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Switched to Fios, now Signal Strength Excellent. Speed 1Mbps. HELP!

Switched to Fios, now Signal Strength Excellent. Speed 1Mbps. HELP!

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Contributor gonzoron
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-10-2008
Message 1 of 10
(19,258 Views)

My previous setup:

Cablevision cable modem, D-Link DI-624 wireless router, WEP enabled. (upstairs)

Windows XP Desktop (Ziggy), RealTek wireless network card. (downstairs)

Windows XP Desktop (Dracolich), wired ethernet to router (upstairs)

Windows XP Laptop, built in IBM Thinkpad wireless card

 

Everything worked fine, no issues.

 

New setup: Fios actiontec MI414-WR modem/wireless router, WEP enabled. (upstairs)

Windows XP Desktop (Ziggy), RealTek wireless network card. (downstairs)

 Windows XP Desktop (Dracolich), wired ethernet to router (upstairs)

 Windows XP Laptop, built in IBM Thinkpad wireless card

 

 I.e. the only thing that changed is my modem and router were swapped for the new Fios combined unit. Hence, the SSID and WEP key changed. but otherwise, everything is identical.

 

Problem: Ziggy now connects, with excellent signal strength, but the speed starts at 54Mbps and drops almost instantly down to 24, 5.5, 2, then 1Mbps and stays there. Performance is terrible. The Laptop has no issues, even right on top of Ziggy, so it's not a signal problem.

 

I've combed the web for solutions and tried the following:

disabling WEP (Ziggy would just connect and disconnect over and over)

turning off 802.1x authentication (was never on actually)

rebooting Ziggy and the modem disconnecting and reconnecting several times.

Verizon's Wireless Connection Wizard (was stumped)

Verizon's Fios optimizer (says it optimized the connection, but the problem persists)

Set channel to a few different settings (1,2,3,6,11)

Unplugged my 2.4MHz phone in the next room

moved all wires away from Ziggy's antenna

updated Ziggy's network card drivers

 

So far the best result was from switching the channel setting to 11, but that only worked for an hour or so, then it was back to the same problem.

 

The PC worked in the same location with my D-Link router exactly where the actiontec router is now.

The Laptop works now right on top of the problem PC.

The only thing that changed in the wireless setup is the router.

 

Any ideas? Help!

9 REPLIES 9
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Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 398
Registered: ‎10-09-2008
Message 2 of 10
(19,223 Views)

All of those troubleshooting avenues are sometimes necessary with wireless connections. It has to work though, and will.  when something doesn't work, though, be thorough and move the wires (anything electric) from around the router, too.  Try another optimizer other than the one you tried (I like www.speedguide.net under broadband>broadband tools> TCP Optimizer.)  I also like using the 'wireless extender' available at radio shack (not the booster, although that may work for some.)

cjacobs001
Gold Contributor IV
Gold Contributor IV
Posts: 1,340
Registered: ‎10-13-2008
Message 3 of 10
(19,190 Views)
www.speedguide.net under broadband>broadband tools> TCP Optimizer. That is the best tool to actually use however please run the Analyzer first. Look for your MTU is should be around 1 million. if its not then run the optimizer. Once you run the optimizer select your speed in terms of download speed your suppose to have 10,000 is 10 mb. After you do that select down at the bottom customize settings and then click apply. At this point you will see the changes click ok and then your cpu will restart and be optimized.
Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,796
Registered: ‎08-06-2008
Message 4 of 10
(19,157 Views)
Run the Verizon Connection Wizard software. verizon.com/connectionwizard 
Contributor ubrew
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Message 5 of 10
(19,043 Views)

I have not seen a whether or not any solution has been found for your issue. I have a similar problem. When switching to verizon FiOS, I received the Actiontec wireless cable modem/router which failed after ~10mo of use due to bad pwr supply. Verizon replaced with a new updated Actiontec. Worked fine for the first couple of months and all of a sudden 2 weeks ago, I have been having frequent dropped wireless connections. Frequency so high, that the wireless connection is useless. I also noticed on my wife's laptop that connection speed would initially be 54 Mbs and quickly degrade to 1 Mbs (pathetic).

 

Verizon help has so far been just as useless - suggestion to hard code the channel (support suggest channel 11 - why, because it always works for him!). Needless to say, this appears to be a cop-out answer and does not work (nor do any of the other channels). Also, tech support suggests that more than likely, it is an environment issue, i.e. a neighbor just enabled a new wireless router, a new wireless phone, etc. NO - this is not the root cause as I really do not have close neighbors (distance wise). Closest detected wireless network other than mine has less than 10% signal strength and it is not new.

 

In the meantime - I have reconnected my old D-Link 614+ and although it only supports 802.11a/b, at least I get a reliable connection.

 

Bottom line: I really question the quality of these Actiontec routers and am curious if others have same reliability issues.

 

Anyway - as I stated, I have not seen a solution to your problem - or if the suggestions have worked for you. I too need HELP!

 

Sorry for the long winded rant - but I do believe these products are not acceptable . Whats the point of having FiOS, when you can't connect?

 

 

Contributor gonzoron
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-10-2008
Message 6 of 10
(19,041 Views)

The   TCP Optimizer at www.speedguide.net seemed to help a bit, but not much. 

The verizion optimizer did nothing.

 

What finally got me running semi-successfully was switching from letting windows handle my wireless networks to downloading the vendor's program for my wireless card.  Crazy, but it worked.  Now I only drop to 1.0Mbps occasionally.

 

I feel your pain regarding {please keep your posts courteous} tech support and these sub-par routers.  There's no reason that we should have to go through this to get the advertised speed because we use wireless (like everyone else in the world nowadays.)  I would've been way happier if they skimped and left the wireless router out and let me use my old one, like Cablevision did.  (would've cost them less too, everyone would be happy).

Message Edited by KaLin on 10-18-2008 08:01 PM
Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 398
Registered: ‎10-09-2008
Message 7 of 10
(19,009 Views)
Dudes:  (I am not trying to be disrespectful here.  I hope I am not perceived as disrespectful.  Facts are facts because they are true and businesses remain in business because, in part, they keep their costs down by reining-in their employees from going outside of scope of support.)        We do not yet live in the Star Trek future.  Wireless, no matter who makes it, IS NOT DEPENDABLE.  By its nature and the FCC rules that govern it, it cannot be.  Your experiences with one router or another, previously, were all had during different times. Each day that passes brings more change, more changes, and today IS different from yesterday, whether you think so or not.  On every day You have operating systems, and their changes, to consider; wireless broadcasters, and their changes, wireless reception, and its changes, firewalls and their changes, new electronics in the area, and their influences, and yes, all of that also from your neighbors.     wireless and everything that affects it is something that you cannot see, but we know the technology works, so If something is not working the way you think it could and should be, yes, you may have a bad router, but if everything else is as it should be, chances are greater that it is an environmental influence.   The best possible wireless connection is to be found using a wireless receptor (your wireless NIC or adapter) made by the same company that made your wireless broadcaster (router), and tunneling or VPN, but even that scenario is still subject to being influenced by outside, unseen, factors.         And so I ask you, from across the telephone, with so many possible influences on YOUR side, how do you think a tech support person can do anything for your wireless connection ?   Nobody CAN guarantee wireless.  The only thing any ISP can do regarding supporting your wireless connection is (a) determine what is financially feasible to support for the majority of its customers, and (b) make sure everything is as it should be regarding connections and settings according to (a).    past that, premium support comes into play - whether through your isp or through your local PC Tech or establishment like Circuit City, or whoever.  I believe every isp wireless contract says something to the effect of "default settings only, 10 feet, line of sight";  anything other than that and I am mostly on my own.    We all know the techs that receive your calls want to help, because they try to help, even when you let them know you have switches and\or other routers, and\or your router is in another part of the house from where the computer is that you are having issues with.  But wireless cannot get the speed of wired and no matter what your purchased speeds are supposed to be, they are only attainable with any regularity, on a wired connection. 
cjacobs001
Contributor gonzoron
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-10-2008
Message 8 of 10
(18,991 Views)

I too hope I'm not being perceived as disrespectful.  Frankly, I don't even remember what adjective I used above that got deleted, but I don't think it was anything out of line.  Believe me, I know wireless is unreliable. I design wireless phone systems for a living.  Is it possible that by coincidence of coincidences the very day I got my Fios something in the environment changed to drop my wireless connectivity from 54Mbps to 1Mbps and stayed that way for several days?  Yes, possible, but unlikely.  Especially, since in my case a laptop still worked flawlessly SITTING ON the desktop that ceased working.  (and yes, removing the laptop from the desktop did not improve matters).   In all likelihood, something in the 802.11 standard was interpreted differently by the router and the PC, which wasn't so with the previous router, and was somehow corrected with the wireless-card specific software rather than windows. Something that should have been sorted out when Actiontec or Realtek did interoperability tests on their equipment, though I understand that they couldn't check every combination.

 

But I had to comb through dozens of websites and forums to figure that out, rather than have a helpful troubleshooting webpage, or support that is trained to help fix wireless problems.  I understand that support doesn't come cheap, but if they don't want to support wireless, why include wireless in the router?  It's just asking for this sort of trouble.  IMHO, they should have let people use their own wireless routers and let D-link, Belkin, etc. handle the headache of supporting them.

Copper Contributor regular_guy
Copper Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎10-02-2008
Message 9 of 10
(18,987 Views)

ok....

 

Let's see if we can address some of these issues...

 

1) "Believe me, I know wireless unreliable. I design wireless phone systems for a living." 

 

Wireless routers can certainly be more challenging to initially setup than wired, but once setup properly it is certainly not unreliable in my experience (unless you are in a particularly noisy environment).

 

2) "Is it possible that by coincidence of coincidences the very day I got my Fios omething in the environment changed to drop my wireless connectivity rom 54Mbps to 1Mbps and stayed that way for several days?  Yes, ossible, but unlikely." 

 

Given that only your desktop is problematic, it might be worth seeing if you can find updated drivers or if worse comes to worse, a different wireless card.  They are pretty cheap these days.

 

3) "But I had to comb through dozens of websites and forums to figure that out, rather than have a helpful troubleshooting webpage, or support that is trained to help fix
wireless problems.  I understand that support doesn't come cheap, but f they don't want to support wireless, why include wireless in the router?  It's just asking for this sort of trouble.

 

There is nothing really unique about the Actiontec router.   The procedures for diagnosing wireless problems are the same.

 

4) "IMHO, they should have let people use their own wireless routers and let D-link, Belkin, etc. handle the headache of supporting them."

 

Actually they do for internet connections (provided that you are using Ethernet Cat5 instead of Moca Coax as your default connection)...

 

I am using a Linkysys WRT150N as my primary router.

 

The ActionTec is simply needed to support TV functionality (e.g. VOD, guide data) and can be placed behind router of your choice.  If you don't need TV support, you don't need it at all.

 

There are several threads in this forum on the subject of replacing the ActionTec router.

 

-regular_guy

Contributor ubrew
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-18-2008
Message 10 of 10
(18,953 Views)

Dude: (also not trying to be disrespectful), but this is a forum to discuss and see if similar problems are experienced throughout the community.

 

Specifically, I suspect the actiontec wireless router is sub-standard. My situation is simlar to original post, with the exception that I was more concerned with frequently dropped connections (wireless) - much more frequently than I am accustomed to, every few minutes vs. hours. I had successfully used the actiontec for several months, then a couple of weeks ago, this issue cropped up. I tried to use the tools supplied by the router and verizon to no avail hoping it to be a setup issue. The solution offered by Verizon tech support also did not work.

 

I did have a problem with the suggestion that it was an "environmental" issue (new neighbor with wireless enabled, new wireless phone, etc.) as that seemed to be a cop-out answer to a problematic wireless router (keep in mind my previous actiontec died due to a power supply - was replaced - no issues until 2 weeks ago). I have several laptops that used to connect and maintain connectivity reliably (several hours). Also, all laptops work in other environments (at work where wireless is used a significant part of the day).

 

I am attempting to see if others experience the same (thats why I posted in the forum) and chose a post similar in characteristics to my issue. And to date have not seen a solution other than disabling the actiontec wireless and using my own wireless router. That is fine for a $40 solution - I can live with that.

 

BUT, the actiontec was bundled with the Verizon service and I pay for the service monthly and I expect that service to work.....

 

 

 

 

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