Can't quite reach WiFi in my room. Should I use a Pod or is there another solution?

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 11

Can't quite reach WiFi in my room. Should I use a Pod or is there another solution?

We have Ignite Internet 150u in our house with the Ignite WiFi Gateway. We have 2 ignite TV boxes, 1 LG Smart TV, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones, 2 Laptops all able to connect to the WiFi all around the house. Ever since we upgraded the internet in January, (until a few weeks ago) I've been able to connect my LG phone to the WiFi in my room downstairs, approx 40-45 feet away from the modem, with no issues.

 

About three weeks ago my phone started having problems connecting to the WiFi. Sometimes it will connect, but only for about 5 minutes then it will lose connection. Even when it is connected, things are slow to load and YouTube videos usually buffer. Yet when I am right next to the modem upstairs, the WiFi is blazing fast with no issues. Why would the WiFi work perfectly downstairs in my room on my LG phone these last 8 months (Since January) and now it seems like I'm just not close enough to get a good signal? When I go into the settings on my phone when connected, it says that the connection quality is "Fair", sometimes it will say "Good" and sometimes it will just disconnect all together. Very unreliable and frustrating.

 

What is the best course of action here? I've tried many times restarting the modem by unplugging it and plugging it back in, and the problem still persists. Should I use one of our pods? We currently aren't using any pods, because we were told to use them only if we needed them as not to potentially damage the main WiFi connection. If we do use a pod, am I suppose to place the pod inside my room that the WiFi can't quite reach, or somewhere in between the modem and my room downstairs? Moving the modem isn't really an option because of where the wires are located, things just won't reach.

 

Thank you in advance if anyone can help.

 

 

 

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Resident Expert
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Posts: 1,367

Re: Can't quite reach WiFi in my room. Should I use a Pod or is there another solution?

@bscrivens  What you are seeing is not an usual problem.  WiFi is finicky, and the "average person" often doesn't have the tools needed to really see whether their WiFi is actually really working well, working well-enough, or just barely working.

 

The WiFi signal strength indicator on your phone also only gives you a partial picture of your connection quality.  At one end, you have a WiFi Access Point (AP) with a fairly strong transmitter; the other end, your phone, has a fairly weak transmitter.  The quality of the connection depends on how well the two end-points can hear each other above the background noise.  If they can't hear each other very well, they will use a less efficient way to communicate, and that method will mean a lower speed connection and that the two endpoints will need more "air time" to transmit the same amount of data.

 

The other fact of life with WiFi is that only one device can transmit on a frequency at a given time.  That means that all devices in your home on that WiFi channel are competing with each other for the chance to transmit their data.  If you and your neighbour(s) are sharing the same WiFi channels, you are now all fighting for the opportunity to transmit data.  If your neighbour's WiFi is not performing well and you are using the same channels, your WiFi network will suddenly now not perform well either.  Also, if you have multiple devices with marginal connections that are constantly transmitting data, your WiFi performance for all devices on your network will suffer as well, even those that are only a few feet away from your Ignite gateway.

 

You may also be competing with non-WiFi devices using the same frequencies.

 

The only way to know for sure what is causing your problems is by using a WiFi analyzer to scan your local airwaves.  However, if I had to guess, it may be because 1) you moved or reoriented your Ignite gateway... and it may now not be able to receive as strong a signal from your mobile phone as it used to.  2) You now have more active devices on your network with marginal connections.  3) Your neighbour may have changed something on their WiFi network.

 

 

As I said, your particular WiFi issue is not an uncommon problem.  Ars Technica even published an article on this same topic: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/04/remote-work-lagging-if-you-cant-plug-it-in-upgrade-to-mesh/

 

As for how to improve your WiFi performance, simply moving your modem, even just a little bit, may improve things considerably.  Installing Pods can also fix your WiFi woes.  (Their biggest downside to Pods is that they are not a "high performance" solution and they will limit the available WiFi throughput of any device(s) connecting to them to 200 Mb/s.  However, this may not be an issue in your case.)  Another option is to install a third-party WiFi mesh network solution.

 

Engineering a good WiFi network requires understanding how WiFi really works and, more importantly, understanding the things that will destroy WiFi performance: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/03/802-eleventy-what-a-deep-dive-into-why-wi-fi-...

 

You may also find the following helpful: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/02/the-ars-technica-semi-scientific-guide-to-wi-fi-access-point...

 

Lastly, Rogers has also been posting some helpful videos on their YouTube channel with basic tips on how to optimize WiFi in your home.

 

Best of luck with your troubleshooting!



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Highlighted
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 1,367

Re: Can't quite reach WiFi in my room. Should I use a Pod or is there another solution?

@bscrivens  What you are seeing is not an usual problem.  WiFi is finicky, and the "average person" often doesn't have the tools needed to really see whether their WiFi is actually really working well, working well-enough, or just barely working.

 

The WiFi signal strength indicator on your phone also only gives you a partial picture of your connection quality.  At one end, you have a WiFi Access Point (AP) with a fairly strong transmitter; the other end, your phone, has a fairly weak transmitter.  The quality of the connection depends on how well the two end-points can hear each other above the background noise.  If they can't hear each other very well, they will use a less efficient way to communicate, and that method will mean a lower speed connection and that the two endpoints will need more "air time" to transmit the same amount of data.

 

The other fact of life with WiFi is that only one device can transmit on a frequency at a given time.  That means that all devices in your home on that WiFi channel are competing with each other for the chance to transmit their data.  If you and your neighbour(s) are sharing the same WiFi channels, you are now all fighting for the opportunity to transmit data.  If your neighbour's WiFi is not performing well and you are using the same channels, your WiFi network will suddenly now not perform well either.  Also, if you have multiple devices with marginal connections that are constantly transmitting data, your WiFi performance for all devices on your network will suffer as well, even those that are only a few feet away from your Ignite gateway.

 

You may also be competing with non-WiFi devices using the same frequencies.

 

The only way to know for sure what is causing your problems is by using a WiFi analyzer to scan your local airwaves.  However, if I had to guess, it may be because 1) you moved or reoriented your Ignite gateway... and it may now not be able to receive as strong a signal from your mobile phone as it used to.  2) You now have more active devices on your network with marginal connections.  3) Your neighbour may have changed something on their WiFi network.

 

 

As I said, your particular WiFi issue is not an uncommon problem.  Ars Technica even published an article on this same topic: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/04/remote-work-lagging-if-you-cant-plug-it-in-upgrade-to-mesh/

 

As for how to improve your WiFi performance, simply moving your modem, even just a little bit, may improve things considerably.  Installing Pods can also fix your WiFi woes.  (Their biggest downside to Pods is that they are not a "high performance" solution and they will limit the available WiFi throughput of any device(s) connecting to them to 200 Mb/s.  However, this may not be an issue in your case.)  Another option is to install a third-party WiFi mesh network solution.

 

Engineering a good WiFi network requires understanding how WiFi really works and, more importantly, understanding the things that will destroy WiFi performance: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/03/802-eleventy-what-a-deep-dive-into-why-wi-fi-...

 

You may also find the following helpful: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/02/the-ars-technica-semi-scientific-guide-to-wi-fi-access-point...

 

Lastly, Rogers has also been posting some helpful videos on their YouTube channel with basic tips on how to optimize WiFi in your home.

 

Best of luck with your troubleshooting!



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