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Wi-Fi Questions

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Hey all. I live in a two story house with my mom, my sister and her husband, and my niece. I'm up on the 2nd floor with them, while my mom is downstairs. We get our internet through AT&T, and the router box is kept in the master bedroom up here where I am. I have the wi-fi version of the Strix Z490-G Gaming motherboard. What I'm having a problem with is sometimes when I'm playing Star Wars Battlefront II, I'll get a weak signal notification in the top right corner of the screen (also says said weak connection may have an impact on game performance) and, rarely, a total connection loss that ends up booting me out of the current co-op mission.

I will say that our internet gets a work out nearly 24/7, what with everyone streaming shows and movies (especially my niece, who is practically glued to her parents' phones or one of the many Kindle Fire tablets around here) but I've noticed most of my connection problems happen really late at night (past midnight) when it's only me and my mom awake. As far as potential solutions that don't involve wires/cables going from one end of the hall (the master bedroom) to the other (my room), does anyone have any suggestions on improving my wi-fi signal?
 

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Probably the best thing you can do, short of running wire, is to get a WAP (wireless access point) and connect that to your computer with Ethernet cable, and put it somewhere in your room where it gets the best signal to the router. Or connect it to the router and put it somewhere where signal strength is best to your PC.

The router could be the problem as well. Maybe the wifi is going out, or the router is overheating. Does anyone besides you have problems with wifi?
 
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Probably the best thing you can do, short of running wire, is to get a WAP (wireless access point) and connect that to your computer with Ethernet cable, and put it somewhere in your room where it gets the best signal to the router. Or connect it to the router and put it somewhere where signal strength is best to your PC.

The router could be the problem as well. Maybe the wifi is going out, or the router is overheating. Does anyone besides you have problems with wifi?
At the moment, I'm using the wi-fi antenna that came with my board in order to communicate with the router and it's a bit...well, I don't want to say it's terrible, because it isn't. But sometimes it'll crap out even when I'm doing basic things like browsing the internet. I guess I'd call it "decent" though, all things considered. And as far as I know, nobody else in the house has ever really mentioned having any trouble with the wi-fi; my in law is able to play COD online on his XBox, my niece has no trouble watching her...well, whatever the hell it is she watches (lol) and whatnot.

As far as the router overheating, that could very well be a possibility as well. They (my sister and in law) keep the router inside one of the display slots on their TV stand and the few times I've had to write down the access code (it's on the back of the router) the router has felt rather warm. Perhaps I could suggest that they move it into open air, or at least buy a small fan for it?

Thank you for your help :)
 
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If your in-game latency indicator get's red with very limited WiFi usage in house, I'd say it's AT&T's fault and not in-home router issue.
 
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What does 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz do for you?

You need to go in depth; and figure out which channel is LESS crowded.
Try this. Use a wifi app to see all the signals then swap to a less crowded channel..... though I'd expect that late at night it isnt use...
 
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There are a number of solutions for you but it really sounds like the ATT modem-router is junk (shocking) although this line is troubling "I've noticed most of my connection problems happen really late at night (past midnight)". Is that more specific to the time or because you have have been using your computer for several hours? It could be AT&T holding back performance after a certain time.

The easiest solution is getting a repeater that back hauls on a separate radio signal and sticking it in the hallway near you. Another option would be powerline adapters. If you can want to get more complicated you can turn off the router part of your modem and get a separate AP.
 
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What is the distance between end points and how many barriers (walls, floors, ceilings) must the signal go through? Are there big RF reflective devices nearby or in the way like the side of a refrigerator or metal file cabinet?

If the router supports dual band (preferably, "simultaneous" dual band), you might see if the wireless devices near the router can be switched to the 5GHz band, leaving the distant devices using the 2.4GHz band. The 5GHz offers better performance but unfortunately, has much limited range.

You say, "They...keep the router inside one of the display slots on their TV stand ". I don't know what a "display slot" is but in my mind, I picture the router sitting low in the room, and very near, if not right next to the TV. Right next to other electronics is not a good place to put a wifi device. If me, I would see if the router can be elevated and away from the TV and other electronics. If not the router itself, perhaps it has external antennas the can be detached and moved using wifi antenna extension cables. If the router has internal antennas (as many, sadly, do), you can try rotating the router 90° to reorient the antennas. In any case, if that "display slot" is a little cubby hole, moving the router out into the open where air can circulate freely around it would be better in general.

If the speeds are decent at some times, but not at other times, that suggests to me something other than normal signal strength. Multiple devices connected and hogging bandwidth would simply hog bandwidth, not degrade the RF signal strength. But EMI/RFI (interference) from other nearby electronics (like that TV) or even other nearby wifi networks can degrade RF signal strength. Even though hogged bandwidth can certainly affect your network performance, I'm leaning towards interference as your primary culprit.

That said, typically, wifi crowding is not a problem in neighborhoods with houses unless you have a large apartment complex with many wifi networks nearby too. But crowding is still worth checking so as suggested above, you might use a wifi or "packet sniffer" to suss out an unused (or the least used) wifi channel. I use XIRRUS WiFi Inspector on my notebook to see what wireless channels are in use and available. NirSoft's WifiInfoView is another good one. As are Acrylic WiFi Home and Homedale. The best is arguably inSSIDer but sadly, it is no longer free :(.

There are phone app sniffers too. For Android phones there is WiFi Analyzer. And for iPhones, check out Fing Network Scanner.

The best solution is to find an unused channel where neither of its adjacent channels are in use either. If all channels are in use, look for the least crowded channel with the wifi network that has the weakest signal strength. When you have determined the best channel to use, go into your Router/WAP's admin menu and manually select that channel. You do not have to make any changes to your wireless devices. They will pick up and use the new channel automatically.
 

newtekie1

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We get our internet through AT&T, and the router box is kept in the master bedroom up here where I am.
So the router is in the same room as the computer? I highly doubt this is a WiFi issue if that is the case but you need to do some troubleshooting.

First, what kind of AT&T service do you have? Is it their fiber or DSL?
Do a speed test using www.speedtest.net. Do several throughout the day, particularly when you tend to have problems(since you said it seemed to happen more at night).
If possible, run a cable to you computer temporarily and see if it helps any.(A 100ft cable is only $16 if you need a really long cable to string across the room temporarily.)
 
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There are a number of solutions for you but it really sounds like the ATT modem-router is junk (shocking) although this line is troubling "I've noticed most of my connection problems happen really late at night (past midnight)". Is that more specific to the time or because you have have been using your computer for several hours? It could be AT&T holding back performance after a certain time.

The easiest solution is getting a repeater that back hauls on a separate radio signal and sticking it in the hallway near you. Another option would be powerline adapters. If you can want to get more complicated you can turn off the router part of your modem and get a separate AP.
It's more because I've been using my PC for several hours. I like to joke with the family by saying I practically live at my desk, lol. And I actually wouldn't doubt for a second that AT&T would hold back performance after a certain time. They suck, but our options are limited out here, unfortunately.

Thank you for your help and suggestions, ferret :)

What is the distance between end points and how many barriers (walls, floors, ceilings) must the signal go through? Are there big RF reflective devices nearby or in the way like the side of a refrigerator or metal file cabinet?

If the router supports dual band (preferably, "simultaneous" dual band), you might see if the wireless devices near the router can be switched to the 5GHz band, leaving the distant devices using the 2.4GHz band. The 5GHz offers better performance but unfortunately, has much limited range.

You say, "They...keep the router inside one of the display slots on their TV stand ". I don't know what a "display slot" is but in my mind, I picture the router sitting low in the room, and very near, if not right next to the TV. Right next to other electronics is not a good place to put a wifi device. If me, I would see if the router can be elevated and away from the TV and other electronics. If not the router itself, perhaps it has external antennas the can be detached and moved using wifi antenna extension cables. If the router has internal antennas (as many, sadly, do), you can try rotating the router 90° to reorient the antennas. In any case, if that "display slot" is a little cubby hole, moving the router out into the open where air can circulate freely around it would be better in general.

If the speeds are decent at some times, but not at other times, that suggests to me something other than normal signal strength. Multiple devices connected and hogging bandwidth would simply hog bandwidth, not degrade the RF signal strength. But EMI/RFI (interference) from other nearby electronics (like that TV) or even other nearby wifi networks can degrade RF signal strength. Even though hogged bandwidth can certainly affect your network performance, I'm leaning towards interference as your primary culprit.

That said, typically, wifi crowding is not a problem in neighborhoods with houses unless you have a large apartment complex with many wifi networks nearby too. But crowding is still worth checking so as suggested above, you might use a wifi or "packet sniffer" to suss out an unused (or the least used) wifi channel. I use XIRRUS WiFi Inspector on my notebook to see what wireless channels are in use and available. NirSoft's WifiInfoView is another good one. As are Acrylic WiFi Home and Homedale. The best is arguably inSSIDer but sadly, it is no longer free :(.

There are phone app sniffers too. For Android phones there is WiFi Analyzer. And for iPhones, check out Fing Network Scanner.

The best solution is to find an unused channel where neither of its adjacent channels are in use either. If all channels are in use, look for the least crowded channel with the wifi network that has the weakest signal strength. When you have determined the best channel to use, go into your Router/WAP's admin menu and manually select that channel. You do not have to make any changes to your wireless devices. They will pick up and use the new channel automatically.
If I had to guess, I'd say it's at least twenty feet between their room and mine. The signal has to go through roughly four to five walls (my nieces room and my bathroom iare situated between my room and the master). And no big RF reflective devices like you mentioned in the way, just smaller electronics like TVs and game consoles.

And you would be correct with that assumption, sir. It's a little cubby hole. And right next to the router is my in law's XBox. :banghead:

I know whenever I use either my PC or my android-based tablet, I'm able to pick up not only our network (which is a private one requiring an access code) but about 22 OTHER networks, most of which are like ours (access code needed) and only a few that are unlocked, around the neighborhood. :twitch:

Thank you for your very detailed reply, Bill! :)

So the router is in the same room as the computer? I highly doubt this is a WiFi issue if that is the case but you need to do some troubleshooting.

First, what kind of AT&T service do you have? Is it their fiber or DSL?
Do a speed test using www.speedtest.net.
Do several throughout the day, particularly when you tend to have problems(since you said it seemed to happen more at night).
If possible, run a cable to you computer temporarily and see if it helps any.(A 100ft cable is only $16 if you need a really long cable to string across the room temporarily.)
No, the router is located in the master bedroom that my sister and her husband occupy, at the other end of the 2nd floor hallway of my house. And I use the wi-fi antenna that came with my board to communicate with the router signal.

We have their DSL service. Last night before bed (around 3 am), I went into my Bitdefender to check the wi-fi and it said the frequency was approximately 5.68GHz. I did the same thing just now (@5:31pm) and the frequency is listed at approximately 2.41GHz. Just did a speed test using that great link you listed and my results are 28ms ping, 88.22 Mbps download, 20.28 Mbps upload. Also while at that web-site, I found they have another handy site (downdetector.com) that lists popular games/services that are having problems or experiencing outages. Of course, EA is one of those having problems, lol. I remember when I used to play their modern NHL titles hearing/reading the constant trouble players would have with the online features. Nothing's changed, apparently :laugh:

I'll run the same speed test later tonight and compare the results with ones taken now. Thank you for your help and suggestions, newtekie :)
 
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It's more because I've been using my PC for several hours. I like to joke with the family by saying I practically live at my desk, lol. And I actually wouldn't doubt for a second that AT&T would hold back performance after a certain time. They suck, but our options are limited out here, unfortunately.

Thank you for your help and suggestions, ferret :)



If I had to guess, I'd say it's at least twenty feet between their room and mine. The signal has to go through roughly four to five walls (my nieces room and my bathroom iare situated between my room and the master). And no big RF reflective devices like you mentioned in the way, just smaller electronics like TVs and game consoles.

And you would be correct with that assumption, sir. It's a little cubby hole. And right next to the router is my in law's XBox. :banghead:

I know whenever I use either my PC or my android-based tablet, I'm able to pick up not only our network (which is a private one requiring an access code) but about 22 OTHER networks, most of which are like ours (access code needed) and only a few that are unlocked, around the neighborhood. :twitch:

Thank you for your very detailed reply, Bill! :)



No, the router is located in the master bedroom that my sister and her husband occupy, at the other end of the 2nd floor hallway of my house. And I use the wi-fi antenna that came with my board to communicate with the router signal.

We have their DSL service. Last night before bed (around 3 am), I went into my Bitdefender to check the wi-fi and it said the frequency was approximately 5.68GHz. I did the same thing just now (@5:31pm) and the frequency is listed at approximately 2.41GHz. Just did a speed test using that great link you listed and my results are 28ms ping, 88.22 Mbps download, 20.28 Mbps upload. Also while at that web-site, I found they have another handy site (downdetector.com) that lists popular games/services that are having problems or experiencing outages. Of course, EA is one of those having problems, lol. I remember when I used to play their modern NHL titles hearing/reading the constant trouble players would have with the online features. Nothing's changed, apparently :laugh:

I'll run the same speed test later tonight and compare the results with ones taken now. Thank you for your help and suggestions, newtekie :)
See if you can pick up the 2.4ghz radio signal off the router rather then the 5ghz.
 
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