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    Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

    This is a discussion on Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ? within the Sky Router forums, part of the Sky Broadband help category; I have today had to move my PC from one room into a different one and the signal strength has ...

    1. #1
      JamieBee's Avatar
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      Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      I have today had to move my PC from one room into a different one and the signal strength has gone from being "excellent 54Mbps" to either "good" or "low". Now will this mean that my download speed will drop along with the signal strength as that is very poor at the mo - I was getting nearly 2meg it is now about half meg. However, I have been having problems with my DL speed dropping intermittently over the last few weeks and I end up having to reset the router or unplugging it from the wall and then plugging it back in in the end sorts it out.

      Will I be stuck with poor performance broadband now signal strength is not very good. Should I try and move the PC around the room or go back to the reset/unplug and plug back in router to master socket ?

      Thanks


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      Re: Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      Yes I have found that as the signal drops the speed tends to drop with it, can only assume it is because there is more error correction going on.

    4. #3
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      Re: Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      Signal strength has a fairly poor correlation with connection throughput. Signal quality is what matters but few adaptors report anything other than strength. However, as Koala5 says, there is some correlation so poor signal strength often means poor throughput.

      Signal quality is down to a number of factors, physical and environmental. Before moving your PC again, you may find some improvement by experimenting with the router position and aerial orientation (e.g. move the router off the floor, higher/lower shelf, angle the aerial slightly towards the PC). Changing router wireless channel can also bring benefits. If you are using a USB adaptor for your PC consider buying a USB extension lead so you can vary the adaptor position.

      With regard to your download speeds, these will be affected by poor wireless signal/quality but if rebooting the router sorts this out this suggests that you have a wiring problem causing line errors. How are you connecting your router to the phone line?

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      Re: Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      Quote Originally Posted by Saturday View Post
      Signal strength has a fairly poor correlation with connection throughput. Signal quality is what matters but few adaptors report anything other than strength. However, as Koala5 says, there is some correlation so poor signal strength often means poor throughput.

      Signal quality is down to a number of factors, physical and environmental. Before moving your PC again, you may find some improvement by experimenting with the router position and aerial orientation (e.g. move the router off the floor, higher/lower shelf, angle the aerial slightly towards the PC). Changing router wireless channel can also bring benefits. If you are using a USB adaptor for your PC consider buying a USB extension lead so you can vary the adaptor position.

      With regard to your download speeds, these will be affected by poor wireless signal/quality but if rebooting the router sorts this out this suggests that you have a wiring problem causing line errors. How are you connecting your router to the phone line?
      When moving the pc around the room a bit to try different positions I have managed to bump the network adaptor aerial against the wall and it's now just hanging by the wire inside and gone all floppy Have spent about an hour moving the pc around the room and trying to prop things up against the aerial to hold it in certain positions. The router is currently sat on the middle shelf of an oak tv cabinet and the aerial is to the side as there is no room for it to be elevated. Have tried putting on top shelf of cabinet behind telly and even shelf above the cabinet.

      What relationship do the speed and signal strength have with each other that come up when I hover over the wireless network connection icon on the task bar. The strength is varying from poor to excellent and the speed is ranging between 48Mbps and 11Mbps.

      Also, how do you change channels ?

      P.S. My set up is follows :

      Master socket > extension cable > filter > phone line, sky box and xbox 360. PC upstairs connects to router wirelessly. I am aware losing the extension cable would improve results but have to have set up the way it is unfortunately.
      Last edited by JamieBee; 06-07-07 at 05:00 PM.

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      Re: Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      The figures you see are an estimation of the wireless connection speed based on a measure of the signal strength being received. It doesn't take into account other factors such as noise and interference so is a "best case" figure (and usually wildly optimistic).

      Shame about your PC wireless adaptor

      The router aerial ideally needs to be vertical as, though omni-directional, it is optimized for this plane. Maybe you could put the router flat rather than on its side and raised on something to allow air all round it? However, being in a cabinet next to a large electrical item such as a TV isn't the best interference/noise free environment by a long way.

      You can change channels by logging into the router admin pages. If you don't know how see the first sticky in my signature at the bottom of this post.

      Your wiring sounds pretty bad too and no doubt is limiting your router connection speed. 20 spent on a new faceplate and cables plus an hours work would give you a better connection and no need for wireless any more. See the cabling and faceplate help forum.

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      Re: Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      The best thing to do is to buy larger Reverse SMA aerials for the router and for the PC. 5dbi or even the larger 7dbi. You can significantly boost the signal by doing this, and it's fairly cheap too. Should cost you a tenner on ebay. It is FAR more effective than trying to move everything about..!! I have managed to boost several setups from "~good" to "excellant" by just changing the aerials.
      The aerial should gerneally be vertical. Horizontal is for when you are transmitting up or downstairs.

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      Re: Does wireless network adaptor signal strength affect broadband performance ?

      The room the PC was originally in was virtually directly above the router (even though the router was sitting on top of my xbox inside an oak cabinet). Now it has been moved to a room at the back of the house and so the extra walls is probably causing the drop in speed. Plus the fact I have busted the dongle on the back of the PC

      Anyway, I have had to blu-tac the dongle into position and put the router up on its side on a shelf just above the TV cabinet and it seems to have increased to a download speed of 1.8mb again MOST of the time. The speed and signal strength still seem to go up and down willy nilly even though the PC and router are not being moved around at all. I also changed channel on the router (which I did not know you could do) from 1 to 3 and that seems to have helped.

      The phone extension lead (which I think is about 8/9 ft) I have runs from the main socket up, across the top and down the other side of an entrance porch to the lounge before going along the skirting board to next to the tv cabinet which has my phone, x box and sky box on it. I suppose to get the best result I would need to buy a new filtered faceplate as you say, plug router into it and sit it it nearby and then run a 8/9 ethernet cable across top of door to where the filter is PLUS another lead (the one that has the square connection at both ends for phone lines - do not know name of it) running the same distance to the tv cabinet connecting to phone and sky box ? That is a lot of wires. Would it really get a better broadband performace using the xbox though bearing in mind you have the same length of cable between the router and the xbox albeit a different type ?

      I might plug the router straight into the test socket tomorrow and connect to the PC wirelessly to see whether there is much of an improvement on the download speed. Should it give a true reading as soon as I plug it in ?

     

     

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