Make sure your wired speed test is good before troubleshooting your wireless. If you are using a CDE Lightband router, connect your computer via Ethernet cable to GE1 to test your wired connection. If you have provided your own router, connect your computer directly to the wall outlet.
After you have verified that your wired speed test is good, you can improve your wireless speed tremendously by finding the best channel for your environment. You can also improve your wireless connection by reducing interference, choosing optimal settings, location, and knowing more about your environment.
If you are having connection or speed issues with a device, it is best to trace it back to the originating end of your connection. Work in one direction, so that nothing is missed, starting from where you noticed the problem back towards the entry point (Internet outlet).
Note: it's important to know that WiFi connections are exposed to more factors than wired connections. Sometimes, additional factors can make WiFi unstable. Wired connections are faster, more secure, and more dependable than wireless connections and should be used whenever possible.
Problem? Interference from physical obstructions can also slow down your WiFi. Look out for brick walls, water, metal, reflective surfaces, windows, and furniture.
- Make sure your modem is in a place that has access to circulating air and is away from anything that produces heat. When electronic components get excessively hot they will not work properly.
- Finding a place for your modem that's higher up (e.g., bookcase, shelf, upstairs), gets you better coverage. Places that are centrally located are even better.
- Be aware of physical barriers that can interfere with your WiFi connection. Try opening an inner door or moving your modem or wireless device around. It's surprising how much a wall can affect your wireless connection.
|Barrier||WiFi loss measured in dB|
|Hollow Wood Door||4dB|
Problem? Interference from other WiFi networks is very common. WiFi is an unlicensed band, which means other wireless networks are allowed to interfere with yours.
On most routers you can find the best WiFi channel for your environment.
Problem? Other electronics can produce electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can slow down your WiFi. Keep an eye open for electronics like microwaves, cordless phones (2.4 GHz), cell phones, Bluetooth devices, televisions, dimmer switches, fans, fluorescent lights, copy machines, treadmills, wireless surveillance systems, wireless speakers, wireless baby monitors, motion detector lights, garage door openers.
- Some TVs have power supplies that generate short range interference affecting your WiFi even while the TV is turned off. If you notice your Internet disconnecting or slowing down while you are using the microwave (or another device), try the following:
- Turning off (and unplug) the device you think may be causing a problem and test your Internet connection. If the problem goes away while the device is unplugged (but you still need to use the device), create 5 to 10 feet of space between the device and the modem to see if this improves your connection.
Problem? The distance between the router and your device can slow down your WiFi connection. This table gives you an idea of real world wireless distances. Keep in mind, every environment is different.
- Make sure your modem is in a place that has access to circulating air, and is away from anything that produces heat. When electronic components get excessively hot they will not work properly.
- Find a place for your modem that's higher up (e.g., bookcase, shelf, upstairs), gets you better coverage. Places that are centrally located are even better.
- Consider getting a WiFi range extender or move your equipment closer together.
|Standard||Frequency||Theoretical Distance||Real World Distance|
|802.11a||5Ghz||390 ft||195 ft|
|802.11b||2.4Ghz||460 ft||230 ft|
|802.11g||2.4Ghz||125 ft||62 ft|
|802.11n||2.4Ghz||820 ft||410 ft|
|802.11n||5Ghz||460 ft||230 ft|
|802.11ac||5Ghz||up to 820 ft (amplified)||up to 410 ft (amplified)|
Problem? Sometimes your modem behaves oddly. With just a bit of information, you'll be able to keep things running smoothly or, if necessary, fix the occasional problem.
- Power cycle your modem
- Make sure your modem has the latest Firmware version.
- Try reset your modem to factory defaults. If you have custom settings in the modem that you want to keep, you can backup and restore your modem settings.
Note: Real world factors include WiFi overhead, interference (physical barriers, other WiFi networks), your network and how many devices are on your network.
Problem? Sometimes you may notice a sizable gap between your up and down numbers when testing your connection speed. If your upload speeds are normal but the download speeds are low - or vice versa: your download speeds are normal but the upload speeds are low - it is often a result of your testing equipment or how you are testing your speeds.
- Avoid testing your speeds with gaming consoles such as Xbox or Playstation. These tests will often display a low upload result because it is simulating uploads to the console's network and is not an accurate representation of your available bandwidth or Internet connection speeds overall.
- Close any open applications and enable sleep mode/disable any background programs that may be running on your testing device. Even the background programs will draw on the device's resources and may affect your results. Make sure that the device is running up-to-date software.
If the testing device is a computer, please run basic maintenance on the computer as well (disk clean-up, disk fragment). If your computer performs slowly, this will affect your test results.
- Check your connection directly from the wall outlet to a computer to see if the results are consistent. Be sure to prepare your testing device as listed above before testing. If up and down now display normally with little to no gap, then this would indicate an issue with your WiFi router.
Question not listed here?
Contact CDE Technical Support at 931-648-8151