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Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

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Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

Yesterday I switched my ISP from Comcast to ATT. I have the 45 Mbps service. After service was installed, I did a speed test on the wifi connection and got about 17. I then tested with a direct connection and got the 44 - 45. Later in the evening, I continued to do speed tests and got as low as 1.5 mbps on wifi (with average around 9). Upload speeds were consistent at around 4.5 whether on wifi or plugged in and regardless of what download speed was showing. Location of my laptop versus location of the router did not seem to matter. Whether right next to it or on the other side of the house, speeds were consistently low. Number of devices connected did not make a difference either, I tried with several devices connected and with only one device connected and still would get the same speeds. On Comcast wifi, I had 50 Mbps service, and consistently got 40-42 on wifi. I am considering a range extender to see if that might help, but honestly, I am stumped on this one. Any ideas?

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Message 1 of 16

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@MFJewell@  wrote:

Yesterday I switched my ISP from Comcast to ATT. I have the 45 Mbps service. After service was installed, I did a speed test on the wifi connection and got about 17. I then tested with a direct connection and got the 44 - 45. Later in the evening, I continued to do speed tests and got as low as 1.5 mbps on wifi (with average around 9). Upload speeds were consistent at around 4.5 whether on wifi or plugged in and regardless of what download speed was showing. Location of my laptop versus location of the router did not seem to matter. Whether right next to it or on the other side of the house, speeds were consistently low. Number of devices connected did not make a difference either, I tried with several devices connected and with only one device connected and still would get the same speeds. On Comcast wifi, I had 50 Mbps service, and consistently got 40-42 on wifi. I am considering a range extender to see if that might help, but honestly, I am stumped on this one. Any ideas?


 _________________________________________________________________

 

 

You might want to start with investigating your wireless environment.

 

This is a good free tool for PC called Net Surveyor: http://nutsaboutnets.com/wireless-diagnostic-tools/free-tools/

 

This tool will determine how many networks are fighting over space on the wi-fi channels and what channels are the most crowded. With this info you should be able to find a channel that is less utilized and set your router and devices to use it.

 

With your Uverse service are you using any wireless TV receivers (set-top-boxes)?

 

When switching from Comcast to Uverse it's possible that the routers have different wi-fi capabilities like what frequencies they use (2.4GHz vs 5GHz or G vs N).

 

As well, make sure your router and devices are configured to WPA2 security with AES encryption.

 

I always turn off SSID Broadcast on my routers which prohibits devices that have not already been configured to connect, from seeing the network.

 

 

 

                               neon_sign.jpg

Message 2 of 16
Tutor

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

After doing some more research, I am planning on looking at settings and checking for wireless interference when I get home today.

 

And, yes I do have the wireless TV receivers. I guess my first test tonight will be to check speeds with those disabled. I hope that isn't the issue since I was assured it would not slow down wifi speeds. At least that is an easy fix.

Message 3 of 16
Employee

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

The wireless receivers are in the 5ghz frequencies range.

The Uverse WiFi are 2.4 GHz b/g/n on the 589. A very crowded range shared by many devices including wireless headsets, 2.4 GHz home phones, microwave ovens, garage door openers, etc.

 

Suspect you may need to move to 5Ghz wireless (not sure what Comcast used) requiring purchasing a dual band router placed behind 589, either as IP pass through or AP mode.

 

Many posts of individuals liking Asus routers for this.

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 4 of 16
Tutor

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@my thoughts wrote:

The wireless receivers are in the 5ghz frequencies range.

The Uverse WiFi are 2.4 GHz b/g/n on the 589. A very crowded range shared by many devices including wireless headsets, 2.4 GHz home phones, microwave ovens, garage door openers, etc.

 

Suspect you may need to move to 5Ghz wireless (not sure what Comcast used) requiring purchasing a dual band router placed behind 589, either as IP pass through or AP mode.

 

Many posts of individuals liking Asus routers for this.


I am pretty sure Comcast is 2.4 Ghz. Would changing the wifi channel in the 2.4 range be the same as changing to 5 Ghz?

Message 5 of 16
Solution
Accepted by (Master)
Accepted by Computer-Joe
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@MFJewell@  wrote:

I am pretty sure Comcast is 2.4 Ghz. Would changing the wifi channel in the 2.4 range be the same as changing to 5 Ghz?


 _________________________________________________________________

 

 

 Switching to 5GHz would be the optimum solution, if all of your devices are capable of 5GHz operation. In the meantime, yes, switching to a "clear" channel in the 2.4GHz range could make a world of difference. Or, if there are no completely unused channels, switching to a less congested one could at least give you moderate improvement.

 

As mentioned getting your own router and using it as your access point (turning off the wi-fi on the AT&T router) is also an option. If you have a mix of 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices that need wi-fi, get a router that does simultaneous dual band. In other words it trasmits and receives on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time. That way your 5GHz devices can use that band for a (theoretically) faster connection, and your older devices can still connect in the 2.4GHz band (either G or N).

 

 

 

                               neon_sign.jpg

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Message 6 of 16
Tutor

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@Computer-Joe wrote:

 

As mentioned getting your own router and using it as your access point (turning off the wi-fi on the AT&T router) is also an option. If you have a mix of 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices that need wi-fi, get a router that does simultaneous dual band. In other words it trasmits and receives on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time. That way your 5GHz devices can use that band for a (theoretically) faster connection, and your older devices can still connect in the 2.4GHz band (either G or N).

 

 

 


I have a spare router that I will check the specs on when I get home. Pretty sure it is not dual band, but can't remember for sure since I have had it sitting in a box for the last 3 years. Sounds like I have plenty of troubleshooting to do. I'll update with results once complete. Thanks for the advice.

Message 7 of 16
Tutor

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

Well I ran a wireless network discovery tool and found channels 1 and 6 to be LOADED. Of course my was defaulting to 1. I tested channels 3, 4, 8, and 9. Channel 8 had the best overall results averging down speeds of 38 over three tests. Looks like problem solved. Thanks again for the advice.

Message 8 of 16

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@MFJewell wrote:

Well I ran a wireless network discovery tool and found channels 1 and 6 to be LOADED. Of course my was defaulting to 1. I tested channels 3, 4, 8, and 9. Channel 8 had the best overall results averging down speeds of 38 over three tests. Looks like problem solved. Thanks again for the advice.


 _________________________________________________________________

 

 

No problem, that's why I'm here.

 

Be sure to stop back if you have any other questions.

 

 

 

                               neon_sign.jpg

Message 9 of 16
Professor

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@MFJewell wrote:

Well I ran a wireless network discovery tool and found channels 1 and 6 to be LOADED. Of course my was defaulting to 1. I tested channels 3, 4, 8, and 9. Channel 8 had the best overall results averging down speeds of 38 over three tests. Looks like problem solved. Thanks again for the advice.


Some people don't agree with me on this, but..

 

The preferred channels are 1,6, and 11 because you have to consider network overlap. While sometimes using other channels give you a performance gain(depending on the situation), it's generally the [insert name here] move because you ruin everyone's wireless for your own gain. In a neighborhood with 2wires, they generally just pick random channels when many people are off the standard 1,6, and 11 channels eventually leading to massive overlap problems. This is because networks interfere with networks channels away from their own(and it's pretty devastating).

 

I am an inSSIDer freak(another network scanner that I find to be one of the best). It is available for free(the inSSIDer 2 version, which I find to be the best version) on the Amped Wireless website under the Windows program of Wi-Fi Analytics Tool. I practically have inSSIDer running for as long as I'm awake everyday. I watch what channel every network is on in my neighbor(and there are quite a lot). I've been working hard to get people to move to 1,6, and 11 and it's really paying off. The range of all of the networks have gone up along with the overall performance. Also, networks that are on 2-5 and 7-10 are constantly dropping in and out of range at low signals while the low signal networks on 1,6, or 11 are much more constant in terms of their appearance. I've seen networks around -85 going poof on the wireless scanners for minutes at a time due to a ton of overlap interference. While on the other hand, networks on the 1,6, and 11 channels can have signals as low as -92 and remain constant without disappearing at long periods at a time. I generally see very little change in terms of performance when a network decides to go to my channel(6), yet if they overlap me(say 4), it really takes a chunk out in my experience.

 

Because of all of my attempts to get more networks moving to 1,6, or 11, my range has greatly increased to 800ft+ and my speed is a whole lot more consistent.

 

It might not work for everyone(especially if it's already a mess), but if you give it time, in my experience, it works out for everyone.

 

Edit: Another thing to add..

 

I have realized that when downloading a file, many networks overlapping me would just go poof on inSSIDer until the download completes. On the other hand, the networks on the same channel as me usually stay within signal range and still pop up on my inSSIDer scans as I download. This pretty much tells you that while I'm destroying the other networks, the ones working on the same channel aren't taking as much of a beating.

 

The wireless standards are meant to work well with co-channel interference. They aren't meant to work with adjacent channel interference.

 

Over the past year, I have made our neighborhood go from about only 50% using 1,6, or 11 to now around 80%.

 

http://www.metageek.net/support/why-channels-1-6-and-11/

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Message 10 of 16

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@Darknessrise@  wrote:

Some people don't agree with me on this, but..

 

The preferred channels are 1,6, and 11 because you have to consider network overlap. While sometimes using other channels give you a performance gain(depending on the situation), it's generally the [insert name here] move because you ruin everyone's wireless for your own gain. In a neighborhood with 2wires, they generally just pick random channels when many people are off the standard 1,6, and 11 channels eventually leading to massive overlap problems. This is because networks interfere with networks channels away from their own(and it's pretty devastating).

 

I am an inSSIDer freak(another network scanner that I find to be one of the best). It is available for free(the inSSIDer 2 version, which I find to be the best version) on the Amped Wireless website under the Windows program of Wi-Fi Analytics Tool. I practically have inSSIDer running for as long as I'm awake everyday. I watch what channel every network is on in my neighbor(and there are quite a lot). I've been working hard to get people to move to 1,6, and 11 and it's really paying off. The range of all of the networks have gone up along with the overall performance. Also, networks that are on 2-5 and 7-10 are constantly dropping in and out of range at low signals while the low signal networks on 1,6, or 11 are much more constant in terms of their appearance. I've seen networks around -85 going poof on the wireless scanners for minutes at a time due to a ton of overlap interference. While on the other hand, networks on the 1,6, and 11 channels can have signals as low as -92 and remain constant without disappearing at long periods at a time. I generally see very little change in terms of performance when a network decides to go to my channel(6), yet if they overlap me(say 4), it really takes a chunk out in my experience.

 

Because of all of my attempts to get more networks moving to 1,6, or 11, my range has greatly increased to 800ft+ and my speed is a whole lot more consistent.

 

It might not work for everyone(especially if it's already a mess), but if you give it time, in my experience, it works out for everyone.

 

Edit: Another thing to add..

 

I have realized that when downloading a file, many networks overlapping me would just go poof on inSSIDer until the download completes. On the other hand, the networks on the same channel as me usually stay within signal range and still pop up on my inSSIDer scans as I download. This pretty much tells you that while I'm destroying the other networks, the ones working on the same channel aren't taking as much of a beating.

 

The wireless standards are meant to work well with co-channel interference. They aren't meant to work with adjacent channel interference.

 

Over the past year, I have made our neighborhood go from about only 50% using 1,6, or 11 to now around 80%.

 

http://www.metageek.net/support/why-channels-1-6-and-11/


Actually, I think you need to look at it from a different angle.

 

When multiple APs use the same channel, each one has to stop and wait it's turn, or powerspike to clear the channel, because the APs recognize traffic centered on the same channel as legitimate traffic and the standard says when there's other legitimate traffic on the same channel everyone has to take turns. The only way to avoid this round robin, is to create a "channel map" of your neighborhood so you can assign the same channel to APs that cannot see each other.

 

When an AP sees traffic on a channel that it is not centered on, it treats it as noise and compensates, but never stops.

 

As well with the advent of wideband APs (access points that use 40MHz wide channels as opposed to the original 20MHZ width, there will always be adjacent channel usage, and having several of those APs in your neighborhood will definitely throw a wrench in you channel assignment plans.

 

 

As far as other APs disappearing on inSSIDer while you're downloading, that is probably due to the fact that inSSIDer can't scan other channels because you download does not give inSSIDer the timeslice it needs to do a spectrum scan. Try adding another wireless adapter to your computer and use one for inSSIDer and the other for your download and see what the results are.

 

 

 

                               neon_sign.jpg

Message 11 of 16
Professor

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help


@Computer-Joe wrote:

@Darknessrise@  wrote:
[Post]

Actually, I think you need to look at it from a different angle.

 

When multiple APs use the same channel, each one has to stop and wait it's turn, or powerspike to clear the channel, because the APs recognize traffic centered on the same channel as legitimate traffic and the standard says when there's other legitimate traffic on the same channel everyone has to take turns. The only way to avoid this round robin, is to create a "channel map" of your neighborhood so you can assign the same channel to APs that cannot see each other.

 

When an AP sees traffic on a channel that it is not centered on, it treats it as noise and compensates, but never stops.

 

As well with the advent of wideband APs (access points that use 40MHz wide channels as opposed to the original 20MHZ width, there will always be adjacent channel usage, and having several of those APs in your neighborhood will definitely throw a wrench in you channel assignment plans.

 

 

As far as other APs disappearing on inSSIDer while you're downloading, that is probably due to the fact that inSSIDer can't scan other channels because you download does not give inSSIDer the timeslice it needs to do a spectrum scan. Try adding another wireless adapter to your computer and use one for inSSIDer and the other for your download and see what the results are.

 

 

 


You do have to consider though that the while it doesn't have to wait for turns, it'll get slammed on whenever the overlapping network decides to have activity. I have two adapters, my A6200 which I use for inSSIDer scanning and my WNDA4100 which I use for actual use. The high and low overlapping networks going poof on inSSIDer when I downloaded which was with separate adapters. My neighbor could be right on my channel(which is 6) and their network doesn't fade if I download, but once they say change to 3 from 6, their network will fade every time I download.

Edit: Included below are two inSSIDer pictures of both during a download and after. Notice how the on on my channel stayed up. I only included networks on channels 2-10 to reduce clutter. The one on channel 4 was fading in and out and managed to pop in when I took the image.

 

2.jpg

 

3.jpg

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Message 12 of 16
ACE - Expert

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

It's likely that the RF energy generated by the download outshone the weaker signals on the adjacent channels to the point of obscuring them completely.  It's like trying to see a traffic signal in front of the sun.

 

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 13 of 16

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

Side note to all the great advice and ultimate solution already given/received....

 

I had the same problem when my old gray RG was swapped out for the new black one.  In my case every channel ran at the same speed which was around 6-7 Mbps vs the 18 Mbps advertised.  What fixed it was changing the router's default wi-fi setting from b/g to g only.  

 

The old RG was also running default settings but did not have this issue.  It's kinda like since all of my clients are b/g/n capable and the RG is b capable/enabled they just all agreed to run at that speed.  I know running both b and g devices on a mixed mode network can sometimes slow down the g devices but this was almost like the router was only in b mode.  Again, this was not the case on the old RG and I'm fairly certain it must've been in b/g mode as well.

 

If it's an issue with the RG, maybe the default setting should be g only with instructions included on how to change it to mixed mode if running antiques on the network.

 

 

Message 14 of 16

Re: Slow Wifi - Searched through the posts here, still looking for help

Forgot to mention above....

The laptop I was running the speed test on WAS showing that it was connecting at 54Mbps, not 11Mbps like if it were on a b network.  Once the wif-fi was changed to g only, the speed test results immediately doubled with no other changes.

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