Wi-Fi Problems?

Having problems with your Wi-Fi?? Well you’re not alone... I came across this information and compiled it here...

Wi-Fi Problems?

Wi-Fi is excellent whilst it’s working but sometimes it just seems slow or stops working altogether!

Here’s a quick list of info to help you work out what’s the best fix for your home network!

First tip of the day: TURN IT ALL OFF!!
Turn the router off! Wait for a minute or so, and turn it back ON! If that doesn’t work read on!

Firstly we need to download any Wi-Fi Analyser on an android phone or airport utility on an Apple iPhone. (Or winfi for a windows laptop or Wi-Fi explorer for a Mac, Mac OS also has a nifty tool built in when you click Apple icon and the Wi-Fi logo in the menu bar)

When opening any of these apps it will show you what RF (radio frequency / Wi-Fi signal) is being received by that device. This is measured in -dB. Closer to zero is better. So -65dB is good industry standard, -67dB is ok and -70dB and over is considered poor. If you are getting -65dB and less, towards -50dB, with the windows and doors CLOSED. This is good enough. Note that your testing device, android phone etc. etc. may have a better or worse NIC (antenna) than your TV. So the test is just a guide.

 

In most cases Ethernet is faster than Wi-Fi! If you do need Wi-Fi the best way is to always run an Ethernet cable from your home hub to your desired location. Obviously Ethernet Cat 6 or 5e cable to your desired location is ALWAYS the best option, outdoor rated is definitely recommended for outside! Unless run in conduit. DO NOT run side by side with the electric cable. Once this cable is run to the desired location and terminated with an rj45 connector, either an AP (access point) or switch can be connected to it.

 

If you cannot run a cable then there are 3 options:

1, Wi-Fi extender - will only boost what is can receive, the extender will boost the signal strength to your client devices but communication to the base unit (which it extends from) will always be the same.

2, Point 2 Point (P2P) - expensive, basically needs Ethernet from home hub to P2P master, (AP mounted on external wall of house) which then connects to P2P slave (AP mounted on side of desired location in line of sight of master AP). This only replaces the required connectivity from house to desired location and does not provide client device connectivity. Ethernet cable is connected to either switch or AP inside of desired location for coverage. The P2P link is susceptible to interference over that link.

3, Ethernet over power. (EOP)- Utilises your electricity cable using adapters at each end for Ethernet connectivity. One end will then connect to your home hub using an Ethernet cable the other end in your desired location connects to your AP in your desired location. Only good if your electric ring is on the same as your desired location and is not dated.

 

Ethernet Cat 6 or 5e cable to your desired location is ALWAYS the best option.

 

Depending on the number of devices required to use the Wi-Fi (usually less than 10 I would expect). Any of the above options would be OK on reasonably cheap gear. However you get what you pay for and ubiquiti stuff is pretty good for this type of install.

 

The next thing definitely worth considering - Channel usage and interference. Check on the Wi-Fi test tool what band and channel you are using. 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. 5GHz is better but make sure all of your devices support this band. There are more usable channels available on this band. The Wi-Fi test tool will show you what your neighbours are using, try to specify a channel that is free or minimally used, usually only uni-1 channels (channels 36 - 48) are enabled on lots of these APs so lots are client devices will be crammed into these frequencies causing interference. if you can utilise unii-2 (channels 52 - 64) or uni-2e (channels 100 - 140).

 

If you are in a highly populated area don’t bother with channel bonding. 160mhz channel bonding is a sales pitch and will only work if you have limited or no neighbours. Never ever use channel bonding on 2.4GHz band, TP devices can have this configured as default. Disable immediately. Channel usage and configuration is done on the AP.

 

Always do a speed test, from your devices, there are many tools available.