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Standard User charlestown
(newbie) Sat 18-Mar-17 11:26:23
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Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[link to this post]
 
I have a puzzling problem here with sudden slow wifi that I'm struggling to solve and wondered if anybody might know the answer. For the last 3-4 years I had excellent speeds anywhere in the house that were pretty much hitting the maximum. The router is downstairs next to the master socket, but upstairs in the office I would typically see wifi download speeds of 70+mbps day and night on a 76mbps line. Switching to Ethernet made no real difference.

A couple weeks ago I changed ISP, but on the first day there was an issue with the router account login that connects to the ISP, so I was provided with a temporary one and it all worked great. Download speeds were similar to before and ping times were a bit faster.

After a couple days some changes were made at their end and there was 10 minutes of downtime before the internet came back. When I checked the router I could see they had removed the temporary login and added the correct one. From that moment on I've had pretty useless and erratic wifi download speeds, though upload speeds are generally hitting the maximum and rarely go less than 18mbps.

In practice if I plugged in the Ethernet cable speeds were fairly close to the router sync speed, but the moment I tried wifi it would drop by at least 30mbps, even from a couple meters away. By the time I went upstairs it would be all over the place, but generally slow and at times it's been under 5mbps. I swear nothing changed in my house during that 10 minute switchover period...

I tried a couple different routers with no improvement and the ISP sent me a new router with a 5Ghz band to see if that helped. At a certain point it all became very unstable as the router sync speed progressively slowed, while I was losing the DSL connection, along with the phone line repeatedly. The router sync speed had dropped to around 47mbps. It's possible that changing routers a couple times was messing with DLM, but I'm surprised if that was also affecting the phone line.

Yesterday somebody from OpenReach visited and checked out the line. He reset DLM and verified that the line reaching the house was all good. It measured 78mbps at the socket. He did exchange the plate for a newer version, saying it would produce less noise on the line.

The router started to sync at 71mbps, but with a 1m Ethernet cable that already dropped another 6mbps. Once we switched to wifi in the same room the speed dropped back to around 30mbps like before. I checked upstairs with the engineer on another computer and it was down to 15mbps. This is a modern 3 bedroom house, so we are not talking huge distances here and the wifi signal is always on maximum, whether on 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz. In testing 5Ghz generally performs better than 2.4Ghz.

I used to get 15mbps on wifi in this room back in the days when I had ADSL and now I'm on a business fibre package with a fixed IP that should be rock solid. The router is an Asus DSL-N66U that should be pretty good and certainly no worse than routers I've used in the past.

I've contacted Asus to ask if they have any recommendations for the wifi settings, but I am really at a loss to understand this. The wifi channels change automatically to avoid congestion and I can see with a wifi analyser that there are no other routers on the same space. I've also tried using Mac filters in case the neighbour's were helping themselves to our bandwidth, but this is not a congested area and they are out all day.

The DSL connection appears to have remained stable since the OpenReach visit yesterday, so I am reluctant to switch anything off, but I'm wondering if something can be improved in the wifi settings. I've tried moving the router and furniture previously to no avail, but I keep coming back to the point that everything was great on wifi for the last few years until this switch by the ISP that occurred a couple days after joining. They tell me this cannot be the cause of the problem.

Can anybody think what may be going on here?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 18-Mar-17 13:22:40
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: charlestown] [link to this post]
 
You need to do some testing of speed between devices on the network if trying to troubleshoot wifi issues, since with the variations you've had in connection speed you will have been getting a confusing picture, plus variations in how the ISP is performing maybe.

When you say the Wi-Fi is on maximum all the time what do you mean?

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User charlestown
(newbie) Sat 18-Mar-17 13:35:11
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
By maximum I just meant I was seeing the best possible speeds that were pretty much inline with the 76/19 limits for this line. It was quite normal to see 73mbps downloads on wireless for the last few years. I have full strength signals everywhere and fibre broadband has always performed really well here until a couple weeks ago with this change.

I've tested this now on three different Windows laptops, plus a Mac Pro, Android smartphones and a Kindle HD tablet. All of them are showing similar results with this sudden drop in wifi speeds. Is there some specific test I could try that might help to identify what is happening here?

I ran a test just now at http://internethealthtest.org and my average download speed is 11mbps, while the upload speed is over 18mbps.


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 18-Mar-17 14:33:51
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: charlestown] [link to this post]
 
And that is just another speed test, as we wrote http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest we have made sure it stores as much info on the test as possible so the graphs are important.

If you aren't going to set up internal file transfers for testing wireless, then you need to compare wireless testing with the same devices over Ethernet to the same speed test site

It could be that your wireless is still perfect, but the performance on the ISP is more variable than a previous one

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User charlestown
(newbie) Sat 18-Mar-17 15:32:29
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
OK I just registered on the main site and ran a wifi test with the link you provided. The results were not hugely different to the other speed tests I have tried.

I am quite happy to run internal file tests for transferring files. It's just not something I've needed to test before and I'm not sure how best to do this to produce useful results.

I know from yesterday's visit by OpenReach that 78mbps is arriving at the main socket and I can see from the router control panel that it's currently synching at 71mbps. If my new ISP is somehow slowing it down to this degree that would be atrocious.
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sat 18-Mar-17 15:51:04
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: charlestown] [link to this post]
 
You have not mentioned the ISP.

If you have switched to Sky, yes their router is known to be poor on wireless, even the Q router isn't the best since it forces you to use channel 36 on wireless with 5ghz.
Standard User charlestown
(newbie) Sat 18-Mar-17 16:01:46
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
No it's not Sky. The router I've been supplied with is an Asus DSL-N66U, which should be pretty good in theory. I've noticed that it changes channels, so evidently that part is working.

I've just run the 1 gig download test from this website and it took just under 12 minutes. That's really slow for a 76mbps fibre connection.

Edited by charlestown (Sat 18-Mar-17 16:04:24)

Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 18-Mar-17 19:06:42
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: charlestown] [link to this post]
 
What Wifi channels are the old ISP and new ISP routers using, and are you sure that you don't have any conflicts from nearby properties?

Acrylic Wifi for Windows will show all Wifi networks in range. There are similar applications for Android.

Michael Chare
Standard User charlestown
(newbie) Sat 18-Mar-17 19:49:38
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
I think both the old and new router automatically choose channels based on obtaining the best performance. The old one was from BT, so I don't know if they have any kind of restrictions. The Asus is currently on channel 40.

I just checked using a wifi analyser app on the Kindle HD tablet and I could see a channel overlap with one other router nearby on 2.4Ghz, but on 5Ghz mine was the only one visible with empty channels on both sides. It looks like it is broadcasting at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz simultaneously, possibly for the sake of different devices, but that was never a problem previously.

As things stand the wifi performance was better with the old ISP than I am seeing with the new one on Ethernet. In theory that could improve, but there is no sign of that as yet.
Standard User charlestown
(newbie) Sat 18-Mar-17 20:06:41
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Re: Sudden slow wifi with fibre broadband


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Just an afterthought but we have two DECT phones. The main one with the base unit is connected to a phone socket in an upstairs bedroom, while there is a second charger point for the other phone in the same room as the router. This has been like that for years, so I would be surprised if it was suddenly causing problems.
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