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Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎07-20-2009

Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

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****( I just noticed there is a Networking Forum - should I move this post there?)

 

OK - I just installed new FiOS Network Extender and having problems with WiFi signal.

[For background, Here's what I have:

Router Westell A90-9100EM-10, 25/25 internet. Wireless devices include iphone 5, ipad and iPad mini (iPads support wireless N), Amazon FireTV and a wireless HP printer]

I also have no knowledge of networking stuff ...

 

So, I connected the network extender with coax splitter, sharing input with FiOS STB. TV/FiOS works fine, but wifi has problems.

 

First I checked wifi connection with my iPad and noticed that the signal strength was no better than before (2 bars), AND now it keeps dropping to one bar, then back up to 2 ... over and over again.

Then I checked Amazon FireTV - went to Settings -->Network  to look at signal strength. Said Very Good, then dropped to Good and a message saying "Obtaining IP Address" ... then "Saved" and keeps looping back to "Obtaining IP Address".

 

What I've tried so far --

double checked all coax connections. told FireTV to forget my network and then went back to select it again --- same symptoms.

 

Anything else I can try?

 

btw - I did notice two very strong networks showing here a 2.4 and 5 with similar network names, assume it's my new neighbors (alas - password protected, could have been the "easy solution" for my wifi signal issues Woman Wink)

 

ADDED INPUT - I just now totally disconnected the Network Extender (unplugged the coax connector and the power cord). NO CHANGE - still have the same symptoms!!!  So perhaps my wifi problem is coincidence? Hard to imagine, but I didn't have wifi problems this morning before I connected the Network Extender

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,153
Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

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@hlppls wrote:

The network extenders from verizon are for actiontec routers. Call and get a new router.


They should replace it for you for free as you boought the extender, hopefully from them.

 

View solution in original post

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎07-20-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

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(I just added info to my initial post - tried totally disconnecting Network Extender andx no change in symptoms)

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Silver Contributor I
Silver Contributor I
Posts: 395
Registered: ‎11-09-2013

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

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The network extenders from verizon are for actiontec routers. Call and get a new router.

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,153
Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

Message 4 of 20
(18,936 Views)

@hlppls wrote:

The network extenders from verizon are for actiontec routers. Call and get a new router.


They should replace it for you for free as you boought the extender, hopefully from them.

 

View solution in original post

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎07-20-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

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hlppls - thank you for the info, but I'm now confused bcz I have conflicting input (ref my other thread here: http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-Internet/Any-reason-I-shouldn-t-upgrade-to-Quantum-Gateway-router/... ). I'm not adverse to replacing the router, but don't want to add another variable if that isn't the problem at hand, so I bumped up the question to see if anyone else has tried this combination. Right now my problem with wifi connection in remote location persists EVEN when I disconnect the Network Extender!

viafax999 - Yes, I did purchase the Network Extender directly from Verizon and will pursue replacement with them once I figure out what else is wrong.

 

Replacement router - I do see one they have that is a free replacement for those who can't use WPA/WPA2 on their current router. But it doesn't say what manufacturer it is. This is the one offered: https://teleproducts.verizon.com/fios/index.cfm/eh/DisplayDetails  And, despite the fact that online Chat person told me my Westell did not support WPA, the specs I have found for it say it does, also the menu for making changes shows check boxes for WPA. So, I dunno what's the true facts on this as to whether my router even qualifies for free replacement.

 

My current plan - I'm thinking I need to find out why my wifi is worse now even when I totally disconnect the Network Extender. I spent much time connecting/disconnecting yesterday. Then two fruitless (and frustrating) hours with Verizon online Chat. I received much incorrect information and no resolution. I was given a number that is supposed to be for "Verizon Expert Care Team" and when I asked if that would link me to actual technical person was told yes. We'll see, I have to build up my patience reserve before I make that call, in case I get another script-reader.

 

Speed Tests - I ran OOKLA speedtests today with my iPhone 5 (and I confess, I don't understand much about this, but figure it would give me some data that might help). Results seem to confirm wifi in remote room with the Network Extender are not only poor, but highly variable. Held the phone in the same place throughout multiple speed test runs, nothing else working in my home at same time.

Room1 - 4 test runs, download ranges 12-13, up 12-17, ping 8-17 fairly consistent results and no peaks/valleys

RemoteRoom  (Holding phone about 5 feet from Network Extender, can watch bars on wifi signal go up/down repeatedly (two bars/one bar mostly). - 6 test runs within 7 minutes,

download ranges 3.86 - 8.85, up 0.34 - 6.49, ping 13 - 16. much variation, peaks/valleys on test graphs

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎07-27-2011

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

Message 6 of 20
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I'm surprised you are having the problems you described.  This link

 

http://www.amazon.com/Verizon-Westell-UltraLine-Series3-Wireless/dp/B003FRK80M

 

talks abotu your router and says it supports MOCA (Multi-media Over Coax Alliance), which is the protocol used by the extender to separate out TV & Internet signals from the coax cable.)

 

Nevertheless it may be necessary for you to get the "standard " FIOS router which is the Actiontec Model MI424WR Rev.I. Alternatively you could opt for the new Quantum router as you originally suggested.  

 

To resolve this you need to talk to a FIOS tech who can answer the question "Can my extender work with the router I now have, or do I need to get either the Actiontec or Quantum router?"

 

This is a simple question and shoudl have a simple answer. If you do need a new router Verizon should give it to you for free since that's how you got your current one.  Obviously "should" is the key word there.

 

Here are some other facts for you:

 

1. The Extender will pick up your currend SSID (router name) and password from your current router all by itself.  You do not have to change anything manually.  So don't try to do that.

 

2. My Android phone (Nexus5), Kindle Fire, Windows laptop, and some other Android phones will switch themselves automatically between the router and the extender, depending on which one is closer and gives the stronger signal. But my daughter's iPhone 5 does not do this - it hangs on to the first device it sees when it is turned on.  So since you have Apple devices you may have to switch manually between router & extender.  You might want to post some messages on an APple board to find out mroe about this.

 

3. The extender, being dual band, shows up on the wireless network list as <SSID>-5G, where <SSID> is your SSID name.  In other words, it appends "-5G" to your current SSID name.  This SSID uses the 5GHz band and is roughly twice as fast as the 2.4GHz band used by single band routers. The Actiontec is a single band router; the Quantum is dual band, like the extender.

 

4. The 5GHz signal (becuase it uses shorter wavelengths) is better able to penetrate walls etc., so it will have better range and reception than a single band device.

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎07-20-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

Message 7 of 20
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Thank you bbinard! A lot to study and absorb, which I will do over the next few days.

 

I mentioned using my iPhone5 to run speed tests and did so because it seemed easy and would give me some data.

But I may focus more on the FireTV since that is a newer device (and it keeps wanting to "obtain IP Address").

 

So, I'll study the info you and others provide here, will call the Verizon Expert Care number I was given. But first I will take a break and maybe just cry a little and work on maintaining positive problem-solving mode.

 

Most frustrating thing of all is that things are WORSE now than before I started! FireTV mostly worked and only occasionally had a streaming burp. Now I even have trouble connecting to the Home screen, even AFTER I tried disconnecting the Network Extender! Obviously something went amok during setup (or perhaps something online Chat "helper" reset without asking)

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎07-20-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

Message 8 of 20
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just thought of something quick to try - when I tried disconnecting network extender, I did so without removing the coax splitter and going back to original cabling. I'll do that, "just in case" (although I did double check all connections several times). Never know ... for sure I know nothings "magic" and there's always an explanation

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Gold Contributor IV
Gold Contributor IV
Posts: 1,217
Registered: ‎12-14-2009

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

Message 9 of 20
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@bbinnard wrote:

4. The 5GHz signal (becuase it uses shorter wavelengths) is better able to penetrate walls etc., so it will have better range and reception than a single band device.


I have to differ with this statement.

 

Once you get past HF frequencies, the kind AM radio uses, the higher the frequency the worst the penetration of solid objects.

 

You can find lots of confirmation of my point with some searching, but if you click on the Radio Frequency Penetration Chart link here it will illustrate what I'm saying:  http://www.videotransmitters.com/Radio-Frequency-Penetration-Chart

 

Bottom line:  Lower frequencies penetrate walls and other objects better than higher frequencies, especially once you get into the microwave range.

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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎07-27-2011

Re: Installed FiOS Network Extender - "Obtaining IP Address" message and wi fi strength question

Message 10 of 20
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Excellent and informative response eljefe - thanks.

 

The issue seems to be that at frequencies above UHF, which is where WiFi freqs are located, the wavelengths are so short that the propogating waves get absobed by the atoms in common materials.  And at freqs even h igher than that even air can essentially stop propogation.

 

Here is an interesting paragraph I found on the subject:

 

Low-frequency radio waves travel easily through brick and stone and VLF even penetrates sea-water. As the frequency rises, absorption effects become more important. At microwave or higher frequencies, absorption by molecular resonances in the atmosphere (mostly from water, H2O and oxygen, O2) is a major factor in radio propagation. For example, in the 58–60 GHz band, there is a major absorption peak which makes this band useless for long-distance use. This phenomenon was first discovered during radar research in World War II. Above about 400 GHz, the Earth's atmosphere blocks most of the spectrum while still passing some - up to UV light, which is blocked by ozone - but visible light and some of the near-infrared is transmitted. Heavy rain and falling snow also affect microwave absorption.

 

So this makes me wonder - why did 5GHz get picked?  Why not go lower instead of higher?  

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