(OT) Wireless connection veeerrryyy slow... (longish)

Got a new Belkin AC1200 (F9J1106 v1) modem router last week. It is dual-band, and I know what you are going to say about Belkin - it wasn't my first choice either, but it was free.
Set it up without a problem. It sits in the study at the corner of the house, ground floor, thickish walls, on a top shelf. Not ideal, I know, but with my much older modem/router I never got less than 30% signal anywhere in the house.
I put a few screenshots of my settings here: http://tinypic.com/r/10i6i5u/8 http://tinypic.com/r/2hxvokw/8 http://tinypic.com/r/1495enm/8 They are the same as the once I used with my old router (also a Belkin).
I did some testing earlier today using a couple of Android apps to check signal strength and wifi speed around the house.
Wired speed seems to be fine - I get pretty much what my ISP claims that I should get.
However, wifi performance is really bad:
If I am within a few meters of the router, in the same room, I get:
- 72Mbps on the 2.4 GHz network - 200-433Mbps on the 5G GHz network (seems to vary)
As soon as I am out of the room and the signal drops to below 50-60%, the 2.4 network drops to between 2 and 12Mbps, and the 5G network to slightly higher (around 20Mbps).
What I have tried so far:
- Installed the latest firmware. - 5GHz channel was set to "Auto" and I left it as is. - For the 2.4Ghz band I tried channels Auto, 1, 6 and 11 and a few others, but it made no difference. - Rebooting the router. - Hard resetting the router to factory settings and entered the settings again. - Moved the router to the hallway - open space, and tried to check from around a corner.
All resulted in the same speed drop.
The house is pretty isolated, with no other wifi's visible, and all the channels are free from any interference.
Only other wireless devices around the house are: - a cordless landline phone. - a 3g booster thingy connected to the network switch as mobile signal here is very poor. - a central heating wireless controller/thermostat (Honeywell 927 I believe) - located only 1m away from its receiver.
To be on the safe side I turned them all off, but it made no difference.
My questions are:
1. I believe that theoretically I should get somewhere close to 300Mbps using the 2.4Ghz band, and close to 867Mbp using the 5Ghz when standing close to the router. Why don't I get anywhere near these values? Why never more than 72Mbps on the 2.4?
2. Do you think the router is faulty?
3. Anything that I missed?
Any idea how to resolve this?
Many thanks in advance.
J.
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JoeJoe wrote:

Only if you have devices with 2x2 MIMO and 40MHz channels, I'd expect there's already plenty of "trampling" of channels by neighbours even with 20MHz channels.

For 802.11ac devices with 4x4 MIMO maybe, are your phones ac or n (or even g, or b) if they're n and likely 2x2 MIMO, then 270-300Mbps is your max.

welcome to the difference between theoretical maximums and real world performance! I spent last week aiming £200K of test kit at much fancier access points than a £40 Belkin ;-)

sounds like SISO 802.11n with 20MHz channel.
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On 13/03/2015 07:34, Andy Burns wrote:

There are no neighbours around us - only one house within 40-50m, and I know they have no wifi (I set up his BB for him). Nothing is visible when searching for networks either.

Good point - haven't thought of that. I'd be happy with anything in the 00's. I did do the testing using a Nexus 4 - only 802.1n, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro tablet (ac according to http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_tab_pro_10_1-5940.php ), so 72Mbps still sounds a bit low surely?

...but why? It is a pretty recent router (2-3 years old I believe), 2 antennas, and although I couldn't find the details spec online, I am sure it supports pretty advanced features.
...and most importantly, why such a dramatic drop in speed (<10Mbps) when signal is still strong?
Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply!
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On 13/03/2015 09:05, JoeJoe wrote:

Also, the router bandwidth is set up as 20/40 MHz for 2.4 and 20/40/80MHz for 5G, so should allow for 40Mhz channels.
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On 13/03/2015 09:14, JoeJoe wrote:

Firstly, prejudice aside, try testing with something that *isn't* an Android device. Both of those devices you mention have had reports of poor Wifi performance, (JGFI) if you are going to be battling Android revision and driver problems on top of physical RF issues you will be chasing your tail for ages.
If things check out, then it *might* be worth checking out the likes of XDA to see if the Android issues have been fixed...
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On 13/03/2015 11:29, Lee wrote:

I think you hit the nail on the head!
I have so far tried testing with a Nexus 4 (rated 802.1n) and a Samsung tablet (rated 802.1ac), so thought I had all bases covered.
Well, I just tried using my oldish netbook. The tablet sitting next to it reports weak/very weak signal and speed of 12-19Mbps, whilst the netbook reports strong signal and 120Mbps...
I am quite surprised I must say.
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On 13/03/2015 11:39, JoeJoe wrote:

Having several Android devices, I am not :( The Galaxy Note4 seems to be the best of the bunch I have here for WiFi, though it still only manages 125mbps, while the laptop manages 450mbps in the same place...
Lee
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On 13/03/2015 12:46, Lee wrote:

Now you are telling me... ;-)
I've spend quite a few hours over the last few days trying God knows how many setups to work out what was going wrong.
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I got the reverse effect. I am sharing my wifi with my next door neighbour who can't afford an internet service. I couldn’t see my wifi when inside her house on my iphone 5, but her grand kid's Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7" sees it fine but doesn’t get all that reliable thruput. She got a Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7" herself, mostly to listen to a particular radio broadcast on the net. I've put one of those Medion wifi extenders about half way down her backyard and that works fine and is very reliable thruput wise. While its half the thruput due to the way those extenders work, its fine for the radio broadcast bandwidth. I could run a CAT5 cable there from my place and get full thruput, but haven't bothered and don’t like the small risk of a lightning strike on that. If there is a lightning strike on the wifi extender without the CAT5 cable, the worst that's lost is the wifi extender that cost peanuts.

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On 13/03/2015 11:29, Lee wrote:

Just had a look at xda, and as you pointed out, there are quite a few references to poor wifi performance with these devices.
There is a possible solution, but it involves rooting, so I think I'll give that a miss.
With v5.1 rolling out (no news about Nexus 4 update though), I may just hold on for a while.
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On 13/03/2015 11:52, JoeJoe wrote:

In the grand scheme of things, how important is it to be able to shift data from router to tablet etc so much faster than you can get it into the house in the first place? It seems to me that there must be limited applications where one needs to shift gigs of data between phones / tablets etc on a routine basis.
--
Cheers,

John.
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On 13/03/2015 23:11, John Rumm wrote:

I never checked the speed for the reasons you described, and only started to investigate when:
- I noticed that I could not stream Sky Go and iPlayer to the tablet fast enough when too far away from the router (kept on buffering); and - had some problems when video Skype-ing.
I'll be more than happy if I could get my BB speed on wifi anywhere around the house - around 14Mbps, but I am currently getting only 2Mbps...
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On 13/03/2015 23:25, JoeJoe wrote:

That I can sympathise with... I was just wondering why spending the effort trying to get hundreds of megs, when perhaps focusing on range / coverage would be the way to go.
--
Cheers,

John.
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The main situation where I need to do that is to put videos into a phone or tablet after its been downloaded using the desktop.
The other obvious use is with modern smartphones and tablets that are very decent video cameras now.
I normally do that using USB because it’s a lot faster than wifi.
It seems to me that there must be limited

Sure, but its still useful to do that quickly if you do it often.
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On Fri, 13 Mar 2015 09:05:29 +0000, JoeJoe wrote:

That's digits and radio frequency stuff for you. Strength isn't everything reflections of the RF introduce cancelations/peaks spread across the band. How well the digit detection and/or protocols after that can handle this real world signal is very variable.
As interference from other devices doesn't appear to be likely. Have you checked that both aerials are not damaged/broken and are connected to the radio(s) inside the unit (fractured/failed joint etc). As this was "free" I'm assuming 2nd user so voiding any warranty isn't an issue.
--
Cheers
Dave.
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On 13/03/2015 11:12, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Sorry, I should have made it clearer - the router is brand new. The antennas are hidden behind some plastic panels, but I assume intact.
It was free because it was a replacement for a faulty one. Only reason I still use Belkin (I know, I know) is due to their lifetime warranty.
I bought the original modem (wasn't even a router) around 2001-2 I believe. They start misbehaving every 4 years or so, and upon phoning them they send me the latest model they have available at the time, pretty much no question asked. 4-5 years ago they made a mistake in their warehouse and ended up sending me 3 replacement units over a 2 week period that they insisted that I could keep. I sold the other 2 for around £70 each on eBay... ;-)
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On Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:38:11 +0000, JoeJoe wrote:

Hidden aerials not good but very common these days.

Blimely free upgrades for life? Does that still exist with new Belkin kit? Could help to explain their generally high prices for not particularly well respected kit. B-)
Interested in the comments about Android and WiFi. Both phone (S3 mini) and tablet (Tab 2 7") randomly disconnect/reconnect when within feet of the AP. I've always put it down to the ancient Netgear WG102 AP, maybe it's a bit of both. No.1 Daughter occasionally complains about the WiFi on her HP laptop.
--
Cheers
Dave.
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Wifi can be such a flakey thing (or the kit anyway).
A few years ago my phone would often just 'lose' the connection and refuse to see it until you toggled the wifi on an off. I replaced AP and all was fine after that.
More recently, we've had lots of problems with connections randomly getting really slow (eg dropping from say 30 Mbps, to maybe <1 Mbps or whatever, and quite erratic - it would sit doing nothing then suddenly download a little spurt etc.. It was almost usable and only really cured by rebooting the router.
At first thought it might be some significant interference, but couldn't see anything obvious.
Repalced the AP (and took the opportunity to rationalise the kit, since we'd since got FTTC)with a new router and so far it's all been fine
--
Chris French


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On 13/03/2015 15:07, Dave Liquorice wrote:

IMO the biggest problem is that Android is even more fragmented than Windows, so it's rarely clear whether it's Android or the hardware :( Sometimes you can get lucky and one of the published "fixes" will work, bit like Windows and Linux, tbf.
I'm sure the WiFi was a bit better on the S3 I have when it was running 4.1 than 4.3, and possibly slightly better when paired with the previous Billion 7800N, although that was coincidental to 4.1, so I don't know. Anyway, the Note 4 seems to work well enough with the current router and the S3 has been relegated to ODB2 monitor duty, it can just about manage that :)
Lee
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On 13/03/2015 15:07, Dave Liquorice wrote:

I think it is only 2 years now.

Agreed.
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