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Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-27-2011

Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

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Hello. I'm trying to figure out why the Rev. I is so much worse than the Rev. D for range and maintaining persistent connections at 30'+ in my home (two-story, single family).

 

I have two smart phones, one tablet and a Blu-ray player, all 802.11n capable. I used the Rev. D for a few years with not many Internet problems overall (wired or wireless).  I recently I got two Rev. I routers -the first was replaced after malfunctioning and overheating- but they both exhibited the same range problem.

 

The Rev. D can usually keep a connection to the far reaches of my home - an upstairs bathroom about 60' away (straight line) through four obstructions (walls and floor).  In that bathroom the speed test was slow of course (~1.8 Mbps) but the connection persisted for several minutes without dropping and reconnecting to the router even once.

 

But the Rev. I could not keep a consistent connection to the tablet in the kitchen at only 40' away through only 2 walls (around two bends).  So I had to move the tablet a little closer within the kitchen - 30' away to  stream video consistently well. On my cell phone at 30' away I had to turn off the auto network switch to 4G just to keep a persistent connection to the Rev. I. With the Rev. D I never had any dropped connection anywhere in the kitchen on the tablet or the phones.

 

Here's what I've learned so far in my own tests and reading other people's experiences here and elsewhere on the web. Any additional insight would be helpful.

 

-- I have read that the signal strength of the Rev. I was reduced for security concerns. I can verify with a Wi-Fi scanner app on my phone that the signal strength is about 2-3dB less (about half as strong) for the Rev. I starting at about 25' away. That shouldn't necessarily cause the connection to the Rev. I router to drop and reconnect so often after 40' of distance. Any ideas why the connection drops so easily and often?  The signal strength at 0 distance (the antenna touching the phone) was about identical for both revisions.

 

-- I have read that the Rev. I wireless mode should be in either performance (n only) or mixed (b/g/n) to maintain better connections but either setting made little difference. I have always kept the Rev. D router in mixed mode (b/g). From the antenna signal strength test above, I discovered only one antenna on the Rev. I router sends a signal so I doesn't seem like there is any beamforming being done in performance (n only) mode which is disappointing. Any idea why beamforming is not enabled?  Is the second antenna even used on the Rev. I?

 

-- I have read that the antennas are too small on the Rev. I and a bigger antenna will help. That part I know is false especially if the longer antenna's impedance doesn't match the router's antenna port.  The "ideal" antenna length at 2.4GHz is about 2.5 inches and the Rev. I antenna looks that long. It seems inside the Rev. D antenna is a cable or some waveguide (the thicker, bottom 5" of the antenna) which might help reduce interference by moving the actual antenna portion of the Rev. D away from the router housing, the power cable and the data cables.  

 

-- Sitting 10 feet away from the router, I didn't notice any difference on speed tests.  It was topping out at about 15-18Mbps for either router revision. So the whole point of having an 802.11n router for faster speed is moot. And at greater distances (40'+) I can't get a reliable connection so the Rev. D wins by default.

 

If anyone has any ideas to make the Rev. I better I would like to try them. Verizon didn't want the Rev. D router back so I have both revisions to use. Thanks!

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Silver Contributor V
Silver Contributor V
Posts: 628
Registered: ‎06-06-2014

Re: Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

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(11,744 Views)

Only advice I have for the rev. i is to send it back or sell it if you own it and get the new dual band greenwave gateway router which is far better.

It's a huge improvment and about time Verizon came out with a really good router.

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Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-18-2014

Re: Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

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The router is junk

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-27-2011

Re: Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

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Much thanks.  I didn't know about the new Greenwave router - it sounds really good but I don't want to part with $150 just yet.  I'll stick with the Rev. D for now and if I have lots of new minor or major problems, my two-year agreement is up in a few months.

 

18 Mbps wi-fi on the Rev. D is decent and it has done a good job in its only function of getting my wired and wireless devices connected to my ONT.  

 

(Right now with a decent connection to my ONT I'm more interested in availability, quality, low latency, etc. for my overall network connection to Verizon's VOD servers and to external sites (i.e. Netflix / Amazon streaming, websites, work VPN, etc.)).

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-27-2011

Re: Actiontec Mi424WR Rev. I versus Rev. D -- range and connection drops and speed

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I finally got the Quantum Gateway router (FiOS-G1100 rev 1.03 firmware 0.17.52) and it works great on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

 

In most areas of my home and on both bands I tested about 42 Mbps up/down using the Ookla speedtest app (my internet speed is 50/50 Mbps and I test about 58 Mbps using a wired connection). Previously with the Rev. D I was getting about 18 Mbps up/down in most areas of my home.

 

In the farthest place in my home from the router (an upstairs bathroom) I get 22 Mbps up and 42 down which is impressive considering I was only getting 2Mbps with the Rev. D.

 

The Quantum router has a similar signal strength profile as the old Rev D - about -18 dBm right near the router and about -70dBm to -80 dBm in the bathroom furthest from the router (55 feet straight line that goes up one floor and through three walls).  I used the Wifi Analyzer app to see the signal strength.

 

Not many of my neighbors have 5 GHz routers so there are still lots of free channels up there.

 

I also noticed the Quantum router has a power setting so the power can be turned down if someone is in an apartment or condo. But for me the lots in my neighborhood are 1/2 acre so I'll leave the power setting at 100%. I like having good speed in the far reaches of my home without using a repeater or extender. 

 

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