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Author Topic: WiFi Issues at my house...  (Read 5101 times)

Scott Carneval

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WiFi Issues at my house...
« on: September 09, 2016, 11:33:20 am »

I live in a roughly 3500sqft 3 story single family home, which we bought about 4 months ago. I have a Time Warner modem/router/ap all in one device which I asked them to put in bridge mode when they installed it, but I found out later they did not. I also have a Meraki MX60 router and 2 Meraki MR18 AP's, one on the first floor, and one on the 3rd floor. The wifi signal is great throughout the house, but the speeds are sometimes intermittent. It seems to work fine on the 3rd floor (where there is very little congestion) but can be spotty on the 1st floor, and so-so on the 2nd floor. 

I also have DirecTV with their wireless Genie receivers. There's a main receiver on the 3rd floor which is hard wired to the dish, and then there are 2 wireless receivers on the 2nd floor and 1 wireless receiver on the 1st floor. There is a 'wireless bridge' on the first floor, which I believe is nothing more than a DirecTV branded wireless access point/router. It gives off an SSID which my phone can pick up, but it's secured and I was never given the password. I suspect we're not supposed to tamper with this network.

I also have an ADT alarm, which was installed about a month ago. I didn't realize this until after it was installed, but they added ANOTHER AP/Router, which I believe is how all of their wireless window sensors communicate. They had an option for wireless cameras and a wireless keypad upstairs, but we didn't get those.

All of these devices are in a closet on the first floor, with the exception of the 3rd floor AP.

I'm having two issues:

1. The DirecTV is almost unwatchable. The wireless boxes consistently freeze, almost as if it's buffering the video. I don't get any error messages on the screen, and it usually starts playing again after about 3-15 seconds. This happens at least every 5 minutes, if not more often. It happens on every channel. DirecTV is supposed to come out today to address this.

2. The wifi speeds are spotty at best.

I suspect both of these issues are due to the FOUR separate WiFi devices in my 1st floor closet. The problem is I have zero control over three of them. Is there anything I can do to help isolate them from each other? Would moving them further apart help? Wrap them in tin foil? Maybe the wireless mic trick where you keep them in separate trays?

I don't think this is something that DirecTV, TWC, or ADT could 'fix', as all of their devices are working properly by themselves. I know I need to get the TWC modem back into bridge mode, but last time I asked them to do it over the phone the whole network stopped working, and I didn't have the patience to continue the call, so I just had them put it back the way it was.

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Bob Charest

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 02:46:05 pm »


...these issues are due to the FOUR separate WiFi devices in my 1st floor closet. The problem is I have zero control over three of them. Is there anything I can do to help isolate them from each other? Would moving them further apart help? Wrap them in tin foil? Maybe the wireless mic trick where you keep them in separate trays? ...
Hi Scott,

I wonder if your getting co-channel interference between the 4 devices. If you've got an android device, there's a great Android app that shows all wireless networks (both 2.4 & 5Ghz) and you can see if either assigned or auto-sensed channels are overlapping. The app is wifi Analyzer and it's great to use.

The kind of thing I'm talking about is when you've got (for example) a channel set on (2.4Ghz) channel 6 & 9 instead of 6 and 11. When you've got 6 & 9 they overlap at the edges of their footprint. I just got a used router for a spare, and, after I reset it, Wifi Analyzer showed that it is automatically set to channel 9. As I've got two sources already on channels 6 & 11, there's a certain amount of overlap between all 3 channels... Just one example.

This might not be it, but it's worth checking out.

Best regards,
Bob Charest
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Daniel Levi

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 03:35:35 pm »

Another option (if you don't have any SW listeners in the vicinity) is some powerline access points with an ethernet only one plugged into the main modem/router. The powerline access points are small give you some ethernet ports and can be essentially plugged in anywhere that goes back to the same panel. Got some at a relatives where reception in the house is impossible in some rooms and the summer house and they work beautifully, some can even mimic the main WiFi so it all acts as one access point.
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Jason Joseph

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 03:57:23 pm »

yeah I would separate the channels from whatever routers you can control. If the direct tv has the option use the 5ghz spectrum...
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Scott Carneval

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 12:59:21 pm »

Thanks for the help so far. DirecTV came out to troubleshoot and ended up replacing the main 'Genie' receiver, and that cleared up all of the issues with the TV's freezing. I'm going to keep an eye on the wifi and next time it acts up I'm going to plug a hard ethernet line into my laptop to compare wifi vs wired. It might just be an issue with the ISP speeds taking a hit at peak hours. I'll also have them put thier modem into bridge mode.

I don't have an android device so I can't run that wifi analyzer app, but I can probably have a friend come try it. It used to be available on iOS but for some reason they pulled it.
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Rob Spence

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 07:46:19 pm »

Thanks for the help so far. DirecTV came out to troubleshoot and ended up replacing the main 'Genie' receiver, and that cleared up all of the issues with the TV's freezing. I'm going to keep an eye on the wifi and next time it acts up I'm going to plug a hard ethernet line into my laptop to compare wifi vs wired. It might just be an issue with the ISP speeds taking a hit at peak hours. I'll also have them put thier modem into bridge mode.

I don't have an android device so I can't run that wifi analyzer app, but I can probably have a friend come try it. It used to be available on iOS but for some reason they pulled it.

I am curious why you want the ISPs box in bridge mode so much?

I am likely a minority but my habit is to always have the WIFI on any ISP supplied box disabled and put in my own router/firewall/wifi that I can manage. I set NAT on the WAN connection and ignore what ever configuration the ISP sets.

If I have other vendors wanting to install there own WIFI, they either have to explain how they will not interfere.
Are they connecting to your internet connection?



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Bob Charest

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 09:07:43 pm »

... I don't have an android device so I can't run that wifi analyzer app, but I can probably have a friend come try it. It used to be available on iOS but for some reason they pulled it.

Yes - that was a drag. Said it violated some terms of app behavior. I bought a small Android tablet just so I could have the app as nothing else did it as well that I knew of.

Best regards,
Bob
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 02:45:15 am »

I am curious why you want the ISPs box in bridge mode so much?

I am likely a minority but my habit is to always have the WIFI on any ISP supplied box disabled and put in my own router/firewall/wifi that I can manage. I set NAT on the WAN connection and ignore what ever configuration the ISP sets.

If I have other vendors wanting to install there own WIFI, they either have to explain how they will not interfere.
Are they connecting to your internet connection?



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I agree on the bridge mode.  Disable wifi and bridge.  This avoids double NAT as you get a public IP from the carriers DHCP server.

Cable companies seem to have a stupid long lease on IP's too.  I have had the same IP at the house for a couple of years.

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Rob Spence

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 10:26:12 am »

I agree on the bridge mode.  Disable wifi and bridge.  This avoids double NAT as you get a public IP from the carriers DHCP server.

Cable companies seem to have a stupid long lease on IP's too.  I have had the same IP at the house for a couple of years.

Not having double NAT is preferred from a purity perspective but given the relative speed between processing the double NAT and the speed of the Internet connection, I think it is a moot point and having any special setup on the ISP will create a future problem when they inadvertently reset it.

My $0.02


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Cailen Waddell

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 10:40:24 am »

Not having double NAT is preferred from a purity perspective but given the relative speed between processing the double NAT and the speed of the Internet connection, I think it is a moot point and having any special setup on the ISP will create a future problem when they inadvertently reset it.

My $0.02


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Except when you have ports open for devices in your house, and the double nat becomes a pain in the ass.  I mean I suppose you could put your personal router in the DMZ of the cable companies router...

Otoh, the easy thing to do is ditch the combo unit and just get a good reliable cable modem without all the bullshit bells and whistles. 


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Scott Holtzman

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 01:25:16 pm »

Not having double NAT is preferred from a purity perspective but given the relative speed between processing the double NAT and the speed of the Internet connection, I think it is a moot point and having any special setup on the ISP will create a future problem when they inadvertently reset it.

My $0.02


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As Cailen pointed out it makes it a pain to open ports for security and other services.  It breaks UPNP so your kids XBOX voice chat won't work.

Double NAT breaks almost any point to point UDP protocol such as VoIP (lot's of folks work at home and use VoIP phones from home).

I could come up with more examples.

As we see more applications coded with WebRTP support these issues will become as much an anarchism as me, however for today having a real outside IP on the untrusted side of your router/firewall/security thing-a-ma-jig is the way to go.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Scott Carneval

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 01:42:21 pm »

I am curious why you want the ISPs box in bridge mode so much?

I am likely a minority but my habit is to always have the WIFI on any ISP supplied box disabled and put in my own router/firewall/wifi that I can manage. I set NAT on the WAN connection and ignore what ever configuration the ISP sets.

If I have other vendors wanting to install there own WIFI, they either have to explain how they will not interfere.
Are they connecting to your internet connection?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

I could be wrong, but I've always understood bridge mode to mean disabling the wifi and disabling the routing, so the all-in-one device essentially becomes just a modem.

DirecTV is not connecting their 'wireless bridge' to my internet. It's wifi network is used solely to transport video between the different wireless receivers. However, the main Genie receiver IS connected to my internet. I don't believe their wireless bridge 'sees' that internet, but I could be wrong.

ADT uses a cellular modem/router/AP. I asked if they were going to hook it to my wifi but they said that was too unreliable. He said they connect to Verizon and AT&T for redundancy. I don't have a landline at home.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 01:52:19 pm »

Otoh, the easy thing to do is ditch the combo unit and just get a good reliable cable modem without all the bullshit bells and whistles. 

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I originally wanted to do this, but I don't want to be in a situation where my internet is down/slow/otherwise acting up, and I call Time Warner to troubleshoot and they have an opportunity to blame my third party modem. I'd rather them have full responsibility for getting it into the house.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 01:54:59 pm »

As Cailen pointed out it makes it a pain to open ports for security and other services.  It breaks UPNP so your kids XBOX voice chat won't work.

Double NAT breaks almost any point to point UDP protocol such as VoIP (lot's of folks work at home and use VoIP phones from home).

I could come up with more examples.

As we see more applications coded with WebRTP support these issues will become as much an anarchism as me, however for today having a real outside IP on the untrusted side of your router/firewall/security thing-a-ma-jig is the way to go.

I wasn't aware of the VoIP issue, but I do have VoIP phones at the office and I've thought about bringing one home. Guess I would have been in for a surprise there.

Right now very few of the cloud management functions of my Meraki network are working, and I know it's because of the double NAT situation. Since it's my house I don't really NEED to manage it remotely, but it would be nice to get it working as intended.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 03:13:07 pm »

Doesn't everyone have a dumb cable modem and an Enterprise Security Appilance

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Working from home today.  I have a manger switch and terminate my work VPN in this box too.  It's the gateway for all the vlans:

Work
Guest
Home
Security and Automation
Voice
Test net

« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 03:16:32 pm by Scott Holtzman »
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 10:34:05 pm »

I originally wanted to do this, but I don't want to be in a situation where my internet is down/slow/otherwise acting up, and I call Time Warner to troubleshoot and they have an opportunity to blame my third party modem. I'd rather them have full responsibility for getting it into the house.

If you go to time warner and demand a modem only - they will give you one (if they have any). 

I'm about to, because the ubee POS that I got from TWC so I could get 200/20mb service doesn't pass the ip renew command thru correctly and freezes once a week....


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Scott Holtzman

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2016, 12:34:04 am »

If you go to time warner and demand a modem only - they will give you one (if they have any). 

I'm about to, because the ubee POS that I got from TWC so I could get 200/20mb service doesn't pass the ip renew command thru correctly and freezes once a week....


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I am jealous of your 20M upload.  We don't have that service in our area yet.  Is it DOCSIS 3 bonded or something else?

I am very happy with the Motorola DOCSIS 3 modem.  It was less than $100 at Best Buy, cheaper that I could get from Amazon at the time. It's rock solid.

I do miss having the DOCSIS 2 interface in the router, at that time I had a Cisco 1800.  Now they only support Cisco Enterprise stuff on Business Class. 

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2016, 07:34:49 am »

I am jealous of your 20M upload.  We don't have that service in our area yet.  Is it DOCSIS 3 bonded or something else?

I am very happy with the Motorola DOCSIS 3 modem.  It was less than $100 at Best Buy, cheaper that I could get from Amazon at the time. It's rock solid.

I do miss having the DOCSIS 2 interface in the router, at that time I had a Cisco 1800.  Now they only support Cisco Enterprise stuff on Business Class.

Yes docsis 3...   I had a v3 modem but it only had (I think) 8 channel bonding, and they wanted me to upgrade to one that could do 32 channel binding.

We are very lucky to be in an area that has att uverse and time warner.  Google fiber is also rolling out and started signing up customers (not interest but customers) on Monday.  Att has started offering a gig service and fiber to the premises in some neighborhoods.   It's nice there is competition.  I can call and threaten to leave and get my bill lowered. 


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Scott Carneval

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WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2016, 08:22:24 am »

If you go to time warner and demand a modem only - they will give you one (if they have any). 

I'm about to, because the ubee POS that I got from TWC so I could get 200/20mb service doesn't pass the ip renew command thru correctly and freezes once a week....


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I had never considered asking for just a modem. Good idea. I think they thought they were doing me a favor with the all-in-one.

About a month ago I ran a speed test and was getting 0.02 down and 0.00 up. I pay for 300/30, but in reality it's less than half that. I called TWC and they were able to remote into my modem and fix it. I'd rather not lose that ability.


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« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 08:25:47 am by Scott Carneval »
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Scott Carneval

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WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2016, 08:22:58 am »

Double post, please delete
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 08:26:19 am by Scott Carneval »
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2016, 08:30:41 am »



About a month ago I ran a speed test and was getting 0.02 down and 0.00 up. I pay for 300/30, but in reality it's less than half that. I called TWC and they were able to remote into my modem and fix it. I'd rather not lose that ability.


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They still can.



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Scott Carneval

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Re: WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2016, 08:36:54 am »

They still can.



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But only on one of their own modems, right?


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David Sturzenbecher

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WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2016, 08:43:31 am »

Nope, I bought my modem at Walmart as my previous took a dump in the middle of a work day. The new modem was on my ISPs approved list, and I simply called them once I had the box installed, they activated it, and haven't had any issue since.


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WiFi Issues at my house...
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2016, 08:43:31 am »


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