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).
- Hopefully this can help our members maximize Internet connection while not impacting their nearby neighbors .
- I am publishing this as a shorter version of Router Tweaks - Keep WiFi 1st - a Community Guide.
- 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)
- These are defined in What are the Connectivity Status Notifications? – Republic Help and can be helpful in troubleshooting.
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
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
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. When set to Automatic, most routers check for best channel only at reset or power up time. See Quick Check 2 for guidance in this area.
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.
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)
- Most of the 3.0 phones currently sold/supported by Republic are Wifi 5 aka 802.11ac (Dual band 2.4 & 5.0 Ghz)
- Check your phone’s specs if in doubt … see Understanding Wifi Types & Capabilities
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
- WiFi Analyzer - by Webprovider on Google Play … New, provides many advanced functions including identifying the interfering channels as well as channel width detection as the ability to capture a ‘heat map’ of performance levels in your home
- WiFi Analyzer - by Farproc on Google Play … Excellent tool - this has been the standard for many users and probably easiest to use
- 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 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.
- Recommended channel use, taken from RouterGuide
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)
- Best Practice is to maintain the latest level of firmware even a ‘New’ router may have downlevel firmware, due to sales or supply chain delays
- Router Vendor Download links to find updates and documentation
ARRIS | ASUS | Apple | Belkin | Buffalo | D-Link | EnGenius | Linksys | Netgear | TPLink Trendnet Western Digital | ZyXEL
- Find Default Router Passwords to access the router Admin screens