Author Topic: The whole wifi con  (Read 10246 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
The whole wifi con
« 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.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Offline RoGeorge

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: ro
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 10:28:52 am »
It's just you.

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #2 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!
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Online Ice-Tea

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1499
  • Country: be
    • Freelance Hardware Engineer
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #3 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.
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU 707 matrix, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #4 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 ;)
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #5 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.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Offline hans

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1042
  • Country: nl
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 10:47:14 am by hans »
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #7 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.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Offline grumpydoc

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2682
  • Country: gb
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #8 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.
 

Offline grumpydoc

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2682
  • Country: gb
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #9 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.

 

Offline bjcuizon

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 284
  • Country: nz
  • RF and Analog Electronics Enthusiast
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #10 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.
Don't mess with an Electronics Engineer, it Megahertz!
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #11 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.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Offline Gyro

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4875
  • Country: gb
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #12 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'.
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline Psi

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7367
  • Country: nz
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #13 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)
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Online Ice-Tea

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1499
  • Country: be
    • Freelance Hardware Engineer
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #14 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  ::)
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU 707 matrix, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156
 
The following users thanked this post: Howardlong

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4234
  • Country: ch
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #15 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.
 
The following users thanked this post: Someone

Online Ian.M

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8117
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2017, 12:23:32 pm »
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.
 
The following users thanked this post: SeanB, tooki

Offline Towger

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1559
  • Country: ie
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #17 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.

 

Offline mariush

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3833
  • Country: ro
  • .
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #18 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:

 

Online nali

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 263
  • Country: gb
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #19 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.
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 :(




 
The following users thanked this post: Someone

Offline Groucho2005

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 84
  • Country: es
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #20 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.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8156
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #21 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.
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13935
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #22 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.
https://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/shop
Varied stock of test instruments and components including EEVblog gear and Wurth Elektronik Books.
Also, if you want to get ripped off: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/simons_electronics?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8156
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #23 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.
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6023
  • Country: gb
Re: The whole wifi con
« Reply #24 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.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf