Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

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Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Irving » 16 Aug 2019, 12:07

I've got a Wi-Fi problem that's got me perplexed so I'm throwing it open to the collective mind to see if anyone's got an answer...

The setup is I have a Zyxel access point high on the wall in my hallway which is essentially the centre of the house. This gives me excellent coverage on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands throughout the house. Vertically above the access point is my PAs room.

Until the last few weeks the system has been working well. Now one of my PAs can't get a stable Wi-Fi connection in her room on any device, though it seems OK elsewhere in the house - an iPhone, iPad and an Acer laptop. My other PA (iPhone, iPad, Android phone) has no problems, nor does any other device anywhere else in the house. The PA with the issues insists it started failing when I installed 2 indoor wireless CCTV cameras, one in the kitchen/diner about 6m away and one in the hall about 0.5m away from the AP. I've physically powered off the hall camera, thinking maybe it's proximity to the AP was an issue, but that's made no difference. When her windows laptop connects it gets an ip address from the main router/dhcp server but claims no internet. I can see all 3 devices and ping them from the router with sensible ping times.

I've had wireshark running and there's no apparent bandwidth issues, I just can't see any reason why her devices won't connect reliably in her room. The Windows trouble shooter can't resolve the issue.

I'm running out of ideas and being stuck in bed can't physically go and investigate.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Burgerman » 16 Aug 2019, 12:28

Swap 2.4 to 1, 6 or 11. Different to what its on now. Swap 5ghz to a higher channel.

If all else fails plug in a 2.4 +5ghz powerline adapter in her room. No config, plug and play. Works miracles. I have one in my garage, upstairs, kitchen.

And. Download Acylic WIFI and take a look around your home quite how many wifi signals there are competing.

And remember only 1, 6 and 11 are free from interference from other bands on 2.4. And that on 5ghz everything uses the lowest one by default, while the higher ones are typically unused. So I use them...

If I go to the front of the house there are over 30 wifi signals on 2.4, and half a dozen on 5ghz. So study carefully and swap channels. Dont use AUTO!

Look carefully and you will see I am alone on 1 and 13... No strong signal on 11 or 13.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Burgerman » 16 Aug 2019, 12:46

And on the 5ghz band I am alone almost in my room, but in the front of the house theres half a dozen fighting over the first section. But I have 56 to 60 free completely.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Irving » 16 Aug 2019, 12:52

Thanks BM but it's not a channel issue, they are already optimised. The weird bit is the fact all her devices work elsewhere in house just not in her room... and every other device (well, my phone) works fine in her room...

It's almost as if her devices are being swamped by the AP. Yet if she stands under it in the hall, effectively the same distance away, it all works fine. czy :? :?
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Burgerman » 16 Aug 2019, 12:58

In my house there are many things that are chucking out 2.4ghz, and some 5ghz too. That DONT appear as wifi signals. BT for one. Alarms. (including other peoples) RC doors, hobby stuff, baby alarms, wireless talk systems, even heating controls. And they may not be yours either.

Its entirely possible for her room to be full of noise, and the halway be clear. As you go higher you see many more signals. And this WILL be the cause. These two bands are massively overcrowded. Try swapping channels even if you think they are optimised. You might be surprised. My laptop on 5ghz works on my bed with strong signal. Not near the window 10 feet away - it cannot see a signal. The router is in the same room.

Also, her device may be configured badly. Fat channel intolerant, roaming set too high priority, prefer 5ghz over 2.4 set wrong, and 101 others... Any of these settings may cause that type of issue. Depends also of the type of settings chosen in the router or access point.

Dont tell me its apple, and so non of these things are user configurable! So you cant ever fix it... For e.g if roaming is set to be too agressive, and theres many possible signals, it will keep trying to connect to many others. Or at least check them out! That can lead to loss of your signal. Dropouts. So I set mine lower. It then takes it a minute to connect to other wifi points as you roam the house (powerline adapters for e.g.) Also, check wifi power management. And disable or set lower priority.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby wheelie junkie » 18 Aug 2019, 13:35

I've had similar issues with odd devices losing signal, got a mate who provides my fibre and he suggested ditching my old wifi and powerline boxes and putting in a mesh system I thought that it would be expensive but for £70 it has totally transformed things https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CTKHRG8/ ... 41_TE_dp_1 no dead zones, faster and every device connects.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Irving » 18 Aug 2019, 13:50

wheelie junkie wrote:I've had similar issues with odd devices losing signal, got a mate who provides my fibre and he suggested ditching my old wifi and powerline boxes and putting in a mesh system I thought that it would be expensive but for £70 it has totally transformed things https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CTKHRG8/ ... 41_TE_dp_1 no dead zones, faster and every device connects.

That's interesting. However I want to persevere with the current setup for now, and try to understand why only that PA has problems, esp as this has been perfect for over 2y.

Temporarily I've put a Wi-Fi powerline device in the room and thats working fine...
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Burgerman » 18 Aug 2019, 13:53

The problem doesent seem to be signal strength though. As the place where device drops out is directly over the access point. More likely to be noise or interference from other 2.4 or 5ghz sources. Possibly not wifi.

But mesh systems are good. So are powerline extenders. You dont even need a mesh. It can be a wifi signal in a remote location. I have one in the garage where no house wifi isnt visible at all. And it makes wifi available in a very dead spot. And down the garden where the BBQ is... I think it may work in my neibours house. All the mains wiring is connected in the street. If I wasnt stuck on this bed I would take the one from my garage, and plug it into my neibours house and try it.

Roll on 5G. No wifi needed. As long as you live where theres a good indoor signal.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby wheelie junkie » 18 Aug 2019, 14:47

If it is more than 1 device it is unlikely to be device configuration or failing device hardware, unless both are configured identically. Dead spot is unlikely as other devices connect, could interference only affect 2 devices? I'd try reducing AP transmit power and possibly giving each device a reserved IP address and configure manually and see if internet access returns.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby steves1977uk » 18 Aug 2019, 15:50

It could also be a faulty appliance that's knocking out the Wi-Fi. Something could be emitting EMI or RFI somewhere in your house.

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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby Irving » 18 Aug 2019, 20:02

All of which I've considered but still doesn't explain why just her 3 devices, which work perfectly well everywhere else in the house. And if my wife or kids go in there with their phones/tablets they all work fine.

One thing I did see was when I logged onto the Zyxel AP was that the reported signal from her iPhone was around -75dBm, which lept to -55dBm when she left the room whereas my daughter-in-laws iPhone was -60dBm inside and out.

Interference is a possibility but it's very focused and specific if it is. I've got an SDR device so once I'm allowed up I'll go and investigate.
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Re: Wi-Fi problem that's not obvious...

Postby greybeard » 18 Aug 2019, 20:30

Have you tried an exorcist?
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