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Resolved Do I need to update my wireless router?

Discussion in 'Networking (Hardware & Software)' started by Vicki, 2017/03/26.

  1. 2017/03/26
    Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    I currently use a Netgear wireless router WGR614v10. On occasion I use my laptop (using the wireless connection) to connect my tv (with HDMI cables) to watch live broadcasts. Recently I have experienced constant "buffering" while watching these live broadcasts.

    Is this router getting old and not able to perform as it should? Using the wireless function on my laptop seems to work okay for normal web surfing and reading emails, just having issues with watching these live broadcasts.

    If a new(er) one is recommended, is there anything that I should be on the look out for?
     
  2. 2017/03/26
    alanrf

    alanrf Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that you should raise the point. I am currently using a Draytek that has given me excellent service on desktops and laptops but recently, when trying to use Facetime on an iPad, I have had consistent wifi drop-outs after just a few seconds before i get the dreaded "reconnecting" message.

    Never happens at any other time, only when using Facetime, and only on an iPad and no other hardware. When I try on a public wifi system there are no problems which rather suggests an issue with the Drayek wifi that only arises in a specific situation.

    I have been looking at the Billon range as a replacement which does get some good reviews and has one or to other advantages apparently.


    So, if I may I would also like to seek the same info as you.

    Should I change?

    Why are these "odd", software specific issues?

    What is a good replacement product?
     

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  4. 2017/03/26
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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  5. 2017/03/26
    MrBill

    MrBill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    And a reboot of your stuff once in a while will do wonders.
     
  6. 2017/03/26
    alanrf

    alanrf Well-Known Member

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    Always a good idea, of course, and does resolve some issues. However, in the case of the Facetime failure, a power off reboot, indeed, several over a few days, did nothing to help.
     
  7. 2017/03/26
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    You should make sure your router has the latest firmware. Enter the router's admin menu (for Netgear, enter 192.168.1.1 in your browser) and click Check for new version under Maintenance > Router Upgrade.

    The router will not get slower as it ages. But your demands can certainly increase. More and more devices use your Internet connection and if you are now streaming HD surround sound, that will increase demands too.

    Normally I recommend folks connect via Ethernet to verify the Internet connection is good, and only the wireless side is giving problems. In your case, I note the WGR614 supports 802.11b/g wireless only. 11G has a maximum bandwidth of just 56Mbps. That is not very much by today's standards - especially if your device is sharing that bandwidth with other wireless devices in your house. 802.11n can support 600 or even 900Mbps with multiple streams - a good thing. The latest standard, 802.11ac can support all the way up to 5300Mbps.

    So I say, yes, it is time for you to upgrade to a new router. I recommend getting at least a 600Mbps 802.11n but for the best future proofing, go with 802.11ac. They are all backwards compatible with your older devices. There are many to choose from and Netgear is still good brand. A friend just bought the Netgear R6400-NAS AC1750 and is very happy with it. He is able to stream to two Netflix devices at the same time with no problems (of course much depends on the network speed of your Internet connection through your ISP too.

    What is your budget?

    The Difference Between Wireless-G, Wireless-N and Wireless-AC
     
    Bill,
    #6
  8. 2017/03/27
    Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Thanks all for your replies. To the best of my knowledge, the router has the most current firmware applied. I did try a reboot as well, but it didn't appear to make any difference.
    I did a speed test for my internet connection (using my desktop connected via the ethernet) and while I know it's probably not the fastest on the market, it's probably the best that is offered in my area. speed test.JPG
    I haven't tested the speed on my laptop (using the wireless feature.....but would that show a difference?)
    We don't have any other wireless devices (except for my printer). No smartphone or smart tv. Only my desktop and laptop connect to the internet (although they are both in use at times....my hubby on the desktop while I'm using the laptop).
    Just thought it was strange that I have just recently been having buffering issues (where there wasn't any before) and that's why I thought my wireless router may be the culprit.
    But I certainly wouldn't be afraid to upgrade my wireless router. However my budget at this time would only allow me to spend approx. $60-$75 and that probably wouldn't be enough to cover a better router than what I currently have? Might have to start a savings plan to get a better one! ;-)
     
  9. 2017/03/27
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Your Speedtest download score is excellent and not your problem. Your problem is most likely the wireless side of your router/network. But note it could also be the streaming service having problems and not on your end - this would be especially true if it used to work just fine with everything else being the same.

    I would make sure you don't have someone unauthorized using your connection. In your router's admin menu, you can see the list of "attached devices". From what you describe, it should only show your PC, notebook and printer. Look when you see this buffering. If you see other devices you don't know what it is, or don't believe should be there, you need to change your wireless passphrase in the router, notebook and printer. The Ethernet connected PC will not be affected since it is not wireless.
     
    Bill,
    #8
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  10. 2017/03/28
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    You will be lucky to get half the rate on wifi compared to the wired rate. Wifi will never match wired rates no matter which wifi router is used. But the rate you get wired is plenty good for streaming multimedia. Post a pic of the same test on wifi.

    I'll wager your wifi slows down due to signal strength weakening the further away you go from the wifi router. Plus other wireless contraptions can interfere with the signal, e.g. microwave ovens, garage door openers, baby monitors, neighbor's devices, etc.

    That Netgear you have has only a 2-3 dB antenna, and only one. Spending a few buck for a better performing wifi router will have its benefits. For example:

    Has four 5 dB antennas.
    Asus RT-1200


    Another good cheap one:
    Micro Center - Computers and Electronics
     
    Last edited: 2017/03/30
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  11. 2017/03/29
    Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Thanks everyone for all your interest & help with this annoying dilemma that I've been having. Hooked up to my laptop at present and did the speed test. Here are the results:

    speedtest.JPG
    This seems pretty comparable with that of the one I did on my desktop (connected via ethernet). My router is only about 15'-20' from my laptop.....no walls or barriers between that and my laptop. Nothing else connected to my wifi (and I don't even see my wireless printer listed on it??! Haven't tried using it wirelessly for awhile, but I know that did work).

    So my guess is that maybe it's the company producing the live broadcast?? I sure don't have any objection in purchasing a new/improved router, but at this point I'm thinking that won't make any difference?

    I could post a link to the broadcast that I had watched (it's of some motocross racing) if anyone would want to try and view it to see if they had any buffering issues while watching?

    Thanks again for all the suggestions!
     
  12. 2017/03/29
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Tony's first link is broken due to the line break. It goes to the ASUS RT-AC1200 Dual Band 802.11ac Wireless router.

    The dual band is nice because it can support wireless devices in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands (though not simultaneously - those cost more). It would be nice if it had USB 3.0 but USB 2.0 is still fine for printers or network storage. The price is bargain.

    That said, if me, I would pick the TP-Link because it has 1000Mbps Ethernet while the ASUS tops out at 100Mbps.
     
  13. 2017/03/30
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Probably a vaild perception. Your wifi rate is very good per the test you did. Two factors may affect the rate when viewing streamed content:
    1. the site streaming the content may throttle the bandwidth, .i.e. they set a max rate for connected users far lower than your ISP rates.
    2. the ISP throttles bandwidth; very often the case with streaming multimedia because ISPs that also provide tv services don't want their customers getting such content for free, they want customers to pay them for it.
     
  14. 2017/03/30
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    43.62Mbps downloads is actually pretty good. To stream Netflix "HD", for example, all you need is 5Mbps. For Netflix, "HD" is at least 720p, up to 1080P (depending on your streaming device). To stream "Ultra HD" (UHD or 4K video - with 5.1 surround sound) quality, you need a ISP plan capable of 25Mbps (and a suitable 4K device). So 43.62Mbps is more than enough. This points back to that company producing the stream, not your IPS connection, or even your router.

    However, your current router is old. The problem is not that it is wearing out, but that it does not support any of the latest WPA2 security and encryption protocols. The WGR614 came out 14 years ago after all. It has served you well. But for security reasons alone, I recommend you upgrade your router sooner rather than later.
     
  15. 2017/04/08
    Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Thanks again for everyone giving input on this issue. I have not (as of yet) decided on which new router to purchase, but appreciated the suggestions and will look into them further when I do decide to upgrade.
     

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