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Wifi Diagnostics


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#1 Guest_onions_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:28 AM

There is a TON of wifi interference in the apartment where I live, and I'm hoping that upgrading to something more powerful than the ISP provided box is enough to correct the issue. All channels are saturated on 2.4 ghz and the connection is abysmal, even at -50 dBm. On 5 ghz AC, it isn't bad, but my bedroom is just far enough from the router (living room) to cause an unstable connection at only -95 dBm. Hardwiring isn't an option, especially not for my laptop (MacBook Pro Retina) which would require a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter. I've somewhat improved the situation by setting up the ISP router to broadcast two access points, one for 2.4 ghz and one for 5 ghz so that I can go back and forth when one band is acting up. I've also picked the least saturated channels on 2.4 ghz.

At this point, my only option is the R7000, but I'd like to get a bit more input before I drop 150€ on some hardware. I'm building a desktop at the same time, so any money saved is good.

 

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Both of the following tests are at 12:30 am with low network activity.

2.4 Ghz N band speed test:

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5 Ghz AC band speed test:

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I'm going to try to avoid the 2.4 Ghz band as much as possible because its an absolute mess. I'm one more dropped connection short of installing Kali and moving everyone's router into the same channel, very very far away from my channel. Will a high end router like the R7000 or AC68U be powerful enough to broadcast 5 Ghz through a medium sized (3 bedroom) apartment?

Edit: Dropped 5 Ghz AC from 80 Mhz to 20 Mhz, which brought me up to -85 dBm and improved my connection speed slightly. In the living room, I max out my smartphone tester at -40 dBm. The 2.4 Ghz band was already at 20 Mhz.

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This is what I put up with on 2.4 Ghz N when its running slowly.

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Edited by onions, 27 January 2016 - 01:29 AM.


#2 Waco

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:37 AM

Any newer router with implicit beamforming on 5GHz will help. Moving the router is probably your best bet if it's congested, but 5GHz bands are much stronger on newer routers too.

My new Buffalo AC router is in the basement, and even 2 floors up I've got 70% signal strength. My old router wouldn't even reach the 3rd floor with 2.4 GHz. :lol:

Tolerance is a sign of weakness.


#3 Guest_onions_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:46 AM

Any newer router with implicit beamforming on 5GHz will help. Moving the router is probably your best bet if it's congested, but 5GHz bands are much stronger on newer routers too.

My new Buffalo AC router is in the basement, and even 2 floors up I've got 70% signal strength. My old router wouldn't even reach the 3rd floor with 2.4 GHz. :lol:

 

Done deal. Any thoughts or recommendations on the R7000 vs the Asus AC68U?


Edited by onions, 27 January 2016 - 01:46 AM.


#4 Waco

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:22 AM

Nothing specifically, I only buy routers that either come with or can be flashed to DD-WRT. :P

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#5 Guest_onions_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:39 AM

DD-WRT is available on both. I looked at a ton of benchmarks and pulled the trigger on the Nighthawk R7000 because it had a huge advantage... It was cheaper. :lol:



#6 Waco

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 04:10 AM

Ha, good call.

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#7 Guest_onions_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 04:53 AM

I'll update in a few hours. I paid the 4 euros for rush shipping. Order placed at noon, delivery between 7 to 10 pm. I love Amazon in Europe.



#8 Nerm

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 08:26 AM

Adding another AP with a more powerful radio is never the answer to channel saturation. The best resolution would be to talk to your neighbors and either get them to lower the power on their AP's (doubtful they have AP's capable of this) or get them to change channels around to keep overlapping channels at a minimum. I see a lot of people trying to throw more dB's at over crowding issues like this and it normally just enhances the problem for everyone. From the sound of your situation the location of your AP might play the biggest role in improving performance.

 

I am not sure I understand your comment about "unstable connection at only -95dBm". If you are at -95 I would expect it to be unstable. Rule of thumb is anything above -80 is considered "questionable".


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#9 Guest_onions_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:08 PM

Unfortunately, I don't have much of an option. Nearly all the people in my apartment complex are elderly as they all bought apartments in the 60s when this area of Paris was developing. Now I'm stuck with a guy that does tech classes that encourages people to use Office 2003 and tells people that anyone in IT other than him is an evil wizard. He's been feeding residents that crap for 50 years now, so there's not much I can do. Furthermore, the sheer amount of 2.4 Ghz APs is way too high for such a small area, even reorganizing them will leave all channels packed. I've got neighbors front, left, right, and behind, as well as over and under me. To avoid contributing to the 2.4 Ghz congestion issue, I plan on running strictly 5 Ghz (apartment should be small enough for it). Since I have only one neighbor running 5 Ghz, it leaves me plenty of room to get my own channel with no interference.

 

I meant -85 dBm. Its dog shit, but it should at least be better than what it currently is.



#10 Guest_onions_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:48 PM

Now we're cooking with gas!

 

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5 Ghz is now at -70 dBm in the bedroom. I'll try placing the router in the office and see if it improves at all.

 

2.4 Ghz bounces between -70 dBm and -60 dBm. I'll mess with the settings and report back. Connection is MASSIVELY improved.



#11 Nerm

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 05:16 AM

I must have missed the part in your original post about 5Ghz being so open. In that case if your devices all support 5Ghz then I wouldn't even bother turning on 2.4Ghz and just use 5Ghz. -85 to -70 is a pretty big improvement especially when you consider 5Ghz doesn't have the same penetration capability as 2.4Ghz. Sounds like the radio on the old router was quite weak.


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#12 ivangela

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:30 AM

Not meaning to hijack this thread...BUT would 4 or 5 mobile devices be an issue for one router @2.4Ghz. I'm guessing I'll have to give you the modem info, but I don't remember it and I'm at work :(


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