Help with wireless internet connection issues.

Hi all,

I'm having some problems with getting my household internet to run at a good speed, and thought that, as this was quite a technically-minded forum, this would be the perfect place to ask...

I'm currently living at home with my family, and the at the moment we have this structure for our wireless:

Second Floor: My bedroom, with desktop computer, laptop and consoles.
First Floor: My brother, with desktop computer, used mostly for gaming. My mother, with Kindle Fire used like a tablet (so lots of browsing, shopping, etc).
Bottom Floor: The wireless router, running a 30mb connection. My family's laptop, used mostly for browsing.

At the moment, I'm caught in a tug-of-war between my brother's gaming and my own general browsing/movie streaming/gaming. It seems that whenever I use the wireless, his gaming slows down. As he's gaming pretty much all the time, you can see how this might be a problem... So therefore, I have a few questions on how I could go about fixing this so we're not butting heads all the time.

Q1: Would increasing the speed of the connection to 60mb help with this? Obviously we'd be quicker, but as we'd still be sharing the router connection I don't know how much of a difference this would make.

Q2: I found these online - http://www.ebuyer.com/370669-tp-link-tl-pa411kit-av500-mini-powerline-adapter-stater-kit-tl-pa411kit. I was wondering, if I used them to connect internet to my room, would that improve the connection for my brother wirelessly? Basically, it would mean the wireless connection would only be sent to the bottom two floors, leaving my room as if it were plugged directly into the router, correct? Or have I got that completely wrong?

Cheers for any help or advice. It's driving me crazy right now, especially as I seem to have to be the one who constantly back down... (but that's for another advice thread :P).

Thanks,
Chris.

Is the Xbox wired to the router or switch? Or is it wireless as well. You should wire everything that's stationary in your house, things should speed up considerably.

Yes, a 60 Mb upgrade would help.

Also check your overall bandwidth out to the Internet.

http://www.speedtest.net/

My xbox/ps3/whatever console is actually rarely a problem. I think because I just have it online to chat with friends and not to play online games (I'm more an RPG man, so rarely do I get around to multiplayer) it doesn't typically slow connection. It's wireless though, mostly because, being in a loft conversion, it's tricky to get myself connected with wires.

I will definitely get an improved speed looked at.

I've done a few speedtests at different points in the day, when different numbers of people are online. There's definitely a difference. I may well pick up a set of those plug adapters, so I can wire my desktop at least.

I think those plug adapters won't help any. It may go up to speeds of 500Mb/s, but your wifi supports only up to 30Mb/s. In networking the connection is only as fast as it's slowest link. You need to wire your PC and Xbox physically to a switch that links with the router or directly to the router.

I think the problem is that everyone is using that wireless port at once, so it has to split 30Mb/s up between everyone. If you wire everything you can, it has to split less and less. That and wires (CAT5) are 100Mb/s.

Mana Fiend:
Hi all,

...The wireless router, running a 30mb connection.

What you might want to try first is moving something like one of your consoles downstairs and plugging it directly into the router. Then you can get some feedback from your brother and see if you're using too much of the bandwidth. Obviously it's just to rule out the wireless portion and find out if your internet connection needs a boost.

*I just saw your second post.

To clarify, you have a 30 megaBIT connection? Because that sounds super freaking fast. I ask because I only have a 3 megabit connection and it's terrible for gaming, like truly awful. I don't want to find out just exactly how much more I'm going to have to pay in order to get a good online game going.

Those plug-in adapters work great from what I heard from a guy at work.

Also, if your internet connection is fine, then can't the tug-of-war with bandwidth be solved with QoS? Isn't that what it's for?

I'm gonna come out and say there isn't much point upgrading your internet connection. In fact, I recommend against it if you're using a lot of wireless things. The fact is, most wireless technology is still using the g standard, which is limited to 54mbps, though in practice you will only come near those speeds in optimal conditions with a single device...in general you're only likely to get half of that (even when using only one device). If you're using more than one device, what limited connectivity you have is shared between all of them, and the more devices there are, the more collisions there are, meaning not only are you sharing what limited bandwidth you have, there is actually less to go around than when you're only using one device.

With all that out of the way, there are a few possible solutions. You could use wired Ethernet connections wherever possible to reduce strain on the wireless which is probably the most effective solution, leaving more bandwidth for fewer wireless devices and giving close to 100mbps to anything wired into the router modem. Ethernet cable (as it's colloquially known) is similar to HDMI in that it can be unnecessarily expensive if you don't know where to buy it, but you can get it online for cheap, less than 30c a metre for the cheapest stuff, closer to 50c if you don't want to import. It's good for up to 100 metres and you can easily put your own plugs on it with a crimping tool if necessary...I've got that stuff running under the house and under the ground between buildings where I'm at, all installed with the cheapest of cheap cable and no prior experience, and it all works great, getting around 86mbps at the furthest point from base, despite having the cable torn and stitched back together in multiple places after a few incidents (mostly dog related), which is a huge no no when it comes to standard installation practice.

Alternatively, you could get a second wireless router running on a different channel (if possible at least 4 unused channels apart) and connect some of the devices to it. Even better, if you've got a number of things running wireless n, get a wireless n router, run it at 5ghz (so no interference with the other wireless signal, or any other nearby signal, unless there are enough 5ghz wireless n hotspots nearby to start filling up the channels, which is unlikely), and connect all of your wireless n devices to it. However both of these solutions require the second router being wired to the router modem...You could put them right next to each other which should be fine if you get plenty of bars wherever you are in the house but it would be better for them to be in different areas to extend the total maximum reach of the wireless (giving better bandwidth to the closer devices that would otherwise be farther away).

There are some other things you could try, like using an Ethernet over power device, though those can be a bit expensive.

FizzyIzze:
Also, if your internet connection is fine, then can't the tug-of-war with bandwidth be solved with QoS? Isn't that what it's for?

Yes and yes. If the problem is cause by the wireless router using standard 'equitable' bandwidth sharing, and most people involved don't mind giving up a shitpot of bandwidth they're not using, QoS is perfect.

xXSnowyXx:
I'm gonna come out and say there isn't much point upgrading your internet connection. In fact, I recommend against it if you're using a lot of wireless things. The fact is, most wireless technology is still using the g standard, which is limited to 54mbps, though in practice you will only come near those speeds in optimal conditions with a single device...in general you're only likely to get half of that (even when using only one device). If you're using more than one device, what limited connectivity you have is shared between all of them, and the more devices there are, the more collisions there are, meaning not only are you sharing what limited bandwidth you have, there is actually less to go around than when you're only using one device.

With all that out of the way, there are a few possible solutions. You could use wired Ethernet connections wherever possible to reduce strain on the wireless which is probably the most effective solution, leaving more bandwidth for fewer wireless devices and giving close to 100mbps to anything wired into the router modem. Ethernet cable (as it's colloquially known) is similar to HDMI in that it can be unnecessarily expensive if you don't know where to buy it, but you can get it online for cheap, less than 30c a metre for the cheapest stuff, closer to 50c if you don't want to import. It's good for up to 100 metres and you can easily put your own plugs on it with a crimping tool if necessary...I've got that stuff running under the house and under the ground between buildings where I'm at, all installed with the cheapest of cheap cable and no prior experience, and it all works great, getting around 86mbps at the furthest point from base, despite having the cable torn and stitched back together in multiple places after a few incidents (mostly dog related), which is a huge no no when it comes to standard installation practice.

Alternatively, you could get a second wireless router running on a different channel (if possible at least 4 unused channels apart) and connect some of the devices to it. Even better, if you've got a number of things running wireless n, get a wireless n router, run it at 5ghz (so no interference with the other wireless signal, or any other nearby signal, unless there are enough 5ghz wireless n hotspots nearby to start filling up the channels, which is unlikely), and connect all of your wireless n devices to it. However both of these solutions require the second router being wired to the router modem...You could put them right next to each other which should be fine if you get plenty of bars wherever you are in the house but it would be better for them to be in different areas to extend the total maximum reach of the wireless (giving better bandwidth to the closer devices that would otherwise be farther away).

There are some other things you could try, like using an Ethernet over power device, though those can be a bit expensive.

What this guy has said, i work in a business ISP we have various company's running eCommerce off 25mb leased lines in the UK so having a 30mb is plenty for your average home user.

The problem is wireless it's really not great at all prone to interference when you got lots of devices using it you often see packet loss and such as well. Best bit of advice i can give you is get some home plugs not sure of stateside outlets but get yourself a set of these and you personally will be fine ;)

http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=homeplug&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=2867371213215206504&sa=X&ei=6MEHUay1McO0hAfMxoCYAg&ved=0CD4Q8wIwAA

check for interference from other devices and consider changing the wireless (or other frequencies)
also maybe use bandwidth limiters if you are doing heavy downloads. i use this guy http://www.netlimiter.com/

 

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