I installed a wifi system in my home. It consists of a Tp-link router
TL-WDR3500 plus a Tp-link AC 750 range extender. My two desktops connect
with cables to the router. The wifi is supposed to cover the rest of the
3300 sqft single-story house.
Without the range extender, there were several dead spots in the wifi
coverage inside the house. After I installed the range extender, the
connections improved greatly.
However, the system fluctuates in coverage. In the same spot, one moment the
signal is "poor", the next moment it is "good" or "excellent". I measured
signal strength both with my smart phone and with my tablet.
What can possibly account for the fluctuations in signal strength, though I
am not making any changes to the system??
Customer support comes directly from China and is troubled by the fact that
they hardly speak any English.
Thanks for any input.
First you need to track down which device is giving you the problem.
Without the extender, and standing near the router does the signal
fluctuate? If not, move further away and see if there is any particular
place where the signal fluctuates.
If it checks out OK then attach the extender and repeat the process.
Here is one of many online reviews I found on your router:
Pros: Looks pretty.
Cons: The range on this router is awful! I live in a ranch house and
have the router in a central location. The signal in any other room in
the house besides the one it is located in is terrible. We frequently
lose the signal all together on our laptop, Ipad and cell phones.
I contacted TP-Link and they suggested I buy better antennas?!?!?! Why
would I or should I have to do that?
Based on their service or lack there of I would not purchase on of their
Thank you for taking the time to check out our Router.
We are sorry to see that you've had some issues with this device.
One thing we would suggest is to upgrade the firmware of the device
from our website.
You can find the firmware on our site at:
There are many things that can cause a Router to have a poor signal
like obstruction from walls or interference from other Routers and devices.
One thing to try is going into the wireless settings of your router
and chaning the channel width to 20 MHz and changing the channel from
auto to a static number you see in the list.
Here is a guide to help you get into the wireless settings:
If you are still having issues then please feel free to contact me
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TP-LINK Support Team
First, get yourself a free app called WiFi Analyzer. You can't really
figure this stuff out without it. It shows a graph of all the WiFi signals
in your house, their strength and the channels they are using. Invaluable.
The 2.4GHz spectrum is vastly oversubscribed with nanny cams, cordless
phones and dozens of other items that transmit on that band. If your
neighbor's router (or yours) resets, it often goes into a mode where it
hunts for the best channel.
My analyzer showed me that when I started up my system, I was using the same
channels as my neighbor. After I got WiFi, so did my neighbor and
transmissions were clearly affected. After about a week, all three routers
ended up camped out in different ranges and transmission improved. It also
improved when I disabled the wireless videocam I had in the attic that was
monitoring the rotation of the attic TV antenna (cheap rotator!). I believe
in some areas power companies use WiFi to transmit usage data. My
connection always slows down in the morning. Alleged 150Mbs service drops
to 2 and while directly connected computers slow down, it never approaches
the problem I have with WiFi. How close to your neighbors are you? What do
you see? How many other SSIDs show up on the "connect to other routers"
Orientation and position are important, too. I looked at my house
(plaster/lathe walls) with the analyzer and an eye to where I would be using
WiFi. Don't locate your router near a window (unless you're going to use a
tablet outside) because most of its RF power will be radiated into space and
lost. Place it as centrally within the house as you can. Keep in mind that
location should provide as close to "line of sight" access to all your
receiving devices as possible.
The one thing missing from the analyzer is the ability to see what other
kinds of 2.4GHz devices are operating in the area. Jeez, just turned on
the analyzer to see if it had the noise option but I missed it and now I see
that there's another user in the neighborhood!!!!
With the analyzer I can go for a stroll and figure out who this
"Kroppenheim" character is and where so I can account for the interference
in case I have to move my router (still have some dead spots - used the
TP-Link AC repeater and all it seemed to do was double my problems - it's
disconnected for now).
A lot of things can affect your WiFi coverage, but location is one of the
biggest. Remember the signal has to pass through walls, floors, appliances,
plumbing, furniture, etc. Ideally your WiFi router should be located in the
center of your home, up high near the ceiling. Of course, this usually
isn't the most convenient spot for the rest of the system.
I had problems similar to you, so I ran a network cable to my attic and
installed a D-Link Access point in the attic, as close to the center of the
house as I could get. I now get a full strength signal everywhere in the
more than one AP throughout the house. 5GHz band is less crowded and can
use wider band width for -AC mode. Need to spend some time trying this
and that to have good working network. In my case ~2600 sq. ft. 2 story
is covered with one router(Linksys EA8500) from basement to upstairs
loft where router is located. Wife streams live video every night onto
HT system. No issues at all.
On 2/26/2016 9:52 AM, HerHusband wrote:
What you're really interested in is the "RF proximity" (bogus term?)
of the AP to THE PLACES YOU EXPECT TO USE IT! E.g., if you plan on
using it to connect wirelessly from places in the backyard, then
you want it "RF accessible" from the back yard (not necessarily
from the bedrooms, garage, etc.).
But, you also have to consider the *nature* of any obstacles in the
flight path. AC/heating ductwork? Large appliances? Metal lath
in walls? etc.
And, any other "intentional radiators" that might be crowding the
available spectrum: baby monitors, microwave ovens, cordless
phones, etc. -- along with all of these in your NEIGHBORS' homes!
(depending on proximity)
I installed two AP's on different sides of the house. Each can cover the
entire house so the point of having two is that I can make wireless
services available to "guests" without compromising the rest of the
infrastructure (i.e., by denying them access to the rest of my network).
Each is located on the ceiling of a closet. As such, they aren't eyesores.
Yet, are easily accessed (no attic/basement, here). Everything is PoE
powered so no need to find a nearby outlet for a cosmetically unappealing
But, I *rely* on WIRED connections throughout the house. Wireless is just
microwave ovens are a biggie...
your 100mW router can compete with other 100 mW routers that tranmit packets on and off but is no match for a 1000 Watt microwave that runs in CW mode.
Unfortunatly, those WiFi anlyzers don't show all this other stuff that is in the 2.4 GHz band. you need a real spectrum analyzer.
On 2/26/2016 1:26 PM, email@example.com wrote:
But a microwave oven is only limited "usage cycle". Chances are, it
will turn off in another minute or so. (assuming the maggie isn't
being duty-cycle modulated for a reduced "power level")
The problem comes when your neighbor isn't just transmitting packets
intermittently but is, instead, using his WiFi in lieu of a wired
connection and is streaming movies, skyping, etc.
Yup. Or, a way to move your wireless stuff to different bands (e.g., 5GHz).
I use a 900MHz cordless phone as it avoids problems with other "interferers".
WiFi is less reliable, and less secure. It should never be your first
choice for a fixed location.
I have a lot of things on my home network. Only two (a laptop and a
camera) use WiFi. Both of these are things I move around a lot.
The problem lies with folks who don't have (or don't want to install)
the infrastructure for *wired* connectivity. And, their neighbors!
"Oh, I can just put this little box where my telephone/CATV line
comes into the house and not have to worry about where my computers
are -- or if I have "too many" of them!
I have drops *everywhere* (at least two in each room -- as many
as four, in some cases). I keep a 10 ft network cable in each laptop
bag. When I pull out the charger, I also pull out the network
cable and connect both.
[I don't carry my laptop around with me like a "man purse" but,
rather, sit it in whatever location I feel like working, at the time.]
I have noticed that when checking the speed of the internet I get a lot less
reported on my wireless connected netbook and a Win 10 desktop than I do on
2 computers that are hard wired into the router. The router and wireless
connections are suspose to be 100 meg or beter and the internet is only
suspose to be 50 meg or less. Even with all the hard wired computers off
the wireless has a lot less speed reported.
On Sat, 27 Feb 2016 15:03:49 -0500, "Ralph Mowery"
I had a choice between wireless and a 100' cat-6 cable, and using the
same computer, the wireless was definitely slower.
It's not surprising. The radio waves and electrons get up and out of
the router and are in the middle of the room, and it's hard to keep
track of landmarks and direction when they're flying to the computer.
Worse yet, they come of a wall and have no idea where they are.
It's impressive that they ever get there.
That could be a consequence of the hardware/firmware in the router.
E.g., there's usually a FIVE port switch built in that can do some
routing functions "in silicon".
Even if all traffic is processed by the firmware, there may be
added overhead in the particular way packets are sourced/sunk
via the wireless "port".
E.g., I could possibly redesign the router so the opposite case
[There's an "urban legend" (actually, science!) regarding the direction
that water "swirls" -- clockwise vs. counterclockwise -- as it runs down
a drain. One infamous demo showed BOTH directions (different times)
using the same "bathtub". It's a hack as science states that this
IS the case (one direction north of the equator, the other direction
south of it -- coriolis effect). The demo was carefully constructed
to force the water to "misbehave", when the tub was initially filled;
then, if left to sit for a while, it would "behave" as expected.]
My router is located under my desk in my home office. I couldn't get a
"reliable" signal in the living room, just 20 feet away. Of course, there
are three walls, a heater, steel bathtub, plumbing, and wiring in between
the two rooms.
Adding the access point in my attic solved all of my WiFi issues. I now get
a strong signal anywhere in the house. Ironically, the signal from the
access point is a bit weak in the office, but my normal router takes over
in that case.
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