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Questions about my WiFi!


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Hi. At home I have two routers, Asus RT-N66U and TPLink Archer C6. My problem is that I have a lot of times bad wifi signal. The main router is Asus, Archer is set to access point. Asus router is in my room on first floor, C6 is floor below. I set SSID on both routers the same. Is this right to do? I set channels on Asus router to 11, on C6 to 6, so they don't overlap. 

For example, right now, I'm sitting in my living room, first floor, and my signal shows only 1 bar. I'm basically less than 5 meters away from Asus router. Are there any advice what could I change? Should I set channels to auto instead? Any help is greatly appreciated. 

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BudMan might get a better grasp at this, but I'll ask you the obvious..

 

Are you using 2.4 or 5 bandwidth? What devices are you connecting to it? Phone, tablet, laptop? Also, do you have to go through walls, or anything else in the way?

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I'm using 2.4. 5 phones and one tablet is connected to WiFi. Walls? I'm mean, yea, sure there's walls, but sometimes I'm literally next to router and it's not full bars.

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Did you ever try the 5GHz branch? I don't know if they or routers can do 5, but can you try that?

 

Being you are so close to it, might get better ratings.

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I suspect what is going on is that what you have is not a "mesh" system so there's no kind of handover between one node and the other. I.e. the device will stay connected to the same node until the signal drops altogether.

 

This would explain 1 bar when within 5m of the router, it's not that router you're connected to.

 

I feel you may be better with two different SSIDs and then selecting the appropriate SSID based on the floor of the house you're in.

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On 23/11/2021 at 20:20, yoco said:

If I set two SSIDs will all connected devices switch automatically to better signal?

No, you'll have to manually join the SSID with the strongest signal. The only way you'll get it to automatically join the strongest signal is with a proper mesh system.

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Like what's been said - you need a mesh system ideally but in your current state I'd turn on 5Ghz for both devices, separate the SSID's and set the router and access point to auto channel. You don't know if those channels that you picked are already congested but switching to auto 5Ghz should sort itself out in that respect.

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On 23/11/2021 at 16:20, Max said:

Like what's been said - you need a mesh system ideally but in your current state I'd turn on 5Ghz for both devices, separate the SSID's and set the router and access point to auto channel. You don't know if those channels that you picked are already congested but switching to auto 5Ghz should sort itself out in that respect.

5ghz N is terrible, though I can't speak for 5ghz on a cheap AC router either.

 

At that price range for mesh...I have no idea what's available over there.

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On 23/11/2021 at 23:20, Max said:

Like what's been said - you need a mesh system ideally but in your current state I'd turn on 5Ghz for both devices, separate the SSID's and set the router and access point to auto channel. You don't know if those channels that you picked are already congested but switching to auto 5Ghz should sort itself out in that respect.

Any suggestions what's a good mesh system? I'll be honest, I didn't hear about it until now!

When I set channels manually, I used WiFi Analyzer app on my phone which showed no congestion.

 

Should I leave "Channel bandwidth" to 20/40 MHz or change it to 20 or 40?

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On 24/11/2021 at 06:02, yoco said:

Any suggestions what's a good mesh system? I'll be honest, I didn't hear about it until now!

When I set channels manually, I used WiFi Analyzer app on my phone which showed no congestion.

 

Should I leave "Channel bandwidth" to 20/40 MHz or change it to 20 or 40?

20/40 and automatic channels are good.  Leaving 5ghz on is good, and it's the only way you'll get 802.11AC off the C6.

 

I don't know who you'd have available for mesh.  I'd highly recommend Eero to most everyone but I can't say how well they support your area.

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If you want to test if you are still connected to the lower signal access point that is farther away, just turn off WIFI on your device and turn it back on when you are right next to your router.  It should grab that stronger signal and show full bars signal.  If it doesn't something is wrong with your router.

Asus has a option called roaming assistant.  You can set it to drop connections when they get lower than a certain level.  It works pretty good for me, but this won't help with the Archer unless it has something similiar.

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Device switching to different AP is on the client..  With current AP and wifi protocols there are some mechanisms to help the client decide which AP to connect too..  One method as mentioned is kind of brute force method of hey client signal is too low - disconnect him, and he should connect to different AP with better signal.

 

Its good that you changed the channels to not overlap - but did you adjust the power output.. 5ghz is going to be better at this to be honest because its range is lower.. If your client is on 2.4 and still sees AP 1 with what it feels is ok connection, its not going to switch.. You should adjust down your power output to not be full blast, so that your coverage of signal strength makes it easier for the client to see hey this AP over his is much better.

 

You can also look to setting the clients roaming aggressiveness.  But really I would just turn off 2.4 and only use 5 if all your clients support that.  Or run them both and turn way down the 2.4 power, quite possible that client could say hey this AP I am on via 2.4 is worse than this other AP I now see on 5ghz..

 

802.11k and v are 2 newer protocols to help with clients roaming.  There is also r which allows for faster transition to another AP..

 

But to be honest some cheap wifi soho wifi routers unlikely to support these newer protocols k,v and or r..

 

Some mesh systems could really help - especially if they do any sort of power setting of output or use newer protocols to help client move to better AP.  Good coverage wifi does take a little understand of how it all works, and proper equipment.  I actually have 3 AP in my small house..  Power is set correctly on them - and as I move about my house clients easy flip to more appropriate AP.

 

I see events in my wifi controller for when they move about

examples

Iphone-13 roams from channel 6 to channel 149 at Hallway
Iphone-13 roams from Hallway to Kitchen from channel 149 to channel 36 on SSID "snipped"

 

You can see where I flipped from 2.4 to AC, and also when I moved from the hallway AP to the kitchen as I moved my phone from my computer room to at the kitchen table.

 

If your having hard time with your clients moving between the best AP.. You could always set your SSIDs to be different for each AP and each band.. And manually flip your client to the best one.. This is PITA..  Its best to spend some money, and spend some time on correctly configuring for best wifi..  I see 400Mbps on my wifi devices no matter where I am in the house..

 

I would prob get rid of that old N only router - ugghh N..  The latest wifi 6 is AX, and way faster and superior to old 2.4 or N even on 5ghz or even AC.. Now depending your clients might not actually support AX.. But if your going to move to new wifi, should prob look at something that is current for future proofing as your devices are upgraded.  Most likely any modern phone would support AX, and new PCs and laptops would also support AX.. 

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wow, thank you for your reply! :)

 

How do I know if my asus supports 802.11k? Is it under "wireless mode"? Which only says auto, N only, Legacy!

How and where do I adjust power output?

If I'd get rid of Asus N router, which one would you recommend?

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On 24/11/2021 at 10:25, yoco said:

wow, thank you for your reply! :)

 

How do I know if my asus supports 802.11k? Is it under "wireless mode"? Which only says auto, N only, Legacy!

How and where do I adjust power output?

If I'd get rid of Asus N router, which one would you recommend?

N/AC/AX are the main standards, the others are improvements

Quote

The 802.11k standard provides information to discover the best available access point.

And so on.  None of them guarantee your device will switch off its current option, but it will be more capable of doing so when necessary.

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On 24/11/2021 at 12:28, Nope said:

How do I know if my asus supports 802.11k?

I can pretty much promise you it doesn't ;)

 

On 24/11/2021 at 12:28, Nope said:

None of them guarantee your device will switch off its current option

Very true - as I stated the decision for a client to roam to a different AP is going to be a client decision.. All these added protocols can do is help the client do that..   Other than some brute force method of say min RSSI levels being set and the AP telling the client to go away be disconnecting it.. 

 

But these fancy new features can pretty much promise not going to be something stand alone wifi router, now possible in new mesh systems yeah might be there.. But there really is no way some soho N wifi router would support them.

 

So you can either work with what you have and adjust your power settings, and maybe change settings on your client for more aggressive roaming.  Or you would need to update to a modern wifi deployment that provides some possible aids to your clients roaming, etc.

 

But with power levels set correctly for your layout - clients should choose to move to the better signal on their own very simple.  But clients love to stick to same AP.. So if your blasting 2.4 signals, client is prob not going to move away from AP 1 to AP 2 also on 2.4 unless its signal to AP 1 is just beyond horrible or gone.

 

There is a common misconception with wifi that HIGHER transmit on the AP is a good thing.. When normally it causes issues.

 

Here I have 2.4 all set to low, and 5ghz just set at medium

 

power.jpg.3f71dc27d858af8c008a1aa62b25d3bb.jpg

 

You can clients are all connected with really high signals..  I have 30 some wifi connected devices.  Lots of light blubs which only support 2.4

 

devices.thumb.jpg.fd2ac2fb241b6eae33953252a863f118.jpg

 

I would really suggest is you get rid of the old N device, and get either AC to go along with the AC device your doing now or AX capable device.

 

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I have no experience with that router, but at least it AX, and says it supports asus mesh stuff so you could prob add nodes to it.

 

But off the cuff I would say that would be heads or tails better than your old N router sure ;)

 

Is it something I would run on my network - prob not ;) I run my own router (pfsense on a netgate sg4860) with AP from unifi. But it for sure would be a major improvement over some old N router.

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@+BudMan, does router I posted above has better range than my N router? The store I found it online has really good reviews. One person even mentioned, he has great signal over his thick walls.

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Yes modern router supporting MU-MIMO will also use beamforming which can help with range and OFDMA is overall help for wifi performance.

 

I wouldn't doubt that at least if you have some modern clients as well that your overall performance of your wifi would be much better with modern technologies.

 

Even older wifi clients while might not see an overall range increase - the better airtime use of these modern technologies can see overall better wifi for even older devices mixed in with your modern devices.

 

Beamforming was available in some older N routers even - it was almost always some proprietary implementation and might or might not have helped with some clients, etc.

 

I would be pretty flabbergasted if you didn't see overall better wifi moving to modern tech.. Now this specific router, I have again no experience with it.  But if it support the features it says and is not just a total POS ;)    then yeah you should have better wifi.  Unless you have is old crappy N and G devices? ;)

 

I would prob get rid of your other router - how exactly do you have this connected, its wired to your network and using it as just AP?  Or is it doing some sort of extender feature - which is almost always going to be bad experience, when not done correctly via another band or radio, extending or repeating wifi is going to be a performance hit.  Modern correctly done mesh that use wifi uplink to the network use a different radio or at least band for connection to the other wifi nodes, and different for the clients.  This can be done with say 2.4 being use for the wifi uplink, and 5ghz being used for clients connecting to that AP/Node in a wifi mesh setup.

 

if you need more coverage than this newer router you linked to can provide at the performance levels you want - you can looking into adding to it via the asus mesh stuff.

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Not a fan of tplink to be honest (their entry level smart switches have had serious issues with vlans in the past).  But since this isn't going to be doing vlans it could be great product. But again I have no experience with that one either.  It could be fine - what is the cost difference.  You would have to compare specific features..

 

To be honest, any major player current modern wifi router is prob going to be way better than your ancient N router. 

 

Features I would look for is 3rd party support, can it run 3rd party firmware.  This would be a big one for me.  2nd would prob be can it also do mesh, ie can you add nodes and enable mesh.  This one mentions that it can do that as well.

 

Other than that they really should have a very common feature list.  So unless there is something specific your looking for that isn't available on the other one - prob come down to price.. Is there much of a difference in cost?

 

One thing say about tplink, they are always normally cost friendly compared to other brands.

 

You might have better input from others here that have actually used both or 1 of those devices.  I haven't actually personally used a soho router in years!! And the only possible way I would run one is my ###### caught fire or something and needed to go to the local store to get "something" so I could get online.  But it would be off my network as fast as I could replace it ;)

 

If I was in need/want of replacing my router and APs currently.  I would go with a netgate sg6100 for the router and prob a mix of the unifi U6-Pro-US and U6-LR-US models.  But until there is a new AP with 2.5ge uplinks I will stick with what I have.  The current APs I have currently can handle my internet 500mbps, see 400 without any issues.  And I only currently have 1 device that can even do AX

 

My current APs do not support wpa3 personal fast roaming, which is a bit disappointing but doesn't justify cost of new devices at this current time.  I can do wpa3, but issue is none of the iot sort of devices support it.  So while I can use it on my trusted wifi network, can't really use it for any of my other vlans.  Other than a transition mode where both wpa2 and wpa3 are supported.. And that really isn't a good configuration to be honest.

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