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Kelinda1488303078

WiFi vs. Ethernet

Question

Hi,

My computer has the option for either WiFi or Ethernet. I like to use WiFi so I don't have to run the cable across the room but it seems I am having some performance issues with the WiFi. When I do a speed test I average about 300kbs on both WiFi and Ethernet but the WiFi seems to hiccup. What do I mean? Well when the WiFi test is going it might go up to 320kbs but then it will all of a sudden drop to 20kps only to go back up a few seconds later so that the average is around 300kbs. The Ethernet averages around 300kbs and stays there the whole time with no drop offs. These drop offs I am getting with the WiFi will stop streaming media when I am in SL so I am finding I get better performance with the Ethernet. Anyone have any idea what might be going on with this? I would like to use the WiFi if possible.

BTW I may be away from the computer for a few hours so I will look for and try your answers when I get back. :)

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WiFi uses the 2.4GHz unlicensed band which just happens to be the same band that cordless phones and garage door openers use. 2.4GHz is also the frequency that water resonates at so high humidity can cause a lot of interference. That last one should give you a hint as to how microwave ovens work, which operate at, you guessed it, 2.4GHz. Large AC motors can also put out a lot of noise in & around the 2.4GHz band.

In short, just about anything can interfere with WiFi.

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Leliel's answer is right on target.  In addition, if you are using a public WiFi connection you will be competing for bandwidth with everyone else in the vicinity.  SL demands a lot of bandwidth and tends to slow way down, freeze, or crash if it doesn't get what it needs, so WiFi is a poor choice compared to a hard-wired connection.

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In addition to what Leliel and Rolig posted you appear to have another problem that exxagerates you problem expotentially.  Your dowload speed.  You said you can maintain a consistant 300 kbps on your Ethernet connection.  That speed is way below any speed that will deliver reliable connections to the SL servers.  SL requires a fast connection to the Internet for good performance........about 500 kbps is a minimum (and that is not really good).  Low cost (translate to slowest) DSL is 768 kbps.  That is "advertised" speed........not what you are likely to get in the real world.  At that connection speed you should expect somewhere between 600 kbps and the advertised 768 (that is mostly due the the physical distance you are from the ISP server).  The 300 kbps is about 6 times the fastest dial up speed (56 Kbps) and nearly half of what you should be getting with DSL  On a cable connection the slow connection speed is about 3000 kbps (for most cable ISP's) so you are about a tenth of that speed.  All those speeds are in a "perfect world" and there is no such thing........but I can tell you, if that 300 kbps is accurate, you  have an ISP problem in addition to the wireless issues.

 

Call your ISP to find out why you are so slow.  It's a wonder you can connect to the SL servers at all....even on your Ethernet.

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I think this may be another case of mixing bytes with bits. 300KB/s is 2.4mb/s which is right inline with the average dsl speed.

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No it is not public it is my own. I do live in an apartment though and now that I think about it this started happening when the nieghbor got WiFi from the same carrier that I have.

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I noticed below you said you neighbor uses WiFi. Now WiFI uses several channels, which are really just small frequency slices. So the first thing you should do is use a network browser to find out what channels your neighbors use and set your WiFI router to use the channel farthest from them. Keep in mind that WiFI on the 2.4GHz band uses over lapping channels, that is channel 2 overlaps 1 & 3, 5 overlaps 4 & 6, etc.

 

If you're still having interference problems then when it happens walk around the house and take note of what electrical devices are in use. The things I listed above are the most likely, but it could be anything including your TV, VCR, or even your computer, tho they should be properly shielded so as to not cause interference. How you deal with them depends on what and where it is. You can try moving the device or your WiFI router, putting a large, grounded, piece of metal between them to act as a shield, or getting a better antenna.

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Maybe I am not looking in the right place because I don't see Channel 1, 2, 3... I see WPA and WEB and 802.11 and things like that.

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I assume you're using the built in wifi browser on windows which I guess doesn't show the channel. I don't use windows myself so I'm not very good at recommending software for it. But a quick search did turn up this web based wifi browser http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler

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Hunt them down and cut their power supply? :D

 

hehe just kidding, its 6am and I`m in a devilish mood :)

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You have to change it on your wifi router. How depends on the model and firmware version. Read the manual, search the web, or ask here if you want, I'll help if I can.

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What's the signal strength for each? The weaker the signal the less interference they'll cause so if the networks on 1 or 6 are weak it would be best to use one of those channels. Or one slightly off, such as 7 or 8.

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So it is telling me I get 3008kbps. I changed it to channel 8. Boy did I pick a hard password, if I hadn't figured out the hint I would be locked out by now. Going to watch a music video in HD and see how it does. :)

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Well it works much better then it has been, not prefect but way, way better. I am going to mark your answer as correct. Good night. :)

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