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weak Wi-fi signal from Actiontec GT704WG B modem/router - need help troubleshooting!

weak Wi-fi signal from Actiontec GT704WG B modem/router - need help troubleshooting!

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Contributor jduesenb
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-29-2012

I have been using a Verizon-provided Actiontec GT704WG B modem/router for a few years as my Verizon DSL connection. I connect my main computer to the GT704WG B via one of the Ethernet ports - no problem with this.   I also have a laptop that (usually) makes a wi-fi connection to the GT704WG B. However, the wi-fi connection frequently slows down enourmously or dies entirely, at random times. The laptop is located downstairs from the modem/router, which is about the farthest physical location in ther house from the GT704WG B.

 

This may be a distance problem that might be solved by bringing the modem physically closer to the laptop,  but I'm puzzled why the problem is intermittent. It's also possible that there is something wrong with the GT704WG B, that is causing it to transmit a weak signal. 

 

Any suggestions for troubleshooting this problem appreciated.

 

I'd also like to know if anyone can suggest a router or range extender that might relay a stronger signal downstairs. Or should I try getting a more current modem/router from Verizon? That GT704WG B is a bit old...

 

3 REPLIES 3
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,378
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

You might want to try changing the channel used by the ActionTec considering you mentioned an occasional slowdown. That might also help with the range if you're seeing a problem. A slight re-location or orientation change of the ActionTec might also fix the issue.

 

Ideally in such a circumstance if you have the Wireless router located on the top of floor of your home with the laptop being located in the basement, you would want to re-locate the router to be on the mid floor so that it provides equal service both in the basement and upstairs, as those Omnidirection antennas tend to work a lot better going side to side rather than up or down. I would also advise against range extenders or "boosters" since they often cut your wireless speed in half for some additional range. An access point wired to the network would be the best way to go.

Contributor jduesenb
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-29-2012

Thanks for the advice re. changing the channel. I'll try that. Since there seem to be about a dozen networks around here that mayne causing interference, that might help.

 

Verizon tech support advised me that an access point would cut my bandwidth, but that a range extender would not. (????)  I have installed a range extender but I'm not sure it has made any difference. The problem has not happened since I did that, but since it is intermittent, I don't think that proves that the problem is solved.  AFAICS, the wireless speed has not changed in any significant way.

 

@Smith6612 wrote:

You might want to try changing the channel used by the ActionTec considering you mentioned an occasional slowdown. That might also help with the range if you're seeing a problem. A slight re-location or orientation change of the ActionTec might also fix the issue.

 

Ideally in such a circumstance if you have the Wireless router located on the top of floor of your home with the laptop being located in the basement, you would want to re-locate the router to be on the mid floor so that it provides equal service both in the basement and upstairs, as those Omnidirection antennas tend to work a lot better going side to side rather than up or down. I would also advise against range extenders or "boosters" since they often cut your wireless speed in half for some additional range. An access point wired to the network would be the best way to go.


 

Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,378
Registered: ‎12-15-2010
Message 4 of 4
(4,443 Views)
You're welcome. I suspect there may be some confusion on which is which going on here. Repeaters and Access Points are two different things. Repeaters are single radio devices in most cases where the repeater takes the signal it is receiving from your router, and then re-broadcasts it. When this is done, half of the radio bandwidth goes towards receiving or sending data to and from your router. The other half of the radio bandwidth is spent transmitting to or receiving data from your devices that are connected to the repeater. It's similar to the game of Telephone. A direct connection to the network is faster, but if you must repeat the message over a medium you introduce delay. So, in more technical terms, a Wireless connection that operates at 20Mbps download or upload (Wireless is half duplex by nature) will operate at 10Mbps download or upload when attached to a repeater, since 10Mbps of the 20Mbps the repeater's radio can do is being used to transmit the message to one end.

In some additional terms since this part of my post got chopped off, what an Access Point is would be essentially another wireless radio with a direct, wired connection to your network. It can be thought of as an Expressway. Each device chooses the best wireless signal to use in your network (Router or Wireless Access Point) and then has a connection directly into the network. Both radios can run at 20Mbps and a single device will be able to get 20Mbps from either unit. These require more work but in heavy wireless usage environments, it makes sense to use access points.


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@jduesenb wrote:

Thanks for the advice re. changing the channel. I'll try that. Since there seem to be about a dozen networks around here that mayne causing interference, that might help.

 

Verizon tech support advised me that an access point would cut my bandwidth, but that a range extender would not. (????)  I have installed a range extender but I'm not sure it has made any difference. The problem has not happened since I did that, but since it is intermittent, I don't think that proves that the problem is solved.  AFAICS, the wireless speed has not changed in any significant way.

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