I'm a serial wireless router killer - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-15-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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We do a lot of streaming in our house. Over the last three years I've purchased three wireless routers, each of them lasting only 10-14 months. At first I thought it was the fact I was purchasing cheap APs, but my last purchase was a ASUS RT-N66U. This last weekend I wired everything I could, but I still have a lot of wireless only devices that are streaming. (iPADs, Rokus, smart phones, etc.)

Any suggestions on what router or AP I should purchase next? Is there anything I should be doing in my Wi-Fi settings that may help?
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-15-2013, 08:40 AM
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What exactly is failing on the routers? The only thing I can think of is that you are plugging them into a faulty outlet or they are overheating somehow.


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post #3 of 14 Old 07-15-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dharel View Post

What exactly is failing on the routers? The only thing I can think of is that you are plugging them into a faulty outlet or they are overheating somehow.
BINGO! Exactly what I was going to post. Bad power.. I have had some wireless routers last years and years for people. On my own system, I have most of the networking stuff as well as all of my own home theatre stuff on tripp lite battery back ups... Never an issue..
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-15-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dharel View Post

What exactly is failing on the routers? The only thing I can think of is that you are plugging them into a faulty outlet or they are overheating somehow.

Clients on the wireless network are dropping packets. Tested via internal ping from laptop to N66U. All my networking equipment is serviced by a dedicated circuit into my office. (The office has two circuits.) Right now I just have the N66U, cable modem, and a couple of lamps plugged into it.

How do I test the power quality? The previous homeowner did all his own home improvements and he could have installed the additional circuit incorrectly.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 05:13 AM
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First, I'd do a simple receptacle test, you can use something like this. It will tell you if the circuits are wired incorrectly. You can test voltage as well with a cheap multi-meter. You might want to watch for huge voltage changes when your HVAC cuts on/off.

Test for power quality can be difficult since there are so many possible factors. The equipment can be expensive, probably would want to hire someone to do that, and it might make more sense to just go ahead and buy a decent UPS.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 05:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

First, I'd do a simple receptacle test, you can use something like this. It will tell you if the circuits are wired incorrectly. You can test voltage as well with a cheap multi-meter. You might want to watch for huge voltage changes when your HVAC cuts on/off.

Test for power quality can be difficult since there are so many possible factors. The equipment can be expensive, probably would want to hire someone to do that, and it might make more sense to just go ahead and buy a decent UPS.

the bolded above. I swear by my ups..(well, ups's)
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 05:56 PM
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You can find a line conditioner that is similar to a UPS, the difference is some UPS's will have better power wave generators. I personally use one put out by APC called the Line R series I plug everything into it TV's as well as all my network gear. They can be cheaper than a regular UPS, but if the power goes out it will kill what is plugged into it. I also have a dedicated UPS for my main computer but for home use it works great, been using it for more than 3 years and never had to replace any equipment due to power spikes or over voltage. I will provide a link for those who might be interested.

http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=67

Now I am sure you can find good sources that will define dirty power, and the different kinds of sin wave, and power generation. Most my gear is not that expensive and I don't have any 20K worth of critical gear that depends on it.

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post #8 of 14 Old 07-17-2013, 10:43 AM
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I've got the ASUS AC66U for the same reason. I've got a lot of devices that are wireless. The reason why I got this one is due to its dual wireless channel 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. So, I've got all of the iPads (4 of them) on the 5 Ghz channel, wife's laptop and our iPhone 4s's do not support 5 Ghz so they are on the 2.4 Ghz. I also hard wired everything I can. I found this to be the best solution now.

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-17-2013, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I've got the ASUS AC66U for the same reason. I've got a lot of devices that are wireless. The reason why I got this one is due to its dual wireless channel 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. So, I've got all of the iPads (4 of them) on the 5 Ghz channel, wife's laptop and our iPhone 4s's do not support 5 Ghz so they are on the 2.4 Ghz. I also hard wired everything I can. I found this to be the best solution now.

I've change my wireless settings to the following:

Frequency: 2.4 GHz
Wireless mode: Auto / with b/g Protection
Channel bandwith: 20 MHz
Control Channel: 11

Frequency: 5 GHz
Wireless Mode: N Only
Channel bandwidth: 80 MHz (I cannot change this since I am using channel 36)
Control Channel: 36

After changing from the stock setting to the above settings, I've noticed that the wireless connection is much faster.

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-18-2013, 03:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I've change my wireless settings to the following:

Frequency: 2.4 GHz
Wireless mode: Auto / with b/g Protection
Channel bandwith: 20 MHz
Control Channel: 11

Frequency: 5 GHz
Wireless Mode: N Only
Channel bandwidth: 80 MHz (I cannot change this since I am using channel 36)
Control Channel: 36

After changing from the stock setting to the above settings, I've noticed that the wireless connection is much faster.
How are you determining how much faster it is?
Mine should be here tomorrow, so looking for some settings...
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-25-2013, 08:41 AM
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I have given up on Linksys/Cisco routers. For the last few models I drilled many extra holes for increase heat dissipation - no joy. I have now gone to Asus ones. I hope they last longer. I have only had them a few months.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-25-2013, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by comicguy View Post

How are you determining how much faster it is?
Mine should be here tomorrow, so looking for some settings...

I had my wife's laptop and iPad. Tested it via speedtest.net and got the fastest wireless Internet speed with those setting.

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post #13 of 14 Old 07-25-2013, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TambourineMan View Post

I have given up on Linksys/Cisco routers. For the last few models I drilled many extra holes for increase heat dissipation - no joy. I have now gone to Asus ones. I hope they last longer. I have only had them a few months.

My Asus AC66U runs a little bit hot. Hotter than my WRND3700. So far it has been working great.

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-25-2013, 11:20 AM
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Couple things. . .

- I'm most definitely not an electrician, but doesn't anything with an a/c to d/c adapter have a smaller chance of being affected by line level minor gremlins? Yes I know they can and do fail, but when your next router dies I might take a multimeter to the a/c adapter's output before you go tracing down circuit gremlins.

- For the newer broadcom based Asus routers (I also have the rt-N66) there is a firmware out there that, with Asus's factory guidance, takes the stock firmware and makes some mild improvements on it. It is the only non-OEM firmware I've ever read a review on SmallNetBuilder and heard him endorse it. It's called Merlin WRT and it's great. . .smooth sailing.

- Instead of doing channel "auto" try doing a site survey (if you have a mac, this feature is built in) to find nearby APs, their signal strength, and channels. Yes, that's kind of what "auto" does, but you might have one set of results on one side of your house, and a completely different set near the router. On 2.4ghz band channels 1, 6, and 11 are considered the best because they can do 40mhz wide channels without overlapping each other. Also try setting the channel bandwidth manually to 40mhz.

- Test your actual wifi RSSI (signal strength) in various places before/after any changes you do, in multiple places around the house. With a mac you hold down option and click on the wifi menubar icon, I believe the system tray network icon in Windows might reveal similar info somehow (sorry, forget off the top of my head). Also try running a speed test (speakeasy, dslreports, etc) a couple times in various places, but always to the same server. This way you can determine both your intranet signal strength and your internet bandwidth.

- Make sure your router is on a hard surface, even try putting extra rubber feet on the bottom to elevate it a little for more airflow, and make sure it has 1-2' of free space in at least 4-5 different directions. I also have run a $15 Vornado Zippi fan on all my routers for the last few years, it's silent (in slow speed) and, why not. . .never had one fail.


FWIW - I'm on my mid 2009 Macbook (2-stream N), approximately one floor and 20-25' away from my router right now, on 5ghz channel with an RSSI of -61 and a wireless speed of 216.
Here is a speedtest.net results from my MacBook, here is one from my iphone.

And copying a 1gb file from my Synology 212+ NAS via wifi to my MacBook at 20MB/s+, which is pretty solid. . .
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