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Thread: Wireless N Connection Constantly Drops To 5.5 Mbps

  1. #1

    Default Wireless N Connection Constantly Drops To 5.5 Mbps

    I have been chasing an issue here for a couple of months. To be honest, I did not really recognize it prior to the Windows 10 Creator's update, but I can't verify this for sure. I know a lot of folks had networking problems after the Creator's update. I'm not sure if my issue pertains to that or if it is a coincidence.

    I am running a Windows 10 Pro machine with a Broadcom BCM43142 802.11 bgn Wi-Fi Adapter. I am also using a Linksys E1200 Wireless N router which is updated to the latest firmware. I have a MAC Address filter for only allowing certain wireless devices to connect and also use WPA2-Personal security on top of that for added security.

    My internet speeds in all actuality are somewhere around 50 Mbps from Comcast cable.

    The problem I am having is that my network connectivity speed will consistently drop down to 5.5 Mbps, verified through Window's Control Panel. This is not using a speed test online through my browser, but rather viewing the WiFi status window through Network and Sharing in control panel. Due to this issue, I am always checking. I can tell when it drops because streaming videos will stop/start and web pages will take longer to load.

    I have unchecked that Windows can set my Broadcom WiFi card to sleep to save power, and I have tried messing around with the advanced settings in device manager for the Broadcom WiFi card.

    I first started resetting my Linksys E1200 WiFi router, which would correct the problem. I was also tweaking with the settings, changing the channel number, or just leaving it on AUTO. That really makes no difference. The Linksys E1200 is also set to 20/40 mhz auto, but seems to settle on 20 mhz in the Linksys system status. I also have my Linksys E1200 set to N Only so that it is not in mixed mode.

    However, recently I am not so sure that the problem necessarily lies with the Linksys router. I can disconnect/reconnect my Desktop computer from the network, and/or disable/enable the WiFi card and the speeds will increase back up to 72 Mbps. In the past I did see this connection speed maxing out at 150 Mbps but I have not seen that speed in more than a few weeks now.

    Basically, once the speed drops to 5.5 Mbps it will not go back up unless I disconnect and reconnect to the network.

    In my home, I pretty much only have 7 devices connected to the network via WiFi. This includes my desktop computer, cell phone, WiFi thermostat, and 4 WiFi security cameras. Unfortunately, nothing is connected to the router via Ethernet cable due to the layout of the home and the location of the WiFi devices.

    Is my Router dying or is it something with my Broadcom WiFi card? I was thinking about upgrading to a dual-band router, maybe even with Wireless AC, but I wasn't sure if that would fix the problem. Obviously, the dual band network with 5 Ghz connectivity might benefit me but Wireless AC wouldn't since I do not have any Wireless AC compatible devices at the moment.

    Please let me know what you think is going on. It is very frustrating, as I have to disconnect/reconnect VERY often. It has almost become second nature for me when I am using my desktop computer.

    PS, I just noticed that my desktop is currently connected at 5.5 Mbps. inSSIDer Home is currently giving me a link score of 100! That is the highest I have ever seen it. Normally it is around a score of 80! inSSIDer also says that my max rate should be 144 Mbps! -52 dBm signal, no co-channels and no overlapping channels either.

    UPDATE:

    Here's something else I just noticed. I was watching a youtube video and it briefly stopped so I checked my connection status in control panel. I was connected at 144 Mbps but the signal strength was NO bars. I wonder if it attempted to switch over to 40 Mhz or something. Either way, it went back down to 72 Mbps with full signal strength bars. Still doesn't explain the drop to 5.5 Mbps which will be coming eventually.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Unless 802.11 b and g are disabled on all of your wireless devices your router will run in mixed mode with lower basic rates. What does inSSIDer show for PHY type? You may be experiencing some type of out of band interference that is causing the slowdown. Wireless devices will automatically slow signaling rates in a noisy environment. I would not rely on Windows to determine data thruput.
    Old Mod by the Sea

  3. #3

    Default

    My Router is set to run in N mode only, so there should be absolutely no mixing of B and G speeds. inSSIDer is showing 802.11N on 2.4 ghz network.

    As far as not relying on Windows to determine data throughput, there has to be some validity. My connection seems to drop to 5.5 Mbps especially often when I am streaming videos online, such as YouTube. I can tell when it happens as the videos will pause and buffer. Then I go to control panel and check on the WiFi status and it is showing a speed of 5.5 Mbps. It definitely and directly correlates with the slowdown. If I enable/disable the WiFi card everything goes back to the "normal" 72 Mbps for awhile. I do not need to restart my Linksys Router, as it only seems as if I need to disconnect and then reconnect to the WiFi network from my desktop computer to temporarily fix the slow speed problem.
    Last edited by BlaineBug; 02-28-2018 at 07:33 AM.

  4. #4
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    Keep in mind that signaling rates are not an indication of thruput. On the 2.4 GHZ band using a single wide 20 MHz channel is recommended. Post a pic of inSSIDer table & graphics. If you have a Wi-Spy, what does the capture show?

    Are your Broadcom drivers up to date? There have been serious issues with some drivers obtained via Microsoft Update.
    Old Mod by the Sea

  5. #5

    Default

    I went through and was looking at my Broadcom drivers. It was a bit tricky to find them but as far as I am aware, Windows is reporting the latest driver as I was able to locate online. Version 7.35.352.0 from 11/22/2016.

    The next time my WiFi drops to 5.5 I will take some browser based speed tests as well and will also take some screenshots with inSSIDer.

    Currently, I am connected at 72 Mbps via Window's Networking and Sharing Center in Control Panel. Simultaneously, Comcast Xfinity's online speed test as well as www.speedtest.com are both reporting approximately 42 Mbps down, 6 Mbps up.

    I have never seen my network connect at 40 MHz, however, it was set to AUTO before so that my router COULD potentially switch from 20 Mhz to 40 MHz. As of 2 days ago I have set it permanently at 20 MHz and that has not had any positive effect either.

  6. #6
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    You have not mentioned the brand and model of your PC. Have you run the hardware diagnostics from the manufacturer?
    Old Mod by the Sea

  7. #7

    Default

    It is an HP Envy. I do not have any hardware diagnostics from the manufacturer as I do not believe in that stuff. I formatted everything when I installed the free upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I like to get rid of all of the extra crap that HP puts on these machines. Have been using it since September 2015. To be honest, yesterday on Thursday I did not have any issues with the connectivity dropping down to 5.5 Mbps! Figures!

  8. #8

    Default

    Well, I was just streaming a YouTube video and my connectivity dropped from 72 Mbps to 5.5 Mbps. I took some screenshots. 2 screenshots with bad connectivity and 2 screenshots with good connectivity.

    The amount of wireless networks picked up does vary. In one screenshot there are 3 networks, in another screenshot there are 8 networks, and then I saw around 18 or so (just an estimate) but they dropped off before I was able to take a screenshot.

    At any one time, there was only one overlapping network, but that comes and goes.

    I was able to "revive" the network by disabling and enabling the network card. I took the "GOOD" screenshots AFTER taking the "BAD" screenshots.

    I should note, I ran a speedtest on my phone while my desktop computer was having issues, and this issue does NOT affect all devices on the network. I took a speed test on my phone sitting at my desk where my desktop computer is and then another speed test within a few feet of my wireless router and it was relatively unchanged, around 30 Mbps during both tests!

    What do you make of this? Let me know if you require any additional info! Thanks.
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  9. #9
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    You should concentrate on the thruput speed you are getting, not the signaling rate. The signaling rates change rapidly depending on exactly what is happening. If protocol info such as a beacon is being transmitted, signaling will be at a basic rate so that other devices can receive it.

    Without the complete model number and HP hardware diagnostics info I can be of no further help.
    Old Mod by the Sea

  10. #10

    Default

    Regardless, my throghput speed was below 3 Mbps when the signal rate was 5.5 Mbps. I believe it has a correlation. Simultaneously, my Android phone was unaffected.

    I understand that the signaling rate should change in theory, but I'm telling you, once my WiFi card drops to 5.5 Mbps, the only way to get it to restore back up to 72 Mbps is to disable it and then enable it in device manager.

    As far as the complete model number of my HP, I checked the orders from where I bought it and it only goes back to 2016, not 2015 which is when I bought it.

    Do you need me to find out which motherboard it has or something? Let me know. I did mention that it has a Broadcom BCM43142 802.11 bgn Wi-Fi Adapter.
    Last edited by BlaineBug; 03-03-2018 at 03:21 PM.

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