Problems with wireless performance with several routers- interference?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Ksyder, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Ksyder

    Ksyder Golden Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I've been pulling my hair out for a few weeks trying to figure this out.

    Over the past 6 months or so wireless internet started to give me problems. I have a WRT54gl that was running dd-wrt and it started to become extremely slow. I couldn't get it work fast again so I switched back to the craptastic Netgear cheapy router which was supplied by our ISP. That one is barely passable but then started to give us the same problems of being very slow to load websites on laptops, problems with my smartphone connecting, etc.

    I was troubleshooting a little more in-depth, changed out all the cat-5 cables, notably it seemed to be fixed when I switched the cable from the cable modem to the wan port of the router. But problems are still occuring... crap performance from the netgear, couldn't get it work at all last night, crappy performance from the wrt54gl which is now running Tomato.

    I noticed there are at least 30 and sometimes I've seen close to 50 different wi-fi networks show up when I scan on the phone or the laptop. Is the congestion of the 2.4ghz band the cause of the problem? Is the solution to switch to a dual band router? I've tried changing channels on the router once and it didn't seem to make a difference.

    Gotta have working wi-fi, if I have to spend a hundred bucks on a new router I will, but cheaper is better as it only has to last another year. Suggestions?
     
  2. AnonymouseUser

    AnonymouseUser Diamond Member

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    Change your security to WPA2 and change your password

    Try connecting a PC directly to the modem and see how the speeds are. Stress the connection a bit as well.
     
  3. Cabletek

    Cabletek Member

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    There are only 11-14 channels on the 2.4 Ghz band, so yeah if you can see 50 wifi networks you're probably screwed.

    You can take a look using this tool here
    http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
    Its a spectrum view that will show all wireless networks in the spectrums your hardware supports.

    On top of that other things operate within that range like wireless phones, etc. which are not shown by that app above without a $900 piece of equitment to analyze teh other signals in the spectrum.

    You can try going to 5Ghz but it require the router AND the computers support it and the range of 5ghz is lower than 2.4ghz so don't be surprised to see 2/3 bars where you used to have 4. In reality this means nothing if you have a consistent connection but it is something to consider if you have a large house, though the 5Ghz routers broadcast 2.4Ghz too so you can always just use that again.

    You could also try building a faraday cage around your house but its going to look rather ridiculous. Your best bet would be to run wired cat5 where you can and add additional wireless AP's in the rooms/floors where you have bad signal to noise, thus boosting your signal in those areas. None of this is going to be easy and cheap though.
     
    #3 Cabletek, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  4. Ksyder

    Ksyder Golden Member

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    I've done that several times... different ssid, different passwords.... usually tkip+aes as well.... haven't messed with that too much.
     
  5. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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  6. AnonymouseUser

    AnonymouseUser Diamond Member

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    Verify that your speeds are fine with one PC connected to the modem. This will eliminate the routers as the culprit if you still have problems.

    I had connection problems when I moved into my current house, and after months of troubleshooting I finally figured out it was the cable splitter on the outside of the house. Haven't had any problems since I replaced it with a $5 splitter from Home Depot.

    The problem could even be the modem itself.
     
  7. Ksyder

    Ksyder Golden Member

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    I did that... got solid speeds directly to the cable modem.... up to the cap of the speed consistently.
     
  8. AnonymouseUser

    AnonymouseUser Diamond Member

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    Ok then, it is either interference with other electronics, or oversaturation of the wireless spectrum. If possible, move the router to the other side of the room, or to another room on the opposite side of the house. If that doesn't improve matters then it's time for a new N router like the one linked above.
     
  9. Ksyder

    Ksyder Golden Member

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    Thanks guys for the replies....

    Now on to the next question, and I suppose Cabletek's link may answer it...

    Me and the roommate both have very recent laptops... but I don't know if either of the wireless chipsets supports dual-band...

    One is sporting Core I5 and the other I3 if that says anything.
     
  10. AnonymouseUser

    AnonymouseUser Diamond Member

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    Nope, doesn't tell anything. We need the laptop manufacturer and model number to help at all.
     
  11. Ksyder

    Ksyder Golden Member

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  12. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    For sure they support 802.11n which will provide double or more Bandwidth with a good newer Router than the "Dinosaur" 54g.


    :cool:
     
  13. Ksyder

    Ksyder Golden Member

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    Would there be a improvement in range or decrease in interference with a n router? Come to think of it, I think the crap netgear may be a n router.
     
  14. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    You've got major interference. Your only options are:

    1) move to 5 Ghz 802.11n, if not then the others
    2) change channels to 1, 6, 11 on 2.4 Ghz to see what works best
    3) Directional antenna on the AP pointed at where the clients are, you could get a 30-45 degree or possibly a 180 degree patch antenna
     
  15. AnonymouseUser

    AnonymouseUser Diamond Member

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    n/m
     
    #15 AnonymouseUser, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  16. remixedcat

    remixedcat Member

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    have you tried an amped wireless router? they are very powerful and even in my congested area I can stream videos from 100 some feet away from the AP easy. even when 3 other networks are using the same channel. I have an AP20000G access point.

    also you may wanna get a different network adapter as well like a usb one or a pci card one. sometimes onboard ones aren't very powerful or they are made wrong.... one of my acer laptops was bad like that so I bought a USB adapter and it was a lot faster.
     
  17. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    WIFI is not just about pieces of Hardware, it is highly depended on Environmental variables.

    The same Wireless Router can work well in one type of Environment and be a “Dud” in another. Most Environmental variables like, Apartment/House general layout, walls and their inner/outer structure, electrical Noises, furniture size and their placement, etc. cannot be (or it is very hard) controlled.

    Thus, in many cases there is No Magic Wireless Router that can cover whatever One desires.

    In such cases multiple APs are needed to provide good Wireless service.
    That is what professional Network people do, they study the Bandwidth, use equipment to survey the Environment, and install multiple APs.


    :cool:
     
  18. remixedcat

    remixedcat Member

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    OP, do you have a really old appliance that's on it's last legs or something? that might be a cause. some things can get wierd like that with interferrence. Even my cat went nuts when one of mine did and she was freaking out and woke us up and I took care of it. It was also causing the wifi to be wonky as well.