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improving wifi in my home office

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,882
763
NC
There's actually a lot of testing you could do to troubleshoot if you wanted to pinpoint this. If you had two laptops, I'd probably test both laptop-to-laptop and internet speed tests:
  • Unplug everything that you can reach, do tests near the router and then in a far room
  • Plug everything back in, wait for it all to boot (~10 mins), then repeat above tests before anyone is using it
  • Repeat above tests while there's a lot of activity
You could repeat tests for both bands if you wanted to be really thorough. That would tell you the most about the network. Everything unplugged and standing near the router on the 5 GHz would be what your network is theoretically capable of. Each subsequent test would give you information about the variables. If your laptop-to-laptop tests show meaningfully different results throughout this testing, a new router will probably help you greatly.
 

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
20,013
7,727
behind you, don't wait up.
weird, my list fo available networks doesn't show my 5ghz, on the 2.4. I know it showed both previously.

Just to confirm, I'd have better performance in the house on the 5 vs 2.4? :nerd:
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,882
763
NC
weird, my list fo available networks doesn't show my 5ghz, on the 2.4. I know it showed both previously.

Just to confirm, I'd have better performance in the house on the 5 vs 2.4? :nerd:
Some routers broadcast both on the same SSID and the device picks which one is better. Often devices are bad at doing this and select the stronger 2.4 GHz signal even though the 5 GHz signal would perform better.

5 GHz is faster and less susceptible to wireless interference because there are more available channels and it doesn't sit near the same frequencies as Bluetooth and some other technologies. Because the waves are shorter, it's more susceptible to physical interference (e.g. walls) and doesn't travel as far, so if your router is really far away it may not be ideal.

The vast majority of the time, you're better off on 5 GHz.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,882
763
NC
How do you vet an app like this from the security viewpoint?
There's not really much it can do. It's using the wireless data already seen by your phone, and doesn't have access to any of your phone's data or the wireless passwords or anything.

Your phone's permission sets are pretty good. While I don't suggest anyone just download tons of apps, picking from highly downloaded and well-reviewed apps isn't too scary. WiFi Analyzer is a good one.

About the worst thing the app could do is transmit your wireless network SSIDs somewhere which maybe could be tied to your IP address. Which isn't ideal for privacy, but is also data that could be gleaned by driving by your house, so...?
 
There's not really much it can do. It's using the wireless data already seen by your phone, and doesn't have access to any of your phone's data or the wireless passwords or anything.

Your phone's permission sets are pretty good. While I don't suggest anyone just download tons of apps, picking from highly downloaded and well-reviewed apps isn't too scary. WiFi Analyzer is a good one.

About the worst thing the app could do is transmit your wireless network SSIDs somewhere which maybe could be tied to your IP address. Which isn't ideal for privacy, but is also data that could be gleaned by driving by your house, so...?
Installed it, used it, now I have some stuff to think about.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
13,977
11,214
Canaderp
Installed it, used it, now I have some stuff to think about.
I'm guessing there aren't many SSID's being broadcasted in your neck of the woods?

In the lady friends condo, that app looked like a kaleidoscope of colours when reporting what was out there.

Ever used a spectrum analyzer? Dive off the deep end and get groovy... https://www.metageek.com/support/downloads/


Its interesting "seeing" whats out there... Especially Bluetooth, as @binary visions mentions.
 
I'm guessing there aren't many SSID's being broadcasted in your neck of the woods?

In the lady friends condo, that app looked like a kaleidoscope of colours when reporting what was out there.

Ever used a spectrum analyzer? Dive off the deep end and get groovy... https://www.metageek.com/support/downloads/


Its interesting "seeing" whats out there... Especially Bluetooth, as @binary visions mentions.
I have four on site SSIDs.

Yes, I have used a spectrum analyzer. Also a scintillometer, if that counts for anything.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
11,747
985
Hypernormality
@Nick If you have a cheaper router then it very probably does output in a bagel/apple shape with the router being the very center of said bagel/apple.

First thing: Can you move the router closer to the 3D center of the area it is mainly being used?

Second: Think about that virtual apple being cast from the router and put a beanbag or whatever under it so the orientation of said apple gives more flesh to the area where you need it. This may mean it is on a funky angle. Once you find a good angle, replace beanbag with something that doesn’t impede airflow so much and isn’t a fire hazard.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
11,747
985
Hypernormality
weird, my list fo available networks doesn't show my 5ghz, on the 2.4. I know it showed both previously.

Just to confirm, I'd have better performance in the house on the 5 vs 2.4? :nerd:
Depends on range and interference. Oh! That’s a good point. Do you have any old fridges, microwaves, other older appliances near or in the way of you router? That can kill signal.
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
34,473
8,824
Riding the baggage carousel.
Anecdote of exactly 1;

Google router and point showed up yesterday. Set up was stupid easy. Only mistake I made was nuking the old network before all the various "smart" devices had been switched over, resulting in me having to factory reset a bunch of them before I could get them on the new network. Coverage area is slightly larger, finally have decent wifi out in our detached garage. Noticable improvement in speed even when everyone is on a computer. Bottleneck is now at our shitty ISP.

Screenshot_20201204-085808.png
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,882
763
NC
@Nick not surprising, if your work is forcing all internet traffic over the VPN, it's bound to slow things down substantially. Depending on the infrastructure, you may be seeing performance degradation from the VPN encryption, or limitations of the bandwidth/resources on the VPN device itself, or even just some geographic limitations if your VPN endpoint is a large distance from you.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
13,977
11,214
Canaderp
Man... if I could get upload speeds like that I could do backups to the Cloud... :disgust:
I cheated and did it from the cloud :D From Azure here in Toronto - we have an ExpressRoute in our data center, but not sure how the interwebs is routed to/from there and Azure.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
31,672
3,860
Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 8.03.24 PM.png


Above is a MBP on 802.11ac, 5 GHz network, no VPN connection. Oddly the 26 ms was repeatable, go figure.

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 8.02.43 PM.png


This one is the same setup, with VPN connection. Ping got better, DL a little worse, upload still just fine.

Will grab wired equivalents later, post-workout and -Mandalorian.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,882
763
NC
My Azure VM has a pretty decent internet connection... and I don't even have the high speed NICs attached to it. The 1ms ping suggests that Windstream is either using Azure for their load test servers, or they're sharing the same datacenter.

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 7.59.44 AM.png



We've had all kinds of connections on the road. The first place up a rural road had cable, and I'd get ~20 down/2 up at 6am. By 10am, the rest of the neighborhood was awake and I'd see ~2 down/0.1 up. That was fun for work video calls. Then they upgraded to a 30/10mbps point-to-point Wi-Fi connection served by a big tower on a nearby mountain.