Computers & Electronics

Unstable home network due to interference?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 14th, 2018 11:36 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
1926 posts
299 upvotes
Toronto

Unstable home network due to interference?

I have this modem router smart rg sr505n in my basement on a FTTN connection. I notice that throughout the day, the ping time from my computer to the modem could be as high as 3000ms, and it should normally be <1ms. As a result, even 480p youtube video streaming is choppy from time to time. I had this modem on the first floor before and never experienced this issue. So I have been suspecting there are some interference in the basement causing it. What is a good way to find out? I do notice that there are a few exposed wires near my modem, left behind by a bell technician who was doing some tests. Not sure they could be causing issues.
7 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 14, 2009
1280 posts
514 upvotes
1. you did not specified if connections are wired, wifi or all above.

2. Any metal house parts, electrical wires and electrical appliances
affects wifi, as well as increased distance to basement location.

3. wired lines are much better protected but also can be affected by
electrical lines running along.

4. For wifi, if there is such possibility, try to
move router around in basement to get better signal
upstairs. I saw moving even 1 meter side-way helped in one case.

5. With your router now downstairs, strong signals from
near-by houses may interfere with your weaker signal.
Possible fix: Moving router itself and its antennas,
increase power of router (if possible by software),
changing channels and channel bandwidth (20/40).
More involved solution would be returning router back to
main floor or setting up wifi repeater or even mesh network.

A.
Member
Mar 29, 2015
229 posts
73 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
My mom had one of those smart rg routers and it wasn't very good at all. I could connect my laptop to use as a router through ethernet and the connection would be vastly better than the built in wifi.
Like the poster above, I'm sure it was the relocation to the basement that is causing the interference that I'm assuming is through wifi. Easiest solution would be to move the router back to where it was good before or get a new better router. There are deals on routers every week or so, so it shouldn't be too expensive.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
1926 posts
299 upvotes
Toronto
Its a WIFI connection.

I have tried installing a wifi extender on the first floor, but that didn't help. The extender is getting strong signal from the modem in the basement. The computers on the 2nd floor are getting strong signals from the wifi extender.

There isn't an easy way to connect a network cable from the 2nd floor all the way to the basement.

I m suspecting the tiny exposed wires near the modem, but how to I 'close' them off? electric tapes?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 14, 2009
1280 posts
514 upvotes
zero_ wrote: Its a WIFI connection.

I have tried installing a wifi extender on the first floor, but that didn't help. The extender is getting strong signal from the modem in the basement. The computers on the 2nd floor are getting strong signals from the wifi extender.

There isn't an easy way to connect a network cable from the 2nd floor all the way to the basement.

I m suspecting the tiny exposed wires near the modem, but how to I 'close' them off? electric tapes?

1. several simple test may clarify the situation:

1.1 bring computer down to basement and check wifi strength, speed and ping
from several meters.

1.2 while in basement -- connect the computer directly by wire and
test ping and speed. Functional test -- like watching hi-resolution video
and gaiming may tell you what works and what not.

1.3 check wifi signal on second floor while move router around
the basement (1 - 5 meters), move antennas.
By moving router, you may find spots with less interference.
Look around: do you have 2.4 Hz phones around? microwave?
Any wires (not only left by Bell) may affect wifi.

2. The next is simple decision matrix:

if result for direct wire is still bad -- problem is in new basement installation -- fix router setup or call Bell.
if result for wire is good but for 2 meters wifi is bad -- problem in wifi setup -- fix/adjust router setup
if near-by wifi is OK -- problem is in weak signal over 2 floors -- several solutions, most
of them already mentioned above: stronger router, move router back to 1-rs floor, etc.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2787 upvotes
Got a phone? Install an app like WiFi Analyzer. It will help you figure out if there are other interfering WiFi networks in your area, and how your own network's signal strength varies compared to the others as you try various ways of improving it.

Two minor weaknesses in relying on this tool though:

1. It doesn't measure non-WiFi interference in the same band. There are many wireless devices that use the 2.4 GHz band.

2. It doesn't show how busy the competing networks are, only their signal strength. A network that isn't very busy won't generate much actual interference. There are other utilities that can show traffic on one WiFi channel at a time, but you usually need a laptop to run them.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
1926 posts
299 upvotes
Toronto
What was stated make sense. I end up using electric tape to tape off all the tiny exposed wires near the modem in the basement, and the ping time seems to have stabilized to under 10ms for the past hour. I shall continue to monitor the situation.

I have installed the wifi analyzer app and it shows the wifi network is between channel 9 to 12. There are about 10 other wifi networks in the area, with much weaker signals, switching across from channel 1 to 12. It appears my wifi network is the only one that stays in the same channel range. What can I do with these information?
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2787 upvotes
zero_ wrote: I have installed the wifi analyzer app and it shows the wifi network is between channel 9 to 12. There are about 10 other wifi networks in the area, with much weaker signals, switching across from channel 1 to 12. It appears my wifi network is the only one that stays in the same channel range. What can I do with these information?
Move your WiFi router around a little and change the orientation while monitoring the signal strength at key locations with WiFi Analyzer. You may discover that you get better signal strength at those key locations even by just moving your router a couple of feet or rotating it 90 degrees.

Top