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Wireless connection is inconsistent, sometimes completely gone, especially connecting from my Mac

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Registered: ‎09-05-2012

Wireless connection is inconsistent, sometimes completely gone, especially connecting from my Mac

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I have FIOS 70mbps download speed.  My wireless connections sometime slow to a crawl or even stop completely.  It seems to happen frequently from my two Macbook Air's.  The other computers in the house are usually fine.  At times they have all stopped connecting for a few minutes.  I've sometimes power-cycled the router to kick it back into gear.  But during all of those times, when I check the wired connection, the speed is still blazing fast.

 

Using an online internet speed test, I often get my wired connections measuring 80 Mbps.  My wireless is about 25Mbps at best (I don't really know why it's so much slower, but I can live with that).  With the problem I'm describing, the speed test page sometimes doesn't even load.  It's not loading now from my Mac, for example (but some other pages did), even though I'm using the internet from my other laptop.  At times I can measure the speed to be around 2-5 Mbps.

 

I've tried two routers, thinking that might be the problem.  I switched this week from MI424-WR Rev. E to MI424-WR Rev. I.  Same problem still occurs.  The router is sitting in a central location in the house---the same place I've had it for over two years without problem.  All of the laptops say they have a strong signal.  The only change is that we upgrade the internet connection speed and added TV about a month ago.

 

When I first noticed the problem becoming severe, we had many devices in the house---probably about 10 connected wirelessly between phones and laptops (family was visiting).  But since I changed the router we're down to about 5 wireless and 2 wired.  Yet, the problem remains.

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Posts: 7,521
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: Wireless connection is inconsistent, sometimes completely gone, especially connecting from my Ma

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Which router is currently hooked up? The Rev. I is the newer revision and should supply better speeds on the Wireless over the Rev. E. Make sure the Rev. I is set to use Compatibility Mode or more suggested, Performancee Mode for the Wireless N radio. Also make sure the encryption is and only is WPA2, don't use anything lower.

 

What you're describing sounds a bit like an intermittent interferer of the Wireless signal. Besides adding any devices around the time the problem started happening, do you know if anything major has happened nearby you or if you have seen any new Wireless networks appear in range of your home? Have you tried changing the channel on the router to see if that helps with anything, or disconnecting specific devices (I'd suggest starting with phones and other devices known to power off radios during activity, they tend to be problematic if they do it rapidly)?

 

As Ethernet is not a problem as you've indicated, we've definitely got a common Wireless issue here that needs to be dealt with.

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Registered: ‎09-05-2012

Re: Wireless connection is inconsistent, sometimes completely gone, especially connecting from my Ma

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Thank you for the suggestions.  I have the Rev. I in use right now.  It has been in compatibility mode the whole time, and I turned encryption completely off when I started troubleshooting a week ago.  I live in a neighborhood with houses fairly spread out.  My laptops show three or four other networks with low signal strength (two bars or less), while my router shows up with the full five bars throughout my house.  Also, my router has not been showing any mysterious devices connected to it.

 

The router is actually in the basement, as are my other Verizon appliences like the cable box.  I have cables running up through the wall to my TV.  The router sits just below the baseboards of the ground floor (ceiling of the unfinished basement) in the center of the house, so it's pretty much a central location.  I've had it there for the past two years with no problem.  In fact, the bizzare thing is that the problem seemed to coincide with upgrading my fios speed from 35 to 70 download.  My wife wants me to temporarily downgrade the speed to see if the problem goes away.  I don't understand how that could actually cause the problem though (but I might try it anyway).  It also seems that the macbook air causes the problem.  If the Macbook air is not in use, other devices seem to work fine for the most part.  But it's not just one macbook that has problems.  My brother-in-law's Macbook pro also had troubles when he was here (Rev. E router).

 

In the last few days I've tried changing many settings without solving the problem.  I tried channels 1, 9, and 11.  I tried performance mode (which all of the devices were able to connect to, but the problem still persisted).  I turned on rts-cts.  I turned of QoS and WMM.

 

The signal does seem to be an issue.  When I bring the Macbook right next to the router (direct line-of-sight within a few feed), the problem is much more rare.  Every other laptop works throughout the whole house though.  And remember, I've been using this same macbook for a year with no problem until we upgraded fios speed (around the same time as upgrading fios speed we had a bunch of visitors for two weeks, so I thought the problem was interference from all the devices, but it persisted after everyone left).

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