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Standard User doninwales
(newbie) Fri 05-Oct-18 20:56:17
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Sky Q Home Wifi - Intermittent signal


[link to this post]
 
Can the number of devices connected to a home Wif-Fi network affect the quality of service?

I have been with Sky Fibre Max ever since Fibre was available to me around 5 months ago.
I obtain around 55Mbs which, as far as I can tell is relatively stable.

However, using Wifi around the house has always been frustrating.
Most of the time it works seamlessly.
However, constantly throughout the day/evening, the wifi connection 'flutters' ie. it becomes intermittent.

The most obvious examples are streaming Radio over My Amazon Alexa device - where sound first becomes erratic, and then drops off completely. This Alexa sits right next to the SKY Q router.
This happens at least once an hour.

The other example is my son on is Xbox One, where his connection drops in and out. Again this happens at least once an hour.

In both cases, connections are otherwise reliable, constant and smooth.

This has always been the case since I upgraded to Sky Fibre Max. Before, I only had a poor internet service (1.2Mbps) - too slow for Xbox, but otherwise all my devices were the same - albeit downloads were slow..... (radio streaming was still fine).

I contacted Sky support and they informed me that the internet connect was fine and stable (which I agree).
They advised me that the issue was definitely because of the number of high-tech (THEIR words!) devices.

We are a family of 5, so have 5 phones, 3 ipads, 4 Alexas, Xbox One, Sky Q TV and mini box, 2 other internet connected TVs, and a few laptops. So potentially around 20 internet-connectable devices.
However, only the XBOX One is ALWAYS in use, with perhaps an ipad and a TV in simultaneous use at any one time.
Am sure 55 Mbps is quite enough for all these devices and we have no speed issues even with multiple devices in use.

As normal, the mobiles and Alexas are passively connected, there to be used when called upon.

Sky's recommendation from their 'technical expert' (again THEIR words) was to turn off all devices including mobiles and Alexas when not in use!
I questioned this a number of times!
Did they really think I should turn off my Alexas at the plug (again THEIR precise words) until I needed them?
They confirmed yes.
Isn't this ludicrous....? The whole point of them is that they're on standby until needed!

Anyway.....is their any truth in their claim that the number of items connected (even passively) to the wifi network will cause the intermittent drop offs?
'I' suspect it is the SKY Q router that is either faulty or not capable of providing a consistent Wi-Fi signal....


But.....'I' am no expert, so am very keen to hear anyone's views.....

Cheers,
Don
Standard User mking90031
(newbie) Sat 06-Oct-18 10:21:10
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Re: Sky Q Home Wifi - Intermittent signal


[re: doninwales] [link to this post]
 
Hi Don,

Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with your router. Most routers have a max number of devices that they can support wirelessly. Is there any possibility that you could connect some devices via ethernet especially the Alexa? There is also the fact that the more devices you have on at the same time will make the speed each device receives slower (i.e. a 55Mb/sec connection divided by 20 devices equals 2.75Mb/sec could be the speed each device receives). Therefore Sky were right to a point in so much as if you switched off devices that didn't need the internet the other devices would receive a faster connection and there would be less strain on the router. You might want to invest in a repeater or another access point to load balance the wireless network if you are determined to have everything wireless.

HTH,

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 06-Oct-18 10:30:28
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Re: Sky Q Home Wifi - Intermittent signal


[re: mking90031] [link to this post]
 
Consumer routers DO NOT DO THIS

(i.e. a 55Mb/sec connection divided by 20 devices equals 2.75Mb/sec could be the speed each device receives)

The speed each will get is dependent on how the TCP/IP traffic patterns it originates or are sent to it.

i.e. an Wi-Fi device that is doing nothing in terms of LAN or Internet access should have minimal impact.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.


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Standard User doninwales
(newbie) Sat 06-Oct-18 14:19:20
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Re: Sky Q Home Wifi - Intermittent signal


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your comments.

Whilst I can understand that if I were to use multiple devices simultaneously, then the 55Mb/sec connection would need to be shared between them - and there is a 'possibility' that things 'may' slow down for some of them.

However, I don't 'think' this explains the stuttering (and ultimate drop out completely) even when only TWO devices are being actively used ie. the Xbox One, and Radio streaming over the Alexa.
NO OTHER devices are actively being used, though I DO accept that many of them (eg. the phones and Alexas) are still passivley connected even when not in actual use.

My question remains. Does the number of 'connected devices' affect the 'quality of service' of a Wifi network?

I could make up a scenario where perhaps some router can only 'manage' 5 connected devices having to listen/receive/send data to each of them in turn. If I connected a sixth or seventh, and the router can only deal with 5 then there I might understand the possibility of some stuttering whilst the router tries to manage 5 (of the 7) connections.

But that's a made up scenario.

I don't think routers are restricted in this way, are they?

I can only imagine the restriction being the speed of internet connection to be shared amongst all devices, and have been assuming that 55Mbps would be plenty for my (mainly passive) devices.

Surely my household with 18-20 potential connections is not unusual in this day and age....?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 06-Oct-18 16:17:15
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Re: Sky Q Home Wifi - Intermittent signal


[re: doninwales] [link to this post]
 
Some devices like the Chromecast used to flood the local Wi-Fi LAN with packets at times so while not using a lot of external bandwidth could cause Wi-Fi issues.

What we don't know is

a) What bands the devices are connecting on
b) Is the local wireless network split with different SSID for 5GHz and 2.4 GHz, which is usually the best for performance, i.e. only teach devices about the band which bests for them

The NAT table in a router will fill up tracking all the activity, but most modern routers have large enough NAT tables in memory for this to not be a problem.

Also some routers that also handle the ADSL/VDSL2/G.fast connection may not have enough CPU speed to be totally smooth handling both sides, i.e. sometimes removing the modem function makes an unstable route stable i.e. its CPU now has a lot less to do.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 06-Oct-18 16:19:24
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Re: Sky Q Home Wifi - Intermittent signal


[re: doninwales] [link to this post]
 
Have you tried the simple step of changing the channels the router broadcasts on ?

My current router was rock solid for wifi at my old address (apart from one minor issue)
Moved to a new address, the same router, broadcasting to the same kit was flakey in the extreme ..... let the router reset the channels, sorted.

Worth a shot.

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