Wireless connection being inconsistent

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Seishin
I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

oops you are correct, here is a picture of all the channels.

 

http://puu.sh/pEZ2N/eb04dbcab4.png

 

this is right by the router, but I think this shows all the other channels just fine. I can do the entire house again if you guys need it.

mafiaboy01
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 17

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

The 2.4GHz is really congested in your area so if you have 12 devices hooked up to that i'm not suppried its giving you problems. I'm not even sure which band I would suggest because they are all pretty bad.

 

The 5Ghz isn't so bad. You could set it to channel 48 and that should move it clear of the other overlapping network.

 

My advice would be to move as many devices that support 5GHz over to that network. This will improve thier performance and also cause less interference for devices that must use the 2.4GHz band.

Seishin
I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 6

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

Alright, I now have 4 devices on the 5G (2 tablets and 2 computers), while the remaining devices are connected to the 2.4G. Thanks for the advice!

 

So would getting a new router not be worth it then since the frequency is too crowded? 

mafiaboy01
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 17

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

From my experience these Hitron routers aren't exactly the greatest. At my condo I run the Hitron router and it works okay. I have about 5 devices connected all using 5Ghz. Luckily for me the concrete walls block interference from my neighbours.

 

At my parents house there's about 30 devices with about 10 active at any give time. I've always had problems there with cheap wifi routers needing to be restarted all the time. Since I got a good Asus router a few years back I haven't had any issues.

 

It wouldn't hurt to get a router just for overall reliability but make sure to get a decent one. As Datalink mentioned Asus is very good, and Netgear has good ones as well. I run a Asus AC66u as router and AC56u as an access point, both work perfectly. In my opinion having the Hitron in bridged mode means its one less thing for it to mess up.

 

As for helping on the 2.4G these routers will have some more advance technologies but unfortunately its not something you'll be able to know for sure unless you try it out.

 

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 7,372

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

That depends on how much you make use of your wifi devices.  If you find that you really depend on wifi, then it would probably make sense to invest in a router which will provide better wifi capability.  Keep in mind however, that you are in a really tough wifi environment.  I'd say that you win the prize for the toughest that we've seen on the forum.  

 

There are other potential solutions such as relocating the modem to a location which might yield better signal levels.  However, looking at where they currently are, I don't think the problem is necessarily one of signal levels for your network, its more an issue of your neighbors being close enough that their router networks are interfering with yours.

 

A router with external antenna might make a difference in your situation.  I'll pick on Asus as I have one and know that it supports implicit and explicit beamforming.  Beamforming comes from the 802.11ac world, but, Asus also uses in for 2.4 Ghz operation.  In the 2.4 Ghz band Asus routers use implicit beamforming, which means that the router determines the direction to the remote device and times the antenna transmissions to aim a coherent RF wave at the device, raising the devices received signal levels, signal to noise ratios and therefore the data rates.  In the 5 Ghz 802.11ac mode, Asus uses explicit beamforming, where both the router and remote device co-operate to enable the router to determine where the device is and once again time the antenna transmissions to aim a coherent RF wave at the device.  The question is, even with that capability, would beamforming provide enough RF gain to make a difference?  That is a question that you could only answer by borrowing or possibly buying a router to try it out.  Its one of those cases that you won't know until you're there.  Fwiw, I have both beamforming options enabled and I'm very satisfied with the router performance.  In my neighborhood, there are about 35 to 40 2.4 Ghz routers in operation, so the 2.4 Ghz band is pretty well a write off, but still not as bad as yours.  In the 5 Ghz band, there are only three or four networks running, so that's much easier to cope with.  Still, I've shifted just about everything to the 5 Ghz band, except for a couple of ipods.

 

Along that same idea, if you're home was a single floor home, as in apartment, bungalow, etc, it would be possible to buy a router and install high gain antenna on the router.  The high gain antenna design flattens the vertical power distribution and transmits more power in the horizontal plane, resulting in higher received power levels, signal to noise ratios and data rates at the remote device.  That would be an interesting test in your case.  One has to be careful with selection of the high gain antenna as some are only designed for 2.4 Ghz operation and if used for 5Ghz operation, would result in damage to the 5 Ghz transmitter on the router.  I'd have to look around to see whats available for combined 2.4 and 5 Ghz operation.  

 

If you had structured wiring in your home that would make it possible to park the modem or a router in better locations which might help.  You indicated that you were running an extender.  Is that connected via house ethernet or via house powelines?  If you have a newer home there is a chance that it has structured wiring installed.  If you looked behind the wallplate that holds a phone / cable / ethernet connector you might see that there are additional cables behind the wallplate, waiting to be discovered and put to use.  A Structured Wiring Bundle typically consists of two RG-6 cables for cable or satellite, one Cat 3 cable for telephones and one Cat 5e or Cat 6 for ethernet.  Its possible that the Cat 3 cable might be another Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable instead.  That is something that you would have to determine, if in fact you had that in your home.  If you do have that bundle available, that would allow you to easily park other routers around the home to act as wifi access points, providing some relief for the 2.4 Ghz environment.  

 

If you have a 2.4 Ghz laptop that is suffering from the crowded environment, you can use a USB wifi dongle with 5 Ghz 802.11ac capability.  Something such as the Asus USB-AC56 gives the user the ability to connect to a 5 Ghz 802.11ac network, getting out of the crowded 2.4 Ghz environment.

 

https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Networking/USBAC56/

 

So, that is some food for thought.  Hopefully it might give you some ideas to work with.

 

Looks like @mafiaboy01 and I are thinking along the same lines here.



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tenplay
I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

How to connect to 5 GHz mode of Rogers modem?

 

I am having daily problems with my wifi Internet connection.  My modem is a Rogers 2.4/5 GHz model #CGN3ACSMR, which I have had for around 9 months.  My 2 computers are a Dell desktop and a Dell laptop, both purchased new in 2014.  The wifi signal slows down or drops completely off and on every day.  I live in a large condo building with many wifi users but have my own line.

 

The Rogers tech rep I talked with yesterday about this issue said that I should switch to 5 GHz mode to improve the wifi signal to both computers.  When I informed her that only the 2.4 GHz signal was offered on the wifi menu, she said that my computers were probably too old and needed USB 5 GHz wifi adapters, which I could purchase online for around $30 each.  I was surprised because the computers are only 2 years old.  Any suggestions/advice?  If I need to buy 5 Ghz adapters, please describe features or capabilities that I should look for.  Thank you for any assistance.

tenplay
I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

I should add that the modem is located about 10' unobstructed from the laptop and about 12' from the desktop with one internal wall in between.  Guess that might make a difference.  Thanks.

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 7,372

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

@tenplay, when you log into the modem and navigate to Wifi settings page, you should see two sub-tabs, one for 2.4 Ghz and one for 5 Ghz.  Is the 5Ghz sub-tab not visible?  No matter how you get there, ethernet, 2.4. Ghz, or 5 Ghz wifi, the appearance of the modem user interface pages should not change.  If the 5 Ghz sub-tab does not appear right beside the 2.4 Ghz sub-tab, run a factory reset.  That should restore the modem back to its original condition with default settings. Unfortunately that will also require you to reset your modem settings.  You could store a backup file prior to doing this by using the ADMIN .... BACKUP page, Backup function, but if the user interface has not loaded correctly, I would wonder about the possibility of some type of firmware corruption.  Loading the backup file after a factory reset might not be a good idea if the original firmware load was faulty.

 

As for the wifi adapters on the desktop and laptop, the best way to determine if they are 5 Ghz capable is to check the datasheet for the wifi adapters.  On both devices, navigate to Control Panel .... Device Manager .... Network Adapters.  Expand the Network Adapters selection and copy the entire name field for the wifi adapter.  Use that for a google search to find the adapter datasheet.  The datasheet will tell you if the adapter is 5 Ghz capable and it will also indicate the max connection rate that the adapter will support.  You can post those if you would like us to look those up as well.  Unfortunately, we've seen numerous examples that users have posted into the forum where the laptop they have is new or fairly new and the manufacturer has been very cheap and installed limited capability 2.4 Ghz wifi adapter.  As can be predicted, that leads to a lot of unhappy customers, for both the laptop company and the ISP when those customers determine how limited the wifi adapter is.  There are a couple of ways around that, one is to replace the laptop's wifi adapter, and two is to use a USB 5 Ghz capable adapter such as the following.

 

For the laptop:

 

 https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Networking/USBAC56/

 

That adapter is 802.11ac capable, which runs in the 5 Ghz band.  That will give your wifi data rates a pretty substantial increase if you have to go down that road.  

 

As for the desktop, I'd look at something like the following:

 

https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Networking/PCEAC68/

 

https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Networking/PCE-AC88/

 

Either of those would let you put the antenna up on top of the desktop or nearby platform, out from any shielding behind the desktop.  The number of antenna also gives you antenna diversity, which is one part of puzzle when it comes to running higher data rates.  

 

First things first, is to check the modem for the 5 Ghz control panel.  If its not present, run the factory reset (ADMIN .... DEVICE RESET .... Factory Reset).  If that doesn't solve the problem, swap the modem at the nearest Rogers store.

 

Then, check the adapter for its 2.4 and 5Ghz capability.

 

Let us know what you find.

 

Here is some food for thought. Load inSSIDer on your laptop and/or desktop.  This 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.  In a suburban area, the 2.4 Ghz band is usually pretty crowded and tough to work in, so, I'm not surprised that you're having problems.  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 is any 2.4 Ghz channel that is clear enough that it might work with the present modem.  The program link below is for the last freebie version.  A new version is out now that will handle 802.11ac networks in the 5 Ghz band, 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.  Its worth the $20 U.S. to buy if you do intend to use 5 Ghz networks as you be able to see all of the networks that are running nearby.

 

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. When that power level separation 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.

 

The bottom of the display is split into two bands, 2.4 Ghz on the left, 5 Ghz on the right.  If the desktop and laptop support 5 Ghz network, and assuming that 5 Ghz operation is enabled in the advanced adapter settings, you should be able to see the 5 Ghz networks that are running nearby.  If not, as in the 5 Ghz display area is completely empty, then either the adapter doesn't support 5 Ghz operation, or its not enabled in the advanced adapter settings.  You would have to drill down into the adapter settings to determine if its enabled.   The search for the adapter datasheets would tell you however if the adapters supported 5 Ghz operation.



tenplay
I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

I found out via Control Panel that both computers have 2.4 GHz wifi adapters.  So the lack of a 5 GHz sub-tab makes sense.  To add the 5 GHz capability, will buying a 5 GHz or dual-band USB wifi adapter work for me?  At Amazon, there are a number of wifi adapters offered including:

 

Realtek RT3572L Dual-band wifi adapter for $18.99

 

EDUP CA-1607 Dual-band wifi adapter for $22.99

 

Will these adapters solve my 5 GHz connectivity issue?  Also would running ethernet cables between the modem and computers greatly improve connectivity and make buying a new dual-band adapter unnecessary? 

 

Also I live in a large 2500 sf corner unit condo with concrete walls and floors.  So wouldn't wifi signals within the building be less of a factor?  Thanks for your great suggestions and advice.

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 7,372

Re: Wireless connection being inconsistent

Whatever you buy, don't go cheap!!  We've seen those results on the forum and they lead to nothing but aggravation.  I would also stay away from Realtek.  Unfortunately we've seen users with problems with the ethernet adapters, so, I personally wouldn't recommend Realtek adapters.  They might work perfectly, but, based on the history that we've seen, I wouldn't recommend it. 

 

There is an additional option for the laptop, and that is to replace the wifi adapter.  That might take a little laptop surgery, but, if you're up for it, it can be done.  @VivienM is our resident expert in replacing laptop wifi adapters and he could probably offer some sage advice in this endevour.  

 

If you can run or use the condo's ethernet cabling, that is the way to go, personal opinion.  At the present time, despite the use of 802.11ac in the 5 Ghz band, ethernet cabling is probably the best method of running anything over 100 Mb/s and do it without interference issues from neighboring modems and routers.  Buying the required run of Cat 6 cabling for example would probably be cheaper than buying a good 5 Ghz adapter.

 

http://www.staples.ca/en/Network-Cabling/cat_CL200608_2-CA_1_20001