router and your room. How it is then connected to the PC is not the problem, the problem is the wifi signal which is exactly the same.

For a "extender" to work it needs to actually get a better signal. You could for example place it in the same room as the router and then run a ethernet cable back to your room. Not realistic but demonstrates how these devices really work. You might get it to work placing it 1/2 between your room and the router and running it as a repeater. This might help but you now have 2 wifi signals that can get interference and it still does little good if you can not place the repeater in a location that gets good signal and can still retransmit it to your room. Very thick concrete walls can't really be fixed because the repeater must be on one side or the other and it doesn't matter which signal is being absorbed by the wall.

Any form of wifi repeater/extender should be your very last option. Obviously ethernet cable is best. Then you would consider powerline networks or MoCA if you have tv coax in both rooms.
Thank you for your reply, I apologize for my ineptitude and thank you for your patience, and I'll try to do more extensive reading and try to educate myself better beforehand.

Do you think that a long ethernet cable would be a better option? I had no idea that another extender would interfere with the original signal. Since my PC is the only one with issues, it seems like a better idea would to just wire my singular PC to the router.
 
Sep 5, 2020
3
0
10
0
I agree with all that Bill said, but going to add some speculation. Using the extender as an access point is the best way to further the reach of your WiFi. Hopefully you were able get the extender (AP now) much closer to your room upstairs. Why did your connection slow down again? This is my speculation ... your computer has reconnected to the router and is not connecting to the extender(AP). That extender is designed to used the same WiFi name (SSID) as your router. Using a single SSID makes things "simpler" for the user because one name and password is used no matter where you are in the house. The downside is the user does not know what source he is connecting to. You would think that devices would pick the strongest signal and connect to that, but in WiFi if a device has a decent connection it will use that connection until reaches a low quality threshold and then look for a stronger signal. I would access the extender's setup and change the SSID (for example, router would be network1 and extender would be network2). Then from your computer you can see both WiFi sources, their signal strengths and, if needed, make modifications to the extenders location and orientation to get a better (stronger) signal.

Let us know what you find out.
Thank you for your reply! It's true, I did set it up to be one SSID, I will change that and test some other locations and see if it solves my issue.
 
Thank you for your reply! It's true, I did set it up to be one SSID, I will change that and test some other locations and see if it solves my issue.
You can use one SSID provided the hardware in question supports handoff like MESH systems do. My netgear R7800 does this.

That said, let me explain the different types of tech and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Tye device you bought can operate in multiple modes.

Access Point (AP mode): this is when you want to provide wifi coverage to an area with spotty reception. Or: outside or in a basement. You can use these to extend your coverage. If your router is on floor 1 and you get spotty coverage on floor 3, place the AP on floor 3. The disadvantage is you have to run an ethernet cable that goes from the router to the AP. This is the best way to extend wireless as it is the fastest. But it is the least convenient for many.

Bridge:. Designed to give devices at a remote location access to ethernet ports where ethernet wiring to that location would be difficult. The signal path is router wifi->extender wifi->extender ethernet->devices. The disadvantage is if you place the extender far away from the router, your speeds or stability won't be much better than the usb wifi at the same location. Use this mode when you have legacy devices with poor wifi or ethernet only options. (Very rare)

Range extender or repeater mode:. Think of this device as like the game of telephone. You take a message pass it to the next person. They repeat till it reaches the person at the end. This leads to long delays before messages are delivered (latency/ping). If you are to use one of these devices, place it half way between your router and your final endpoint client. (Like a person sitting between you and the message source in the game telephone).

As mentioned before: unless all your wireless devices support handoff to strongest signal, do NOT name all your SSID's the same.

Also try both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals. 2.4GHz does go a much longer distance but is slower. And while 5GHz has more bandwidth, its signal degrades quicker with distance. So 5GHz might run slower than 2.4GHz for a long distance.
 

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