Question Wifi changing access points repeatedly

mpjohnso

Commendable
Apr 7, 2020
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Hello,

I have Windows 10, and recently setup an eero 6+ mesh system that has both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels.

The issue is my desktop, after booting or resuming from sleep, initially spends 15+ minutes of repeatedly changing access points quite frequently causing slow and inconsistent wifi performance.

A laptop next to my desktop stays connected to the closest 5 GHz access point and speed tests regularly come in at 400 Mbps. However, my desktop will see speeds of sometimes 50 Mbps, 10 Mbps, or at times even <1 Mbps, with noticeable lag in reaching websites, stutters in movie playback or games, while it apparently is changing access points every couple of seconds, sometimes every minute or so, swapping between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz access points. This appears to last for 15+ minutes before eventually seeming to settle down and "prefer" to stay connected to the closest 5 GHz access point, with speed tests at 250+ Mbps.

This desktop is the only system that appears to do this. Other computers and mobile devices always perform well. I am using a TP-Link USB3 AC1300 dual band adapter, 2.4/5 GHz. But I have tried two such adapters, as well as a secondary AC600 USB2 adapter, but the behavior is the same.

I have repeatedly reinstalled drivers, reset the network, tried various netsh and ipconfig command suggestions, but can't quite pin down what the issue could be.

This seems to be a fairly recent problem and didn't seem to be occurring as soon as I installed the eero system, although I may have just not noticed it.

Any thoughts what else to try?
 
This is likely because you did not do any kind of measurement of actual signal levels before you chose the location to place the access points. Commercial installs do what is called a site survey to determine optimum wifi coverage.

Your problem is likely that you have too much wifi coverage and the pc can not select what it considers the "best". Not sure what you can do with eero units but normally you need to turn the power down on the units so they have as little overlap as possible but will still provide good coverage.
It is a tricky thing to get set right with lots of trial and error.

There likely is a setting in the wifi that sometime is called roaming aggressiveness but the exact name varies a bit between devices. This is how a device decides if it should look for another signal based on the signal strength. You set it one way (what high and low have different meaning on some vendors) and it will stay connected even though there is a better signal. You set it the other way and it will constantly hop back and forth. With a desktop machine since you are not roaming you would want to set it to whatever value reduces the roaming to pretty much zero.

Now it could be the mesh system also. Some of these systems are too smart and there are actually multi variation of devices that share the eero name. Since the end device and not the network is in control over where a connection is made the so called "mesh" networks can not actually control roaming even though the marketing guys pretend they can. What some do though is force a disconnect when they "think" there is a better connection. Since network has no ability to know what signal levels the end device actually see it many times will not be correct and the network will force off the device but the device will select the same node to connect to.

Generally I really hate mesh systems and even simple cables AP I tend to not mess with the roaming stuff. Although it can be more work I use all different SSID and then the human who know more than any device can pick the best connection. Then there are those people who want to watch netflix as they fall down the stairs in their house and need auto roaming support.
 

mpjohnso

Commendable
Apr 7, 2020
12
0
1,520
1
Roaming Aggressiveness was disabled, and I have tried other settings but it doesn't seem to change anything.

I forced the adapter to only use 5 GHz channels, and the signal strength difference is quite stark, with WifiInfoView showing 99% average strength for one versus 66% for the other, yet it still keeps switching back and forth. I've installed NetSetMan which lets me connect to a specific access point, but it keeps going back and forth and will not stay at the high strength one.

It doesn't seem as if eero lets you change signal power of any stations.

And it is only this one desktop computer doing this. Other machines, laptops, iPads, phones, are all stable and do not jump back and forth.

Beginning to wonder if it is a looming hardware failure like the motherboard...
 

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