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TheVisualFeast

R2 WiFi instability

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Hi Guys, 

Pretty happy with the R2 so far, but the wireless performance has been an issue from the start. My R2 replaced an R1 + Netgear EX6150v2 in AP mode. Since the R2 arrived I've been experiencing (within ~3 metres) slow performance across multiple devices.

To test this I compared the R2 (5Ghz on channel 40) against the R2 (WiFi off) with the 6150v2 on the same channel in AP mode. 

I measured first hop ICMP packet loss from my laptop (flipped between the AP and R2, which were next to each other). Whilst under standard load both units performed very well (3-5ms), however the spikes encountered on both units differed widely. The 6150 spiked to approx 20-30ms a few times in a minute, the R2 spiked to 1500-2000ms also a few times in a minute, but sometimes more. I expect spikes in WiFi, but the R2 numbers really had a negative impact on user experience. 

I repeated the tests a few times with my laptop in the same position flipping between the two test beds (never both presenting wireless at the same time). The results were consistent each time.

Now I know this testing isn't perfect (gateway ping -t), but it does seem to indicate some issue leading to huge increases in spike latency.

Let me know if I can provide any further details.

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We are working on significant improvements for WiFi at the moment so this should be available soon. I have sent you a PM with something that should help in the meantime. Also try channel 36 for 5GHz as it has more power.

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I've tested a beta build and there was a slight improvement, no more 1500-2000ms spikes, however i still get around ~3% packet loss during testing. Conversely when testing the AP, I get no packet loss.

I've experimented with different channels but 40 is only shared with one other at distant range and gives the best results, 36 is very busy (looks like a Sky default from the SSID names). I've not tested the DFS channels

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So I've tested a couple of builds now and can safely say none have really helped the issue. I do get a strong signal from the device (better signal strength than my AP), but the latency and packet loss really do let the R2 down.

Tried various widths and channels but to be honest, I'm comparing two units with the same configuration, so environmental factors are not really the issue.

One other slightly annoying thing (from a testing perspective) is the R2 seems to continue to broadcast WiFi even after disabled. I had to reboot the router after every disable to ensure the channels didn't collide with the AP. This is not something I found with the initial firmware shipped with the device (3.0.123).

 

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If you haven't already do a factory reset to prevent any legacy issues carrying over so it's a fresh install. Don't use mirror mode and make sure you change the 5G name so you connect to that when doing speed tests

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2 hours ago, TheVisualFeast said:

I'll try the factory reset (which is a little frustrating without config export functionality). I already split the 2.4G and 5G into different SSID's. 

 

I'll let you know 

You never want a saved config loaded when you factory reset as it can carry code over and cause issues. It’s best to always set up as new from a reset which is not unique to the R2 and most routers require this.

split the channels and if you use the AP along side insure it’s channels are separate to that of the R2 or it increases channel utilisation which creates performance issues.

I would scan for neighbouring channels as well so that you can pick a channel as free as possible on both your 2.4 and 5 GHz. 
 

are you in a built up area with lots of WiFi around you?

 

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On 8/28/2020 at 9:40 AM, Newfie said:

You never want a saved config loaded when you factory reset as it can carry code over and cause issues. It’s best to always set up as new from a reset which is not unique to the R2 and most routers require this.

split the channels and if you use the AP along side insure it’s channels are separate to that of the R2 or it increases channel utilisation which creates performance issues.

I would scan for neighbouring channels as well so that you can pick a channel as free as possible on both your 2.4 and 5 GHz. 
 

are you in a built up area with lots of WiFi around you?

 

Apologies, might not have explained correctly what I was trying to highlight, because channel selection, splitting channels and general noise is not the issue.

This is a straight up comparison between the R2 with WiFi enabled (5Ghz, channel 40) against an R2 (WiFi disabled) + AP (5Ghz, channel 40) located next to each other and not broadcasting at the same time. The results are widely different, not in favour of the R2.

On the backup config front, I'm afraid I don't agree with you here. Whilst you may not want to restore a saved config in every scenario, you want the option. The issue here is clearly not one of configuration because the tests mirrored each other.

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10 hours ago, TheVisualFeast said:

Apologies, might not have explained correctly what I was trying to highlight, because channel selection, splitting channels and general noise is not the issue.

This is a straight up comparison between the R2 with WiFi enabled (5Ghz, channel 40) against an R2 (WiFi disabled) + AP (5Ghz, channel 40) located next to each other and not broadcasting at the same time. The results are widely different, not in favour of the R2.

On the backup config front, I'm afraid I don't agree with you here. Whilst you may not want to restore a saved config in every scenario, you want the option. The issue here is clearly not one of configuration because the tests mirrored each other.

Backup configs use code that can effect a code that’s changed, it’s a well known issue with routers. It’s a royal pain but there’s an article on smallnetbuilders by Merlin that you can search out to find out more.

Are you in a built up area with lots of neighbouring WiFi?

 

 

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Is there any way I could get a PM with a solution to wifi instability as well? 

Sometimes connections to my devices drop for tablets and what not.

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14 hours ago, TheVisualFeast said:

Apologies, might not have explained correctly what I was trying to highlight, because channel selection, splitting channels and general noise is not the issue.

This is a straight up comparison between the R2 with WiFi enabled (5Ghz, channel 40) against an R2 (WiFi disabled) + AP (5Ghz, channel 40) located next to each other and not broadcasting at the same time. The results are widely different, not in favour of the R2.

On the backup config front, I'm afraid I don't agree with you here. Whilst you may not want to restore a saved config in every scenario, you want the option. The issue here is clearly not one of configuration because the tests mirrored each other.

I think the R2 just has very weak wifi. I have tried using the same settings as my previous router (which is 7 years old) but the speeds are poor and inconsistent in comparison and I also have devices that randomly disconnect from the 5g. I have tried many different channels and widths but nothing has improved it. I do have many AP's near by (I live in an apartment) but according to wifi analysers nothing is conflicting with my channel and even if it was, why can my previous router penetrate 2 walls and still max out my connection every single time vs the R2 which is only separated by 1 wall and has never maxed it out?

Not sure if this is something that can be fixed with firmware, you'd think it would be optimised as much as possible from the beginning so my hopes aren't high this can be fixed

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11 hours ago, VenomedFangs said:

Is there any way I could get a PM with a solution to wifi instability as well? 

Sometimes connections to my devices drop for tablets and what not.

Sent a PM.

1 hour ago, johnnytran said:

I think the R2 just has very weak wifi. I have tried using the same settings as my previous router (which is 7 years old) but the speeds are poor and inconsistent in comparison and I also have devices that randomly disconnect from the 5g. I have tried many different channels and widths but nothing has improved it. I do have many AP's near by (I live in an apartment) but according to wifi analysers nothing is conflicting with my channel and even if it was, why can my previous router penetrate 2 walls and still max out my connection every single time vs the R2 which is only separated by 1 wall and has never maxed it out?

Not sure if this is something that can be fixed with firmware, you'd think it would be optimised as much as possible from the beginning so my hopes aren't high this can be fixed

I'm certain we will be able to get it more stable and get better performance out of it. 

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On 8/30/2020 at 9:48 PM, Newfie said:

Backup configs use code that can effect a code that’s changed, it’s a well known issue with routers. It’s a royal pain but there’s an article on smallnetbuilders by Merlin that you can search out to find out more.

Are you in a built up area with lots of neighbouring WiFi?

 

 

I wouldn't say built up, possibly 8 other AP's in the 5Ghz range, only one other taking up channel 40, with a weak signal.

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9 hours ago, TheVisualFeast said:

I wouldn't say built up, possibly 8 other AP's in the 5Ghz range, only one other taking up channel 40, with a weak signal.

Is there any electrical equipment near the R2 Including a modem? 

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12 hours ago, Newfie said:

Is there any electrical equipment near the R2 Including a modem? 

Yeah it's in a TV cabinet shared with a few other devices. But considering I'm comparing two units in the same place, I can't see how this is the issue

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3 hours ago, TheVisualFeast said:

Yeah it's in a TV cabinet shared with a few other devices. But considering I'm comparing two units in the same place, I can't see how this is the issue

Is it possible to move the R2 away from the cabinet and test again.

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On 9/2/2020 at 1:01 PM, Newfie said:

Is it possible to move the R2 away from the cabinet and test again.

No dice I'm afraid, still high spikes and packet loss. 

I've moved back to the AP and disabled WiFi on the R2. 

Hopefully future updates can stabilise the connection, it's a shame 

 

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17 hours ago, TheVisualFeast said:

No dice I'm afraid, still high spikes and packet loss. 

I've moved back to the AP and disabled WiFi on the R2. 

Hopefully future updates can stabilise the connection, it's a shame 

We've got one in testing right now so hopefully it will be a step in the right direction.

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