WiFi Help - Internet connectivity - COVID-19 and the current times

As we all adapt to the Work From Home (WFH) and Shelter in Place protocols that are in place, we are likely to see an increase in the usage of all the facilities (Cellular and Internet (including of course our VoIP).

  • When troubleshooting any connectivity problem it is always a good idea to observe (and make note of) what the Republic code has detected & reported (via a Notification) … these may be seen by swiping down from the top (Status line)

The Republic Wireless app can be used as both a pre-check and a post-check to see if your efforts were successful … the following was provided by a Republic Wireless employee … THANKS!

  • Select the Settings tab (the gear icon at the top)
  • Select Advanced Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and Select “Run diagnostics test”. This will run the device and the network through a few dozen tests looking for common issues, including crowded WiFi channels and Internet connectivity and throughput.
    Click thumbnail to see simulated results (previously taken across the street)

Table of Contents

  1. Power Cycle Network
  2. Router Channel Selection
  3. Router Updates

Quick Check - WiFi problems

During testing or benchmarking, you may want to turn off Bluetooth and boot up in Safe Mode, however many 3.0 phones disable Republic App functions, this can still be used to help eliminate possible sources of problems.
The 3 items below, if done, will helpfully prevent some problems and can be helpful to those members trying to give help

  1. Power Cycle your network - See details below
    This can fix many problems and is considered a Best Practice , something that many of us do periodically.

  2. Check Router Channel - See details below
    You should check to see if your router is using a quiet channel and not getting interference from near/overlapping neighbors. Analyzers can be used to determine if this is a problem and aid in the selection of the ‘best’ channel to set the router on.
    Note If set to Automatic, most routers only check for the best channel at reset or power up time.

  3. Check router code levels - See details below
    Ensure your router is at latest level of firmware/code, if it is new (or you have not updated it recently). This may prevent you discover problems that have already been solved or prevent them by a simple update.

Details for items 1-3 above

Power Cycle Network (1)

By allowing each device in your network to become fully operational the best connections will be made.* Access your phones WiFi Settings and ‘FORGET’ the affected router name/SSID

  • Power off your Modem, Router and Phone, leave unplugged and wait at least 30 seconds.
  • Power up modem (if present), when it has completed its bring-ups (can take ~2 mins) then power up the router and wait for it to complete its bring-ups.
  • Now power up your phones and re-authenticate to a properly refreshed WiFi network. This Best Practice should be done occasionally, but if you have to do it all the time, you should isolate and fix the problem

ROUTER CHANNEL Selection (2)

You can check to see if your router is using a quiet channel and not getting interference from near/overlapping neighbors. If you see another user that is interfering, then you will probably cause problems for them also.
3rd party Analyzers can be used to determine if this is a problem and aid in the selection of the ‘best’ channel to set the router on.

Tools to check interference

2.4Ghz Channels

  • In the US only channels 1-11 should be used for 2.4Ghz, and only channel 1/6/11 provide the proper separation to avoid overlap/interference. If only overlapping channels are available, then try to pick the one with the greatest spread between your signal and the interfering signal (this should be at least 20dBm for good results)
    • Note: Most of the available apps will show ‘best channel’ as the one with the most stars and the least amount of traffic … it is the opinion of many, including me, that this does not take into consideration the problems you create for others if you use other than non overlapping channels. See the graph below for pictorial on this

This example shows interfering devices. If the Device #2 was moved to Channel 11 it would interfere with no one (because it’s -75 signal is well below the -40 that Device #6 shows)

5Ghz Channels

  • 5Ghz available on most of the RW phones can help eliminate neighbor interference as fewer users and more non-overlapping bands are available. However, due to the higher frequency, the distance/penetration of the signal will be less.

Notes for both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz:

  • Using wide bandwidth can cause additional problems for your neighbors.

For 20 Mhz broadcasting with 2.4 Ghz
The best channel band to use are 1, 6, 11
For 40 Mhz broadcasting with 2.4 Ghz
The best channel band to use are 3, 11
For 20 Mhz broadcasting with 5 Ghz
You should use 40 Mhz instead of 20 Mhz, or use combination if your device needs it and the router supports it.

Router Updates (3)

*Router Firmware/Software that are not at the latest level* can cause many problems (including poor voice quality and connect problems)
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