Wifi Issue Causing Problems?


(Stephen) #1

Hey everyone. I need some help from someone that has more knowledge of the tech world. I am having trouble with my wifi signal and am wondering if it is potentially causing problems for me and my hub.

First my wifi used to just drop. No specific time of day or night. It would stay off for about fifteen minutes and then start again. I went over the issue with a Verizon tech and they made some changes in my router. It worked okay for a few days and then it started doing it again. I was getting speeds of .01 Mbps on the Ookla speed test. We went back and forth three or four times with people changing router settings but nothing was permanent. I finally decided that my router/modem had to be the issue. I bought an Asus 3100 dual band. Oddly enough my 2.4 ghz signal still has moments when it drops to almost zero. My 5ghz network however kills it. Perfect signal all the time. I’ve tried changing the wifi channel and still have this strange problem with my 2.4ghz network. Any suggestions?


#2

Are most of your devices Zigbee or Zwave? Zigbee is 2.4 so you can get some co-channel interference. I have enough wifi issues myself I do only Zwave products (900mhz).

If you have neighbors pretty close by, their wifi could be interfering as well. Unfortunately 2.4 only has 3 channels that dont interfere (unless you have a neighbor with a really old AP that is on a 40MHZ channel width that goes to 2 or less).

Recommend getting a wifi spectrum tool. There are alot you can find around the web. This will help you check on the neighbors.


#3

I’m sure that’s very frustrating! It’s not odd that you might have trouble on one band and not on another, that just implies that there’s interference in one frequency of some kind. That’s actually the main reason why routers with 5 ghz bands are now available–2.4 is very crowded.

I agree that the first step is to survey the environment for what other signals are present. The following article is pretty good for the kinds of things you can look for.

When it now drops to 2.4 does it still stay off for 15 minutes and then come back up? Or is it just an occasional drop?

It’s certainly worth looking at the possibility of Zigbee interference. Zigbee and WiFi do exist in the same bands. While WiFi almost always wins the battle around the house since it’s typically a much stronger Signal, if the zigbee coordinator (in this case, the ST hub) is right next to the Wifi router, either one can have problems. So you want to make sure they are at least 3 m apart for best performance. )


(Stephen) #4

Thanks guys! I have five zigbee flood sensors as well as two multi sensors around the house. GE link bulbs and Hue bulbs ( not sure if they cause interference ). It goes off and on now with no real pattern. Right now it’s been off for an hour. Interestingly enough it seems that it may be just my iOS devices. Does that make sense?


#5

Yes, that is actually something that does happen. The AP has a big strong antenna but your iOS device has a much smaller one. So what happens is the device can “see” the AP but the AP cant hear ios device due to its weaker signal back.

Still worth doing the site survey as @JDRoberts linked to. It may not solve everything but at leas tyou will have some info to go on.


(Stephen) #6

I have only addressed my router. Could my modem be an issue? I didn’t think it would be since it’s not having trouble transferring the 5 ghz signal. The only problem is I noticed there aren’t very many modems compatible with Verizon


(sidjohn1) #7

this may also help:


(Stuart Buchanan) #8

microwaves in my experience are a strong source of occasional 2.4ghz dropouts, both mine and my neighbours


(Stephen) #9

Forgive me for my ignorance but how do you change the zigbee channel?


(Stephen) #10

Nevermind. I see you can’t.


#11

You can’t change the zigbee channel on your SmartThings hub, but you can see what it is in the IDE and then change your wifi channel to the maximum distance away. Note that the numbers are NOT the same, you need to look at a frequency chart. For example channel 11 Zigbee and channel 11 wifi are actually far apart. Wifi 1 and Zigbee 11 overlap. :wink:


(Stephen) #12

Thanks JD. So my wifi channel is 6 and my zigbee is 20 so there is actually going to be a lot of interference because they are right next to each other. That sucks. Channel 6 works best for me


(Bobby) #13

There is another great app called NetSpot, which was used by the folks at CNET when they set up the wifi for their Smart Home. Like you, I am with Verizon and been fighting 2.4 band inconsistency for the past few weeks. Unfortunately I live right in between two neighbours with very powerful routers and extenders and my channels are really, really crowded. Here is more from CNET


(Stephen) #14

Thanks for all of the info guys. I really appreciate it. I have narrowed it down to only my two iPhone 6 Plus devices in the house showing little to no 2.4ghz speeds. Pretty disappointing since I am a huge apple fan. After a search on the web I see that it seems to be a known issue for the 6 series.


(sidjohn1) #15

5 ghz is your friend, leave the 2.4ghz to zigbee. :slightly_smiling:


(Bobby) #16

wow, 120 for download and only 10 for upload? And 30ms lag, I thought I was doing bad with 15…lol


#17

Definitely move everything to 5 that you can. :sunglasses:

Unfortunately many home automation devices that use WiFi only work on 2.4. Wemo is one. Harmony is another. Ring doorbell and many wifi cameras. Etc.


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https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/harmony-ultimate-hub-specifications

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https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/204198450-Wi-Fi-Setup-Issues-iOS-


(Bobby) #18

While this article doesn’t give you hands on steps to make your network rock solid, it does explain why Control4 is so much more reliable, at least from one point of view:

“The weakest link in over 75 percent of smart home systems is the network, especially the wireless network,”

“Few homeowners realize that to have a strong network requires a strong, reliable router and at least one high-caliber wireless access point. Without a good wireless access point, signals travelling between a home control system and its army of connected devices, such as light switches, thermostats, and electronic door locks, can hit bottlenecks, drop out, or never reach their destinations, rending the entire control system weak and unreliable.”


#19

I have my modem/router in the basement and my wifi signal on the second floor of my house was pretty weak. I installed one of these in the central hallway of the second floor: https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap-ac-lr/
I get great wifi coverage, the controller software will steer devices to 5Ghz.
Anyway, one of these may help with the weak 2.4 on the iPhone.