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Switching to WPA dramatically degrading signal (?)

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Johnellenbe
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-09-2012

Switching to WPA dramatically degrading signal (?)

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For many years I left my FIOS router set at its default WEP security since it was in the basement and I had real access points around the house, including and extender which was located right over roome with the router. 

 

Yesterday I decided that I really should be using something not of the dark ages and switched the FIOS router to WPA.   The signal strength has dropped dramatically.  Its not showing up on any device (tablets, laptops, extender)  outside the immediate room where the router sits.  My extender broke because it can't see the signal anymore.  Tried manual connect, checked the settings and advanced settings, fiddled with things quite a bit.  No luck.

 

If I turn off encryption all together or go back to WEP it shows up again.  With WPA only a device sitting within 10 ft or so can connect.

 

I called support but of course they were clueless (wanted to reset it to factory defaults).  They transferred me to the "experts" which of course meant the call was dropped after 5 minutes on hold. 

 

So is this normal?   Just bite the bullet and replace the extender with another access point?

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Johnellenbe
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-09-2012

Re: Switching to WPA dramatically degrading signal (?)

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Keeping it set to Channel 11 gives enough signal for the extender to connect although the strength is about 15-20% below the unprotected signal.  On some devices it regularly drops the connection so it remains to be seen if the extender will be usable over the long term because its right on the threshold (took several tries to get it to connect).

 

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Hubrisnxs
Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,881
Registered: ‎07-22-2009

Re: Switching to WPA dramatically degrading signal (?)

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Most liekely it is the wireless signal.  you can change that in the router.   open a browser, and go to http://192.168.1.1

 

user name is admin.  and the password is most likely the serial number found on the service tag of your VZ router unless you changed it. Once you login succesfully, go to the top and hit wireless, then on the left basic security.   then go to option 3 which is channel  1, 6 and 11 and are the only channels you should try.

 

So it will likely be set to auto, change it to 11 and put the check for keep settings even after reboot (Directly under the channel) and then hit apply.  after you hit apply,  test your connection out, if you notice a difference, leave it like that until the problem happens again, and if it happens again, go back into the router, and try channel 6,     test it out.  and then finally 1 if the first two don't work.

 

Also take a look at page 2 of Actiontec's Wireless PDF File.  It gives you some idea's with regards to position and orientation of where the router sits and how it can best be positioned for maximum coverage.

 

  

 

Outside of that, yes - it might be time to get new extenders.  WPA should not dramatically decrease your signal, so the channel changing should help, but it might just also be the radio antenna's, placement of the router, or the extenders might be old enough where it's time to replace them.

 

ideally you should have an AP for each floor 

Johnellenbe
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-09-2012

Re: Switching to WPA dramatically degrading signal (?)

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I will try the channel adjustment but I am skeptical.   The router has not moved.   It is high on a rack near the ceiling/floor so the signal strength was pretty decent just above it.  The only thing that changed is the encryption setting.   The "extender" is much newer than the FIOS router (and I'm on my 3rd FIOS router) so it doesn't need replacement (I think its like 6 mo. old).

Johnellenbe
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-09-2012

Re: Switching to WPA dramatically degrading signal (?)

Message 4 of 4
(677 Views)

Keeping it set to Channel 11 gives enough signal for the extender to connect although the strength is about 15-20% below the unprotected signal.  On some devices it regularly drops the connection so it remains to be seen if the extender will be usable over the long term because its right on the threshold (took several tries to get it to connect).

 

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