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General => General Chat => Topic started by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 10:23:50 am

Title: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 10:23:50 am
Is it just me or is wifi one of the less robust methods of communication and one that was never designed to be so well used in what is an ever more crowded radio-wave space ?

I have to laugh when I talk to my ISP and get a clearly non technical person reading from a script trying to help me solve what essentially is bandwidth crowding. I was last told to set my router to band 6 because this is the most popular. I thought the opposite would be the case but i did it anyway as I've just lost hope. I live on a corner with a road running across the back of me so I think that geometrically I am doomed anyway as my own wifi will be in conflict with so many other people close by. I don't know how wifi works and assume that we are all potentially sharing the same frequency and that packets of data are received by everyone but we can each only decode our own. How they deal with transmitters all trying to talk on the same frequency is beyond me but then I know nothing of how this stuff works.

5GHz came along in the wifi arms race and well it hasn't helped has it, granted it gives increased bandwidth but it's range is appalling so really we are back to crowding the 2.4GHz waves.

Will anything ever replace wifi ? I get the feeling that it's just a convenient technology that is just been crowded with ever more devices many of poor quality that just disrupt matters for others. You can't even have a simultaneous connection on both 2.4 and 5GHz to try ans truly maximise bandwidth and range, all that has been offered that I can see in terms of increasing bandwidth is to just spread ourselves out over multiple channels, yes 2.4GHz has 11 channels but by the time you look at the sidebands used and overlap there are actually 3 bandwidths that can be used unopposed otherwise presumably you are just sharing the 600Mbps or whatever stupid figure is written on your router with your neighbours, the more you are supposedly given the more you are actually having to share with others, sure you can have 600Mbps if you are the only one online but as soon as someone else gets on the same bands you presumably have to share that so might as well go back to single bands and 56Mbps, the net result is exactly the same except that because your neighbour has it you have to have it or you are left out. I was an early adopter of 5GHz in the hope of getting freer airwaves and less disruption but of course the range was pants and now everyone else also has 5GHz.

My last resort in getting a signal a few meteres through one wall and floor might have to be to put the router on the wall in the hope that this better orientates the silly PCB aerials and maybe put a metal backing plate on it to stop it's signals going into my neighbours and reflect them to me.

I'm really just ranting here and not expecting any solutions.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: RoGeorge on October 08, 2017, 10:28:52 am
It's just you.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 10:31:08 am
well that's good to hear, it means maybe I can find the magical fix one day ;) I mean don't get me wrong on the whole it works for me but sometimes I am left wondering. I buy a router that can do 2.1Gbps and I'm supposed to believe it..... of course not!
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on October 08, 2017, 10:34:13 am
Will anything ever replace wifi ?

Does it matter? If it is wireless, it will still end up using the same airspace/frequencies and the same issues will still exist.

Note also that "Wifi" is a very large container name: the latest "Wifi" tech is a long way removed from the original, except for the frequencies they use.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 10:36:08 am
Like I say I have no idea how it works, I was told to set 2.4GHz to band 6 and leave 5GHz on auto band so clearly a change in how they work as apparently on 5GHz auto selecting works better. Yes bluetooth is also 2.4GHz.

I think they should start making houses with metal screens between neighbours ;)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 10:38:15 am
I am now looking at this little unit:https://www.amazon.co.uk/BrosTrend-1200Mbps-Antennas-Wireless-AC3/dp/B01IEU7UZ0 but i live in fear of the probability that those lovely big aerials are for 2.4GHz that is already crowded as hell where I am and that the 5GHz gain will still be nill. There seems to be more marketing in wifi products than fact.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: hans on October 08, 2017, 10:45:42 am
Buy a Wifi range extender for 5GHz. The shorter range is a plus because there are less interfering networks, but could mean you need to extend it.

Check on a modern phone with Wifi analyzer which channels are most occupied. Don't let the "channel 6 is best" guide fool you. If everyone hops to channel 6, then better chose something else.

I did it at my place, which has about 30 AP's in sight all the time, and I have mediocre 2.4GHz at best. There are too many networks online in the same range.
I only use my phone and occasionally a laptop on Wifi, so I settled at a small channel (MHz) and low bandwidth (2-3MB/s at best), on a channel that only has weak networks around. Atleast the Wifi is reliable. If you need throughput -> get a RJ45 cable. There is no substitute.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 10:50:32 am
Yes sadly I am going from one side of the house to the other so actual Ethernet is not an option but yes I am also starting to think of 5GHz range extending. I have a router here I once bought as a spare, I will check to see if it also does 5GHz and see if that helps mounted between the router location and my desk as a repeater. One thing I found to be hopeless was Ethernet over power. Unfortunately my wireless printer is 2.4GHz or I'd just turn 2.4GHz off.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: grumpydoc on October 08, 2017, 10:57:38 am
2.4GHz is, indeed, crowded in most urban spaces. Even in my distinctly sub-urban house I can see at least 10 other SSIDs.

I'd start with what you want to achieve with wifi and where in your house or flat you need coverage. You might need to consider a multi-ap setup to get really wide coverage and 5GHz is probably going to be a bit more neighbour friendly. I'd also consider getting commercial multi-antenna AP's (E.g. Ubiquity, Cisco or HP) - but you will need deep pockets for some of those.

I trust you have at least used one of the wi-fi apps to see if there is a "less crowded" channel to use.

I'm not sure if any of the "free" planning tools are any good but it might be worth a look at those as well.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: grumpydoc on October 08, 2017, 11:05:08 am
Yes sadly I am going from one side of the house to the other so actual Ethernet is not an option but yes I am also starting to think of 5GHz range extending. I have a router here I once bought as a spare, I will check to see if it also does 5GHz and see if that helps mounted between the router location and my desk as a repeater. One thing I found to be hopeless was Ethernet over power. Unfortunately my wireless printer is 2.4GHz or I'd just turn 2.4GHz off.
At what point did you evaluate power line Ethernet and is it worth revisiting it - technology does change fairly quickly with these things.

I have a power line network to the TV and to the downstairs AP - works OK despite being an older 500Mbps chipset and being across two different rings.

They don't work well if faced with any sort of surge suppressing power strips though.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: bjcuizon on October 08, 2017, 11:05:13 am
Download inSSIDer on a pc equiped with a 5g card. It helped me 'see' that my neighbour was overlapping a 5g channel of mine even if the gateway was configured to auto. Anyhow, you can just get away with wifi analyzer on android. I'll post a screenshot tomorrow about how crowded the wifi in my area is.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 11:07:21 am
Well channel 6 is crowded and channel 14 is free, I'm also on the wrong end of the spectrum for 5G. all this from my bedroom where my desk is. Things may change around the house.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Gyro on October 08, 2017, 11:09:33 am
I've taken the 'high ground' and fixed on channel 13. From What I see in my area, most of the auto channel selections and defaults seem biased towards the lower channels.

InSSIDer is an invaluable tool for 'picking your space'.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Psi on October 08, 2017, 11:34:38 am
if you cant beat them, join them drown them out with superior firepower

add a 2W  2.4ghz wifi external RF amp on the AP

just don't tell the FCC (or go get a HAM licence)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on October 08, 2017, 11:46:37 am
Doesn't help all that much to yell really loud if you can't hear the reply  ::)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: tooki on October 08, 2017, 11:51:15 am
if you cant beat them, join them drown them out with superior firepower

add a 2W  2.4ghz wifi external RF amp on the AP

just don't tell the FCC (or go get a HAM licence)
Exactly the wrong answer. If everyone reduced their Wi-Fi strength to 50%, we’d all have better reception, since a large part of poor reception is contention, which would be reduced if range was reduced to what’s actually necessary, rather than trying to clobber everything in a mile radius.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ian.M on October 08, 2017, 12:23:32 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons)
There will *ALWAYS* be a jerk a few houses over using a high power booster or range extender because he wants to watch sports on his tablet at the bottom of his garden, but cant be arsed to fit an access point near where he wants to chillax, cable it back to his router, and only turn it on when needed.

If you can run a wired network, do so. In a dense urban environment, WiFi is only fit for use for the last few meters to portable devices.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Towger on October 08, 2017, 01:03:23 pm


if you cant beat them, join them drown them out with superior firepower

That's what we do at work.  It is a fairly cheap AP with 'special firmware', the government uses the exact same ones in some of their 'difficult' period buildings.  To be honest it can still have problems at times.  I just have everything plugged in so don't notice it.  When others complain to me I just tell them "Wire" "Computer" "Plug in".  If is was up to me I would just do away with wifi access.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: mariush on October 08, 2017, 01:23:34 pm
We have 802.11 ad these days, running at 60 Ghz ... up to 4600 mbps

But good luck reaching those speeds at more than half a meter and direct line of sight or something like that.

LinusTechTips did some basic non-scientific tests and even a sheet of paper between the wireless router and the pc was affecting signal quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y3KAbpQpCk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y3KAbpQpCk)

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: nali on October 08, 2017, 02:10:22 pm
I think they should start making houses with metal screens between neighbours ;)

They already do... sort of. A lot of houses are built with foil backed foam insulation board in the walls like this stuff. (http://assets.jewson.co.uk/category-images/8297/Main/8297.jpg)
A friend of mine who moved into a new house gets pretty much zero wifi outside in his shed/office despite just having one wall to go through.

Sounds like directional antennas would be the way to go - they'll minimize interference from off-axis sources and give you some gain too. Unfortunately not many routers give you the option of external antennas now :(




Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Groucho2005 on October 08, 2017, 02:36:59 pm
I have a power line network to the TV and to the downstairs AP - works OK despite being an older 500Mbps chipset and being across two different rings.
Same here but fairly new TP-Link 1GBps modules. For me it was the perfect solution to get fast wired LAN and Wifi where I need it.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 02:37:25 pm
You missed the point on 5 GHz having bad range: it's a feature, not a bug :) Both the need for more throughput and the crowding of the frequencies has been recognized, and 5 GHz is the current answer to it. It puts more of a burden on the owner of the network, as one AP will not be enough in a lot of cases. However, if and when you properly build a network, you will have good coverage with much less interference from other sources, like you are experiencing now. Going back to 2.4 GHz will hurt, as you've discovered. Luckily, mesh network 5 GHz gear is now cheap-ish, easy to use and, well, good.

Work is done on frequencies as high as 60 GHz, with pretty much a requirement for a transmitter in every room, but excellent throughput and virtually no crowding. It's how we'll have to deal with everyone being on similar frequencies. You don't need , nor want people three streets up the block receiving your wifi signal.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 03:58:29 pm
Well I have had a gander and indeed the strupid cow on the phone was right, channel 6 is the most popular, so instead of using it I have moved to channel 13, that gives me at least the upper sideband to channel 14 free but I'll have to share the lower side with everyone. 5GHz wise now that I look at it everyone is down sub channel 64 and there are not too many and I have now moved to channel 150 something I'm now got my laptop connected full strength from across the house so hopefully no lagging just to load pages anymore.

Indeed that is what I thought of 5GHz when it came out, perfect solution, another set of bands giving us more space but with the same power transmitter it will have much less range. Of course you do get problems where a wall alone can block a signal.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 04:16:11 pm
Well I have had a gander and indeed the strupid cow on the phone was right, channel 6 is the most popular, so instead of using it I have moved to channel 13, that gives me at least the upper sideband to channel 14 free but I'll have to share the lower side with everyone. 5GHz wise now that I look at it everyone is down sub channel 64 and there are not too many and I have now moved to channel 150 something I'm now got my laptop connected full strength from across the house so hopefully no lagging just to load pages anymore.

Indeed that is what I thought of 5GHz when it came out, perfect solution, another set of bands giving us more space but with the same power transmitter it will have much less range. Of course you do get problems where a wall alone can block a signal.
5 GHz isn't just about adding more bands. That in itself would alleviate the problem only for a short period of time, until market changes fill the voids with all kinds of internet connected devices. One thing that's different is that the bands do not overlap, like they do with 2.4 GHz. Neighbouring bands always interfere with 2.4 GHz, while 5 GHz bands have their own, neat space.

More important is that it has less penetrating strength, which you still seem to view as a downside, but which is a huge plus. You don't get problems because a wall can block a signal, you get less problems thanks to it, simply because all those interfering signals from neighbours and passers by will not invade your house as readily. You get much less pollution and contention in your home, and the only price you pay is having to plan your network slightly better than just plunking a router in a corner somewhere. Thinking 5 GHz is inferior because it gets more easily blocked by walls is misunderstanding its purpose.

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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Monkeh on October 08, 2017, 04:19:54 pm
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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: cdev on October 08, 2017, 04:22:00 pm
A number of years ago I was really into making directional wifi antennas so I could hang out in the cafe a block away and surf the net using my home AP. I still have some of my creations (all are 2.4 GHz antennas) and they were easy to make. A directional antenna is all most people need to get quite good range.

One of them is really, really easy to build in just a few minutes, its just a well-measured square of copper metal mounted in front of a flat reflector. It will give one around 6-8 db gain over the typical wifi router antenna.

Its angle of radiation is around 60 degrees. Thats perfect for a lot of uses. (will cover a backyard and house without wasting signals on other houses)

No need to buy extra antennas if you make them. Also with a better antenna you can reduce wifi power.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:23:07 pm
I never said that 5GHz was inferior, indeed it is what I am on right now and I'd turn 2.4 off and save me a packet in electric if it were not for the printer I have that is older and only does 2.4. With 5GHz you apparently can't just set it up and hope. The vast increase in bandwidth does sold it greatly as at the end of the day people will only be using so much dat and so things would eventually work out. For some reason everyone round here on 5GHz is hogging the same few bands and so was I until half and hour ago. The not being able to go through 1 wall does become a bit of a problem when it means that almost every room needs a repeater, expensive to buy all that kit and more power constantly in use.

Now with 2.4GHz I could see my neighbours network across the back garden, obviously on 5GHz I can't and can only see a few others. the fact also that there is the space for us to spread out has helped aleviate problems.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: RGB255_0_0 on October 08, 2017, 04:23:43 pm
Channel 14 isn't to be used in the UK. So you can be subject of breaking the uses under 3.2.x https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/33088/audit.pdf (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/33088/audit.pdf)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:25:41 pm
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.

Quite, that is the problem I had and that stupid cow at the ISP said it was best to leave 5GHz to sort itself out, which it did plonking itself on top of the exact same bands as everyone else when there are literally dozens of other frequencies. I have now set both myself.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: IanB on October 08, 2017, 04:25:56 pm
It's not only about crowding, it is also about signal strength and signal to noise ratio. If you are closer to your wireless router than to everyone else crowding in, then you should still get decent speed.

Unfortunately, my experience of houses in the UK with brick interior walls is that the wireless signal doesn't penetrate very well. Put the wireless access point on one side of the house and the laptop on the other with walls and floor in the way and you are not going to get any kind of good signal.

So you either need to be in the same or next room, or you need to use a wireless extender, or use a cable. You could run a CAT5 cable from your internet box to a point in the house closer to where you work and plug that into a wireless router. Running a network cable round the house is no different than running a coax cable, which people have done all the time to get from the aerial to the TV.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: IanB on October 08, 2017, 04:27:31 pm
Now with 2.4GHz I could see my neighbours network across the back garden, obviously on 5GHz I can't and can only see a few others. the fact also that there is the space for us to spread out has helped aleviate problems.

Why don't you try 2.4 GHz? It's what I'm using and the speed is fine for me.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:27:49 pm
Well apparently my 5GHz is plenty strong now and I'm alone on that band so no interference.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:29:04 pm
Now with 2.4GHz I could see my neighbours network across the back garden, obviously on 5GHz I can't and can only see a few others. the fact also that there is the space for us to spread out has helped aleviate problems.

Why don't you try 2.4 GHz? It's what I'm using and the speed is fine for me.

It IS on 2.4GHz that I can see even my back neighbour because the signal carries further and everyone is on it, even my router is putting out a 2.4GHz signal but I choose to use the 5GHz for the computer and phone as the range seems to be ok and there is less crowding
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: CJay on October 08, 2017, 04:30:30 pm
Is it just me or is wifi one of the less robust methods of communication and one that was never designed to be so well used in what is an ever more crowded radio-wave space ?

WiFi is terrible (I am of course using it to send this), far prefer cabled connections, there's less overhead, lower latency, better range etc.

I had to fit a WiFi extender in my partner's flat, it's less than 9 Metres from one end to the other and the router isn't at the far end and of course it increases the latency.

I am a Luddite when it comes to 'new sparkly' technology, I like solutions that work and have been proven reliable.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: IanB on October 08, 2017, 04:31:02 pm
It IS on 2.4GHz that I can see even my back neighbour because the signal carries further and everyone is on it, even my router is putting out a 2.4GHz signal but I choose to use the 5GHz for the computer and phone as the range seems to be ok and there is less crowding

Same with me, when I run a scan I can see everyone in the street, but it doesn't block me because I have a good signal path from by router to my laptop.

That said, I do use a physical connection to my main desktop computer.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:31:06 pm
Channel 14 isn't to be used in the UK. So you can be subject of breaking the uses under 3.2.x https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/33088/audit.pdf (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/33088/audit.pdf)

so what about a router that set to band 13 has it's upper side band touching band 14 ? you not on it, just using what it would use as a lower sideband.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: rollatorwieltje on October 08, 2017, 04:33:41 pm
Why would you call your ISP for wifi problems anyway? They can't fix anything about that. What are they supposed to do, send a roll of aluminium foil to stick on the walls to block out other signals?

I'm using an Ubiquiti AP AC Pro for about a year now, mounted on a wall. It's a directional unit, which is nice, since the antenna pattern actually matches only my house instead of half of it covering my neighbors house. It's so much better than pretty much anything consumer grade.

BTW, "Long range" APs are nonsense when you use them with consumer devices. Your device might be able to see your AP from the other side of town, but it has no hope of ever communicating back. You need a better antenna, not more power.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:37:16 pm
Why would you call your ISP for wifi problems anyway? They can't fix anything about that. What are they supposed to do, send a roll of aluminium foil to stick on the walls to block out other signals?

I'm using an Ubiquiti AP AC Pro for about a year now, mounted on a wall. It's a directional unit, which is nice, since the antenna pattern actually matches only my house instead of half of it covering my neighbors house. It's so much better than pretty much anything consumer grade.

BTW, "Long range" APs are nonsense when you use them with consumer devices. Your device might be able to see your AP from the other side of town, but it has no hope of ever communicating back. You need a better antenna, not more power.

I had numerous problems so I let my ISP upgrade me to a fibre to the box connection, they supplied the router and as far as I am concerned they can at least have some input on resolving any problems. I didn't waste £150 on a good quality router only to have to resell it for £40 so that they could install their crap for me to them have to fix their problems with it. Their router, I go to them first.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Syntax_Error on October 08, 2017, 04:37:28 pm
I understand if this seems tongue-in-cheeck/sarcastic, but it's not intended to be: if at all possible, get off the airwaves and use wired connections, at least for important and for static, non-mobile connections. You will have so much less issues it will only deepen your hatred of WiFi performance.

I tried for over a year to "engineer" a home WiFi setup that wasn't worthless. Several upgraded wireless routers, changing locations inside the house, installing a repeater upstairs, etc. Things that seemed to work initially, like installing a new "better" wireless router, would eventually, sometimes quickly deteriorate back to initial poor performance. Sometimes I swear my laptop sees various neighbors' WiFi signals at higher strength than the router in the adjacent room.

Eventually I got sick of it and just laid Ethernet cable across the floor from the router to my main machine, very ugly, and all the problems were gone (duh, right). But the performance difference was so staggering that I instantly no longer cared about "ugly" wires, because one solution worked and the other obviously did not. Since then I have used various trim products to hide the wires without routing through the walls (I don't own the home so I have to get creative), and now the only wireless devices are tablets and phones and if someone insists on not being near one of the many Ethernet ports in the house, a laptop.

So, I  know this is borderline off topic because it is not a wireless solution, but I sympathize with the problem and say, "Good luck." I couldn't solve it satisfactorily, and eventually turned back to cabling.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 04:38:48 pm
Such a setting almost never works properly. Usually they just pick one based on a single scan and sit there forever more.
I might be used to after market firmware, but it seems to do a decent job, disregarding whether it actually helps.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:41:40 pm
I understand if this seems tongue-in-cheeck/sarcastic, but it's not intended to be: if at all possible, get off the airwaves and use wired connections, at least for important and for static, non-mobile connections. You will have so much less issues it will only deepen your hatred of WiFi performance.

I tried for over a year to "engineer" a home WiFi setup that wasn't worthless. Several upgraded wireless routers, changing locations inside the house, installing a repeater upstairs, etc. Things that seemed to work initially, like installing a new "better" wireless router, would eventually, sometimes quickly deteriorate back to initial poor performance. Sometimes I swear my laptop sees various neighbors' WiFi signals at higher strength than the router in the adjacent room.

Eventually I got sick of it and just laid Ethernet cable across the floor from the router to my main machine, very ugly, and all the problems were gone (duh, right). But the performance difference was so staggering that I instantly no longer cared about "ugly" wires, because one solution worked and the other obviously did not. Since then I have used various trim products to hide the wires without routing through the walls (I don't own the home so I have to get creative), and now the only wireless devices are tablets and phones and if someone insists on not being near one of the many Ethernet ports in the house, a laptop.

So, I  know this is borderline off topic because it is not a wireless solution, but I sympathize with the problem and say, "Good luck." I couldn't solve it satisfactorily, and eventually turned back to cabling.

Well my needs are not tremendous, just a reliable connection to get onto the internet so going for the full cat5 speed is overkill and would be a lot of work as it literally has to cross the whole house. So long as i maintain my current 5GHz performance I'll be happy but like you every new effort seems to bring reward for a short time only to slip back.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 04:47:45 pm
I understand if this seems tongue-in-cheeck/sarcastic, but it's not intended to be: if at all possible, get off the airwaves and use wired connections, at least for important and for static, non-mobile connections. You will have so much less issues it will only deepen your hatred of WiFi performance.

I tried for over a year to "engineer" a home WiFi setup that wasn't worthless. Several upgraded wireless routers, changing locations inside the house, installing a repeater upstairs, etc. Things that seemed to work initially, like installing a new "better" wireless router, would eventually, sometimes quickly deteriorate back to initial poor performance. Sometimes I swear my laptop sees various neighbors' WiFi signals at higher strength than the router in the adjacent room.

Eventually I got sick of it and just laid Ethernet cable across the floor from the router to my main machine, very ugly, and all the problems were gone (duh, right). But the performance difference was so staggering that I instantly no longer cared about "ugly" wires, because one solution worked and the other obviously did not. Since then I have used various trim products to hide the wires without routing through the walls (I don't own the home so I have to get creative), and now the only wireless devices are tablets and phones and if someone insists on not being near one of the many Ethernet ports in the house, a laptop.

So, I  know this is borderline off topic because it is not a wireless solution, but I sympathize with the problem and say, "Good luck." I couldn't solve it satisfactorily, and eventually turned back to cabling.
Agreed. Going to wires, unless you don't have another choice, will save you a lot of trouble. It surely doesn't help that everyone seems to think wifi is a sure-fire solution. I've even overheard someone being utterly surprised that the office network still uses wires. We were in the 21st century and all, no need for those old fashioned wires. The fact that people apparently default to wifi should be a hint where the problems come from.

The fact that solutions seem to work temporarily supports the notion that there is a consumer arms race going, with everyone trying to one-up the neighbours solution as soon as their own solution has been outclassed.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Monkeh on October 08, 2017, 04:49:56 pm
For some reason everyone round here on 5GHz is hogging the same few bands

Because they're all running the garbage given to them by their ISP, none of which supports DFS or TPC, leaving it stuck with the lower frequency ranges.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 04:53:39 pm
Well my needs are not tremendous, just a reliable connection to get onto the internet so going for the full cat5 speed is overkill and would be a lot of work as it literally has to cross the whole house. So long as i maintain my current 5GHz performance I'll be happy but like you every new effort seems to bring reward for a short time only to slip back.
Don't think of it in terms of speed, think of it in terms of reliability. A decently made cable with proper shielding is almost impossible to perturb. As you've discovered, wifi signals are much less robust.

You could always resort to a hybrid, with an AP near your laptop at the end of your cable. If you must, you could look into transmitting your data over power lines to avoid infrastructure work, but that has a number of potentially problematic variables that a regular cable doesn't have.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: radar_macgyver on October 08, 2017, 04:55:47 pm
I'm using an Ubiquiti AP AC Pro for about a year now, mounted on a wall. It's a directional unit, which is nice, since the antenna pattern actually matches only my house instead of half of it covering my neighbors house. It's so much better than pretty much anything consumer grade.

These are nice, and one can get multiple units that go in different rooms; the controller software makes them appear as one contiguous access point (vaguely like cellular).

Ars Technica did a reviews (https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/review-ubiquiti-unifi-made-me-realize-how-terrible-consumer-wi-fi-gear-is/) of this AP, along with Ubiquiti's Amplifi (https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/05/ubiquiti-aims-squarely-at-home-networking-with-new-amplifi-802-11ac-gear/) router-range extender combo.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 04:55:54 pm

Agreed. Going to wires, unless you don't have another choice, will save you a lot of trouble. It surely doesn't help that everyone seems to think wifi is a sure-fire solution. I've even overheard someone being utterly surprised that the office network still uses wires. We were in the 21st century and all, no need for those old fashioned wires. The fact that people apparently default to wifi should be a hint where the problems come from.

The fact that solutions seem to work temporarily supports the notion that there is a consumer arms race going, with everyone trying to one-up the neighbours solution as soon as their own solution has been outclassed.

Haha, we would not swap our wires at work, they give us direct reasonably fast access to our server with a total bandwidth well over that that a single poxy wifi channel would provide, even if the wired network is crap, for some time I was the only source of wifi in our office as I setup my laptop as a hotspot. When the IT people found out they had a wifi spot set up in the office. If i was going to have another NAS box I'd consider wired but now that I use almost exclusively my laptop the centralised storage is less of an issue and with dropbox the small every day stuff even goes with me.

I think the arms race is not necessarily intentional. It's just a case that every time you switch provider they send you new equipment. I have just found 5GHz channels that I didn't know existed, 5.6GHz channels in fact, but then I have never nosed around my router. Someone round me has a repeater as I see the same SSID twice, but one of them covers more bands than the other (5GHz) so clearly they bought a repeater and by that time using more sidebands had become a thing
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Monkeh on October 08, 2017, 04:56:26 pm
If you must, you could look into transmitting your data over power lines to avoid infrastructure work, but that has a number of potentially problematic variables that a regular cable doesn't have.

Not least of which most likely actually being illegal to sell and use..
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 05:03:17 pm
Haha, we would not swap our wires at work, they give us direct reasonably fast access to our server with a total bandwidth well over that that a single poxy wifi channel would provide, even if the wired network is crap, for some time I was the only source of wifi in our office as I setup my laptop as a hotspot. When the IT people found out they had a wifi spot set up in the office. If i was going to have another NAS box I'd consider wired but now that I use almost exclusively my laptop the centralised storage is less of an issue and with dropbox the small every day stuff even goes with me.

I think the arms race is not necessarily intentional. It's just a case that every time you switch provider they send you new equipment. I have just found 5GHz channels that I didn't know existed, 5.6GHz channels in fact, but then I have never nosed around my router. Someone round me has a repeater as I see the same SSID twice, but one of them covers more bands than the other (5GHz) so clearly they bought a repeater and by that time using more sidebands had become a thing
I don't think its very intentional in most cases, but that just adds to the mess. People go to the computer store to ask for a solution and get sold something like a repeater. This works for a while, until the neighbour does the same thing. People don't have a clue what they're doing, but it quickly devolves into a huge mess. As you say, even upgrades from your ISP can contribute to the problem, especially when those aren't configured optimally. The ISP probably doesn't care, because radio congestion both naturally throttles network usage and allows them to sell higher bandwidth packages to people who think that actually is their problem.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon on October 08, 2017, 05:05:08 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 08, 2017, 05:08:57 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.

That being said, I would always recommend going for actual network cables. Horses for courses. Do it right and do it once.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Monkeh 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: ChuckDarwin 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon 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
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon 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....
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: madires 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Simon 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Halcyon 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: orin 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on October 08, 2017, 07:32:41 pm
...and with modern laptops not coming with hardwired ethernet...

Wut?  ??? :wtf:
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram 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.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: GreyWoolfe 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: orin 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.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Rick Law 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: David Hess 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Gary.M on October 09, 2017, 01:27:28 am
What about one of the mesh network solutions?
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: NiHaoMike 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: tooki 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: bd139 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: BrianHG 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.)

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: MrW0lf 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: IanMacdonald 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.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: capt bullshot on October 10, 2017, 11:21:28 am
It's not you. You're absolutely right. If you want reliable networking, use cables.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Howardlong on October 10, 2017, 01:07:13 pm
Using a more powerful AP and WiFi cards is a expensive, illegal, and not particularly effective way of extending range in a busy shared environment. The same applies to messing around with directional antennas. Avoid range extenders, they add latency, unreliability, and reduce capacity. A far more reliable, and cost- and time-effective way is to add more wired APs.

I have completely reliable 2.4GHz across my 1000sqft apartment in central London. It's in a period building, perhaps 150 years old, so thick walls. There are dozens of Wireless networks visible. I have 4 APs all wired on Gige. The fourth one I only put in recently, I've been managing with three for about six years but had a low speed in one corner of the kitchen that struggled streaming video, so I put in another one.

They are all on the same SSID, and I was careful not to overlap channels where APs could see each other.

For backing up, I only use wired GigE, but for general content consumption and productivity, the Wifi is mostly fine, and if necessary I can plug in devices on the odd occasion I need the extra bandwidth.

I use flat Cat 6 and Cat5e cabling between the APs, and that fits easily and neatly at carpet edges and doors without needing to drill millions of holes, and is acceptable to those in the household with a more aesthetic bent.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Monkeh on October 10, 2017, 02:58:08 pm
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.

DFS support in 5GHz devices is really only just arriving (sadly), and still does not work well.

Theory: Select 'automatic', device always finds a quiet channel for you and continuously looks for the quietest option
Reality: Select 'automatic', device takes a scan, picks a channel which looks quiet, and stays there. If it's a DFS channel and it detects radar, it drops back to the lowest practical channel. And stays there.

This, sadly, is the reality of most consumer devices available, especially ISP provided or sanely priced ones.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: tooki on October 10, 2017, 03:04:05 pm
Using a more powerful AP and WiFi cards is a expensive, illegal, and not particularly effective way of extending range in a busy shared environment. The same applies to messing around with directional antennas. Avoid range extenders, they add latency, unreliability, and reduce capacity. A far more reliable, and cost- and time-effective way is to add more wired APs.

I have completely reliable 2.4GHz across my 1000sqft apartment in central London. It's in a period building, perhaps 150 years old, so thick walls. There are dozens of Wireless networks visible. I have 4 APs all wired on Gige. The fourth one I only put in recently, I've been managing with three for about six years but had a low speed in one corner of the kitchen that struggled streaming video, so I put in another one.

They are all on the same SSID, and I was careful not to overlap channels where APs could see each other.

For backing up, I only use wired GigE, but for general content consumption and productivity, the Wifi is mostly fine, and if necessary I can plug in devices on the odd occasion I need the extra bandwidth.

I use flat Cat 6 and Cat5e cabling between the APs, and that fits easily and neatly at carpet edges and doors without needing to drill millions of holes, and is acceptable to those in the household with a more aesthetic bent.
I like to joke that my estate is so big that I need two access points, one each for the east and west wings! :p

In actuality it’s a 1 bedroom apartment, but because of how the rooms are staggered (it really is like the bedroom is a separate wing), and the heavy masonry construction, 2.4GHz really can’t reach the whole apartment reliably, so I use two APs with a wired backbone. I tried  giving that power line networking bullshit a chance as a backbone, but it sucked.  (it was more reliable than the WiFi, but managed 30Mbps on a good day — a significant issue when the internet connection is 100Mbps.) So then I took the existing conduit with the phone wiring, ripped out the phone wire and ran Cat 7 through it as a backbone, replaced the cat-less jacks with Cat6 jacks, and ran flat Cat6 run inside the baseboards to get from the cable modem to the wall jack. This gigabit backbone works marvelously, and of course scaled well when I got upgraded to 250Mbs and then 500Mbps. My desktop computer is connected via wired Ethernet of course and actually benefits from it. The portable gadgets get real-world 250Mbps via the 802.11n Airport Extremes used as APs. (I guess I’ll need to upgrade to 802.11ac eventually.)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: G7PSK on October 10, 2017, 03:35:36 pm
Use "homeplug adapters" you can get them with wifi repeaters in them as well, very good solution where you cannot run lan cables.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerline-Configuration-UK-TL-PA4010KIT-V1-20/dp/B01BECPIMC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507649547&sr=8-1&keywords=homeplug (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerline-Configuration-UK-TL-PA4010KIT-V1-20/dp/B01BECPIMC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507649547&sr=8-1&keywords=homeplug)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Passthrough-Configuration-UK-TL-WPA4226KIT-V1-2/dp/B01HD20F8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507649706&sr=8-1&keywords=homeplug+with+wifi (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Passthrough-Configuration-UK-TL-WPA4226KIT-V1-2/dp/B01HD20F8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507649706&sr=8-1&keywords=homeplug+with+wifi)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: cdev on October 10, 2017, 04:03:38 pm
Has anybody ever considered using a short length of coaxial cable with (2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, or broadband, whatever) antennas on both ends, or, merely locating at least one of a diversity capable AP's several antennas farther apart..

instead of a second access point or repeater to extend signals?  It works great!

Edit: This is the term I was looking for..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_repeater

You probably already have all the parts you would need to do it. A piece of coax long enough, and two antennas.
...
.. RG6 is ideal. You could use an easy to make broadband antenna like a bowtie or planar disc antenna at both ends, cut so that the coverage extends below the lower band (2.4 GHz) - That should also cover 5.8 GHz.

The beauty of a passive repeater is it will quite possibly work with your automatically selected channel, it may well work on both 2.4 and 5 GHz.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Howardlong on October 10, 2017, 05:19:04 pm
Has anybody ever considered using a short length of coaxial cable with (2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, or broadband, whatever) antennas on both ends, or, merely locating at least one of a diversity capable AP's several antennas farther apart..

instead of a second access point or repeater to extend signals?  It works great!

You likely could also get away with simply using a coaxial "tee" connector and splitting the antenna signal. At long distances this will create a lumpy pattern but inside of a home the coverage is likely to be more complete the larger the antennas aperture is electrically. But the coax cable with two antennas on the ends trick is almost guaranteed to work and its easy and requires no specialized knowledge really. You can use any kind of antenna too. No need to use coax connectors, even. Just use the thickest coax you have, RG6 is ideal. You could use an easy to make broadband antenna like a bowtie or planar disc antenna at both ends, cut so that the coverage extends below the lower band (2.4 GHz) - That should also cover 5.8 GHz.

Difficult to know where to start. Lots of “almost guaranteed”, ”easy”, “no specialized knowledge”, “get away with”, “just use”. Sounds like an awful lot of wishful thinking to me, and a lot of wasted coax and effort. I should’ve given up reading at “tee connector”.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: bd139 on October 10, 2017, 05:27:30 pm
MacGuyver could make it work.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: CJay on October 10, 2017, 05:42:17 pm
Pfft, McGyver...

I spent a happy half hour messing about with a metal rubbish bin in a hotel room so I could access the free WiFi in the masonic lodge downstairs on one memorable week's training...
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Jeroen3 on October 10, 2017, 05:59:30 pm
All the wrong answers. The worst things to do are blindly getting repeaters and more power.
Also most ISP actually sell reasonly expensive stuff*, a bold statement like "ISP stuff sucks!" isn't very helpful in most cases.

How to fix wifi problems?

1. Location.
People often hide the ISP router (access point) in a corner of a room, in a cabinet behind stuff or even on the floor, near an exterior wall.
Exterior walls are horror to WiFi, as well as anything else nearby basically. Live in a tent and enjoy perfect wifi!
Move the damn thing to a better location and don't put it behind stuff. For example, mount it on an interior wall central in your house at half the room height or higher, but not to close to the ceiling.
Find out on which side of the device they're put the antennas, and don't block that side with any metals.
This all is half the work to getting decent wifi, and it often requires only 1 cable. (considering a POE accesspoint)

If you have a big house you can consider more access points. Try to get them wired. If not, get a mesh compatible system.
802.11r is basically non-existent in the prosumer market right now, so don't expect perfect roaming with anything you can afford.

2. Configuration
If you're in a crowded area, chances are WiFi isn't the only thing using the 2.4GHz band. Most quality access points can do a band scan so you can detect the lowest energy channel. This means you're not fighting with someone's security camera. Because you will lose that.
If you can't find a free channel, or don't live at the countryside, join the least disturbed channel. (eg: the channel with the least side lobes)

3. Equipment
If all above show no improvement, get decent equipment. Then I don't mean spend more money, spend wisely. The popular *huge* TP-Link routers made for a low price point, you will know this by the number of unpatched cve's, yet they ask ridiculous prices for the services they offer. Remember that networking gear also requires security patches.
There is also this massive size Asus router that seems to get much love from the enthusiasts. It doesn't need to be so big, and those antennas are for show.
Buy Ubiquity, Cisco or Mikrotik. Get 5 GHz. Notice how none of the professional indoor access points have big visible antennes.

Solutions like, get more powah, get repeater or get powerline all won't significantly increase your internet experience. The best way to enhance your internet experience is to use good old twisted pair.
But that doesn't fit in your iPad.

*the units often feature remote management, multiple pppoe with vlan routing and voip.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: CJay on October 10, 2017, 06:28:39 pm
Yeah, absolutely, no professional WiFi access point has visible antennae.

Oh...

http://transparent-uk.com/cisco-aironet-3700e-1300mbit-s-power-over-ethernet-poe-white-wlan-access-point.html?mkwid=s_dc (http://transparent-uk.com/cisco-aironet-3700e-1300mbit-s-power-over-ethernet-poe-white-wlan-access-point.html?mkwid=s_dc)|pcrid|201436624720|pkw||pmt|&mh_keyword=&bnine=true&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5Yydrtbm1gIVxbftCh2C2A-HEAQYAiABEgL29_D_BwE

https://www.hpe.com/uk/en/product-catalog/networking/networking-wireless.hits-12.html (https://www.hpe.com/uk/en/product-catalog/networking/networking-wireless.hits-12.html)

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Jeroen3 on October 10, 2017, 08:05:02 pm
Yeah, absolutely, no professional WiFi access point has visible antennae.
Those are conference hall access points...  :palm: Completely out of the described use case of this topic. Outdoor access points also have antennas, for improved waterproofing and directional options.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: CJay on October 10, 2017, 08:22:24 pm
Yeah, absolutely, no professional WiFi access point has visible antennae.
Those are conference hall access points...  :palm: Completely out of the described use case of this topic. Outdoor access points also have antennas, for improved waterproofing and directional options.

'Professional indoor access points'

I'll get the popcorn while you wriggle and squirm your way out of that but if you want to define 'professional' I can find a WAP that has external antennae or the option for them.
.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 11, 2017, 12:29:08 am
Part of the issue is people expect too much out of wifi and just put everything on it.  Make everything wired, except for mobile stuff, that means less items fighting for bandwidth.  Wifi can be seen as a hub, only 2 devices can talk to each other at once. It's the nature of the beast. So the more stuff that is wireless the more congestion you might get.

Commercial APs will often be better than consumer stuff as well.  Unifi is fairly affordable.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: alanb on October 16, 2017, 04:38:31 pm
Have you tried remote WiFi access points connected through the mains such as the Devolo units?
https://www.devolo.co.uk/dlan-wifi-adapter/ (https://www.devolo.co.uk/dlan-wifi-adapter/)

They are not perfect but they have been the best thing other than Ethernet cable that I have tried in my home.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Halcyon on October 17, 2017, 11:39:27 pm
Notice how none of the professional indoor access points have big visible antennes.

As others have pointed out, that's complete bull crap. I used to install Cisco, Motorola and Aruba access points in enterprise environments and most of them absolutely had external antenna connectors, especially the Cisco gear.

The size, shape and whether the antenna is internal or external is largely irrelevant when we're talking about internal access points. You really only need to be concerned about the gain and radiation pattern for the area you're installing them in. My Ubiquiti AP performs a crap load better than those consumer access points disguised as a hedge hog.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Jeroen3 on October 18, 2017, 06:15:45 am
Notice how none of the professional indoor access points have big visible antennes.

As others have pointed out, that's complete bull crap. I used to install Cisco, Motorola and Aruba access points in enterprise environments and most of them absolutely had external antenna connectors, especially the Cisco gear.
I just checked again. The most popular 9 accesspoint at consumer shop have 7/9 have big antenna's while the first 9 at business shop scores 0/9. You get the point, right?
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: helius on October 18, 2017, 06:40:50 am
I just checked again. The most popular 9 accesspoint at consumer shop have 7/9 have big antenna's while the first 9 at business shop scores 0/9. You get the point, right?
Why do you blindly assume that is driven by performance?
It's much more likely that equipment in a business setting requires greater resistance to vandalism.

My experience with industrial grade APs is that they are more likely to have antenna connectors, whereas most consumer junk has done away with that and have captive, rotatable antenna pods. They do look different but it isn't because internal patch antennas are magic.

My APs have panel mounted N connectors. You know, on a steel chassis.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: borjam on October 18, 2017, 07:02:07 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.
The 2.4 GHz channels were defined before WiFi existed. The channels have a width of just 5 MHz, while a WiFi transmission on 2.4 GHz has a bandwidth of 20 MHz. Some stupid manuafcturers even suggest using 40 MHz channels on 2.4 GHz, which is even worse. In that case the whole band can only carry two simultaneous transmissions.

These graphics on Wikipedia display it pretty well.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels#/media/File:NonOverlappingChannels2.4GHzWLAN-en.svg)

Most of the WiFi problems come from poor configurations. And of course the 2.4 GHz spectrum is saturated just because of the number of users.

5 GHz is better for several reasons:

- Its suffers more attenuation due to walls. I would say "benefits" because your neighbor's 5 GHz network will rarely be a problem. But
of course you may need several access points at home depending on the number of rooms, its structure and even the kind of walls you
have.

- There is much more bandwidth available, which leads to higher speeds.

- There are plenty of crappy devices on 2.4 GHz like audio/video transmitters, etc. Some microwave motion detectors operate on 2.4 GHz. Bluetooth operates on 2.4 GHz. Microwave ovens radiate on 2.4 GHz. The 5 GHz band is cleaner. Anyway, at least your neighbor crappy
devices will be less of a problem on 5 GHz thanks to attenuation.

And there are some misconceptions around power. More power on the access point makes it visible at a larger distance but it doesn't
mean you will achieve a larger range. Using a 1 W ERP accesss point doesn't make your phone, tablet or computer radiate 1 W. Actually,
in places covered by several access points it's usually a good idea to decrease AP power so that devices associato to the nearest
AP.

Apart from interference, the worst WiFi performance killer is devices associated with a poor signal level. Those devices need to transmit
at a lower speed (otherwise they wouldn't work) and that drags down the rest of the associated clients because it takes up more
radio time. If you have several devices at home check the list of associated clients.

Antennas: even built in antennas can be very different. Enterprise access points designed to be attached to the ceiling are intended to
be unobtrusive, so you will rarely see connectors for external anntennas. Some el cheapo residential APs have external antennas
because they are very cheap and visible atennas are probably perceived as "more powerful" by most users. But some enterprise
APs have quite sophisticated internal atennas.

The main benefit of a proper antenna is not just radiated power, but rejecting interference. An example: An AP with a good antenna radiation diagram attached to the ceiling will be much less sensitive to transmissions from the next floor, which means it will be
more immune to interference from your neighbor and, in case you own both floors, it will make it less likely for a device on a floor
to associate to an AP on a different floor, which is good.

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Brumby on October 18, 2017, 08:05:46 am
"The whole wifi con"

From the very beginning, I looked at WiFi as an "alternative" option - not as a basic service.  In fact I have set up two home networks without enabling WiFi.  One was taken over by the kids in the household who shuffled things around and enabled the WiFi.  The other was controlled by me - and had been running for 15 years without opening up that floodgate.  I've only recently relented for some mobile device connections.  :(

Security, speed, reliability and consistency are things that run naturally with a wired network.  Still not a great fan of WiFi ... but it can be convenient.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Mr. Scram on October 19, 2017, 07:40:05 am
I just checked again. The most popular 9 accesspoint at consumer shop have 7/9 have big antenna's while the first 9 at business shop scores 0/9. You get the point, right?
Why do you blindly assume that is driven by performance?
It's much more likely that equipment in a business setting requires greater resistance to vandalism.

My experience with industrial grade APs is that they are more likely to have antenna connectors, whereas most consumer junk has done away with that and have captive, rotatable antenna pods. They do look different but it isn't because internal patch antennas are magic.

My APs have panel mounted N connectors. You know, on a steel chassis.
Business routers are also likely to service a high density population in a mesh wifi network. Having a limited range might even be preferred, although transmission power should also be settable or even dynamically adjusted.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: cdev on November 18, 2017, 08:31:54 pm
Has anybody ever tried the following to get a signal around some indoor obstacle without having to buy another AP? Get a length of top quality coax that will allow both ends to be illuminated by the desired endpoints. Get or make a directional antenna for the end nearest the AP and point it at the AP. Then put an omnidirectional antenna on the other end. Then see if the range is extended adequately. It may be.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Brumby on November 19, 2017, 05:29:08 am
A passive repeater.

Worth a try - and it may be all you need.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: tooki on November 21, 2017, 06:15:58 pm
Has anybody ever tried the following to get a signal around some indoor obstacle without having to buy another AP? Get a length of top quality coax that will allow both ends to be illuminated by the desired endpoints. Get or make a directional antenna for the end nearest the AP and point it at the AP. Then put an omnidirectional antenna on the other end. Then see if the range is extended adequately. It may be.
I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. But whether that’s less work than running another AP is another matter. (E.g. in my home, running Cat 7 through existing conduit and terminating it with Cat7 8P8C jacks was a much more pragmatic solution.)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: wraper on November 21, 2017, 06:38:58 pm
I was last told to set my router to band 6 because this is the most popular. I thought the opposite would be the case but i did it anyway as I've just lost hope.
LOL, band 6 is what I would avoid. Most routers left on auto will stay at band 6 as well. So likely you'll get the most of interference possible in your area. I'd set band 1 or max band possible, as there is overlap with a few nearby channels as well.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 22, 2017, 09:41:18 am
If no other devices are using the WiFi spectrum, channel 6 is the most likely to give the best performance but if the air is not empty, 6 will probably suck  ;D
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: IanMacdonald on November 22, 2017, 10:06:48 am

They already do... sort of. A lot of houses are built with foil backed foam insulation board in the walls like this stuff. (http://assets.jewson.co.uk/category-images/8297/Main/8297.jpg)

If they manage to install a smart meter here (Which will call for an armed escort) then some of that is definitely going in. At least I have an excuse that I was being 'green' by adding insulation, when they lose their spy signal.  :-//
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: tooki on November 23, 2017, 07:14:27 pm
If no other devices are using the WiFi spectrum, channel 6 is the most likely to give the best performance but if the air is not empty, 6 will probably suck  ;D
In a totally vacant spectrum, why would 6 perform any better than any other channel? The channel bandwidth is the same for all the channels, afaik.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 23, 2017, 08:11:06 pm
This.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Monkeh on November 23, 2017, 08:33:46 pm
You may want to check where the channels sit in relation to that.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: tooki on November 24, 2017, 06:27:42 am
This.
Source? Context?
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: borjam on November 24, 2017, 07:08:40 am
This.
Not all antennas are created equal :) Some are broadband designs that work well regardless of the channel you are using.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 24, 2017, 08:42:25 am
Antennae (and other RF components) do not have flat return loss, insertion loss etc etc. As the middle of the band coincides with channel 6 (wel, rather somewhere between 6 and 11 actually...), this ussually means RF performance is a bit better there...

No need for a source: take any wifi antenna.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: borjam on November 24, 2017, 09:14:06 am
Antennae (and other RF components) do not have flat return loss, insertion loss etc etc. As the middle of the band coincides with channel 6 (wel, rather somewhere between 6 and 11 actually...), this ussually means RF performance is a bit better there...
Of course not, but there are broadband antennas with a broader region of low enough return loss, and there are narrow band anntenas.

Unless you are using a narrow band antenna tuned to a certain channel the difference will be negligible.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 24, 2017, 09:35:02 am
The above is a typical wifi antenna. Wouldn't call it negligeable.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: wraper on November 24, 2017, 09:45:14 am
The above is a typical wifi antenna. Wouldn't call it negligeable.
Intentionally making antenna like this would not even make much sense as it works best at around channel 13. And it actually contradicts to what you said about channels 6 working the best.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8c/2.4_GHz_Wi-Fi_channels_%28802.11b%2Cg_WLAN%29.svg/1700px-2.4_GHz_Wi-Fi_channels_%28802.11b%2Cg_WLAN%29.svg.png)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: borjam on November 24, 2017, 09:53:08 am
The above is a typical wifi antenna. Wouldn't call it negligeable.
First: Typical antenna, in which context?

Second: RL below 8 dB can be considered quite harmless. Or am I missing anything?

Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 24, 2017, 10:08:23 am
The above is a typical wifi antenna. Wouldn't call it negligeable.
Intentionally making antenna like this would not even make much sense as it works best at around channel 13. And it actually contradicts to what you said about channels 6 working the best.

You'll note I already requalified my statement: "(wel, rather somewhere between 6 and 11 actually...)  ;D

The above is a typical wifi antenna. Wouldn't call it negligeable.
First: Typical antenna, in which context?

What do you mean? Not sure I understand but lets turn this around: can you show me a wifi antenna that does not have RL dip in the 2.4-2.5GHz band?

Quote
Second: RL below 8 dB can be considered quite harmless. Or am I missing anything?

Depends on what you call harmless. At 8dB, 15% of your output power is lost. At 20dB (the 'dip') something like 1%.
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: wraper on November 24, 2017, 10:37:19 am
The above is a typical wifi antenna. Wouldn't call it negligeable.
Intentionally making antenna like this would not even make much sense as it works best at around channel 13. And it actually contradicts to what you said about channels 6 working the best.

You'll note I already requalified my statement: "(wel, rather somewhere between 6 and 11 actually...)  ;D
No, if we say like this, then somewhere in between of 12 and 14 :).
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 24, 2017, 10:45:29 am
What about this: surely not Channel 1?  :popcorn:
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: borjam on November 24, 2017, 10:52:59 am
Depends on what you call harmless. At 8dB, 15% of your output power is lost. At 20dB (the 'dip') something like 1%.
Which means a loss of .7 dB.

Economists think in percentage terms. RF engineers think in dB terms  :horse:  :box:
(I'm not an engineer myself, but a Physics drop-off, but certainly not an economist at all!).

Attached is the S11 graph of a really narrowband antenna. A HF tuned loop. You must retune even if you are making a 2 KHz change :)

(A MFJ-1788 loop)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: wraper on November 24, 2017, 10:53:35 am
What about this: surely not Channel 1?  :popcorn:
:box: :-DD
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/the-whole-wifi-con/?action=dlattach;attach=373105;image)
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: Ice-Tea on November 24, 2017, 11:16:20 am
Depends on what you call harmless. At 8dB, 15% of your output power is lost. At 20dB (the 'dip') something like 1%.
Which means a loss of .7 dB.

Economists think in percentage terms. RF engineers think in dB terms  :horse:  :box:


*shrugs* Call it what you want. It's lost.

What about this: surely not Channel 1?  :popcorn:
:box: :-DD
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/the-whole-wifi-con/?action=dlattach;attach=373105;image)

 |O :palm:

Joking aside: not exactly the kind of antenna you'll find in off the shelf wifi equipment.

*waits for wraper to dig up an off the shelf piece of wifi equipment that has this antenna*
Title: Re: The whole wifi con
Post by: borjam on November 24, 2017, 11:35:21 am
Joking aside: not exactly the kind of antenna you'll find in off the shelf wifi equipment.

*waits for wraper to dig up an off the shelf piece of wifi equipment that has this antenna*
Of course you can find good, reasonable and crappy antennas. I remember some antennas I tested a couple of years ago. Granted, they were cheap despite being attached to an (COUGH!)"N"(COUGH!) (*) connector, and the "radiating element" was just a more or less random piece of wire inside a plastic piece.

I tested 20 of them with a VNA and there were no two equals. But fine, the person who asked me to try them told me the cost was a hefty dollar a piece or so. These antennas were sold as "3G antenna" and they are all part of the same batch. Out of 20 I think that maybe 5 didn't even have a piece of wire inside.

This is more or less the equivalent of the fake ferrite suppressor you find in bottom of the barrel USB cables. Just a cylinder of plastic.

Note for the curious, that awesome VNA is not mine, it's at the University. My own VNA is cheaper than that VNA's calibration kit.


(*) The cough is due to the fact that the connectors were N compatible (you could plug them!) but they were more like a copy of an N connector. The quality of the centre ring was apalling.