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wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

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taxico
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wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

Postby taxico » Mon, 24 Dec 2012 11:51 pm

the frequent wifi disconnects at my wife's office have been driving me crazy.

sat down yesterday with a borrowed laptop that had an RF usb dongle and analysis software, and found out the place is inundated with 2.4ghz signals coming every which way, especially at the channel 6, which is making my wifi signal go crazy.

this is extremely annoying because i stream radio on my laptop and the disconnects kept breaking the playback.

long story short, instead of spending money on a new 5ghz band wifi router, i moved it, turned off the A/B/N signals, turned on 20mhz support ONLY, changed it to channel 11, turned off all other useless functions on the router (QoS engine, etc), only AES-WPA2 encryption and everything works just fine now.

if you have similar problems, i recommend the same. if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet.

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Re: wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 9:13 am

taxico wrote:if you have similar problems, i recommend the same. if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet.


And unless challenged by other obstacles, moi says, pull a Cat 5 cable :D








Coat, Hat, Umbrella ..

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Re: wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 9:49 am

taxico wrote:the frequent wifi disconnects at my wife's office have been driving me crazy.

sat down yesterday with a borrowed laptop that had an RF usb dongle and analysis software, and found out the place is inundated with 2.4ghz signals coming every which way, especially at the channel 6, which is making my wifi signal go crazy.

this is extremely annoying because i stream radio on my laptop and the disconnects kept breaking the playback.

long story short, instead of spending money on a new 5ghz band wifi router, i moved it, turned off the A/B/N signals, turned on 20mhz support ONLY, changed it to channel 11, turned off all other useless functions on the router (QoS engine, etc), only AES-WPA2 encryption and everything works just fine now.

if you have similar problems, i recommend the same. if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet.


Taxi, you already figured most of this out, but just to add a bit for those finding this in the future:

Channel 1/6/11 and the three recommended channels on the 2.4Ghz range as they don't overlap. If router supports 5Ghz, you should try it. It will be less suspeptible to RF interference, but you'll have significantly reduced range. Also, that wavelength is worse at penetrating walls. (If I close my bathroom door, I get no signal on 5Ghz. If I open the door, I get ~75%. And I was only testing in there :P)

If your router supports "A", it does 5Ghz. "N" can exist on routers that do 2.4 or 2.4 and 5Ghz. The only problem with what you did Taxi by disabling N is you may find G alone won't provide enough bandwidth for streaming videos with things like DLNA. Say, streaming from your computer to a TV/Xbox/Ps3/Apple TV. Most people won't care about that. A few will.

Always use WPA2 security. WEP can be cracked in minutes (whether 40bit or 128bit) by free software off the internet. MAC address filtering is useless to those who want to get in. It is like a "No Solicitors" sign on your front door. Only keeps the honest away.

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Re: wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 9:50 am

ecureilx wrote:
taxico wrote:if you have similar problems, i recommend the same. if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet.


And unless challenged by other obstacles, moi says, pull a Cat 5 cable :D


Those Ethernet over Powerline kits work surprisingly well too. The only challenge with them is the lack of power outlets in many units (relative to the US at least).

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Re: wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

Postby x9200 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 1:10 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
taxico wrote:the frequent wifi disconnects at my wife's office have been driving me crazy.

sat down yesterday with a borrowed laptop that had an RF usb dongle and analysis software, and found out the place is inundated with 2.4ghz signals coming every which way, especially at the channel 6, which is making my wifi signal go crazy.

this is extremely annoying because i stream radio on my laptop and the disconnects kept breaking the playback.

long story short, instead of spending money on a new 5ghz band wifi router, i moved it, turned off the A/B/N signals, turned on 20mhz support ONLY, changed it to channel 11, turned off all other useless functions on the router (QoS engine, etc), only AES-WPA2 encryption and everything works just fine now.

if you have similar problems, i recommend the same. if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet.


Taxi, you already figured most of this out, but just to add a bit for those finding this in the future:

Channel 1/6/11 and the three recommended channels on the 2.4Ghz range as they don't overlap. If router supports 5Ghz, you should try it. It will be less suspeptible to RF interference, but you'll have significantly reduced range. Also, that wavelength is worse at penetrating walls. (If I close my bathroom door, I get no signal on 5Ghz. If I open the door, I get ~75%. And I was only testing in there :P)


This is nice in theory but in normal practice the right way to do this is to check the individual channels and see the signal, noise levels and the transmission rate. In my location ch 11 is very crowded. The noise can vary tremendously over some period of time. 1 and 6 have not so many users but the quality is also rather poor. You have no slightest control and often the idea what are the devils in your surrounding. BT, microwaves, wireless AV transmitters, non-dec wireless phones...They will not show in your wifi scan. I personally and proudly own an AV transmitter that kill half of the 802.11g band within its hole transmitting range (10-15m). I also own a high end baby monitor (iDA certified) that kills everything within 2m range.
In other words advising to stick to this or that channel without knowing the particular site is not really a good advice.

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Re: wi-fi frequent disconnect... why fi???!

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 3:06 pm

x9200 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
taxico wrote:the frequent wifi disconnects at my wife's office have been driving me crazy.

sat down yesterday with a borrowed laptop that had an RF usb dongle and analysis software, and found out the place is inundated with 2.4ghz signals coming every which way, especially at the channel 6, which is making my wifi signal go crazy.

this is extremely annoying because i stream radio on my laptop and the disconnects kept breaking the playback.

long story short, instead of spending money on a new 5ghz band wifi router, i moved it, turned off the A/B/N signals, turned on 20mhz support ONLY, changed it to channel 11, turned off all other useless functions on the router (QoS engine, etc), only AES-WPA2 encryption and everything works just fine now.

if you have similar problems, i recommend the same. if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet.


Taxi, you already figured most of this out, but just to add a bit for those finding this in the future:

Channel 1/6/11 and the three recommended channels on the 2.4Ghz range as they don't overlap. If router supports 5Ghz, you should try it. It will be less suspeptible to RF interference, but you'll have significantly reduced range. Also, that wavelength is worse at penetrating walls. (If I close my bathroom door, I get no signal on 5Ghz. If I open the door, I get ~75%. And I was only testing in there :P)


This is nice in theory but in normal practice the right way to do this is to check the individual channels and see the signal, noise levels and the transmission rate. In my location ch 11 is very crowded. The noise can vary tremendously over some period of time. 1 and 6 have not so many users but the quality is also rather poor. You have no slightest control and often the idea what are the devils in your surrounding. BT, microwaves, wireless AV transmitters, non-dec wireless phones...They will not show in your wifi scan. I personally and proudly own an AV transmitter that kill half of the 802.11g band within its hole transmitting range (10-15m). I also own a high end baby monitor (iDA certified) that kills everything within 2m range.
In other words advising to stick to this or that channel without knowing the particular site is not really a good advice.


I only said 'recommended', and are still a good place. 99% of the people searching this forum with Wifi problems will have no idea how to try every channel and monitor for signal noise and transmission rates. Those that do (like yourself) can troubleshoot their own wifi issues without resorting to an expat forum for help ;)

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 5:10 pm

If somebody does not know what is this whole wifi thing about then perhaps what should be recommended is to stick to the "auto" channel settings?

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 6:19 pm

x9200 wrote:If somebody does not know what is this whole wifi thing about then perhaps what should be recommended is to stick to the "auto" channel settings?


Come on, is everything so black and white to you? Learn to address the audience you're speaking (posting) to*. There is a *huge* difference in skill levels between choosing a channel from a drop down in your consumer wireless AP's setup menu than there is measuring Signal, Noise, and Through-put on each channel yourself. I've been able to easily tell people who have had connectivity problems to pick a new channel, and suggest they start with 1, 6, and 11, and they've been successful. And again, why those? Because if they see problems on Channel 1, they'll likely have issues on 2 and 3 also if it is due to overcrowding.

*- If this was a a techy forum, then yes, my advice would not be nearly so basic, and we'd be talking about using a Wi-spy or wireshark with a card in monitor mode if available to troubleshoot.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 6:35 pm

Some explanations. Why Channel 1/6/11 are the best choice? They are not universally. They are only the best choice if all the other people use them. It is a recommended setting as it allows to cut out from the designated 2.4GHz bandwidth the maximum number of 3 non-overlapping channels (assuming the width of the channel ~22-25MHz). You could set arbitrary ch 2 and 7 and the performance would be the same but there could be only these two channels if we assume the max No of channels is 11 (this is true in the North America countries).

How does it work? If your neighbor's AP uses (i.e.) ch 6 and you also use ch 6 your AP (access point) can recognize the traffic coming from your neighbor and limit its influence using a collision avoidance systems accordingly to the used standard (802.11g etc). Of course if there are too many APs using the same channel the performance will drop anyway as the channels have their capacities.
Now, what happens if your neighbor uses a different channel (in this example anything between 1 and 6 or 6 and 11)? Your AP does not recognize this as a wifi traffic. There are no collision avoidance mechanism employed so this directly contribute to the noise. Level of noise is important as AP can work better and provide better performance if the ratio between the signal and the noise is sufficiently high. Imagine you have a noisy TV screen and you are trying to paint red dots in this image. More "uneven" and random the screen is more difficult to see the dots.

The conclusion from the above info is that 1/6/11 only works if everybody in your surrounding adhere to this. If your neighbors for whatever reason would stick in example to 3 5 10 there is no way using 1/6/11 could help you to solve your performance problems.

So saying:[..] if channel 11 doesn't work, channel 1 is your next best bet. has completely no ground unless you know what wifi APs are in your surrounding. On top of this even knowing it may still not solve the problems as there maybe non-wifi noise in any part of the 2.4GHz band.

If you have performance issue (including connect/disconnect):
1. Set your AP to channel auto (if it has such option)
2. Try 1/6/11 if you are a person of great faith in people of Singapore adhering to the recommended standards
3. Check the channels one by one

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 8:00 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Through-put on each channel yourself. I've been able to easily tell people who have had connectivity problems to pick a new channel, and suggest they start with 1, 6, and 11, and they've been successful. And again, why those? Because if they see problems on Channel 1, they'll likely have issues on 2 and 3 also if it is due to overcrowding.

Good example from my neighborhood:
ch 1 1xAP
ch 3 3x
ch 6 8x
ch 7 6x
ch 10 1x
ch 11 10x

Ch 3 APs got higher signal level than those @7ch and ch 1 is not the winner. Actually I still get better performance using ch 11.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 26 Dec 2012 10:20 pm

:lol: :cool:

Image

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 27 Dec 2012 8:41 am

x9200 wrote:if you are a person of great faith in people of Singapore adhering to the recommended standards


I will concede this argument to you and chalk up my loss as misguided faith in humanity. I'll remember to be even more cynical than I usually am :D :D

Seriously, I agree with everything you said, but was trying to simplify for future forum searchers. :)

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Postby taxico » Thu, 27 Dec 2012 4:56 pm

FWIW, my wife's office router was actually on auto mode for everything and it didn't work too good... at all.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 27 Dec 2012 7:32 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
x9200 wrote:if you are a person of great faith in people of Singapore adhering to the recommended standards


I will concede this argument to you and chalk up my loss as misguided faith in humanity. I'll remember to be even more cynical than I usually am :D :D

Seriously, I agree with everything you said, but was trying to simplify for future forum searchers. :)

Ok, fair enough I think I went perhaps one step too far :)

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 27 Dec 2012 7:33 pm

taxico wrote:FWIW, my wife's office router was actually on auto mode for everything and it didn't work too good... at all.

Say the name so people will be warned.


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