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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Optimizing FIOS / high-speed via wireless

    Here is the deal.

    I just moved. I've never used Verizon FIOS (I've always had Comcast), but I had heard good things about it so I gave it a shot, and now I'm kind of consternated about the speeds.

    My Comcast plan was 25/15 and actually did have around 25 download / 18-20 upload or something insane.

    My FIOS plan is 50/25, but when I went to test it on the laptop, I got consistently only about 9 download / 11 upload via the wireless. This is even after I installed their "optimal settings" fix and rebooted; before I optimized, I was only pulling about 8/10.

    Now, I had thought I had tested (and gotten) the 25/18 on my laptop, although it could have been on my desktop. I don't have my desktop set up yet, so I can't test its wireless.

    I did hook the Ethernet cable up from laptop to Verizon router and suddenly was getting 60+ download / 30 upload or more. POW. So yeah, the problem is the wireless data transmit.

    Is it my laptop WiFi card? I need to get my desktop set up (since I think I have a high-end WiFi card in it) and check the stats there.

    technically, it's not a huge deal for my laptop nor for my TV -- it looked like NetFlix ran just fine on my large plasma through the WiFi. But there's no way I can run Ether around the house without it being a PitA. The cable from the basement box is in the exact opposite corner of the apartment from where I'd have my desktop.

    Any ideas on what else I can check or whether there's some typical WiFI card issues/protocols that can arise?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #2
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Here is the deal.

    I just moved. I've never used Verizon FIOS (I've always had Comcast), but I had heard good things about it so I gave it a shot, and now I'm kind of consternated about the speeds.

    My Comcast plan was 25/15 and actually did have around 25 download / 18-20 upload or something insane.

    My FIOS plan is 50/25, but when I went to test it on the laptop, I got consistently only about 9 download / 11 upload via the wireless. This is even after I installed their "optimal settings" fix and rebooted; before I optimized, I was only pulling about 8/10.

    Now, I had thought I had tested (and gotten) the 25/18 on my laptop, although it could have been on my desktop. I don't have my desktop set up yet, so I can't test its wireless.

    I did hook the Ethernet cable up from laptop to Verizon router and suddenly was getting 60+ download / 30 upload or more. POW. So yeah, the problem is the wireless data transmit.

    Is it my laptop WiFi card? I need to get my desktop set up (since I think I have a high-end WiFi card in it) and check the stats there.

    technically, it's not a huge deal for my laptop nor for my TV -- it looked like NetFlix ran just fine on my large plasma through the WiFi. But there's no way I can run Ether around the house without it being a PitA. The cable from the basement box is in the exact opposite corner of the apartment from where I'd have my desktop.

    Any ideas on what else I can check or whether there's some typical WiFI card issues/protocols that can arise?
    First, other people have experienced similar problems: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/...ow-speeds.html

    Second, I'd check for dropped packets by doing a "ping www.google.com" (or whatever) from the command line, and making sure all the packets some back. If they some get dropped wireless, but all make it wired, and that's a sign that your wifi connection is unreliable.

    Thirdly, I'd check to see how many nearby wireless networks there are, and if any are using the same wifi channels as your wireless access point. Sometimes, interference from other networks can reduce the effective range of your network.

    It may just be a distance + walls problem, in which case you have a few options. Generally, the newer 802.11 versions have better distance than the old ones. I'd try to be sure that both the router and laptop support 802.11ac. Another option is to extend the network via using a "network extender" (many routers support being used as a network extender). Unfortunately, they can be a little finicky.

    Other options include:

    * Buy a wireless router, run an ethernet cable part way across the house, and install the router these, and use that instead of the one built into the cable box.
    * Some routers support an external antenna, and a directional antenna might work better, depending on the shape of your apt.

    Anyway, sorry that's a random grab bag of suggestions.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    That's fine, it gives me something to go on.

    To be clear about the tests I've run so far:

    I did the Verizon speed test (and a few OTHER speed tests I Googled -- basically the same results for each) within about three feet of my router each time -- first through the WiFi connection, and then through an actual Ethernet cable. So the walls aren't causing the problem, I was sitting next to the router.

    Do you think it will cause signal drop by having the router running to another router and THEN out, or is it typically negligible? I do have a decent NetGear router (I forget the specs but I had traded up when I bought it and it was handling my Comcast line just fine.)

    ...I have to say, one thing I find annoying is just having to hook to a 5-alphanum router name and impossible-to-remember password rather than having it personalized. All the Verizon gear is set in stone that way.

    EDIT: Okay, read the link and that sounds like my exact problem. The Verizon Router doesn't look very impressive either -- it's kind of ugly and clunky and likely to be older. I'm wondering if it really is just the wireless standard it's using is outdated. So I'm definitely gonna try to run the line from it to my NetGear and see if the signal jumps in strength, I think I had upgraded it from G (my old LinkSys router) to N when I bought it 15 months ago or so.



    My opinion so far about Verizon FIOS:

    - Ordering: Looks smooth but I had issues (my router never got sent, I received it two days later after spending a good hour or more on the phone and about 8-10 service calls from them or me altogether).

    - Their automated phone system / switchboard: Sucks. You can get stuck in dead-end loops or have the system not be able to interpret your touchtone input, and since you have to input the required info to get anywhere, you end up hanging up and trying again after wasting all the time to get THAT far into the system. At one point (without a rep on the line), I started swearing at the phone, and a minute later actually screamed and threw it on the carpet, I was so frustrated. It was actually kind of amusing, unless it is happening to you, and then you just want to strangle someone.

    - Actual service reps: They're pretty good. I've dealt with four of them, and while the first one sucked (I think he was a clueless trainee), the others were knowledgeable, courteous, and persistent/reliable. One even of course tried to get me to upgrade, persistently, but she was such a nice and helpful person that it didn't bother me that much... and she backed off once I drew my line in the sand.

    - The service itself: Still exploring this. WHen I finally got the fast speed, it was rocket-crazy. But I think it's a HUGE flaw with them telling you that you need a very specific router to "get the most of your FIOS account" while the WiFi protocols used by their router are nowhere close to being able to handle the service you are paying them for. And they didn't even MENTION that. I mean, seriously, with the state of today's mobile services, do they really think much of the clientelle is using hardlines and Ethernet cables? No, most people want to just grab-and-go anywhere within range, with their laptop.

    I get the feeling they just didn't want to shell out big bucks to update their routers, and it's easier and cheaper to just deal with the people who are savvy enough to realize they're not getting the speed they asked for and who know what questions to ask, and then the consumer picks up the cost on THEIR end. Meanwhile, all those people are paid for more (or who technically were promised more) aren't using the bandwidth, so there's more freed up. Dorks.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Should be negligible if the wifi AP/router you're connecting to attaches to the other via Ethernet, doubly so if both the Verizon router and your netgear supports Gigabit ethernet.

    FWIW, my Comcast Xfinity router has 802.11N and boasts all kinds of badassness, but I found it sucked hard. I use an Ubiquity UniFi access point for my wifi needs and it gives me the kind of speeds I expected.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    Should be negligible if the wifi AP/router you're connecting to attaches to the other via Ethernet, doubly so if both the Verizon router and your netgear supports Gigabit ethernet.
    Cool. That's what I'll try tonight, then, and see what happens.

    FWIW, my Comcast Xfinity router has 802.11N and boasts all kinds of badassness, but I found it sucked hard. I use an Ubiquity UniFi access point for my wifi needs and it gives me the kind of speeds I expected.
    I only ever rented the cable modem from Infinity, ran the Ethernet to my router, and it had given me 30/20 on the 25/15 Xfinity service. Sounds like if you want something done right, you gotta do it yerself...

    Thanks for the input!

    EDIT: As a weird aside, I wonder if the outlets were set up that way. It's an older house, so there's power lines (and an outlet box) running on the outside of the baseboards around the room. But at that spot, there is also a wall outlet that was converted to three-prong as well... literally four outlets within a foot of each other, unlike anywhere else in the house. And it's also the closest outlet to the coaxial outlet. Hmmmm.... I wonder if someone felt a need to plug a few items in there.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's fine, it gives me something to go on.

    To be clear about the tests I've run so far:

    I did the Verizon speed test (and a few OTHER speed tests I Googled -- basically the same results for each) within about three feet of my router each time -- first through the WiFi connection, and then through an actual Ethernet cable. So the walls aren't causing the problem, I was sitting next to the router.
    Huh... now that is weird. It's hard to imagine there is that much interference. I wonder if it's just a bad interaction between vendor implementations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Do you think it will cause signal drop by having the router running to another router and THEN out, or is it typically negligible? I do have a decent NetGear router (I forget the specs but I had traded up when I bought it and it was handling my Comcast line just fine.)
    I agree with @spirilis, that should be negligible. That should be especially true if you put your router in "passthrough" mode (no NAT, just passing packets across), so that it's just acting as a wired to wireless bridge.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, that's apparently the issue.

    I dug out my NetGear router and hooked it up to the Verizon router, then ran a test on my laptop (here EST 7pm, when most people probably go on line in the evening). The first test was decent and the second test even better -- it hit 37/39 (on a 50/25 plan). I will run the test again late after most people go to bed and see if it cranks back up to 60/45 or whatever it hit last night with the Ethernet cable.

    I think it's funny that my upload speeds are so far above what the plan says, but I guess not as much uploading is going on.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Well, that's apparently the issue.

    I dug out my NetGear router and hooked it up to the Verizon router, then ran a test on my laptop (here EST 7pm, when most people probably go on line in the evening). The first test was decent and the second test even better -- it hit 37/39 (on a 50/25 plan). I will run the test again late after most people go to bed and see if it cranks back up to 60/45 or whatever it hit last night with the Ethernet cable.

    I think it's funny that my upload speeds are so far above what the plan says, but I guess not as much uploading is going on.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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