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Wi-Fi Help. Why Does My Signal Strength Suck?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by WillG, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. WillG

    WillG Well-Known Member

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    So it seems that I'm having real inconsistency with my Wi-Fi signal strength. For example, I'm trying to stream Netflix on my XBOX. The other day, I was getting full signal strength and HD quality. Today, I'm getting 2 bars at best (so no HD). I've rebooted the modem and router, I've turned off all other Wi-Fi devices in the house. I have a wireless internet enabled BD player in my bedroom that constantly craps out when I try to stream video. My provider is Cablevision (which could be the problem right there) and I'm using a Belkin N+ Router.


    Can anyone let me know if there is anything I can do to boost strength performance?


    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Shane D

    Shane D Well-Known Member

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    could try a speed test at speedtest.net just to see how fast your connecdtion is at that time. could just be congestion in your area
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Supporter

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    Internet Service Provider congestion would not cause a WiFi-connected device on a local, private network to drop its wireless connection.


    If you have multiple WiFi devices that are losing their wireless connection, you either have an interference problem or your wireless router is just not performing well. Possible sources of interference in the 2.4GHz band include microwave ovens, cordless phones and bluetooth devices.


    I had a similar problem with my wife's PC not having a stable wireless connection to our network. In my case, it turned out to be the old Dlink wireless router -- its radio seemed to be dying. I replaced it with a new device (Netgear this time) and all the WiFi connections in the house have been rock-solid ever since.
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

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    For whatever reason I find I can only get a year or two out of a wireless router. From a PC try pinging the router and see if you have any packet loss.
     
  5. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've had routers lasting quite a few years for me. My aging Linksys B router was still working fine after 6 years but i had to replace it to jump on G. For the past 3 years, I've had a Zyxel but have recently gone with another Linksys, the WRTG54 with Tomato loaded up. The third party software actually makes things work better and one could "bump" up the antenna power to keep things connected well. These routers are also cheap nowadays but have been quite popular with DDWRT or Tomato firmwares. I use another one as a bridge for the basement HT for my Bluray player to stream Netflix and the like.
     
  6. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Will:

     

    I never could get a consistent WiFi signal from my HTPC to my XBox so I ended up getting a Netgear XAVB101 Powerline Ethernet Adapter Kit that allowed me to just plug one end of the ethernet connection from my router into the transmitter and the other end to my ethernet on the XBox to the receiver. This sends the data over my household wiring. The signal strength is always up there. I stream shows that I have recorded on my HTPC to the XBox with no signal drop.

     
     
  7. Yale

    Yale New Member

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    Try changing the channel on your wireless router/access point to either the lowest or highest. There may be other conflicting wireless units around your area that are on the same channel.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I realize this is several months old, but I'll add my recent experience.


    I was having erratic wifi performance for the past six months. The signal strength was always good, but the wireless speeds would plummet on occasion. I'd see the drop off on both iPhones and my MacBook Pro. I could switch to 5GHz "n" and usually see my laptop work better. Many indications were that the router was experiencing signal noise or might even be failing.



    Often times power-cycling both the cable modem and the router a few times would get the speeds back to normal. Then in January, wireless speed plummeted and I couldn't restore it. Or, after a reset it would start fine and then plummet within minutes. I was about to run out and buy a new router.


    But first I called my ISP (TW Roadrunner). They did some checks and identified a possible anomaly with their remote tests; enough to send a field tech. He came out the next morning, ran some tests and concluded that my cable modem had problems. He replaced that and everything was better than ever. My wireless speeds, especially on the iPhones, were faster than I'd ever seen. And they've been stable for the past month.


    For whatever reason, a failing cable modem was causing the wireless router to perform especially bad; the wifi would degrade faster than the wired system would.


    Now it might be my router is also failing; I'm stilling keeping an eye on the performance. But my experience is a bad cable modem can cause spurious secondary problems that look like severe router problems.
     

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