cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

mac98aop
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎16-06-2015

Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Hi there
Our ADSL broadband is working fine, 2 x MacBooks connecting, but portable devices (iPhone x 2 and iPad) keep getting thrown off regularly.
If I change the router channel, it fixes the problem but it needs doing 2-3 times per day.
Tech support mentioned setting up Port Forwarding of specific IP addresses to each portable device, but when I look at that in the router settings (standard router), it simply offers me a list of games?!
Any tips on how I might ensure my iPhone stays connected please? I work from home and it's really proving a pain!
Thanks everyone,
Adam
28 REPLIES
Wrighty11
Grafter
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎07-04-2014

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Hi Adam,
To be honest in this situation I don't think port forwarding would do much to help it. My best advise would be to change the wireless channel but also use this software called Insidder, this is free WiFi scanner which will suggest the clearest channel.
http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html
If you still have problems after using that let us know.
mac98aop
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎16-06-2015

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Thanks Matt, although your advice is different to one of your colleagues on the phone!!! Other forums also agree with you though Wink
That app looks brilliant, thanks so much... I'll download and see how I get on. Someone also suggested an Asustek router. Are they much better? And if so, how so?!?! Some are quite pricey and I don't want to splash out for no real benefit (home user, email, browsing, streaming...)
Thanks again,
Adam
mexicano
Rising Star
Posts: 134
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎17-07-2010

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Can you tell me if Insidder will work on a wired computer as my desktop doesn't have wifi, but my iphone does and that is what I want to find out if I have set my router to the best channel. Or should I just leave it on "Auto"? Thanks for the help.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,765
Thanks: 4,024
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

@Mexicano,
To monitor the wifi signal a computer needs a wifi capability.

@Matt,
I cannot see how any port forwarding is going to help with wifi connectability.  Is it possible to identify the agent and review the advice given to ensure that any misunderstanding is eliminated?

@mac98aop,
Part of your problem could be the whole nature of auto channel select on routers.  Auto does not deliver a static channel - the router monitors the state of available channels and switches channel if it thinks there is a "better" channel.  Your devices then need to notice the channel change and look again for the SSID.  Some devices do this better than others, to the extent that some are very poor or (on empirical evidence) incapable of doing this.
When you select a channel which was the best at the time of selection, other stations later switching on (or moving due to auto behaviour) might make that channel less suitable.  You need to keep an eye on things until you find a channel which is persistently the best of the bunch.  Posting an inSSIDer plot would be useful.
mexicano
Rising Star
Posts: 134
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎17-07-2010

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Thanks Townman
mac98aop
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎16-06-2015

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Thanks all.
Goodness, this is a very helpful forum indeed, thanks again.
I'll get on with the app and post some findings in due course.
Meantime, would a more expensive router help? I'd rather not the expenditure if the difference I'd notice would be negligible for my requirements (as when the WiFi connects here, it is perfect in terms of speed etc).
Adam
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Quote from: mac98aop
Meantime, would a more expensive router help? I'd rather not the expenditure if the difference I'd notice would be negligible for my requirements (as when the WiFi connects here, it is perfect in terms of speed etc).

A different model router might help, but my suspicion is that some routers just get on better than others with some wifi cards, not necessarily related to price. I upgraded my router because the old Thomson kept freezing up when a particular device (2009 Asus netbook running Linux) was using the wifi. The new one (Asus DSL-N55U) doesn't do that, but it does go through phases of giving my main laptop an intermittently 'limited' connection, which is annoying to say the least.
Sigint
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎06-06-2015

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

I'll second 'inSSIDer' - very handy as I could see which channels are most commonly used by my neighbours so that I can avoid these.
As townman says I don't think the auto-channel feature works well. On my routers I just pick what is normally the least congested channel and stick with it.
I also find the 5GHz band much less congested - but I don't know if your router and computer support this. I think iphone4s and above support the 5GHz connection as do most (all?) iPads.
I know the 5GHz signal doesn't travel as far as the standard 2.4GHz band so worth bearing in mind depending on how far your kit is from your router.
I use a BT HomeHub4 to connect to plusnet and I've read of people who had to change the default DHCP lease time on this from its default to stop their iPhone/iPad from disconnecting - although this might just be a quirk of this router.
mac98aop
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎16-06-2015

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Hi everyone
Insidder looks great, but it's not longer free shareware, nor on the Mac App Store (was £4 I understand) but is now £12.
Might seem a small price to pay to fix the problem, but I'd rather not have to add to the outlay, especially if I need to buy a new router, having already bought a booster.
Are there any free apps that essentially do the same?
I'm on a Mac, and Wireless Diagnostics is there, but not sure it's telling me very much about interference etc...
Adam
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,177
Thanks: 482
Fixes: 20
Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

You could just try manually selecting a channel from 1, 6 and 11.
Tools like inSSIDer don't really show everything, they can't show how heavily used each network is, they just show the channel and signal strength of each network. Being on the same channel as another network is not necessarily a problem.
It's also possible that just disabling auto channel selection will solve the problem, and it won't really matter which channel you pick, but generally it's best to stick to 1, 6 or 11.
Sigint
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎06-06-2015

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

I have 'inSSIDer' 3 3.07.48 which was still free. You normally want to select the channel with the best 'link score'.
Looking on the metageek website I see 'inSSIDer' 4 is $19.99 but they offer a 30 day money back guarantee so....  Smiley

- just noticed that you have all Apple kit - I don't know if the Apple version of this has a money back guarantee
- I guess you could just use trial and error and see which fixed channel is best for you?
Kremmen
Rising Star
Posts: 501
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-04-2013

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

Quote from: mac98aop
Hi everyone
Insidder looks great, but it's not longer free shareware, nor on the Mac App Store (was £4 I understand) but is now £12.
Might seem a small price to pay to fix the problem, but I'd rather not have to add to the outlay, especially if I need to buy a new router, having already bought a booster.
Are there any free apps that essentially do the same?
I'm on a Mac, and Wireless Diagnostics is there, but not sure it's telling me very much about interference etc...
Adam

I use the Android 'Wifi Analyser' which is free.
Let's be careful out there !
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,765
Thanks: 4,024
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

inSIDDer V3 was free last time I looked - it is the last free version.
Acrylic WiFi is also free and quite darned good - see https://www.acrylicwifi.com/en/wlan-software/wlan-scanner-acrylic-wifi-free/
Attached below is an Acrylic plot - note the peaking white line is a SKY device blasting the air-waves - not overly friendly!  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,177
Thanks: 482
Fixes: 20
Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: Devices not connecting to WiFi (reliably)

(edited post instead of replying, this I me re-writing the old content)
The wildly high reading is probably wrong, and is unlikely to be reproduced by other devices or by a device closer to the Sky router claimed to be blasting out exceptionally high signals. I really don't think there's a problem of numerous other ISP's routers periodically blasting out massively strong signals and interfering with your wireless. Just because you can see the presence of other wireless networks doesn't mean that they must be the cause of whatever problem you're having with your own wireless.
Apparently Townman had a TalkTalk router appearing to do the same thing last time. Two different bad routers doing the same thing? That both happened to be the weakest signal? Or perhaps it's more likely your wireless adapter/driver reports incorrect signal levels as the signal fades out and becomes undetectable.
No, -10 dBm is not off scale, but to really get -10 dBm received signal strength you would be practically touching the antenna of the transmitting router. -10 dBm is not the actual signal level, it's a faulty reading.