Asus N56U Wireless Network Problems

Marvt74

Active Member
I know there are piles of wireless network thread around here but they all seem to be slightly different to the point that it warrants creating a new thread.

We currently live in a mid terraced house and get 60mb internet from Virgin. About 6 months ago after many problems with our home network and after searching online it seemed the best option was to buy a separate router and use the Virgin Superhub in modem only mode.

Off I went and bought an Asus N56U router. Set it all up and it was fantastic.

My stepson who games online a lot stopped complaining of connection/speed issues
Our boxee box stopped stopping and buffering every 10 minutes
Transferring files to my server seemed to jump from about 4mb/s to 6mb/s

All seemed great. Up until about 2 weeks ago when we started having problems again. The Network would show in Windows as having full signal yet sometimes it either wouldn’t connect or would show as being connected yet not actually let you do anything networky. Along with random disconnections.

I updated to the latest firmware for the router (3.0.0.4.260) but that seemed to cause even more problems. It would be great for 30 minutes after rebooting the router but then it would disconnect and not let us do anything. So I went and downloaded the Padavan firmware which everyone seemed to rave about. I really like the UI of the firmware when connected to the router now but it seems the same problems are recurring – Regular disconnections, slow speeds even when showing full strength connections.

I’ve always been a fan of inSSIDer and this showing around -40dba connection strength and shows not much other traffic causing interference. Running Speedtest (I understand this is internet only and not network based) I seem to be able to vary from a ping of 5 and download speeds of 60mb right down to a ping of 130 and download speeds of 18.

I think that a big part of the problem is due to the number of devices connected to the network. Heres a list of everything, although obviously not always connected at the same time

1 x Home Server (wired connection)
1 x Gaming PC
3 x laptops
4 x iphones
2 x tablets (Ipad and Asus Transformer)
3 x squeezebox music players
2 x Video media players (Boxee Box and Apple TV with XBMC)


Is there anything I can do to improve my home network?

Current plans are either

1.Buy a pack of homeplugs, one for my sons pc, one for the boxee box and one for near the router. Am I right in thinking that should remove most of the traffic from the wireless network and help other devices? Also if i connect 2 devices through them do i need 2 at the router end?

2.Buy a new router and then use my 56U elsewhere in the house as an access point to help boost the signal (whilst it's only a terrace house the walls are very thick brick) although.


It seems weird that the issues have just started recently after working so well for months but i just can't see whats changed.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Classic symptoms of interference issues. There's an FAQ in this forum about wi-fi Interference. InSSIDer only shows wi-fi access points (including AP's built into routers) it doesn't show any other wi-fi devices, nor an non-wi-fi sources of interference such as baby monitors, video senders, car alarms, etc. InSSIDer certainly doesn't show "traffic" - it's only looking at AP beacons (service advertisments - essentially the AP "I am here" adverts) AP's send out periodically.

Unburdening the wi-fi airwaves from some of your devices will leave more bandwidth available for those that remain. In wi-fi LAN's only on thing at a time can transmit. There's no sense of "fairness" in this, everthing has to compete for the airwaves and the more there is, the more they have to fight each other.

Creating multiple coverage cells helps sort this out because you can tune the different cells radio frequncies so each cell reduces (or even eliminates) interference with it's neighbours and also you're splitting up the number of devices in each cell so that they get more of the available airtime and thus better individual and aggregate throughput. The "only one thing at a time can transmit" only applies within each cell. Thus multiple cells facilitiate multiple concurrent transmissions.

There's an FAQ on HomePlugs in this forum, but IIRC you ony need one at your router - they don't work in "pairs." However, I don't have any so check out the FAQ for chapter and verse.

You don't need a new "router" to create additional coverage areas. Wi-fi is availed by Access Points - there is an AP built in to a SOHO router. Have a read of the background information in the "using two routers together/Extending Wi-fi" FAQ for further details.
 
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