wireless/internet troubleshooting ideas

cspike

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Our ISP is comcast/xfinity, 250 down/ 12 up.
Modem is an Arris SB6190
Router is a TP-Link AC3150

Wired connections - Ooma telo phone, Sonos bridge. The Sonos bridge is then connected to 7 different speakers so the router sees them all as wired.
Wired/powerline connections - dvr and home PC
Wireless clients - printer, doorbell, thermostat, PTZ camera, 3 wifi plugs, rachio, Sony TV, PS4, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, 2 kids fire tablets, ipad, 2 iphones, echo and one echo dot, and an HP laptop from time to time.

Our problem is intermittent wireless issues. While streaming on the ipad, the tv or the fire tv. Tonight I couldn't get skype to work over wireless. When I check the router the internet light is red, but then turns back to normal. I've worked with TP-Link support and Comcast support. The issue is hard to track and doesn't last very long, just causes annoying disturbances, and I can't figure out what to look for. The TP-Link router is just about a year old now, but very little has changed with respect to the number of clients that attach to the router (as listed above). The support from Comcast said that the boot file for my modem had become outdated, and that it happens once in a while, so they updated it. The support from TP-Link has me reducing my number of clients and then testing the internet. My speeds are generally ~290 d/11 u, but for a while it will just drop out and hang out in the 45/11 range.

I google troubleshooting online and get the standard responses, to unplug or restart, yada yada. I've done that, much more than I would like. I don't feel like we stress our internet connection that badly. It's not like we are streaming 4 k video on 5 TVs, but I guess we do have a fair amount of connected home devices. Whenever I plug a laptop directly into the modem, the connection is fine. I am at my wits end with trying to troubleshoot this. To me it appears to be the router, but I would really like to be able to nail this down a little better. I don't have that much time to keep messing with this, I need it to work like it did for quite a long time. And we all know that internet/wireless issues rarely last long enough to get good data on what is going wrong.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any help.
 
Wireless is RADIO therefore susceptible to environmental interferences. I would check signal strength as well as signal-to-noise ratio, Google and see what number is "normal."

Myself am a WIRE guy, wireless give me the headaches :(
 

cspike

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I would love to have an electrician put in LAN ports throughout our home, but some wireless will still be required. I will check into your suggestion more, thanks for your response.
 
to see if it an isp or dns issue try using googles open dns. on the router make sure it has the newest firmware. on routers....make sure it locked down a lot of new routers have guest radios now in them. you dont want leachers or your router. if you dont have people sucking your bandwith on the router use 3 party tools see if your router and a lot of others are on the same channel. if they are you may want to use another wifi channel. one other issue may be with all of the wifi used the router is over loaded. you may want to try and hardware some of your devices. like use a switch and then go from the switch back to the router. or pick up a ap point and use it on the second floor to help the router.
 

cspike

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So I checked the wifi strength through out our house. On the 2.4 Ghz band it ranged from -40 dBm to -20 dBm (right new router) throughout most of the house. A little worse for the 5G band, ranging from -63 to -45 for most of the house, and -20 near the router. Assuming the app was working correctly, that tells me a lot about the interference in my house or how the signal drops out. Subtle confirmation of my thought to have wired connections with some APs spread around the house.

My guest internet is disabled, and the nearest I can tell no one is stealing our internet. We have a single story home, but the location of the router is probably not the best; it's right about the middle of the house (side to side), but towards the front as opposed to the middle (front to back). But the wireless strength was actually better in areas that I thought would be worse. I also use DHCP reservations on my router to keep things consistent.

Aside from a wired setup with APs, I was thinking about trying a mesh wifi system.

Thank, this is helping me focus my troubleshooting activities a bit.
 

cspike

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TP-Link will be sending me a new router. All of my trouble shooting points to the router as everything runs through it except our voip phone. If this router isn't strong enough to handle all of the devices in our home, I will consider a mesh setup or wired LAN ports with extenders.
 

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