Author Topic: The whole wifi con  (Read 10618 times)

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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2017, 05:12:20 pm »
Yes I'd love to be able to turn my power down like my old exspensive router could (only had 25%, 50% and 100% settings) I'd get almost the same range on 50% the power.
Get a router that will accept custom firmware. Pretty much every feature imaginable will be available, as long as the hardware can support it. Or go for prosumer gear like the aforementioned Ubiquiti products. They offer solid performance for reasonable prices. It sure is more expensive than the bargain basement routers you'll typically find in regular shops, but in both cases you get what you pay for.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2017, 05:13:59 pm »
Not least of which most likely actually being illegal to sell and use..
That fully depends on the gear in question, but I'm not aware of them being illegal anywhere outright. Considering the amount of reputable computer shops selling them across various nations, selling them doesn't seem to be an issue either.

So far as I'm aware, it's basically impossible for them to pass conducted emissions tests required of all such equipment connected to the mains supply. Conveniently, from what I've seen, they don't bother running those tests.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #52 on: October 08, 2017, 05:19:14 pm »
So far as I'm aware, it's basically impossible for them to pass conducted emissions tests required of all such equipment connected to the mains supply. Conveniently, from what I've seen, they don't bother running those tests.
As I've stated in my original comment and in the edit of the post you respond to, I always recommend going for proper network cables. Powerline solutions are a compromise at best. Do it right and do it once. Or, as our pet Canadian tends to say, you can always do it right the second time.

I can't really comment any further on the legality of powerline equipment, other than that manufacturers don't seem actively pursued by relevant agencies and that reputable shops carry the equipment.
 

Offline ChuckDarwin

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2017, 05:59:19 pm »
If you have TV coax runs in appropriate locations, you could look at ethernet over coax (EoC, MoCA) shared with TV signal or decicated.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #54 on: October 08, 2017, 06:02:45 pm »
Sadly not in my case. I don't even have a TV much to the annoyance of certain tax collectors. Although I currently have blazing responsive internet on my newfound 5.6GHz band
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 06:05:30 pm by Simon »
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Offline Simon

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2017, 06:07:24 pm »
Except my 5.6GH internet has now changed to a near 5GHz channel and I'm sitting right on top of the other 5GHz user, seems like my router thinks it knows best....
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Offline Simon

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #56 on: October 08, 2017, 06:11:23 pm »
according to my router settings channel above 48 (plus exorbitant sidebands) will be automatically switched out of if radar is detected. I didn't know there was anyone round here using radar, must be a secret military base in my back garden.
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Offline madires

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2017, 06:20:34 pm »
When the 2.4GHz ISM band is crowded by tons of devices you can't do anything about it. Another issue in the 2.4 GHz band is that a WLAN channel is actually 4 channels wide. The channels are 5MHz apart, but each channel needs 20MHz bandwidth. If feasible move to the 5GHz band.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2017, 06:25:25 pm »
Well on the 5GHz band the side bands take up numerous bands, if i and forced to below band 48 then there will be 100% overlap, at bands 100 and over I have free range, there are 4 others already crammed on the same channel space, the repeater covers the whole bottom end, it's original channel covers half the range, 2 other channels cover the remainder so at least 2 people on any same space. Hopefully I'm "allowed" to stay on channel 100, but to be fair even at the bottom eand of the 5GHz there don't seem to be any problems. I'm only running 16Mbps so that's nothing in 150-300Mbps that the various adaptors work in.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2017, 07:20:48 pm »
Wi-Fi is great but only if:

- It's properly configured based on your surroundings and neighbouring RF interference
- You're using half-decent gear

As you're well aware, the 2.4 GHz spectrum is congested almost to the point where it's unusable in built-up areas. If you're using your bog-standard consumer gear like D-Link etc... forget it. If you can utilise 5 GHz as opposed to 2.4 GHz, then do that, but I get that not all devices support the 5 GHz band.

It's a common misconception that if you can turn up the TX power on your Wi-Fi access point, you'll be able to "talk over" or "break through" the congestion. Nothing is further from the truth, in fact, in a lot of cases, it just makes things worse. A Wi-Fi radio won't transmit if it detects another station transmitting on the same channel, it will wait for an available time slot. To improve Wi-Fi coverage, you want to increase the gain of your antenna (either by using an external antenna on your access point, or using a better quality access point).

The automatic channel selection feature on most access points can be good and bad, depending on how it's implemented. You can use it to your advantage, for example by forcing your gear to use a fixed channel, you can essentially "push" your neighbours onto other channels (works better in the 5 GHz band). Some radios will only automatically select a better channel on boot, others will monitor channels periodically. Do a proper site survey (using tools like Wi-Fi Analyzer on Android) to see what's around you and pick the least congested channel, in my area Channel 13 is almost entirely free as many manufacturers prefer to default to channels 1, 6 and 11).

A mate of mine who lives in the Sydney CBD could barely even connect to his 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi using his ISP-supplied Netgear modem/router, let alone be able to use his connection. I swapped it out for an enterprise-grade Cisco access point which improved things immensely. Not only could he now connect, but he could actually stream Youtube in HD, something he was never able to even do in SD.

The other thing you can try is use a narrower channel width. I don't know why but some people are under the impression that using wider channel widths (like 40 MHz) in an already congested band makes things better, when it actually makes things worse. I think the default on 2.4 GHz is 20 MHz, if your access point and devices support it, try 10 MHz instead.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 07:22:46 pm by Halcyon »
 

Offline orin

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2017, 07:24:52 pm »
Bad WIFI connections are the bane of my existence at work.  30% packet loss is not surprising and things really don't work well at that rate.

Our software has to transfer hundreds of gigabytes of data over whatever connection is available - and with modern laptops not coming with hardwired ethernet, it has to be WIFI.  TCP/IP is out of the question as if the WIFI connection drops and reconnects, all your TCP/IP connections using that adapter get dropped - so I use UDP and basically end up reinventing TCP/IP... only I ignore errors.  Adapter disconnects?  Don't care, maybe it will reconnect.  Timeouts?  Nope, sorry, there is no sane* value to use so essentially infinite (twenty-odd days).  At least IPV6 when available makes life easier as I don't have to deal with DHCP handing out a different addresses on reconnects.  We do give the user a notification if things get really bad (excessive retries), but all they can really do is hang in there and hope for the best.

Yes, it would be easier to stream everything to disk as well as over TCP/IP and implement some simple protocol on top of TCP/IP, but it seems extremely silly to implement a reliable protocol on top of what is supposed to be a reliable protocol!

*well three or four days might be reasonable to allow a connection to drop over a weekend and restart when the user returns the next week and turns the router back on/fixes whatever broke the connection.  It was easier to set it to the maximum positive integer milliseconds.
 

Online Ice-Tea

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2017, 07:32:41 pm »
...and with modern laptops not coming with hardwired ethernet...

Wut?  ??? :wtf:

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2017, 07:40:43 pm »
It certainly doesn't help that most ISPs ship routers and hardware to their clients that just borderline functions. It's almost always the very cheapest gear they can get away with.

Bad WIFI connections are the bane of my existence at work.  30% packet loss is not surprising and things really don't work well at that rate.

Our software has to transfer hundreds of gigabytes of data over whatever connection is available - and with modern laptops not coming with hardwired ethernet, it has to be WIFI.  TCP/IP is out of the question as if the WIFI connection drops and reconnects, all your TCP/IP connections using that adapter get dropped - so I use UDP and basically end up reinventing TCP/IP... only I ignore errors.  Adapter disconnects?  Don't care, maybe it will reconnect.  Timeouts?  Nope, sorry, there is no sane* value to use so essentially infinite (twenty-odd days).  At least IPV6 when available makes life easier as I don't have to deal with DHCP handing out a different addresses on reconnects.  We do give the user a notification if things get really bad (excessive retries), but all they can really do is hang in there and hope for the best.

Yes, it would be easier to stream everything to disk as well as over TCP/IP and implement some simple protocol on top of TCP/IP, but it seems extremely silly to implement a reliable protocol on top of what is supposed to be a reliable protocol!

*well three or four days might be reasonable to allow a connection to drop over a weekend and restart when the user returns the next week and turns the router back on/fixes whatever broke the connection.  It was easier to set it to the maximum positive integer milliseconds.
I would urge you to get one of those USB3 to ethernet adapters. They work well, and eliminate your wifi woes.

 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2017, 08:55:44 pm »
"It certainly doesn't help that most ISPs ship routers and hardware to their clients that just borderline functions. It's almost always the very cheapest gear they can get away with."


Spectrum, formerly Brighthouse, here in Florida ships MTAs with crappy wireless routers in them.  When it was Brighthouse, they were pushing hard on a service called ECHO to "improve your WiFi experience."  Turns out, what they were promoting as an upgrade with additional cost, was because the internal WiFi routers are all junk and had no range.  Not a huge house here, single story and about 1800 square feet.  I use an Asus RT-N66U dark knight located at the back of the house.  All the phones and tablets are on a guest network. 1 printer, 1 computer on the other side of the house and 2 laptops are on the primary WiFi network.  All the hardwired stuff runs through a gigabit switch into the router.  Crazy fast on wire and still pretty good on WiFi.  There is some separation between houses (thank God no zero lot lines) and the other networks I can pick up with my WiFi analyzer in my office start at -70 dBm and gets worse from there.  I have to deal with 2 different VPNs on my company laptop.  After finally giving up using wireless and hard wiring the dock to the gigabit switch, everything is much faster.
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Offline orin

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2017, 09:26:31 pm »
Bad WIFI connections are the bane of my existence at work.  30% packet loss is not surprising and things really don't work well at that rate.

Our software has to transfer hundreds of gigabytes of data over whatever connection is available - and with modern laptops not coming with hardwired ethernet, it has to be WIFI.  TCP/IP is out of the question as if the WIFI connection drops and reconnects, all your TCP/IP connections using that adapter get dropped - so I use UDP and basically end up reinventing TCP/IP... only I ignore errors.  Adapter disconnects?  Don't care, maybe it will reconnect.  Timeouts?  Nope, sorry, there is no sane* value to use so essentially infinite (twenty-odd days).  At least IPV6 when available makes life easier as I don't have to deal with DHCP handing out a different addresses on reconnects.  We do give the user a notification if things get really bad (excessive retries), but all they can really do is hang in there and hope for the best.

Yes, it would be easier to stream everything to disk as well as over TCP/IP and implement some simple protocol on top of TCP/IP, but it seems extremely silly to implement a reliable protocol on top of what is supposed to be a reliable protocol!

*well three or four days might be reasonable to allow a connection to drop over a weekend and restart when the user returns the next week and turns the router back on/fixes whatever broke the connection.  It was easier to set it to the maximum positive integer milliseconds.
I would urge you to get one of those USB3 to ethernet adapters. They work well, and eliminate your wifi woes.


We have no control over what our customers buy...

For me, the point is moot.  At work, unless I'm testing over WIFI*, I'm on a hard-wired connection.  At home, we are far enough from our neighbors that WIFI quality isn't an issue.

 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2017, 11:10:17 pm »
Wi-Fi is great but only if:

- It's properly configured based on your surroundings and neighbouring RF interference
- You're using half-decent gear

...
...

That is good in theory, but you have no control over neighbor's RF interference and it can change without notice. Without going into details, I ran into issues with changes like which neighbor and which kid(s) is home from college/travel alters the usage picture, so it is rather unpredictable.

After a while of tracking my neighbor's band-usage and adjusting based on that, I gave up.  It was basically "too random".

I have my streaming device and all my non-laptops hardwired.  Whenever I am using my laptop in my den, I plug the laptop into hard-wire instead of WiFi.  If I am to built a new house (and I am not), I would make sure every room has at lease on cat6 (or latest) hard-wire outlet.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2017, 12:20:35 am »
Forget about using any access point which has an omnidirectional antenna.  Instead place two or more access points which use sector or flat panel antennas at opposite corners of your house facing inward.  Preferably use ones which support horizontal and vertical diversity.  Now the access points are as far away as possible from your neighbors and have to look through your entire house to see them.  If you have a fixed location which cannot be wired directly, then use a similar directional access point as a bridge.
 

Offline Gary.M

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2017, 01:27:28 am »
What about one of the mesh network solutions?
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2017, 02:44:49 am »
I remember reading about one case where picking a 2.4GHz channel that was *not* one of the recommended ones actually boosted performance. Probably a corner case but maybe just try benchmarking it? I would expect that trick to work only if the interference is weak.
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Offline tooki

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2017, 09:31:09 am »
By the way, have you tried setting the bands to automatic? That should have the gear pick the least contested band automatically. Obviously, when more devices in the area are set to this, you get a collective dance of infinite hopping, but that's just the way things are.

Such a setting almost never works properly. Usually they just pick one based on a single scan and sit there forever more.
Maybe in some REALLY crappy 2.4GHz implementations.

But if you’re using 5GHz, you really, really should avoid manual channel selection. Why? Because one of 5GHz’s huge advantages is having far more channels available. But — and it’s a huge “but” — the vast majority of those are channels on frequencies that are shared with other uses, most notably with weather radar. Because of this shared use (and the fact that a single rogue 5GHz Wi-Fi network can take out radar for hundreds of miles), all the channels on shared-use frequencies are available by automatic scan only, where the router makes sure that the channel is actually free before attempting to use it. (IIRC, it has to verify this periodically.) If you select the channel manually, you’re limited to just a handful.

Let it go automatic and you’re practically guaranteed to have a 5GHz channel with zero contention.
 
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Online bd139

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2017, 09:38:10 am »
5GHz here on a pile of apple devices connected to a Draytek 2860. It feels like hard wired Ethernet.

The killer is 2.4GHz which is crowded with cheap crap devices, crap implementations and no power output from the cheap ass routers. It’s hell.
 
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Offline BrianHG

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2017, 10:49:28 am »
WiFi spec does the best it can with the limitations set by FCC limited frequency and power range rules.
WiFi hardware is still an analog and digital art form.  Too much crap still exists.
Your global WiFi network can take a performance dive if only 1 device withing the range of your network performs like crap.

Example, the older Intel wireless -n drivers on my laptop slowed down my router's performance with all my devices for some reason.  It stuck the router on a lousy channel.  Even just sitting there not doing anything on the net.  Upgrading the laptop's drivers helped quite a bit on all my devices even if they weren't talking to the laptop.

However, if you have a neighbor who has an ill behaving wifi device, even if they are not logged onto you network, you will get a performance hit.

The only solution I found was 1: Turn off SSID.  Don't let your router be seen by any roaming device.  Stay invisible.  This means you manually need to enter your network name and password into each of your WiFi devices, not auto-detect...
2: Forcefully set a channel number on your router.  I usually use 1 or 2 as they seem in my area to get the best consistency of performance.  Not necessarily the top speed, but still much faster than my internet connection by a land slide.
3: Turn down your network bandwidth.  This does once again slow down your connection, but, 'unseen' network errors drop and throughput becomes rock-solid like a wired connection, unless you already have this performance.  Then ignore this option. (I gauge this one by transferring 1gb files locally between PCs and seeing the consistency of the throughput.)

« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 10:55:46 am by BrianHG »
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Offline MrW0lf

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #72 on: October 10, 2017, 11:04:21 am »
I have my streaming device and all my non-laptops hardwired.  Whenever I am using my laptop in my den, I plug the laptop into hard-wire instead of WiFi.  If I am to built a new house (and I am not), I would make sure every room has at lease on cat6 (or latest) hard-wire outlet.

:-+ in fact just installed Cat7 all around. Estonia is country of fast Internet - 400MBit max cable is almost everywhere in city and in my new place there is 1G up/down via fiber so thanks no WiFi in any form or shape :P
Newer laptop w/o LAN port goes thru USB-LAN adapter. With little cable management no problem to use it wired in any place incl sofa etc.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:07:42 am by MrW0lf »
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #73 on: October 10, 2017, 11:15:16 am »
Not sure if it's been mentioned, but the 'channels' on 2.4GHz are a bit of joke since the sidebands of just one extend  over about half the entire band. Thus it's a bit like AM radio at night.
 

Online capt bullshot

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Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #74 on: October 10, 2017, 11:21:28 am »
It's not you. You're absolutely right. If you want reliable networking, use cables.
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