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Why your Wi-Fi is slow

Why your Wi-Fi is slow

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Contributor Rogerdoger45
Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-05-2011
Message 21 of 34
(21,775 Views)

What a great post, I am having some slow issue with my wifi even when I am next to my router with the laptop. Does a microwave interfears with signal when not in use?

Contributor SSPStacy
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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-23-2014
Message 22 of 34
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This series of postings is so helpful, and now I need to ask a really basic and stupid question. If I want to change the encryption on my ActiontecM1424 Rev F router to WPA2, how do I determine what IP address to go to, etc., so I can do this?

Copper Contributor BradenMcDaniel
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Posts: 14
Registered: ‎05-22-2014
Message 23 of 34
(21,599 Views)

Unless you have changed it (and if you're asking this question, you almost certainly have not), you want to go to 192.168.1.1. (This is the default address for most routers).

Platinum Contributor I
Platinum Contributor I
Posts: 5,881
Registered: ‎07-22-2009
Message 24 of 34
(21,228 Views)

Here's an interesting article that I thought I would tack on.  Has some great tips.

 


Alf Watt, former Apple Wi-Fi engineer and creator of the fantastic Wi-Fi utility, iStumbler, joined us on this week's Mac Geek Gab 509 to talk all things Wi-Fi. The episode contains a bunch of juicy Wi-Fi tips and I highly recommend you give it a listen, but for now our four favorite tips are listed below. Think of this as the MGG 509 Cliff's Notes... and make sure you read, erm, listen to the whole thing, too. On to the tips:

1. Use same SSID for all radios on the same network (be they 2.4GHz or 5GHz). If you have one network in your home but have either multiple routers/access points for better coverage or multiple radios in one access point, the advice is the same: use the same SSID (wireless network name) for all of them and let the client devices each decide which is best to use.


Apple devices choose networks by your preferred order. Period. If you have multiple networks of different names your Mac or iPhone will always choose the first in your iCloud-synced "Preferred Networks" list even if this one isn't going to give you the best bandwidth. If you have the network name/SSID the same then it will chose the radio that it predicts will give the best throughput (which isn't always the one with the best signal, but that's an even geekier discussion you can hear in the show). Make all the Wi-Fi networks in your home the same. Your life will be better for it.

2. Deal with congestion with more access points using less power. In response to a listener's query about how best to deal with having lots of access points in a small location, say an apartment building, the best thing to do is to actually increase the number of access points but lower the transmit power on each so as to keep them from interfering with each other. It's good if your neighbors do this, too, of course, but it will help even if it's just you. We recommend using Powerline adapters to connect all of your access points together to avoid the headaches of just extending Wi-Fi.


Another helpful option is to use 5Ghz channels where possible. The higher frequency band doesn't go through walls as well and may be exactly what the Wi-Fi doctor ordered in highly-congested areas (and when we get 60Ghz Wi-Fi, that'll be even more helpful!)

 

 

 

Next: When to use Wide channels and Antenna Orientation.

3. Don't use "Wide" 40MHz channels on 2.4GHz. Some routers (not Apple's) will allow you to use "Wide" channels on the 2.4GHz band. The problem is this band is so congested that you'll likely just wind up making things worse instead of better. Bluetooth lives here, too, and will appreciate the breathing room. Plus, Apple made the decision years ago to not support these wide channels at 2.4GHz, so even if your router allows you to enable it your iPhone and MacBook won't use it.


On your 5GHz radios 40MHz channels are perfectly acceptable (again, your Apple router takes care of this for you). And with 802.11ac (5GHz only) you may wind up using 80MHz or even 160MHz channels. Just remember that current 5GHz implementations only have enough room for TWO (yes, 2) 160MHz channels, so choose wisely. The good news is that current 802.11ac routers use "cognitive radio" technology. This means they listen before they talk and that will ratchet down from 80MHz (or 160MHz) to something lower if they see another router communicating in the same band. Smart.

4. Be smart about antenna orientation. If your router has internal antennas (as most new models do), make sure to use them in their natural orientation. Put simply: if the router has feet, use them as feet (as opposed to laying it on its side). Some routers have feet on two sides and give you placement options, so feel free to capitalize upon this flexibility.

For routers with those adjustable, "rubber ducky" antennas, Alf recommends pointing one straight up and one flat out. This is because radio reception is maximized when both client and access point have matched polarization (antennas pointing along the same plane).

Some client devices have antennas in vertical orientation, some horizontal. The current crop of MacBooks, for example, have their antennas in the black plastic part of the hinge in a horizontal orientation.

Those tips should get you started. Give Mac Geek Gab 509 a listen to learn more about beamforming, the future of Wi-Fi, how your router decides what country it's in (and what channels it can use!), the future of iStumbler (and other products from Alf) ... and more!

 


 

Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎07-20-2009
Message 25 of 34
(20,187 Views)
Great thread and a big help! Thank you Smith6612
Platinum Contributor II Platinum Contributor II
Platinum Contributor II
Posts: 7,261
Registered: ‎12-15-2010
Message 26 of 34
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You're welcome!

Contributor hussr
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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-26-2014
Message 27 of 34
(20,101 Views)

good stuff!

Contributor me_stockman
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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-28-2012
Message 28 of 34
(19,914 Views)

Smith6612 wrote:Wireless N requires WPA2 AES security and cannot use any other encryption. Wireless N however, will function absolutelyt fine with no encryption if you wish to run like that, which I don't recommend Smiley Happy

 

Some side notes: If you own an ActionTec MI424WR Rev. F, G, or I from Verizon, absolutely set the router to only use WPA2 AES mode only. Otherwise you're throwing away some good capabilities you were given.


I recently received a new MI424WR rev I (MI424WR-GEN3I) from Verizon, and after much experimenting and consulting with a pleasantly knowledgeable Verizon rep in live chat, I found this out:

 

1) If you run an open network (with no wireless password) in Compatibility Mode (802.11b/g/n), you will only get 802.11g connection and speeds regardless of your computer's capability or proximity to the router.

 

2) As soon as you turn on WPA2 encryption, still in Compatibility Mode, the exact same computer will suddenly realize that 802.11n is available and will connect much faster.

 

3) If you go to Performance Mode (802.11n only), there is no way to turn off wireless authentication (i..e, not require a password to connect to the wifi).

 

It appears that ActionTec, either of their own choosing, due to a bug, or because Verizon requested it, has mandated that 802.11n is not possible without a wireless password.

 

Because that's how I prefer to run my home network (no, I'd rather not get into the wisdom or lack thereof... I have good reasons), I'll need to figure out (again, as I did with my previous ActionTec) how to make it a dumb bridge between the coax connection and my much better, faster Buffalo Tech router...

 

Just passing this along to save someone the trouble of additional experimenting, and so that (I hope) someone can jump in and show me I'm wrong and I can have an open network with 802.11n after all...

Copper Contributor aaronwtfios
Copper Contributor
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎12-14-2008
Message 29 of 34
(19,763 Views)

Not sure why anyone would want to run WiFI without a password. I use several dozen WiFI devices at home(along with several dozen wired) There has never been any issue for me entering a password for a device. I just need to enter it once.

 

I've been using multiple APs with identical SSIDs for many years. It has always worked great with my wireless devices. Currently I'm using four APs with three using 2.4Ghz and all four using 5Ghz.

Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎08-02-2013
Message 30 of 34
(19,741 Views)

aaronwtfios wrote:

Not sure why anyone would want to run WiFI without a password. I use several dozen WiFI devices at home(along with several dozen wired) There has never been any issue for me entering a password for a device. I just need to enter it once.

 

I've been using multiple APs with identical SSIDs for many years. It has always worked great with my wireless devices. Currently I'm using four APs with three using 2.4Ghz and all four using 5Ghz.


The poster said "Because that's how I prefer to run my home network (no, I'd rather not get into the wisdom or lack thereof... I have good reasons)"

 

Use your imagination!  Maybe he lives on a 500 acre farm that is heavily secured where you will encounter security before you get in wfi range.

 

 

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