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Home WiFi glitches
Old 04-13-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
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Home WiFi glitches

I try to embrace and keep up with tech, but my home wifi connection is baffling.

With our iPads and iPhones, the wifi connection freezes at least once a day. We have to go into iOS Settings, turn WiFi off and back on again to restore. Easy, but a nuisance.

Less often, but a couple times a month the connection to all devices slows to a crawl, not just iDevices but our Samsung Smart TV too. Yesterday I did a bandwidth speed test during a persistent slowdown, and it showed download and upload were above our contract Mbps But the connection was still horrible, searches took forever and TV video was coming in very low res. I unplug our router and our cable modem, and good service resumes. All firmware is up to date, and I've checked our assigned channel and we're not in conflict with neighbors.

And there are almost never issues with my PC hard wired connection, so presumably something in WiFi.

Maybe one day I'll figure it all out. For now, frequent resets are the norm.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:27 AM   #2
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Many years ago I had similar symptoms. Called internet company to complain. They ran check over the line from their office and told me my modem was out of date and needed replacement. I was renting modem at the time from them as part of my contract so they replaced with no extra charge. My problem was solved.

I don't know of way to check modem other than just call internet company and let them check. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:30 AM   #3
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What type of WiFi device do you have (model number)?
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:51 AM   #4
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Why Channels 1, 6, and 11? MetaGeek.com discusses the 2.4 GHz band.

However, some of your devices may be on the 5 GHz band.

I usually also suggest updating the firmware on your router.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:14 AM   #5
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I'd suggest confirming that your router is located in a good spot in your home (generally, centrally located and up high).

Overall, it's not clear where the problem lies - modem, router, iDevices, or cable company. Try to do more troubleshooting to narrow it down by swapping out components along the chain and see when the problem appears/disappears. Do friends' Windows devices have the same problem on your network? Did the problem appear after you got that new router? Etc. It's a hassle and time consuming to do but it's really the best way to resolve these problems.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:39 AM   #6
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Too many variables. Modem out of date is common. If its a company/isp provided one, just have them give you a new one.. get a promotional deal too, as for your service at cheaper rate, and call right before promo stops.
Many times, peak usage hours slow you down...
Another issue is hardware outside home. All my coax connections were corroded, and xfinity replaced them..
My router is Xfinity supplied, but, I use a TPlink Archer C7 (85 bucks at amazon) and it provides a much greater signal throughout the house. You just plug it into your modem provided by cable/isp company. Then log in to it..
I have xfinity blast, 75Mbps, Xbox, Playstation, 4 phones, 3 laptops, and a bluray that all run on wifi for netflix etc. No issues.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:46 AM   #7
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We never have problem with WIFI until this year. Beginning of the year and we called COX and inquired about it. It turned out our NETGEAR needed some new software, we had to pay for the upgrade. And once we download the new updated software, we haven't had any problem since.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:46 AM   #8
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+1 on TPlink Archer C7; had same problem OP described wired connection ok but with slow wireless and drop outs, tried range extender and still had problems. Seems issue was the number of added devices (ipad, iphones, kindles, TVs, printer etc) on older wireless router couldn't be handled well. Changed router to new up to date model and problem solved and range extender eliminated.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greydog17 View Post
+1 on TPlink Archer C7; had same problem OP described wired connection ok but with slow wireless and drop outs, tried range extender and still had problems. Seems issue was the number of added devices (ipad, iphones, kindles, TVs, printer etc) on older wireless router couldn't be handled well. Changed router to new up to date model and problem solved and range extender eliminated.
I could never get extenders to make any difference in home. The TP Link Archer has been great... And, Apple products are set up for AC, more than N for their gear, and the Archer is dual band AC and N.
My MIL was having issues with her internet Wifi. Went to her house, and her modem/router combo from Xfinity was tucked under her desk in a office room. No where near or in direct path of the systems needing wifi. I placed the router in front of the door, and all her wifi products worked much better. I will eventually move it when I get some cat5 cable over there.
But think of the router as an antenna sending a signal out. If it is obstructed, it cant easily send a signal to your gear. Kinda like when are near a cell phone tower its great, but go out in the country, and it might not work. The router needs to be powerful enough to supply the products its feeding with radio waves, and unobstructed.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve40th View Post
Too many variables. Modem out of date is common. If its a company/isp provided one, just have them give you a new one.. get a promotional deal too, as for your service at cheaper rate, and call right before promo stops.
Many times, peak usage hours slow you down...
Another issue is hardware outside home. All my coax connections were corroded, and xfinity replaced them..
My router is Xfinity supplied, but, I use a TPlink Archer C7 (85 bucks at amazon) and it provides a much greater signal throughout the house. You just plug it into your modem provided by cable/isp company. Then log in to it..
I have xfinity blast, 75Mbps, Xbox, Playstation, 4 phones, 3 laptops, and a bluray that all run on wifi for netflix etc. No issues.
+1

My parents' internet/phone were intermittent, and it took Centurylink three months to finally track it down to a corroded connector, in the attic. They are on DSL, so the wires are the old analog phone lines they had for 50 years.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:33 AM   #11
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I was having problems for awhile. Turns out the coax cabling inside my house isn't very good. I had actually noticed that before when I used to use it for TV throughout the house, but forgot since I've bypassed most of that with HDMI. I moved the modem and router to the nearest point where the cabling comes into my house, which happens to be a good enough place for the wifi router. It's a whole lot more reliable now. So try moving your equipment around in case of bad wiring or a bad jack.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:38 AM   #12
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If wired connections to your router work OK then I would rule out the modem as being the problem. As was suggested I would look at trying a new router, you can get a decent one without spending a lot of money.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:43 AM   #13
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+1 on the wireless router being the issue. We have AT&T and their router barely worked. I now have a Netgear AC1750 (with 5GHZ) and that has made a world of difference. I would *guess* that you may have interference issues and switching your devices to a 5GHZ signal will alleviate much of that. One downfall to 5GHZ is that the range isn't as great but no issues inside our 2200'ish SF house.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
If wired connections to your router work OK then I would rule out the modem as being the problem. As was suggested I would look at trying a new router, you can get a decent one without spending a lot of money.
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
What type of WiFi device do you have (model number)?
  • Motorola SURFBoard SB6121 modem
  • Linksys/Cisco WRT160N V2 router (802.11n)
Happy to replace one or both IF I know it's going to fix the issue(s).

I neglected to mention in the OP the connection crawl speed impacts our Smart TV too (now edited above), so the second issue I mentioned doesn't appear to be iOS or Apple related.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post

I neglected to mention in the OP the connection crawl speed impacts our Smart TV too (now edited above), so the second issue I mentioned doesn't appear to be iOS or Apple related.
Certainly sounds like a router issue. I would highly suggest starting there...a decent one can be had for $100 or less and hey, if it doesn't work, send it back!

I didn't realize how CRAPPY my AT&T modem/router combo was until I upgraded the router...it was THAT much more of an improvement.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
  • Motorola SURFBoard SB6121 modem
  • Linksys/Cisco WRT160N V2 router (802.11n)
Happy to replace one or both IF I know it's going to fix the issue(s).

I neglected to mention in the OP the connection crawl speed impacts our Smart TV too (now edited above), so the second issue I mentioned doesn't appear to be iOS or Apple related.
One test to clarify the situation: Since you say "there are almost never issues with my PC hard wired connection", when the WiFi connected devices internet freezes up does your PC still have a working internet connection?

If so, then this rules out the SB6121 as the problem. Any device can go bad, but SB6121 are solid cable modems with few problems.

If the SB6121 is fine then it points toward your WRT160N as the culprit.

As to which replacement WiFi router to buy, you might want to read this:

The Best Wi-Fi Router (for Most People) | The Wirecutter

These folks are pretty good at comparing devices and explaining why they like certain ones.

My bias is still for Apple Airports. I know Apple has said they aren't going to come out with new ones, but the existing ones have proven rock solid reliable. And they are still selling and supporting them. If your WiFi coverage area isn't large, I'd recommend the Airport Express. Otherwise the Airport Extreme. They are very easy to setup (trivial really) and are both reliable and very secure.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:12 AM   #17
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As I mentioned in another thread, ping is your friend. If you can run ping from your router, that would be best. Figure out the IP addresses for all your devices and then monitor the ping latencies from the router.

I'd also make note on how each device is connected: hard-wired, 2.4Ghz wifi or 5Ghz wifi.

For an external address, I use 8.8.8.8, which is a Google DNS server.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:27 PM   #18
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I have an issue where some of my ip security camera video and still photos generated at motion detection are pixelated. May be a bandwidth problem that may be resolved when I hardware the computer to the router.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
One test to clarify the situation: Since you say "there are almost never issues with my PC hard wired connection", when the WiFi connected devices internet freezes up does your PC still have a working internet connection?

If so, then this rules out the SB6121 as the problem. Any device can go bad, but SB6121 are solid cable modems with few problems.

If the SB6121 is fine then it points toward your WRT160N as the culprit.

As to which replacement WiFi router to buy, you might want to read this:

The Best Wi-Fi Router (for Most People) | The Wirecutter

These folks are pretty good at comparing devices and explaining why they like certain ones.

My bias is still for Apple Airports. I know Apple has said they aren't going to come out with new ones, but the existing ones have proven rock solid reliable. And they are still selling and supporting them. If your WiFi coverage area isn't large, I'd recommend the Airport Express. Otherwise the Airport Extreme. They are very easy to setup (trivial really) and are both reliable and very secure.
Thanks, I'll stop by BB this evening to pick up a new router.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tulak View Post
As I mentioned in another thread, ping is your friend. If you can run ping from your router, that would be best. Figure out the IP addresses for all your devices and then monitor the ping latencies from the router.

I'd also make note on how each device is connected: hard-wired, 2.4Ghz wifi or 5Ghz wifi.

For an external address, I use 8.8.8.8, which is a Google DNS server.
+1 I'm not very network savvy, but I found some info on this online, and figured out each of the addresses to ping (from the Terminal/Console), from the internal stages of the computer (almost instant response - sub millisecond IIRC), out to the router (maybe ~ one millisecond?), and the router to the outside world (tens of milliseconds, depending on many factors).

With a chain, and anything in the chain can be the problem, it really helps to go one stage at a time.

Ahhh, here are my notes, the router address may be different for your set-up:

ping -c5 0 <<< to internal network card << 1 mS
ping -c5 192.168.1.1 <<<< ROUTER ~ 1 mS
ping -c5 8.8.8.8 <<<<< GOOGLE DNS ~ 26 mS

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