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auto channel assignment loses 5G to most clients

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by bradbort, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. bradbort

    bradbort Senior Member

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    For some reason, if I let the router auto-assign 5g channels, most of my clients lose internet access (AC clients). If I lock it on 36, all is fine. I have not tried other channel locks.

    Anyone know why this would be so, and if there is a better channel to lock on then 36?

    Thanks!
     
  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    The 'better channel' is the one that proves to be the best in your WiFi environment after some testing. :)

    Test each channel over an extended period and choose one which not only gives you the fastest (peak) throughput, but also the lowest latency too when just browsing the 'net. ;)
     
    Vexira likes this.
  3. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    You'll have to provide more specific details of the problem before we could hazard a guess as to the cause.
     
  4. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    What maybe happening is when the router switches channels the 5 GHz devices try and associate with another WiFi channel which could be a 2.4 GHz channel as they are often have a stronger signal. You can experiment all you like but the advice to lock on a specific channel and be done with it.
     
  5. bradbort

    bradbort Senior Member

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    I think what’s happening in 5g is that auto allows it select higher channels that many of my devices (amazon echo,tcl tv) don’t seem to want to recognize. Everything plays well with 36.

    I’m curious that this is a possible bug. I’ve read others having the same prob and using the same solution.
     
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  6. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    I have had a similar experience with my Echo and Dots that they had trouble staying connected on Channel 149. Changed radio to channel 44 and haven't had an issue since.
     
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  7. bradbort

    bradbort Senior Member

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    Yes. That is exactly what happens. If I allow auto, it shoots up to 149, and many of my home devices can't function on it. I guess my question is why does "auto" move 5G band out of a channel range that many home devices apparently can't read. It seems odd.

    I've since manually assigned it to channel 44, and that seems to look best in wifi-analyzer in my home environment.
     
  8. xus

    xus Occasional Visitor

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    Having exact same issue since upgrading to .14_2. most devices, typically amazon devices (echos etc) can no longer connect to 5ghz band
     
  9. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    Look at the identical solution for this issue in posts 6 & 7.
     
  10. bradbort

    bradbort Senior Member

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    My question remains, is this a bug in the firmware that allows it to set channels many devices won't connect to, or is it a bug in the devices, which should be able to connect at the higher channels.

    My understanding is that the most common tier I channels for home are the lower ones, and that channesl such as 149 are considered tier II or III.

    Perhaps interestingly, I contacted ASUS tech support, since this bug/feature exists in their latest firmware. The first tech took it as a bug report. Other folks started weighing in rather cluelessly, and one even attempted to get me to swap the router. I'm 99% sure this is not a hardware issue. ASUS tech support has really tumbled over the past 10 years. They used to be awesome. Now they are as bad as everyone else
     
  11. bradbort

    bradbort Senior Member

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    I'm not sure I understand this post. How can a 5g band try to associate with a 2.4 channel? That is not the behavior I'm seeing. It's locking on a 5G channel, just not one in tier I
     
  12. xus

    xus Occasional Visitor

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    Yeah I just changed them over to the 2.4ghz band for now, was just reporting seeing the same issue in case it is a bug that can be looked at in future firmware updates
     
  13. ColinTaylor

    ColinTaylor Part of the Furniture

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    This is not a bug. I would characterise it as a limitation of the client devices. Customers had been complaining for years that there were only a limited number of 5GHz channels available to use and "why can't I use the other channels". Now they've got what they wanted they are discovering some of their clients don't support those channels. So that's a client issue IMHO.

    Your use of the word "tier" is incorrect. There are no "tiers" (which might imply one tier is superior or preferable to another) there are merely different frequency bands (U-NII-1, U-NII-2A, U-NII-2C and U-NII-3). Each band has different restrictions on things like power or DFS.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
    L&LD likes this.
  14. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    If you are dealing with Amazon devices they can discover the WiFi passwords for all your SSIDs for both 2.4 & 5 GHz if you have ever used the passwords with any Amazon related services.

    This wasn't your issue and changing the channel fixed it.

    For the why, I'm to old to go back to school and study for a EE degree with an emphasis on RF engineering. Perhaps there is someone else on the forum that can explain in precise technical details why Amazon and other devices prefer and are more stable on lower channels. I know in my setup it wasn't signal strength based on what the router and using a WiFi analyzer were showing nor was it link speed.

    I do know that there are other devices that have this sort of issues/ quirks particularly if you try the mid band channels that require checking for radar. I also have had a phone that could not see any channels above 149.

    When I switched away from 149 to 44 I simply swapped the channel on my router to the channel I was using on the AP. I'm now running 149 on the AP which is where my more secure WiFi clients connect and none of them are Amazon and none of them have a problem staying connected.
     
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  15. bradbort

    bradbort Senior Member

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    Thanks. That make sense. Still, the end result for end users may be that their router will drop lots of 5G clients in default settings.
     
  16. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    That is true if you leave the channel selection in Auto you may have random disconnects from some clients, but that is why on this site when people have issues one of the first things recommended is to pick a fixed channel. Finding the best or in the case of 2.4 GHz the least worse channel is a constant challenge as your WiFi environment constantly changes and you need to stay on top of it.

    That is why Ethernet is the gold standard for connectivity.
     
  17. xus

    xus Occasional Visitor

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    How often does the auto channel selection scan/change the channel or what triggers it? My 5Ghz has been fine for years with all my devices, been through many firmware upgrades and reboots and never experienced an issue until the minute I updated to 14_2. Is it something specific in this firmware or was there always the possibility of it happening and just coincidence?
     
  18. CaptainSTX

    CaptainSTX Part of the Furniture

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    Probably a coincidence. If you neighbor got a new router, added an access point, changed their WiFi channels, has his router set on auto and it switched channels are more likely explanations.