CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

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Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 6,019

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

Typically, if you can park the modem somewhere in the center of the house, that would be the better solution.  Remember that wherever you have a cable outlet, you can park the modem.  Its also possible that a router with external antenna and gigabit WAN and LAN ports, parked centrally in the home could provide the wifi performance that you were looking for. 

 

There may be alternatives such as using structured wiring if your home has that installed within its walls.  If you look behind any cable or phone outlet and see additional wiring behind the wallplate, then there is a good chance that you have structured wiring that can be put to use, running ethernet data anywhere in the home and in that case, you could park another router somewhere else to use as a wifi access point.

 

Changing the modem could help if for example the device that you wanted to run had 802.11ac capability.  If you're only using 802.11n devices, then it wouldn't make sense to change the modem.

 

Other food for thought, if you didn't have structured wiring in the home, but had a cable outlet in the bedroom and other rooms, you could run MoCA adapters to transmit ethernet across the house.  The latest version is MoCA 2.0, such as these:

 

https://www.amazon.ca/Actiontec-Electronics-Bonded-MoCA-2-0/dp/B013J7O3X0

 

You would need one at each end, and you can connect more of these across the home.  If you had two RG-6 cables pulled to the wall outlets but no ethernet cables, you could definitely use something like these running on the spare RG-6 cables to provide an private internal LAN.  You would also need a MoCA 2.0 splitter to join the cables together in the basement. 

 

Fwiw, the latest spec, version 2.5 was approved earlier this year and will provide up to 2.5 Gb/s with v2.5 devices which should appear late this year or early next year.

 

http://www.btreport.net/articles/2016/04/moca-bumps-up-to-2-5-gbps.html

 

Note that in your specific case, if you have a CGN3 as seen on the product sticker at the back of the modem, there is no trial version firmware.  If you have a CGN3ACR, CGN3ACM(?) or CGN3ACSMR, yes, there is a newer trial version but that only corrects issues with Chromecast devices that is seen in version 4.5.8.21.

 

Edit:  One item to check is the bandwidth setting on the modem.  Its available on the CGNM-3552, not sure if its available on the CNG3.  Log into the modem, navigate to the WIRELESS .... BASIC SETTINGS and look for a selectable Channel Bandwith setting of 20 or 40 or 20/40 Mhz.  If its there, select 20 Mhz.  That may or may not help, depending on your wifi environment as the modem might already be using that due to the other wifi networks in your neighborhood. 

 

One thing that you could do, if you don't already use a wifi analyzer is to check your wifi environment in the bedroom.   Load inSSIDer on your laptop, which is a wifi monitoring application. When loaded on a dual band laptop, inSSIDer will monitor both 2.4 and 5 Ghz networks that can be detected by your laptop. Have a look to see what you're competing with in both bands.  In a suburban area, the 2.4 Ghz band is usually pretty crowded and tough to work in.  Usually the 5 Ghz band is less crowded and easier to find a clear channel.  After you have a look at the display, you might be able to determine if there are any 2.4 or 5 Ghz channels that are not in use, or offer less interference.  Thats usually pretty tough with 2.4. Ghz channels as the only channels that don't overlap with each other is 1, 6, and 11.  As a result, everyone tries to use those channels.  The program link below is for the last freebie version.  It doesn't display the 802.11ac networks in use in the 5 Ghz band.  There is a newer licenced version out now that will handle 802.11ac networks, and which will work on a 802.11n laptop.  The new version will read the broadcast management frames and display the 802.11ac networks that are running in the 5 Ghz band.  If you use 5 Ghz networks, its worth the $20 U.S. to buy, so that you can see all of the 5 Ghz networks that are in use.

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html

What you want to see on the graphical display is that your network is the highest network shown, which indicates that it has the highest received power of all the received networks.  Generally you want somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 45 dBmW separation between your network and any other network that is on the same or overlapping channel.  So, while your network should be the tallest on the display, everything else should be well below yours.  The scale on the display has 0 dBmW at the top, and it then descends from there.  When the power level separation between networks decreases, you end up with interference and possibly with problems maintaining a wifi network.  Your only option is to change to a channel with less overlap from the competition.  By looking at that display you might conclude that the 2.4 Ghz band is hopeless and that its time to move up to the 5 Ghz band, if you can.  If you have devices already running in the 5 Ghz band, change your operating channel to 149 or higher.  If you can switch to any of those channels, do so, as the output power for those channels is higher, resulting in better signal levels, signal to noise ratios and data rates.  

So, with inSSIDer loaded on your laptop, take a walk around your home.  Take a look at the display when you're close to the modem, and where you normally use your laptop.  Essentially, you're doing a site survey.  It takes about three to four minutes for the display to settle out when you move around and stop in a location somewhere.  You should see some differences in the received network power levels as you move around your home, both for your own network, and those of your neighbors.  Perhaps one of your neighbors has bought a new modem or router and is competing for the same channels that you are using.  If so, inSSIDer will show that.
 

What you can do is take a screenshot of the inSSIDer display, dump it into something like Microsoft paint and wipe out your MAC address from the text and display area and then save it.  Insert it into a post so I can have a look at it if you need help with the interpretation.  With the info provided by the inSSIDer display it will be easier to determine what the problem might be.

 



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 10

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

Hey Datalink, thanks for that wondefully helpful post. I tried installing inSSider, but it's not free (at least not the mac version). It's asking for a license key before the program starts.

Resident Expert
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Posts: 6,019

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

@sepandee, d'oh sorry, not a mac guy.  I didn't know that the mac download would result in a licence request.   I wonder if the site has the wrong file or if it has an incorrect hyper-link.  Now that you've posted that, it clears up another posting which I suspect was trying to say the same thing. 

 

I haven't seen any other freebie mac versions around, but I suspect that its a matter of looking around.  But, if you do use 5 Ghz networks at all, then its worth downloading latest version from Metageeks and spending the $20 US to buy a licence.  From what I remember its a site licence that you can use on more than one pc.  The newer versions will properly display the 5 Ghz 802.11ac networks that are running nearby, even if the mac only has an 802.11n adapter.  It does this by reading the transmit headers that are part of the wifi network management and then displays the mixed 802.11n and ac networks as required. 

 

Personal opinion, the metageeks site isn't the best in terms of organization. If you decide to download the buy the program here are the links:

 

download:  http://www.metageek.com/support/downloads/download-inssider-mac.html

 

That will download the following file:  inSSIDer4-installer.dmg    Ignore the advertising on the page to buy the office version of inSSIDer and don't follow the provided link to buy the program as it takes you to the "Buy Office version" page.  What was I saying about organization?  If you went to the Office version page mac link, it would download inSSIDer4office-installer.dmg

 

to buy:  http://www.metageek.com/products/inssider/personal/

 

That should enable you to buy the licence. 

 

If you look around and do happen to find a good freebie mac version of something please post that as well.  I think the mac does have some type of wifi scanner, but I don't know if its as intuitive as Inssider or perhaps WifiScanner for Mac OS X:

 

http://wifiscanner.com/wifiscanner.html

 

That is also a licenced program which looks very similar to inSSIDer.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 13

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

I had the same problem like you (look back to the beginning of this thread) and I resolved the issue by purchasing a Netgear router with sufficient signal strength to work throughout the house and around the yard without any performance degredation. 

 

I purchased a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 on sale at Best Buy. It comes with three adjustable antennas. Now I have awesome wifi and can stream HD movies anywhere in and around the house.  

I've Been Around
Posts: 1

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

Thanks for your posts on the topic of routers at Rogers. Would you say the advice in this post is up to date, or is there an improved router or solution generally to providing better wifi access to one's home? 

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Posts: 1,066

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

@RobinH


@RobinH wrote:

Thanks for your posts on the topic of routers at Rogers. Would you say the advice in this post is up to date, or is there an improved router or solution generally to providing better wifi access to one's home? 


The new CODA modem provides decent WiFi, however I would suggest getting a third party WiFi router and put the modem in bridge mode. All the gateway combo modem/routers aren't very good at providing WiFi, this goes for all companies, not just Rogers/Hitron. 

 

If you're looking for good WiFi coverage the TP-Link C3150 is an amazing router, and I highly recommend it. It's the only WiFi router I've seen that I can do speed tests and get around 800mb/s download speeds over WiFi! 

 



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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 39

Re: CGN3 vs Rocket modem WiFi signal strength

I am really happy with my new Rocket modem I got last week in a straight swap at local Rogers store. I did have the CGN3 for about 5 years. I have the Ignite 100 service. The old modem began to slow down to less than 30Mbps d/l and 3.5 upload which meant lots of modem reboots.

 

With the new Rocket, slow like the CGN3 on first day only, then a correction of some sort happened, and it took off to great speeds.  I am now getting 95.6 d/l and 12 up.