WeFi problem.

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Bob Williams 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #32664

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles

    I regularly get poor download speeds. Last week a biggish update was showing D/L speeds as low as 35kb/s, but sometimes getting up to 500kb/s. Watching sports stuff on Pi, many dropouts, but may not relate. But Tamara keeps complaining from upstairs as well, so that makes it serious.

    So, a speed test.

    38ms, 4.61Mb/s (D/L) and 0.68Mb/s (U/L)

    Repeated, similar.

    I rang Manx Telecom (“everything” supplier, a bit like BT 30+ years ago). MT expect me to get 14 – 16Mb/s a/c to their website. Their Tech guy said I am receiving 14 Mb/s according to his check, it must be a wireless problem. I should try a wire connection.

    I draped a cable across the room and got  37ms, 13.65Mb/s and 0.72Mb/sec, confirming his assertion.

    “That is common with WiFi he claimed, but maybe my router is an “old one” and could be the reason. It is a DGN2200V4, and they supplied it in March 2014. I was complaining then as well!

    My PC is between 5 and 6M from router, in the same room.

    What are your various comments. Does WiFi behave that badly? Will a new router make any difference? Can I extend the single short antenna of the WiFi card (or 2 antennas on the other Shuttle).

    It would NOT be easy to use a cable on my PC, virtually impossible with Tamara’s.

    Cheers, Les.

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  • #32665

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,139

    It probably is the router. If the antenna are removable on the cards you can replace them, but I would replace the Wifi – you can do this without replacing the router but the £35 TP-Link TD-W9970 I used at my cousins B&B has been faultless for over nearly a year. The WiFi covers 3 storeys of Victorian building no problem.

    If you just want to replace the WiFi I’ve used loads of £22 TL-WA801ND . It includes a Passive Power over Ethernet Injector so it’s not chained to the routers location, you can move it up to 30 metres away via a Cat 5 patch cable.

    Yes, both of these are “only” 2.4Ghz 300N but you’ll get a rock solid connection way faster than you need, which is what it’s all about.

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    #32666

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Dave, After I rang MT  was when I tried a cable link from router to my PC. I had got a “number” from MT, so emailed them the cable speed. No answer so far. However, from what the chap said,  they will confirm poor router and hopefully replace it FOC. They will probably ask for a 12 month contract extension, but since it is almost a monopoly, that is hardly a problem.

    However, I won’t expect a significant improvement (pessimist), so that was why I asked about antennas. These are the screw in type, and I wonder if a half metre extension, if available, would help. Since my shuttle more or less faces the router, the wifi card is behind and hidden by the case. It could perch on top of monitor, in “view” of the router.

    Not that that helps Tamara upstairs. That would mean considering “Mains feed”, I guess with one sender and two receivers?

    The printer upstairs never has problems accepting data, but then I guess it can “take its time”.

    Cheers, Les.

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    #32671

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,139

    Cable leads to signal loss so you need them a short as you can. Polarisation is important, you can lose as much as half the signal by being 90 degrees out, which is why MIMO was introduced.

    If the card has only a single connector, go for something like this on Ebay for £7. Great as it’s 6dbi (the existing are probably 2) which as db is logarithmic is a massive increase, but importantly can be pointed at the AP (they are quite directional). If you have 2 connectors all I can find are these for £11. Omni directional but 6dbi.

    I’d wait until you find out about the router as I feel it’s that end where the solution will lie, may be using one of the £11 jobs but modern MIMO WiFi is usually much better than it used to be. Unless you get a cheap Technicolor job from them, in which case I’d just bin it and get one of the WD-9970s. They have one next door (Plusnet) but Barb’s iPad is usually attached to my WiFi!

    The current crop of BT & Virgin WiFi ads make me laugh. All they are trying to do is add a repeater to the contract. Funny as previously they all claimed their routers could do a whole house, floor to attic no problem. Sky of course want you to get a Q box or two.

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    #32674

    Wheels-Of-Fire
    Participant
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 1,478

    Probably a silly question but have you tried using a WiFi analyser on your phone ?

    I use WiFi Analyzer on Android but there are plenty of other free ones.

    Gives signal strength, band, channel number and actual WiFi speed instead of just connection speed.

    Also shows all other networks in your area and wether they are hac, ahem, secure 😁

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    #32677

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Dave, thanks for that. The card in this M/C is the single antenna, so £7 seems OK, AND the directional aspect must be good.

    The one in my other shuttle, from which I just interchanged the SSD is the dual one.

    I am going to wait before purchase. MT have always used Netgear routers, but since all the fixed line hardware is Openreach stuff they buy in, it is possible they now use the rubbish you mention, but other than use of Openreach stuff, they no longer have any connection with BT.

    WoF, Android phone? What is that?, I have a very basic Samsung, which I believe can do texting, unlike me.

    Actually, I do have a cheapo Chinee android tablet, but would that do what you say?

    Les.

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    #32678

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,139

    If you can use the Play Store then you can install Wifi Analyzer, it’s what I use too.

    I’m not Netgear’s greatest fan but I wouldn’t turn down a free one. These days you would expect anything provided by a larger ISP to cover your average house, but Plusnet don’t seem to manage it. TBH any ISP that focuses on price often have the same issue, you have to cut costs somewhere.

    I’m still an advocate of having a WiFi solution independent of your router and spending a bit more on it. No matter how crap the ISP router is they can usually manage the broadband bit OK. If you end up with a BT “Smart” Hub, do as Ed recommends and turn off 5Ghz WiFi.

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    #32680

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Dave, thanks for info, will investigate.

    Last night, regular no connection so I rebooted router.

    Rather surprisingly no reply from MT yet, by email or ‘phone yet.

    However I have found something out this morning, though if I had does some stuff in a different order, I would have learned more.

    I opened a pdf to print off one page, to find no connection to router (me or printer?). Ah, not “fan” signal strength display on mine. Does not want to connect, so reboot my PC. Fan now showing. Perhaps I should check router itself, so I log in. A firmware update available. (I did check a while ago, nothing then). Current one is V1.0.0.102. Click update, and SLOWLY things seem to happen, but eventually it disconnected apparently due to slow speed, though it could be rebooting itself. Out with cable connection to router, but it now shows the same firmware, but no update available. Log out of router, shut down and restart PC. Log in to router, it now has the V1.0.0.108, so that is OK.

    I do a Wifi speedtest, and get similar readings to yesterday. Now I can print, so when I go to collect print from by Tamara’s Lenovo, I will do a speed test on that. Ping 62ms (slow?), D/L 13.5Mb/s, U/L 0.72Mb/s.

    So, just MY PC bad right now.

    I don’t know if the .102 to .108 firmware helps wifi or not, but I think I will change the card over to the two antenna version from the other PC, and see if that makes any difference. If so, it may be better to replace the card, or perhaps the £7 extension antenna.

    Cheers, Les.

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    #32699

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Today, loads to do (planning) so I had a bad migraine, did little until late afternoon.

    However, printer missing (Oh!, no WiFi on my PC. It needs a PC reboot. A Linux update, Sooo Slooow.

    Did a bit of work, but after tea time to get stuck in.

    Out with both Wifi cards.

    Single antenna version:-   (No mfgs name)  2.4GHz/54Mbps. PCI adaptor. 802.11g

    Dual antenna version:-   LBLink  300Mbps.  Wireless N.  PCI Adaptor. BL-LW04-A2.

    Fit the dual antenna card.

    38ms,  13.40Mb/s.   0.72Mb/s.

    Well, that is one part of the answer. It does not explain the regular dropouts previously, or Tamara’s complaints, but mine should be a bit better. I think I will order a new card for second PC.

    NOTHING is ever straightforward with a PC, is it ——

    I recently got a USB connected card reader, so fitted that whilst changing cards.

    When I switched on, it failed to boot. RATS (those reading my other thread will understand). Switch off, open up, and investigate. It seems I dislodged the  SSD’s power lead. Refit, covers on, works OK. PHEW!!!

    What a day, but at least some answers, but not off MT.

    Les.

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    #32701

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    I have just looked on Ebay for a Wifi card. It MUST be PCI, not PCI-E. I have spotted one only with similar spec to my dual antenna job, and a few of the 54Mb/s models. Is that dual antenna card the best thing I can get in PCI format. All the 2.4/5GHz one that I saw were PCI-E.

    Cheers, Les.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Les.. Reason: Sp
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    #32705

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 2,139

    USB ones are just as good. I’ve using generic ones like this Problem is Linux, IIRC Dan had the same problems but I don’t think he found anything.

    There is a TL-WN851ND pci card on Amazon for a tenner, it’s old enough to advertise Win 2000 support so I’d think Linux would be OK.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Dave Rice.
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    #32719

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Dave, just by chance I was putting away the spare hardware that came with the card reader when I spotted my spare Ras Pi. There was its USB wifi dongle. I could use that. But the one with the antenna you linked to makes more sense, so I will decide whether to go with that or a card such as your example. One or the other.

    This afternoon, after meeting a planning officer, I looked at my emails. There was one returned by the postmaster, the one I sent to MT on Sunday. I resent my original message to MT, together with the postmaster’s message, suggesting that illustrated my complaint. I may as well get a free router if they wish to donate one!

    Cheers, Les.

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    #32895

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Last week I decided on the dongle route, so ordered this one thro Ebay:-

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dual-Band-600Mbps-USB-WiFi-Dongle-Wireless-LAN-Adapter-802-11ac-a-b-g-n5-2-4Ghz/143007027382?hash=item214be210b6:g:894AAOSwLNxcCIEg&frcectupt=true

    It arrived, so I stuck it in this afternoon. No WiFi, nothing. The listing declares it to work for various Windows, ditto MACOs and Linux.

    I went and dug out the one in the spare “pi” – worked perfectly. Something will be on its way back very soon. Incidentally, ALL our PCs approach 12-13 Mbps on speedtest now.

     

    General comments on the following please.

    This morning there was a linux kernel upgrade, so I watched the progress bar, knowing it would be more than 2 seconds. It showed speeds of around 1600kb/s (1.6Mbps) fairly consistently. Once complete, I did a download speed test, and recorded the same 37, 13, 0.7 figures as previously reported with this dual antenna card. Is that ratio  of 1:10 between a file download like the kernel and a speedtest download typical.

    Cheers, Les.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Les.. Reason: change on to one
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    #32900

    Wheels-Of-Fire
    Participant
    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 1,478

    It is typical. If the server at the other end is slow then your download will be slow. Don’t matter how fast your connection is.

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    #32903

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    WoF, thanks, I thought it may be that. At least 1600kbps is better than the 55kbps I was down to a couple of weeks ago.

    I have an old Lenovo here with faulty wireless card and which, given a chance will KILL its battery. However, with a network cable, and a cheapo Win 7 Ultimate, I can watch F1 on Ch4  when no alternative. I wonder if that USB WiFi card will work with that? I looked at the install info, which I had already seen had  a few sections on windows install, and a few more on MACOs install. I also noticed, using a magnifying glass, that it also referred to linux, just one phrase.

    Anyway, I went thro the windows install, and after about 15 mins (yes, that slow), I had a completed install. After its restart, it found the adaptor, I gave it my WiFi password, and it worked.

    OK, it does have a linux folder on the CD, so time to try again on my main shuttle. Oh dear!. No simple to follow series of terminal commands, but pages of stuff way over my head. I remember reading about “Compile” etc, but never made any sense of it, and everything else I have installed in the last almost 10 years has been done thro either simple terminal commands, but normally via the synaptic package manager.

    My mind went back 10 years to another Wifi card, also realtek I think, which a Unix pal got working for me. Each kernel upgrade would kill it, but he taught me how to get it running again. (He left the island about 8 years ago unfortunately). I don’t want that rigmarole again.

    If package manager won’t deal with it, I am “out of here”. OK, it will be better with the Win 7 machine than draping network cable around the floor (think SWMBO) on the few occasions I need Windoze.

    I had also found another Wifi USB stick that works with the Pi, also 802.11N,  so I thought I would try that. Zilch with Mint, but it does work with Windoze. Pop it back in the Pi, and forget the whole episode.

    Les.

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    #32918

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,360

    As Dave says it is ‘Linux’. Ubuntu/Mint also frequently breaks wifi drivers during their updates, regression in drivers to old non-working varieties used to be a frequent problem. There can sometimes be solutions if you know the wifi chip that is being used. With the name you can get to their site and search for any up-to-date Linux drivers they provide.

    You can as you found out then get dongles that work on the Pi’s different architecture but not on PCs even though both use Debian based distros.

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    #32995

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 1,230

    @oldles – Hi Les, not sure if you’ve resolved this at all, but I was up in the loft sorting through for a power supply I needed for an external enclosure, when I spotted THIS. Comes boxed with manual, CD and low profile bracket and both aerials.

    It says HERE that it will work with linux.

    If it’s any use to you, drop me a PM and it’s yours.

     

    John

     

     

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    #33006

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    JayCeeDee (John), many thanks for the heads up, but I seem to be getting better results from the USB WiFi stuff. That would certainly have at least matched my existing dual antenna PCI card, which was my initial idea, but the USB with antenna seemed like a better idea. But then I found the PI’s dongle (currently in use), and that seems to be the doggy’s danglers.

    I will say many thanks for the offer, but pass on it this time.

    It does mean that if I swop between the two shuttles, I will move the dongle at the same time, knowing I have my dual antenna card here as a spare.

    Anyway, thanks again.

    Les.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Les.. Reason: Change PO to PI
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    #33012

    JayCeeDee
    Participant
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 1,230

    Welcome, Les. Long may it continue.😀

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    #33194

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    On Sunday, my download rate was once more terrible. I rang MT who said it was in fact showing 16Mbps, the highest quoted yet. My  “fan display” indicating WiFi  signal strength was down to maybe 35%, whereas it has been showing in the ’90s since using the USB wifi adaptor. However, upstairs, Tamara was getting good strength indication and no problems with speed. I rebooted the router, and then I was back to full strength. Over the months I have frequently done this, but rarely seen this worthwhile and immediate improvement.

    Yesterday, the same thing happened! Time for that new router maybe???

    MT are supposed to ring me today, perhaps?

    It seems when I emailed them previously, I added and “s” to “customer” in their email address, so they were not ignoring me, it just never got there.

    Maybe a resolution on its way?

    Les.

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    #33281

    Les.
    Participant
    @oldles
    Forumite Points: 497

    Yesterday a package arrived whilst I was out. MT have sent me a new router. A Technicolor  TG588V  v2.

    I have not had time to touch it yet, but I have an idea Dave has slated them in the past.

    How will it compare to my existing Netgear  DGN2200  – V4 I wonder. Maybe tomorrow I will find out.

    Les.

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