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GT701-WG (connectivity issues)

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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October 15, 2010 5:42:10 PM

I have a WAN set up through a GT701-WG (service/device provided by Qwest) and I'm currently getting weak and occasionally fluxuating signal to several computers on the network. One (which gets the best single read out / connection speeds) is on room away through an open wall (ie different level and railings in between but no major solid objects) the other two are two rooms away and behind 1+ solid barriers (the main one being in a garage converted to a workspace so the wall is an "external" wall, plus shelves etc).
My current understanding is that the connection issues are likely a result of the signal being too weak for the locations I'm using.

My questions are:
1) Am I correct in thinking this is a signal issue?

2) If yes, can someone recommend a quality signal booster compatible with the GT701-WG router/modem?


Thanks in advance to everyone who responds :D 
Anonymous
October 15, 2010 6:26:20 PM

You should try to optimise your reception and avoid interference.

1) raise the router above furniture level
2) Experiment with channels (some will work better or worse depending on your environment)
3) If you can detect strong neighbouring wifi, use a channel 5 stops away from strongest.
4) Relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc.
5) Be prepared to move the computer (or at least turn it so your body is not between the router signal and the wireless adapter's antenna.
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October 17, 2010 10:02:23 PM

Quote:
You should try to optimise your reception and avoid interference.

1) raise the router above furniture level
2) Experiment with channels (some will work better or worse depending on your environment)
3) If you can detect strong neighbouring wifi, use a channel 5 stops away from strongest.
4) Relocate cordless phone base or video sender etc.
5) Be prepared to move the computer (or at least turn it so your body is not between the router signal and the wireless adapter's antenna.


First thanks for the response/info, here's what's up regarding each :) 

1) I have done this, however the area it's placed (due to where the phone/power jacks are) is a floor above where the computers are so I don't know if it's fully effective.
2) I've swapped channels a few times now, I *think* I've found the one that works best here but the signal is still half strength or less (it doesn't fully drop out now tho)
3) I can detect three other networks, however all of them are only at one bar, should I still try to determine a channel 5 stops away from all of them?
4) All of those type of devices are across the room or farther away, again due to where outlets/jacks are that's about the farthest I can do without paying to have the wiring in the house redone.
5) I have located the computer / my chair so that my body isn't in between the signal and receiver. Space is very limited in my house however so I honestly don't have the option of relocating any of the connecting computers, they are in the only places they'll fit.

Thanks again for your input, do you have a recommend for a compatible booster? Or don't you think that would improve signal in my situation?
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Anonymous
October 17, 2010 10:09:27 PM

3) I live in an urban area surrounded by wifi networks so I try not to worry about ones on the same channel as me if they are less than 25% strength. In fact I have managed to stay connected despite an immediate next door neighbour whose signal was nearly twice as strong as that reaching me from the router.


5) I'ts a bit of a black art -- and there are some surprises -- like the angle at which you are located in relation to a wall will effect the loss at 90 degrees the loss is much less than at 45 degrees (the wall appears thicker to the signal). I've found that placing the computer hard against a wall reduces the wall's effect.
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October 30, 2010 12:29:34 AM

Quote:
3) I live in an urban area surrounded by wifi networks so I try not to worry about ones on the same channel as me if they are less than 25% strength. In fact I have managed to stay connected despite an immediate next door neighbour whose signal was nearly twice as strong as that reaching me from the router.


5) I'ts a bit of a black art -- and there are some surprises -- like the angle at which you are located in relation to a wall will effect the loss at 90 degrees the loss is much less than at 45 degrees (the wall appears thicker to the signal). I've found that placing the computer hard against a wall reduces the wall's effect.


I've been tinkering with placement and such since your last response. I had no idea how much slight adjustments could make a difference in the performance of a wifi network. I've had positive results and seen some signal stability improvements (altered the antenna position/placement, made sure that the desk is in the corner of the room nearest the antenna, etc). I'm still having overall network performance issues however.

I current subscribe to a service for 5 Mbps downstream/ up to 896 Kbps upstream. The link below is to my current best connection rating via speedtest.net & pingtest.net I tested on 4+ servers with these results being the best from any of them.



I'm still tinkering with placement and configuration as per your last post but I don't know how much more I'm going to be able to fine tune it at this point. So I guess my questions at present stand as follows

1) Do you think greater aptitude in the 'black arts' ;)  would be able to resolve my situation?
2) Is there anything else I can try at this point?
3) How would I find a compatible signal booster and/or antenna if it comes down to me needing one or both of those?


Thanks again for all your help it is greatly appreciated.
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Anonymous
October 30, 2010 2:09:17 AM

If you can add a signal booster to bridge the distance to the router that may help. Directional antenna may help but I suspect most are a waste of money.

It worries me that the router is an obscure brand that only makes routers because, I would hesitate to buy a signal booster from a different brand than the router for reasons of consistent terminology and effective instructions (though it will probably work in principle).
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October 30, 2010 2:12:51 AM

Just to confirm its the signal strength (bars) that is fluctuating/poor correct?

If so if you do not own the router replace it with the provider. It can be possible its a router issue.

Make sure its secured though poor bars will not effect it as much as it would speed. (if it has been unsecured restore back to factory defaults before setting up security to undo any tamping that may have occured)
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October 31, 2010 9:07:50 PM

@fihart; yes possible incompatibilities concern me too, I thought a simple search of google + hardware forums would turn up what I needed but no such luck, hence the thread. I didn't realize that Actiontec was so obscure. Maybe I should look into getting my ISP to let me use my own router + modem? If I go that route what brands / models should I be looking at for a DSL connection?

@mf2780; The signal strength is fluctuating yes, although the performance is fluctuating more at this point. Signal stays between '2 to 3' bars with the performance topping out at the benchmarks listed above.
I have indeed replaced the router-modem provided twice now but it has seemed to have no impact on my issues. What I haven't done is buy my own and replace the ISP issued ones (I'll have to check to see how my ISP would respond to that.. I don't *think* they'll should care but not sure).

It is currently unsecured, I was running it with WEP but the router-modem was refusing to allow a connection for several of my devices with the WEP set up even though I tried 3 different passwords and spent several hours on the phone with my ISPs IT department. I didn't think of its potential impact on performance but I'll give it another shot see if I can't get it ironed out.


Thanks to you both for the responses :) 
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Best solution

Anonymous
October 31, 2010 10:25:07 PM

The market leaders are probably Netgear Linksys and D-Link. Personally I think Netgear's support forum is a good enough reason for buying the brand and we've had our Netgear router for about 5 years without incident.
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November 7, 2010 10:43:58 PM

Quote:
The market leaders are probably Netgear Linksys and D-Link. Personally I think Netgear's support forum is a good enough reason for buying the brand and we've had our Netgear router for about 5 years without incident.



Thanks for all your help, I'm going with upgrading both the modem and service. We'll see where that leaves me :) 

Again thank you for all the information and help :) 

Cheers,
Phoenix
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November 7, 2010 10:44:10 PM

Best answer selected by PhoenixFlame.
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