r/techsupport Aug 03 '22

WiFi Inconsistent on Different Devices Open | Networking

My WiFi is normally fine, but recently I have been having issues with drastically reduced speeds (down to <1 Mbps when normal is 200). Generally these are 1-10 min slowdowns followed by a return to normal internet speeds. The strange thing is it appears these slowdowns happen at the same times for 2 PCs in the house but don’t happen on phones (speed tests at the same time show <10 Mbps on PC and >200 on phone).

I’ve tried a number of troubleshooting steps: rebooting pc, router, and modem, switching router, updating WiFi drivers, and running troubleshooting through the windows troubleshooter and through my ISP (spectrum) app. So far, all that has seemed to work is resetting the router/modem but that only temporarily fixes the issue.

Why would I see slowdowns on 2 devices at the same time but not others? What device would be causing that? What can I do to identify/fix the issue?

I’m thoroughly confused because it seems that the WiFi is fine since my phone can get a good speed test but both PCs consistently have the internet go out at the same times, so that suggests that it isn’t a device-specific issue.

4 Upvotes

1

u/manx203 Aug 03 '22

Change the frequency/band of the wifi? Could be interference somewhere.

1

u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

Currently it's set to smart connect: "Enable Smart Connect - Let the router intelligently select the best WiFi band 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz for your WiFi connections". Which should I switch to first? The router is ~15' away with nothing directly between it and the PCs

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u/[deleted] Aug 03 '22

[deleted]

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u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

Went ahead and put both PCs on a 5 GHz band with nothing else on it and just had another slowdown so that’s a no on that fixing it

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u/SalaryNo1330 Aug 03 '22

How long does the slowness last and can you test hardwiring a device? Is it every day at a certain time or random days and random times? I ask that because often at night neighbors use the network that you share and if you arent a heavy user then you arent prioritized. The phones having fast speed… check if they are connected to the wifi when you run the speed test, not to insult your intelligence there, take no offense please, just helps to be sure it didnt switch off of wifi

1

u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

I notice it most often in the evenings (but I am using the internet most often in the evenings as well). I have noticed it at other times of the day as well.

Generally it lasts 5-10 min but fairly frequently once the speed comes back it will go away again somewhat soon

I can guarantee that it happens on wifi on the phone. I specifically turn off data on my phone before I check (and I check most times there is a slowdown just to get more info about what is going on). Besides, my data clocks in at around 60 Mbps so 200+ is generally a good sign I'm on my home network. No offense taken - I can't count the times I've made a stupid mistake and caused problems so I understand you gotta check all bases

1

u/SalaryNo1330 Aug 03 '22

I had a buddy with a similar issue and it was because the neighborhood all used the internet around the same time and spectrum is trash. Spectrum told him if he upgraded to a business network it would put his house at the top of the list for bandwidth prioritization. This isnt a solution, but if you get the right spectrum tech, they may be able to verify it for you

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u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

How does that track with the fact that my phone gets the full speed when the PCs slow down? I'm not using a spectrum router so I don't see how they would be able to control the bandwidth allocated to individual devices, just the entire household

1

u/fuck_hd Aug 03 '22

Why would I see slowdowns on 2 devices at the same time but not others? What device would be causing that? What can I do to identify/fix the issue?

This is interesting. We're going to figure this out.

Do you know how to run a ping? I would ping indefinitely (-t) on both computers, two different command prompts. You want to ping internally an externally. Internally well use your router , your default gateway. To get this type ipconfig

Figure out yours most likely 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1, 10.0.0.1

So what ever it is on both computers type in

ping 192.1568.1.1 -t

a second command prompt type in ping google.com

Now leave both of these on and next time it gets slow go look at both. What we're trying to figure out is where the failure occurs.

If you DONT get any dropped packets, or high latency to default gateway but you do to google.com than its likely an issue with your modem/ISP

If you get dropped packets / high latency to the default gateway it tends to mean Wi-Fi/interference

1

u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

Ran a test just now getting 65 down, 11 up and that feels about normal. Have both pings set up and will update whenever it spikes again next. Just my girlfriend and me here (that's the 2 PCs).

The problems have popped up recently (within the past 3 months or so) and there have been people moving in around us, so I could believe it is an ISP thing (which mostly would just leave me confused about why my phone registered the full speed).

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u/fuck_hd Aug 03 '22

Is it at a regular time? Do you both work from home? 11Mbps unfortunately is not THAT much upload. That's like a video call and uploading a file at the same time -- I find really odd things happen to internet speeds when the upload is hit -- and if it's DSL i'v seen it literally tanks your down to be unusable --

One office I ended up having to get x2 DSL modems as well as a special router to "bond" them together, same special router to enforce softcaps on upload so I could never "max it" as well as beg them to do a special request on old ADSL lines where they sacrificed 15mbps of down for 1 extra mbps of up as well as.

So i'm not saying that's forsure it but I had 80/10 by myself on DSL and it was garbage and I couldn't prove it was the upload maybe CenturyLink just sucked but I was convinced it was lack of upload.

Lets start by seeing if there is packet loss.

Anything new happen in the past few months? New job? New game/app, someone torrenting in the house?

1

u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

Not really regular timing. Most frequent in the evenings but we also use internet most often in evenings. I WFH but she doesn't. Started playing Valorant somewhat around the same time but didn't even consider that as a possible cause. Can't think of anything else that has changed

1

u/fuck_hd Aug 03 '22

Ya Valorant wouldn't be it. I meant more like oh she started a youtube channel, or I started streaming twitch lol.

Who is your provider. See if you can log into modem and see if has a usage chart. Right now my moneys still on upload but not enough info to back that up.

Is it modem router / combo? Are they yours or rented from ISP? Fairly new equipment? (3+ years old max)

1

u/Bob8372 Aug 03 '22

Spectrum. Late now so I'll look into modem stuff tomorrow to see if I can see usage. Separate modem/router. Almost brand new (to us at least). Router was spectrum but just switched to one we own and that didn't fix the issue.

If upload is the issue, is there any way to fix that? We both don't do much that would require upload - discord voice calls/gaming is the most that I can think we use that. No streaming/uploading large files/video calls

1

u/fuck_hd Aug 03 '22

I feel like a guy with a tin foil hat because i've never fully proved or understood how traffic is delivered, priortized,latency, etc once it leaves the modem. I'm an IT manager not a network engineer...so my theory about 10mbps being shit for two people is just a theory, but I feel good about it....but discord is definitely a piece of the puzzle. Out of curiosity do you both use discord? That can be 10mbps of upload right there.

If this problem can absolutely can be replicated everyday turn off your phone WiFi for a day, and/or have someone not use discord for a day and see if it disappears -- then we at least know its probably upload/download related.

Still find out if you aren't getting packet loss internally when it happens. Rule out wifi/interferance.

I hate calling ISPs but I feel you might have to.

Tell them you are constantly getting a fraction of your speed for 10-15mins a day. Lie and say you plugged directly into modem with ethernet (or they'll spend 30 mins making you do that)
Say you;ve done some troubleshooting on your end and wondering if we are using our bandwidth cap.

Then ask if they can look at your line health, and test your modem health
Asking if they can look at historical usage of bandwidth.
Ask if they have other tiers available for bandwidth (just so you know).

Lastly pay attention to behavior. Don't be so quick to jump to speed tests. It's not really telling us TOO TOO much. Just look for patterns in behavior or time. Hmm tends to happen at 4pm (when spectrum is known to suck) or when they get home at 3 and jump on netflix, or start getting on discord, or they were fine until you got home.

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u/Bob8372 Aug 15 '22

Thanks for the help earlier - didn't have an occasion where slowdowns were too bad until today and caught it with pings like you said. A snippet of the logs is here. It's not really an issue that occurs consistently - just frequently. Seems like calling the ISP may be the only option?

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u/fuck_hd Aug 16 '22

Sorry for the late reply. Well one thing that i noticed is it does happen to your default gateway (192.168.1.1) as well. Although you dont technically drop packets you shoot up to over 1,000ms response time (I'm assuming its normally <100 and its only 800-1100ms during the 'bad times' this high of latency might as well be dropped packets.

So what this tells us though is it is internal and not an issue with the line -- it doesn't rule out the ISP provided router but it's much harder to prove. So its either your router or interference. Do you live in a city or rural? Rural I'm less concerned with interference cities you have so much 'noise'. Also I'm assuming you are 'relatively' close to the router and not on the other side of the house when this happens?

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u/Bob8372 Aug 16 '22

The router is in the same room but I do live in the city.

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u/fuck_hd Aug 03 '22

Got lucky today calling Cox on two circuits. Both slow speeds -- maybe because it was business class internet they took it seriously. Didn't make me jump through hoops. Remoted in. Cleared arp table. Rebooted and back to advertised speed. Here's to hoping you get as lucky.

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u/fuck_hd Aug 03 '22

Whats your upload speed?
Who else is in your house? Friends of similar ages? Family members?