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Standard User jms_uk
(regular) Wed 02-Apr-14 22:51:28
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Superhub & WiFi Advice


[link to this post]
 
So I posted on the VM forms a few months ago about some VERY weird behaviour with my superhub (I know, I know) wink

VM moderators/support staff read the post and were actually helpful enough to action a replacement superhub for me - however, after a few months of blissful operation, things are going quite weird again and I was hoping one of the gurus on here might be able to render some assistance/give some advice? smile

Basically a few different things can often happen after a period of time.. (btw, I'm using 2.4GHz WiFi as not all of my devices support 5GHz)

So.. After first using "WiFi Analyser" on my phone to check the channel numbers of other networks in proximity, I set my superhub to a channel as far away from them as possible. For a few days, everything works excellently. Then with no warning, Wireless devices either drop and re-acquire a connection frequently or they simply cannot connect at all.

Often turning my SH off from the mains completely for about a minute and then turning it on again brings things back.. devices can connect and everything works again for a few more days.

However, on occasion devices will say they're connected but downloads are either ridiculously slow or there's no internet connectivity at all. Naturally, I check the status of my overall internet connection on a wired machine and that's still working fine so as a last resort I try shifting my SH to another WiFi channel - again, taking care to choose a channel that's as far away from other nearby networks as possible. On these occasions, this work around is effective until a few days later.. then it's rinse and repeat with one of the two fixes mentioned previously.

(btw 2 - The superhub is in an elevated position in the house, with plenty of ventilation so unless I received another faulty unit I don't believe it is the environment per-se...)

For a final bit of "weirdness", on one occasion I had the SH on Channel 1, with NO other networks within at least 5 channels of it, devices had connectivity but bandwidth was awful. I moved the SH to Channel 13, which was only 2 channels away from another network and bandwidth went up to full speed... what gives?!?!

I'm no signals/electronics expert, so can someone tell me if higher channels are naturally/consistently more reliable overall? Or is the SH more performant on those channels?

Any and all help, advice appreciated..I'd rather not have to shell out for a separate WiFi router and put the SH into modem mode, and given how well it works most of the time and after I do those workarounds, there has to be some kind of answer or explanation to get more consistent performance smile

Kind regards and thanks in advance!
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 02-Apr-14 23:02:53
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
Are you using 40 MHz or 20 MHz wide channels? 40 MHz causes more overlap and more issues, though it is faster in uncontested WiFi areas.

The interference if it is that might not be WiFi devices but some other devices that also use the 2.4GHz band. Move everything you can to the 5GHz band, this may lessen load on 2.4GHz. Also it may sound counter intuitive, but have you tried matching the other network channels to see how things work out then

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User ukhardy07
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 03-Apr-14 01:18:13
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
Firstly is this a superhub 1 or superhub 2? If a standard superhub they always crash in my experience. I was power cycling mine about once a day.

WiFi channel wise. All is not as it seems. Firstly use channel 1 6 or 11. This is because channel 2,3,4 and 5 will overlap with channel 1 and channel 6 (so you will get double the interference from other devices on auto which will choose 1 6 or 11).

Channel 7,8,9 and 11 overlap with 6 and 11. So again that's often worse than using just 6 or 11.

So yep... Use 1, 6 or 11.

WiFi channel wise. Using the same channel as another router isn't that bad as both routers are digital and will work as well as possible together.

Then there are a tonne of WiFi devices which INSSider doesn't pick up. We're talking wireless doorbells, cordless audio video receivers, baby monitors, keyboard and mouse that are wireless, bluetooth speakers, bluetooth headsets, wireless security systems and cameras etc etc. These are much more likely to cause issues with your WiFi than another router.

So even though channel 1 looks free it could be crammed with bluetooth devices in your home, next doors doorbell, baby monitor etc. This would be worse than using channel 11 which may have only 1 router on it.

My advice is to get a superhub 2 if you can, these a pretty good and broadcast 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz at once. A lot more stable. To be frank 99% of people can leave the router on Auto channel selection & yes it will often choose a channel which a neighbour is on but it's usually fine. I actually found channel 11 which had around 2 other routers worked best for me.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Thu 03-Apr-14 02:32:03)


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Standard User jms_uk
(regular) Thu 03-Apr-14 10:29:07
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the advice guys. The other potential devices causing issues in the 2.4GHz spectrum was something I was aware of but hadn't considered fully.

I've got a Superhub 1, and will try and get a replacement SH2 from VM but gawd knows when that'll be. At the moment going to 5GHz or dual 5GHz/2GHz isn't really an option for me but I'll bear that in mind.

Going back to other devices causing issues.. I live in a semi detached house, with students on the joining side, and also in the next nearest house. No baby monitors I'm aware of, but Wireless doorbells could be an issue wink The thing is, afaik those devices are largely constant i.e. I don't believe the types of devices has (or could've changed) in some time, so surely once I'd found a working channel things should remain stable?

I appreciate the SH1 being an unstable pile of poo and requiring constant reboots (though interestingly enough, my first SH1 was rock solid for many months before VM sent me a replacement).. It seems odd to me, however, that I'm having to manually channel hop.. surely that would only be necessary if the overall environment of Wireless devices in the vicinity was constantly changing ?
Standard User eckiedoo
(committed) Thu 03-Apr-14 11:21:03
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
Keep in mind that Microwave Cookers work in the same Band as 2.4 GHz Wi Fi; but do not show up on the typical Wi Fi Analyser, just as Baby Monitors don't show up either.

The apparently-quiet Wi Fi Channels may be because of such interference, the working channels that your Wi Fi analyser detected may be the best to use, rather than the worst!

Without fancier equipment such as a Spectrum Analyser, only trial and error can be used.


I don't know the Super Hub; but if you can set it to "Auto Select Channel", this would give you an indication if such a source is the problem. It would select one of the apparently crowded channels, avoiding the apparently little-used channel/s.


The magnetrons in micro-wave cookers can shift frequency whilst remaining within the allocated 2.4 GHz band, as the precise frequency for cooking is not critical, unlike when magnetrons are used in their original field of radar - compensating for such shifts was a hazardous occupation!
Standard User eckiedoo
(committed) Thu 03-Apr-14 12:04:42
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
To reply to another aspect you mentioned, I suspect there is not much difference of physical characteristics within the 2.4 GHz Band, apart from the effects of nearby Wi Fis and the other type of equipment using that band.

Moving to the 5 GHz band may give you a better service, due to reduced interference, overlaps etc; but the attenuation (reduction of signal strength) of your own Wi Fi signals may be significant, as structures etc have a greater/worse effect, absorbing more of the signal.

Concrete particularly has this effect, remembering that it is also the main constituent of breeze blocks, often used for internal walls.

So it could be that on the 5 GHz band, your Wi Fi signal does not reach the further corners of your house; or may not be usable out in the garden.

Again trial and error!
Standard User ukhardy07
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 03-Apr-14 14:57:23
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
I've got a Superhub 1, and will try and get a replacement SH2 from VM but gawd knows when that'll be. At the moment going to 5GHz or dual 5GHz/2GHz isn't really an option for me but I'll bear that in mind.
SuperHub 1 does have overall poor WiFi to be frank.

Going back to other devices causing issues.. I live in a semi detached house, with students on the joining side, and also in the next nearest house. No baby monitors I'm aware of, but Wireless doorbells could be an issue wink The thing is, afaik those devices are largely constant i.e. I don't believe the types of devices has (or could've changed) in some time, so surely once I'd found a working channel things should remain stable?
Sadly these other devices channel hop. These devices can constantly change, they basically can work on any frequency. They usually work on lower channels. This is why on Auto your router will often skip channel 1 which appears free and then choose channel 6 which may have 2 routers on it... A lot of routers now will intelligently switch channels if there is too much interference on the current channel.

I appreciate the SH1 being an unstable pile of poo and requiring constant reboots (though interestingly enough, my first SH1 was rock solid for many months before VM sent me a replacement).. It seems odd to me, however, that I'm having to manually channel hop.. surely that would only be necessary if the overall environment of Wireless devices in the vicinity was constantly changing ?
Sadly the environment may be always changing. Devices can often channel hop on each reboot. Some switch whilst in operation.

If your routers got a strong signal the interference shouldn't make much of a difference though. If you are happy with virgins connection get a superhub 2 and hope for the best. Leave it on auto everything for a while, often manual channel selection means you choose that 'free' channel which is the worst one... The signal output is a lot stronger at 2.4Ghz on the superhub 2 so should overpower that interference a fair bit better.

5Ghz is nice but it travels a lot less distance, so 2.4 is still necessary in most homes. The Superhub 2 broadcasts both so just connect to the 2.4Ghz on everything and try out the 5Ghz on the devices that see it.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Thu 03-Apr-14 14:58:22)

Standard User jms_uk
(regular) Fri 04-Apr-14 13:08:27
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the advice.. I'll stick it out a little longer and then may see about getting another router and plumping for putting the SH1 in modem mode...

Any recommendations? smile
Standard User broadband66
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 04-Apr-14 13:42:06
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Some newer premises have foil backed plasterboard walls. That might cause issues.

Was Eclipse Home Option 1, VM 2Mb & O2 Standard
Now Utility Warehouse (up to 16mbps) via Talk Talk
Standard User broadband66
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 04-Apr-14 13:45:05
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Re: Superhub & WiFi Advice


[re: jms_uk] [link to this post]
 
The Gadget Show did a test of a few modem/routers with microwaves, baby monitors and Christmas lights switched on. Very little difference was detected. The biggest loss of signal was moving in to a different room and floor.

Was Eclipse Home Option 1, VM 2Mb & O2 Standard
Now Utility Warehouse (up to 16mbps) via Talk Talk
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