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slow wifi

I've Been Around

so i believe its been the past 4-5 months that i have been having a problem with my wifi. there are 3 people in my house that use the wifi at the same time and in december january and february there was really no problem at all with speed but i started noticing thing like being disconected from the interne while using wifi with my devices which are laptops and phones. now after being on the phone for an hour with a lady that had no idea what she was talking about kept getting me to check the internet speed which i couldnt because i couldnt be on the internet any longer then 3 mintes before my router would restart she then told me to reset it myself using the usb that the tech had left. after reseting my router the problem was fixed for about 2 weeks and all of our devices were back to disconecting because the router would reboot this problem has since then dissapeared with no explanation but we now have a new problem and that is extremely slow internet while using the wifi when i play online game mainly nhl14 and league of legend i experience extreme amounts of lag but when im connecte through an ethernet cable the lag goes away now i could obviouslyjust connect my laptop and ps3 to my router everytime i want to play but that just takes out of the convienence of being able to play wherever i want in my house i just want to know if there is any way to fix my wifi speed so i dont have to directly hook up to my touter everytime i want to do something.



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Re: slow wifi

@Stromey there are two possible problems here, the cable feed from the local node, or, the shared nature of wifi. 


Do you notice slow data rates in the evening with wired devices?  If so, that could point to congestion at the local node or at the Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS).  You really need to find a way to determine if you would suffer from the same problem over a wired connection.  That might involve buying a 50 or 100 ft Cat 6 ethernet cable that you can string around the home for test purposes.  I keep one on hand for the odd occasion that I'm troubleshooting a problem.  Either that or move a tv for temporary test purposes so that you can connect to the network via ethernet.  Knowing that the wired feed is ok would point any troubleshooting in the right direction.  


For the wifi situation, there are only so many wifi channels and as more users receive/send data via wifi over those limited number of channels, every transmitter (modem or router) has to wait for an opportunity to transmit its data.  During the day, when most people in a residential neighbourhood are at work, those modems or routers are still up and running, but, with no traffic to transmit, they might only be transmitting their wifi beacons, so, very little traffic on any wifi channel within a given geographic area.  Later in the evening, with everyone home, gaming, streaming, etc, etc, the amount of traffic probably goes up exponentially, all of which is running over a limited number of channels.  That problem will only get worse as wifi use grows every month/year.   So, not good news.  


The fact that your tv is upstairs is also part of the problem as any wifi equipment on a higher floor has a larger Radio Frequency horizon and range, and as a result can see a good many more transmitters in operation, all of which cause that device to run fewer transmit opportunities.  Wifi is a first come, first serve system.  When a given channel goes silent, as in the transmitting device has completed its data transmission, that starts a pseudo random timer in all wifi adapters on that channel (within a given RF range).  The first device to transmit claims the channel for its use.  Every other device which recognizes that the channel is now occupied has to wait.  So, with more data running thru all of the various networks, that just slows every network down, possibly adding to any slow data issues that you might be experiencing at the local node or CMTS. 


Can you do anything about it?  First or second thing to do is to determine if you see the same problem with wired devices.  Next, you can optimize the settings for your wifi networks and determine whom you're competing with for usable wifi channels to select the best channel to use.  Beyond that its time to look at alternative methods of distributing data around your home, which includes using ethernet if its available or MoCA 2.0 adapters connected to the cable system that exists in your home.


First step, check out a wired tv.  I leave that to you to determine the easiest way to do it.  Use another tv, or move the existing tv, or run a long enough ethernet cable for test purposes. 


Next, the wifi settings.  You didn't indicate which network you were using, 2.4 or 5 Ghz.  Using a 5 Ghz network should normally be the first choice, but, that depends on what you find when you look at your wifi environment.  So .....


.....can you check/set the following 2.4 Ghz wifi parameters:


Wireless Mode: 802.11 n 
Channel Bandwidth: 20/40 Mhz, although, for test puposes you could set this to 20 Mhz. In a crowded wifi environment, I would set this for 20 Mhz.  It will default to 20 Mhz in a crowded environment.
Wireless channel: AUTO or, to an open channel if one existed, or to the channel that offers the least interference from neighboring routers and modems as seen with a wifi monitoring application listed below.
WPS Enabled: OFF
Security Mode: WPA-Personal
Auth Mode: WPA2-PSK
Encrypt Mode: AES only


Check/set the following 5 Ghz wifi parameters:


Wireless Mode: 802.11 a/n/ac mixed
Channel Bandwidth: 80 Mhz, although, for test puposes you could set this to 40 Mhz
Wireless channel: 149 to 165     Use this higher channel range as it runs higher transmit power levels.
WPS Enabled: OFF
Security Mode: WPA-Personal
Auth Mode: WPA2-PSK
Encrypt Mode: AES only


If you had to change any parameters, reboot your router after the changes have been saved. 


Next, look at your wifi environment and see who else you're competing with for usable channels.  Load one of the following wifi scanners onto a laptop and then do a walk about, around your home and upstairs to see what the channel situation looks like.  I'd recommend the following order for selection:


Lizard systems wifi scanner

inSSIDer lite    (I run a licenced version of this, but the lite version is probably fairly close)



These can be found at the following locations:


inSSIDer Lite:  Requires a freebie account set up to use it.  That is displayed when you go to download the application.


Lizard Systems wifi scanner:


A freebie home user licence can be obtained by using the Get Licence link for the Wifi Scanner on the following page:


Acrylic wifi scanner which is also free:



WifiInfoView.  Within the options section there are multiple data displays, one of which is the % utilization of the wifi channels.  I don't know if this is a calculated number or a number collected from those routers and modems that transmit that data.  In any event, you will see a difference between the day and night utilization of the displayed channels



When you walk about your home with the wifi scanner running, keep in mind which channel you are using and have a look at the graphical display on the Lizard Systems or inSSIDer display.  That will show you just how many other network are running on your channel.  Stop in place for two to three minutes so that the application has enough time to adjust to the new location in your home.  You can sort the data in the text data display by selecting the column titles to sort the data up or down.  Sorting the channel column will allow you to determine how many networks are running on each channel.  Sometimes there are too many to determine from the graphical display, so, sorting the text data is the only way to determine that.  


Ok, so, thats a starting point.  It should keep you busy for a day or two.  


Do you happen to have ethernet cabling installed within the walls of your home?  If you don't know, take a wallplate off the wall that has a cable or telepone port and have a look behind the wallplate for other cabling that does not have any connectors installed.  Structured wiring, if installed usually consists of two RG-6 cables for satellite or cable tv, one Cat-5e cable for ethernet, and one Cat 3, possibly a Cat-5e for telephones.  Typically contractors will install one connector and tuck the rest of the cabling behind the wallplate, where it sits until its discovered by the homeowner and put to use.  So, thats another question to answer, whether or not that cable bundle is installed in your home.  If the house is built within the last 15 years or so, there's a good chance that its installed, just not completed to its full potential. 


If you don't have ethernet cabling available, its also possible to use the existing cable network in the home by using a pair, or more, of Actiontec ethernet to cable adapters, or use a cable to wifi adapter.  Here's a couple of Youtube videos on that subject.  They're a little simplistic as there is more to setting these up, but, they're a fair demonstration of the capability of MoCA 2.0 adapters:


Actiontec ECB6200K02 Bonded MOCA 2.0 Review - Extend a network with cable TV wires!


Actiontec MOCA 2.0 802.11ac Wireless Network Extender Review - WCB6200Q02


Hope this helps.....

Re: slow wifi

Thanks for the tips.

Just to clarify, I have my modem bridged with a dlink wifi router and I have a netgear booster upstairs. I run an Ethernet cable from the booster to the android box. I don't run Ethernet cables into my tv.

Downstairs everything is hardwired via Ethernet cables into the modem.

I run all of my wireless devices via 5g

Re: slow wifi

And the slowdown is only at night

Re: slow wifi

@Stromey, is the Netgear booster a Netgear Repeater?  Just want to make sure I understand.  Repeaters usually end up cutting the throughput rates due to their channel usage.  


The Android box is an Android TV?  


Is there any way to test that tv with a direct connection to the router, just to determine if this is a cable system issue, a wifi issue, or a combination of both?  


Do you see any slow data issues with the wired equipment at night?



Re: slow wifi

Sorry it's a netgear extender.

The android box is the same thing as Apple TV, except it runs on the android platform.

The tv cannot be hooked up anyway but coax and cable tv has been cut.

Everything hardwired into the modem works perfectly