Question Wi-Fi cutting out strongly for a few seconds.

natefferry

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Nov 11, 2018
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I get on average ~30 Mbps download ~20 upload on my desktop. Everything works fine between streaming videos and playing online games, however I get moments where the connection to the video / game will just stop for around 5 seconds. This is a big problem because I have to refresh a stream to get live feed again and I get disconnected from the game and have to reconnect again.

Moving the location of my desktop around the house hasn't changed the speed test so I'm going to assume the connection breaks will keep happening (I am also unable to use an ethernet connection so that isn't a solution). Here's some relevant info that the sticky asked to provide:

motherboard: Dell Inc. 0YJPT1 (CPU 1)
wifi-card: dell wireless 1703 802.11b|g|n (2.4GHz)
OS: Win 10
ISP: AT&T (desktop connected by wi-fi)

The wi-fi card is very old, should I get a USB wifi antennae or something?
 
Last edited:

vov4ik_il

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Mar 23, 2020
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Downloaded Wifi Analyzer, heres what it's showing.

It's saying I'm on the optimal channel for 5GHz, still happens. (my network is the dark blue one furthest to the right both images)
Try this:
  1. Change the channel width to 20Mhz for both radios
  2. Move 2.4GHz radio to channel 1
  3. Move 5GHz radio to channel 36
  4. Give them different names to know which one you are using.
And test again. One radio at a time.
 
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vov4ik_il

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Mar 23, 2020
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So your ISP is WiFi? Well, that's a bad deal to start with... Get a directional antenna and try it out, if it persists - nothing you can do about it. Think of WiFi frequency as a big long hall where many people can talk but only one at any given moment.
I would try to get ISP with a wired connection anyway.
 

natefferry

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Nov 11, 2018
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I meant to say my ISP is cabled to our router but the desktop has no wired option to connect to it. I got a new wi-fi card and my speeds ended up improving to ~100 Mbps but I'm still having the problem.
Here's me pinging my default gateway, as you can see it's a steady 4-5 ms most of the time, but during the cutouts the request completely times out.


I would really appreciate anyone giving any advice they can to fix this.
 

vov4ik_il

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Mar 23, 2020
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Try changing the wireless channel on your router. In general, (read what I posted earlier) if your neighbors' router is on the same frequency - you will likely have interruptions.
 

natefferry

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Nov 11, 2018
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Try changing the wireless channel on your router. In general, (read what I posted earlier) if your neighbors' router is on the same frequency - you will likely have interruptions.
Downloaded Wifi Analyzer, heres what it's showing.

It's saying I'm on the optimal channel for 5GHz, still happens. (my network is the dark blue one furthest to the right both images)
 

natefferry

Prominent
Nov 11, 2018
9
0
510
0
Try this:
  1. Change the channel width to 20Mhz for both radios
  2. Move 2.4GHz radio to channel 1
  3. Move 5GHz radio to channel 36
  4. Give them different names to know which one you are using.
And test again. One radio at a time.
My ISP's lowest bandwith setting for the 5GHz radio is 40Mhz, is that fine?
 

vov4ik_il

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Mar 23, 2020
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My ISP's lowest bandwith setting for the 5GHz radio is 40Mhz, is that fine?
Your issue is not the bandwidth, but the packet loss. These settings will help you to identify which radio has the problem (if any). 20Mhz uses the least frequency space. If it is unavailable, use the lowest available.
 
This is the nature of wifi. Your neighbors likely are doing the same as you and changing channels because of interference. Many of them do not show up on the scanners correctly. The newest routers wifi6 routers can use all the bandwidth on the 5g band but show up using only 1 channel many times.

At some point you are just going to have to give up on wifi and use some form of wired connection. Ethernet is obviously the best but when you can't do that you need to consider powerline networks or Moca if you have cable tv wire.
 

vov4ik_il

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Mar 23, 2020
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Its happened again, anything else I can try?
Which radio? Switch to the other one.

Generally, everything that can be wired - should be wired, that is a better practice. WiFi is not a realtime-friendly connectivity.

Just like mentioned above, some routers have auto set for their radio channel, that will randomly change the channel and may overlap with yours.

Also try power-restart your router - this could be a software bug.
I have an Arris AC router from my cable provider but only use it as a modem due to similar issue - it would work and then it would drop packets or WiFi clients. Had to get a separate router to overcome it.
 

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