Sporadic WiFi problems with sporadic Warcraft

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Huh.

I tried something, not really expecting anything different.

I've used iStumbler to look at the WiFi hotspots around me. Earlier I had noticed that while my Airport Express (AX) was using channel 44 that there were a number of others both above and below mine. For the AX there are only 8 channels available: four starting with 36 and another four starting with 149, both skipping upwards by 4 channel numbers

I reset my AX to use channel 157 specifically--it had been set to automatically find an open channel--partly because I hadn't seen anyone using that one. There is someone now using channel 153.

NOW I'm getting 3-15 Mb/sec down, 1.5 Mb up, with 23 ms lag. And NOT sawtooth levels of speeds dipping down to zero too.

I cannot say what channels I had been using before because I hadn't thought it would make a difference.

<sigh> OK, going to contact AT&T via chat and tell them to cancel my appointment for tomorrow.
D'oh!
Though glad to hear you found the source of the problem.
OK, down from that top performance of over 15 Mb/sec down, but I am now getting around 7.5 Mb down, 1.4 Mb up, and not the jagged speeds often going down to zero.

I talked with a fellow tech-head--who incidentally got me started playing WoW--and we argued a bit about my situation.

Checking around with iStumbler I can still see that I'm the only one that my MBP's WiFi antenna can detect on channel 157. But I can see that there are number of 11b/g sources using channel 11.

My friend said that they were likely interfering with each other. On the other hand, when my troubles started -I- was also using channel 11 with the old AX that only had 11b service, and for the longest time I was NOT having any noticable problems.

This morning I think I have an explanation: while for whatever reason a lot of people are using channel 11 (huh--though this morning there are a number of them that have switched to channel 6), for 11b/g networks the signal strength is such that it gets pretty weak outside of 50 feet. Considering that I'm in a house and not in an apartment building, the closest possible WiFi source is around 40 feet away AND through two outside walls of houses. While it is possible that that particular one MIGHT interfere with my 11b/g network (and that 40 feet is based on that WiFi spot being just inside the closest wall to me so it could be much further away), its signal is so attenuated that most likely it isn't interfering and anything else even farther away can simply be totally ignored.

On the other hand: not so for 11n networks. Since they have a working range of about a 150-foot radius there are lots of houses well within that range even though those would have to penetrate multiple outer walls of houses. Perhaps it should be surprising that there are only four 11n networks around me.

-----

OK, going to run a test. I'm going to switch back to channel 44 and see if my speed goes back to crap.

Any particular reason why channel 44 might be crappy?

Perhaps there is someone around me who had a 5.8 GHz wireless phone which is also set on channel 44? They would have had to have spent HOURS on that phone--often very late at night/early in the morning--for them to be such a bother to me.

Oh, well, WAS going to but I see that someone else has claimed channel 44 so I'll not bother.
You could permanently block their WiFi signal, to fix that interference if you just have to use a channel for best signal strength inside the house. Put chicken wire on your outer wall nearest their router, connect a wire to it and a long nail on the other end. Sink that nail deep into the earth. Not that this will be a pretty sight, so hopefully its a side wall not visible from the street. If you've a concrete block wall or something similar separating your homes, that would work as a chicken wire mounting surface also. In that case you could disguise it as a plant trellis.
;)

Generally with the faster protocols, even nearby channels can interfere to some extent. You'll want a couple channel gap between you and your nearest possible interference. I suspect your neighbors are having similar problems and switching their channels around looking for a clear space too.
macnuke Afar
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shhhh... EMP

just saying
user Stupid cockwomble
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I got back online about half-hour ago.

Or at least I TRIED to. Ran speedtests automatically to start and got crappy numbers WHEN the speedtests could run at all.

Looked at iStumbler and saw no one else on channel 157. I had left it running after I had gotten dinner and watched some TV about 2 hours ago.

Reset the cable modem but that made no difference.

Switched my AX to channel 161. Now stellar performance like before. Let's see how long this lasts.

Considering how my problems have been following me, I have to wonder if somehow I bugged someone enough that he is willing to go this amount of trouble (though I have absolutely no idea of anyone who could be a possible candidate).
user posted:
Run a wire.

Very easy to say, but not so easy to do.
Given the hell you've gone through so far, I'd be happy tripping over a long cord run down the hall at this point.
dv
User avatar
You were on wifi this whole time and they sent you a replacement modem without making you try it hard wired?

I'm surprised.
Because of the placement of the wires incoming to my house, the cable modem is located three rooms over with no door directly connecting two of those rooms. I would need about 80 feet of Ethernet cable to reach my MBP IF I didn't mind having that cable constantly underfoot and went to the trouble of aligning it with the walls and even then necessarily underfoot in some places like inconvenient doorways. Maybe 200 feet for that.

Still getting 15 Mb down. <knocks wood>

My keyboard was down to 86% this morning. I had forgotten again to plug it in to recharge last night but apparently I don't have to let it recharge overnight. This time I TRIED to keep track of it after plugging it in and it was back at 100% in under 20 minutes (so it might have been shorter than that).
This is more a tech question than a WoW question, so sue me.

It just occured to me that aren't we looking at very bad interference problems with more 802.11n networks coming online? Right now with iStumbler I can detect ten WiFi hotspots though seven of them are on 11b/g networks and using those original 11--though really only 3 usable--channels.

What happens after more of them get changed to 11n considering it has a greater range?

After all there are only 8 usable channels available for 11n. Given what I can see NOW my neighborhood will easily fill up all 8 channels, much less all of those WiFi networks that iStumbler cannot detect now because those are still on the shorter-ranged 11b/g channels.

And I'm in a house. How about for people in a condo/apartment building? If you were in the middle of a 30-story condo then you could have interference from DOZENS of other 11n networks in your building alone, much less those in neighboring buildings.

Perhaps that will have to become a standard building construction technique: adding grounded chicken wire into the floors and walls between condos/apartments and maybe even in the outer walls for houses in order to isolate WiFi to within a given unit. And good luck to you if you are weathy enough to buy more than one condo in order to consolidate them into a larger one.

I know, I know: first world problems.

-----

OK, a Warcraft question: no one has any comments about inscription as a WoW profession in Legion?
I tried a set of short experiments 'cause I'm a tech-head and cannot leave it alone.

I temporarily switched my WiFi to channel 40 specifically because there are a couple of others around me on that channel and those are the strongest 11n signals that iStumbler can detect (though they are weaker than ANY of the 11b/g signals around me). Download speeds were off only a bit to between a fully acceptable 9-10 Mb.

Just FYI: the guy who got on channel 44 after I abandoned it has the weakest signal of all of the WiFi that I can detect.

I also tried channel 157 again. Whatever is interfering with that channel is still there because I couldn't get the speedtest pages to download much less run.

Back on channel 161 and to 15 Mb down.
dv
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To answer your question succinctly: wifi sucks. The more wifi networks in a small space, the worse it sucks. Congestion is worse in condos/apartments, with the upside that you're usually much closer to the base station.

5GHz is faster, has a lot more channels, and shorter range with quicker range dropoff, so it does help the problem a bit. But it's basically only useful with line-of-site. Any medium/large residence trying to go 5GHz would have to have to have multiple WAPs.

As you're describing your wifi setup, rooms, walls, etc., I'm thinking that it's really no surprise you're having wifi issues.

I don't say that to be judgemental - you do what you gotta do. I've certainly done some less-than-optimal things in my own home in the name of expediency. However, since you're in a house: what about running a wire into the basement (if you have forced-air, there's already a convenient hole you can snake a wire through.) Staple it to the joists and bring it up into the other room.
<== in Southern California: what's a basement?

There is a crawlspace under the house. I no longer have the agility to get into there plus there is the problem of having to create holes in the floors or to somehow feed a line down perhaps via electrical or phone outlets, though I do not know if those have ANY usable connection to the crawlspace.

The ceiling has similar problems though it is bigger so at least I can get into there. Again, no convenient holes in the false ceiling.

Shorter range for 5.4 GHz? THAT has not been my experience. I am using a direct connection with the 11n part of my just-purchased AX (my older AXes are being used to supply other services and I believe are so old--from 2001?--that they only have 11b). The signal from my original AX was such that I simply could not get a usable signal from it given the direct distance--about 40 feet--and the walls between it and my MBP which was part of the original reason for my secondary AXes.

RIGHT NOW my MBP is using the 11n band and getting up to 15 Mb/sec down despite the distance and the walls (at least until my WiFi saboteur figures out my switch in channels).
dv
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DEyncourt posted:
*snip*I am using a direct connection with the 11n part of my just-purchased AX (my older AXes are being used to supply other services and I believe are so old--from 2001?--that they only have 11b). *snip*


How many WAPs are you running simultaneously? :eek:
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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DEyncourt posted:
<== in Southern California: what's a basement?

There is a crawlspace under the house. I no longer have the agility to get into there plus there is the problem of having to create holes in the floors or to somehow feed a line down perhaps via electrical or phone outlets, though I do not know if those have ANY usable connection to the crawlspace.

The ceiling has similar problems though it is bigger so at least I can get into there. Again, no convenient holes in the false ceiling.

Shorter range for 5.4 GHz? THAT has not been my experience. I am using a direct connection with the 11n part of my just-purchased AX (my older AXes are being used to supply other services and I believe are so old--from 2001?--that they only have 11b). The signal from my original AX was such that I simply could not get a usable signal from it given the direct distance--about 40 feet--and the walls between it and my MBP which was part of the original reason for my secondary AXes.

RIGHT NOW my MBP is using the 11n band and getting up to 15 Mb/sec down despite the distance and the walls (at least until my WiFi saboteur figures out my switch in channels).


What I would suggest is looking into Ubiquiti access points. You can mount them on the ceiling and run the cabling through the attic. With PoE (power over Ethernet), it's a single cable run. I don't own them myself, as our single router on the second floor has been sufficient, but Ars did a big review on them and they definitely work.
Wrap the outside of your house in chicken wire fencing. ;)
dv posted:
DEyncourt posted:
*snip*I am using a direct connection with the 11n part of my just-purchased AX (my older AXes are being used to supply other services and I believe are so old--from 2001?--that they only have 11b). *snip*


How many WAPs are you running simultaneously? :eek:

Three AXes though two are only extending the network created by the first so that the 11b signal was within reach of my MBP, then later I used the end one to connect a Vonage modem (which is its only purpose now that I have replaced the one directly connected to the cable modem with a new AX which has 11n).

Still at 15 Mb/sec down.

Keyboard still at 100% despite being off-recharge for about 26 hours now so I'll stop reporting about that unless it totally fails somehow.
maurvir posted:
[snip]
What I would suggest is looking into Ubiquiti access points. You can mount them on the ceiling and run the cabling through the attic. With PoE (power over Ethernet), it's a single cable run. I don't own them myself, as our single router on the second floor has been sufficient, but Ars did a big review on them and they definitely work.

While I do appreciate the suggestion because I hadn't heard of this company before, this does NOT answer the question of "Why don't you just run an Ethernet cable to your MBP?" and simply replaces what I already have with another wireless solution (and its inherent problems?).
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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DEyncourt posted:
maurvir posted:
[snip]
What I would suggest is looking into Ubiquiti access points. You can mount them on the ceiling and run the cabling through the attic. With PoE (power over Ethernet), it's a single cable run. I don't own them myself, as our single router on the second floor has been sufficient, but Ars did a big review on them and they definitely work.


While I do appreciate the suggestion because I hadn't heard of this company before, this does NOT answer the question of "Why don't you just run an Ethernet cable to your MBP?" and simply replaces what I already have with another wireless solution (and its inherent problems?).


True, but your issue appeared to be the whole not wanting cables running along the floor. While a hard-run cable will always be the fastest, running several low-power APs in various parts of your house will get you closer, while still hiding the cables away.

However, I would point out that most interior walls are hollow if you really want a home-run Ethernet connection. If you are reasonably handy with tools, by which I mean a drill and possibly some screwdrivers, you could simply run some cat 5e/6 through the attic and install wall jacks on interior walls. You can do it on exterior walls as well, but those usually are filled with insulation, making it a lot more difficult. Depending on the layout of your house/attic, this would probably be a fairly cost effective way of solving the problem.

As an aside, I concur - DIY forum might be a nice addition, as this is pretty far afield from "Warcraft"
You could also try power line networking. It lets you run your Ethernet signal over existing wiring in your house. Eliminates wifi altogether.
maurvir posted:
DEyncourt posted:
maurvir posted:
[snip]
What I would suggest is looking into Ubiquiti access points. You can mount them on the ceiling and run the cabling through the attic. With PoE (power over Ethernet), it's a single cable run. I don't own them myself, as our single router on the second floor has been sufficient, but Ars did a big review on them and they definitely work.


While I do appreciate the suggestion because I hadn't heard of this company before, this does NOT answer the question of "Why don't you just run an Ethernet cable to your MBP?" and simply replaces what I already have with another wireless solution (and its inherent problems?).


True, but your issue appeared to be the whole not wanting cables running along the floor. While a hard-run cable will always be the fastest, running several low-power APs in various parts of your house will get you closer, while still hiding the cables away.

However, I would point out that most interior walls are hollow if you really want a home-run Ethernet connection. If you are reasonably handy with tools, by which I mean a drill and possibly some screwdrivers, you could simply run some cat 5e/6 through the attic and install wall jacks on interior walls. You can do it on exterior walls as well, but those usually are filled with insulation, making it a lot more difficult. Depending on the layout of your house/attic, this would probably be a fairly cost effective way of solving the problem.

As an aside, I concur - DIY forum might be a nice addition, as this is pretty far afield from "Warcraft"

Heh. I know my DIY skills. Best to leave even this to pros.
So no one has any comments on how useless inscription as a profession has become in Legion? Or, at least, as far as I can tell.
macnuke Afar
User avatar
other than alchemy, what profession has value?
by the time you are leveled, the world can equip you better than any profession can.
Enchanting, alchemy and engineering are about the only ones that help along the way and end game. The rest are for helping along lower level alts or getting all appearances and pets and mounts. Though I agree inscription and to a lesser extent jewel crafting have gotten much less useful in recent expansions. I have many alts that are double gatherers.

Also, DEyncourt might want to jump on .11AX as soon as it becomes available. That should help his congestion issues.
http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?secti ... d=1331076&
Kirk posted:
Enchanting, alchemy and engineering are about the only ones that help along the way and end game. The rest are for helping along lower level alts or getting all appearances and pets and mounts. Though I agree inscription and to a lesser extent jewel crafting have gotten much less useful in recent expansions. I have many alts that are double gatherers.

Also, DEyncourt might want to jump on .11AX as soon as it becomes available. That should help his congestion issues.
http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?secti ... d=1331076&

Yeah. I have fully equipped my demon hunter, monk, rogue and second hunter with all of the armor pieces that my main hunter could make, AND he fed the less usable level 110 pieces (because of poorer matches of secondary stats) into the Dalaran forge to make Obliterium to further improve my demon hunter's gear. My demon hunter's main problem at the moment is having enough Bloods of Sargaras to be able to apply that Obliterium for those improvements. I have been concentrating on her head, chest, arm and leg armor and have gotten them to 840/845 (which are 5 or 6--out of 8 possible--applications of Obliterium).

My plan is to basically do something similar with my other toons EVENTUALLY although my warrior is somewhat on his own being my only plate-armor wearer.

My mage--being my tailor/enchanter--can make all of the cloth armor for my warlock PLUS cloaks for all my other toons and all of the needed enchantments.

My hunter and my mage have gotten all of their gear from raids, LFRs, dungeons and world quests, mostly because they lacked the raw materials and the ability in their professions to make much for themselves before their own armor outclassed anything they can make (though that is just barely so for my mage).

For now I have been going to the auction house to purchase any needed flasks, potions (aside from healing and rejuvenation) and gems, though in a pinch the Draenor-level stuff will be good enough for my other toons still leveling to 110 (and I have TOO MANY mats to make those).

-----

As to any new WiFi standard: that will have to wait until either something can be added to my current MBP or until after I get a new MBP which supports that standard.
For the older garrisons, I use the extra accruing resources to buy sumptuous fur and frostweed at the trading post. My alchemist converts excess sorcerous elements to sorcerous earth and sends that to my tailor. My tailor uses the tailoring building to turn the sumptuous fur into cloth, makes hexweave (30 slot) bags and sells them. The hexweave bags are still the largest size. The equivalent Legion bags are only 24 slot, though easier and quicker to make. Right after Legion hit, the hexweave bags sold for around 1400G each. They're now down in the 700 G range.
There IS a Legion bag which has 30 slots. I know: makes no sense to have it be the same size except that eventually as people run out of Draenor mats then players will only be able to make bags with Legion mats.

Personally that time of running out of Draenor mats is WAY out there. RIGHT NOW my tailor can make 58 hexweave bags (though for now I have been reserving them for guildies). That is down from a total of about 110 with about 25 sold at the auction house (for 2000-2500 gold each shortly after Legion dropped) and 25 given away to guildies.
I'm jealous of those prices on your server ;)

Also what 30 slot Legion bag? My tailor hasn't maxed out so maybe he can't learn the pattern yet?

Last edited by Kirk on Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:22 am.

Same here with my mage/tailor: she doesn't have that recipe yet--only the 24-slot bag--but I've seen it elsewhere.
macnuke Afar
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Turalyon....

hex weave 30 slot is running about 1250 on the average.

imbued silk weave 30 slot is running 2100

go figure.

and if you can't run Kara.. you won't get the pattern.
tailoring quest
not a drop
Ah, but while my mage has gotten the quest to go into CURRENT Karazhan to get that bag pattern she doesn't yet have the quest to ENTER it (which my hunter has but I haven't bothered to complete that because I get tired after the daily grind).

BTW, Kirk: no idea what are the current prices for 30-slot bags on Hyjal server. That 2000-2500 gold per hexweave bag was within the first weeks of Legion dropping.
And it's back, kinda-sorta.

I got on and did a speedcheck out of habit. My download speeds jumped up and down all over the place but settled at 2 Mb down. A second try failed.

I reset my AX to each of the 11n channels just to see what is happening:

36: 8 Mb.
40: 4-8 Mb and I would be sharing this with 2 of the strongest 11n signals (but still weaker than nearly all 11b/g signals).
44 (my "original" channel): crap. Oddly every now and again I will spot a weak 11n signal here; perhaps he's not as close as I am to whatever is messing with this channel?
48: 6-8 Mb.
149: 6-11 Mb.
153: 4-8 Mb and I would be sharing this with another 11n.
157: still crap, so whatever this is presumably is NOT following me.
161: new crap.

I selected channel 149.

Unfortunately iStumbler doesn't give any readings for those crappy channels so I cannot track down a source (though even if I did, there is likely not much I could do about them).

EDIT--whoops, 157, not 156.

Last edited by DEyncourt on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:54 pm.

Higher frequency channels are going to marginally punch through drywall better. Also note overlap issues as described below. Try to pick a channel where your neighbors are at least five channels distant from your choice.

Wikipedia:
A Wi-Fi signal occupies five channels in the 2.4 GHz band. Any two channel numbers that differ by five or more, such as 2 and 7, do not overlap. The oft-repeated adage that channels 1, 6, and 11 are the only non-overlapping channels is, therefore, not accurate. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are the only group of three non-overlapping channels in North America and the United Kingdom. In Europe and Japan using Channels 1, 5, 9, and 13 for 802.11g and 802.11n is recommended.

802.11a uses the 5 GHz U-NII band, which, for much of the world, offers at least 23 non-overlapping channels rather than the 2.4 GHz ISM frequency band, where adjacent channels overlap.


Also see the 802.11 page for more details on other bands
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802. ... throughput


Note you might also have a hardware problem with your laptop or router on particular channels. Vagarities of component assembly might have greater losses in the hardware in particular channels. You can only try each channel to figure out which ones work and which do not.
Kirk posted:

Um....

In any case for 11n and at least for the AXes there simply are NO in-between choices: those channels I listed are the only ones available (so channels 37-39, etc., cannot be selected). There simply is no way to choose anything "at least five channels distant" except to select a channel which is eight channels distant.
Sorry that quote is information for older versions of 802.11. You're using .11n you say? Change to the 5 GHz range for better penetration (though admittedly minor) through drywall. The wiki page below suggests there's a way to double the channel width, from 20 to 40 MHz. I personally don't know how to do this. Maybe digging through your router and/or laptop control panels would turn that up. Just that might fix your speed problem.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11n-2009

802.11n uses multiple antennas on the router for greater throughput. You might check that all those antennas are pointed in the best direction for transmitting to the spot where your laptop sits. By pointing I mean the sides of each antenna are facing your laptop.

Also note the line of sight between your laptop and router. Try not to sit such that your body, or anything else, is in the way. All that water and other material attenuates the signal.
I have found the range on 5GHz is not as good as on 2.4 GHz, and the speed drop of from range is more severe.
user Stupid cockwomble
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2.4 does go through things better. It's just prone to more conflicts from other devices (and people if you are in an apartment building).
MacAddict4Life posted:
I have found the range on 5GHz is not as good as on 2.4 GHz, and the speed drop of from range is more severe.

COMPLETELY opposite of my experience.

It is such that my original AX (2.4 GHz only) was at such a distance from and/or got enough blockage from intervening walls for my MBP that I got NO usable signal at all, only a weak one detected via iStumbler. That was my main reason for installing additional AXes: to boost the 2.4 GHz signal.

My new AX (which also has 5.4 GHz) is located PRECISELY where my old AX was. When NOT being interfered with <knock wood, so far>, I have gotten over 15 Mb/sec download speeds.

On the other hand, I do not suffer from any of the problems that an apartment/condo dweller may have.

EDIT--um, "condo".

Last edited by DEyncourt on Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:27 pm.

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Sporadic WiFi problems with sporadic Warcraft

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