RT-AX88U Wifi latency to Macbook is affected by Slack/Teams calls with QoS disabled

ABSAhmad

New Around Here
Hello,

I'm currently running the 386.5_alpha1-gbb7ff5cb66 firmware on my RT-AX88U (after installing I factory reset it & formatted the USB device).
The reason why I upgraded & formatted was because of WiFi latency issues on the 386.4. I used to get a lot of packet loss + ping spikes up to 500ms while I'm in the same room as my router.

My client is a MacBook Air M1 which might also have WiFi issues of its own but I could re-produce all of the issues with an older MacBook Pro 2019 (Intel), so it doesn't seem to be strictly related. While the upgrade fixed most of my issues, there is one left that is weird and I'm lost as to how to debug this further on my own. So any hints are much appreciated.

When I'm using my MacBook for browsing/listening to music etc. I get a latency of 3-15ms to my router:

1644839562027.png


Once I am in a Slack or Teams call, this drops down to ~3ms consistently:
1644839623425.png


I have re-produced this multiple times with the same client. If any VoIP would drop it, I'd be fine with it tbh. But for example Discord doesn't which is really annoying.
I've already checked out interference etc. but since being on a call fixes this, I don't think that's even related.

But my WiFi statistics + settings:

1644839725847.png


1644839759307.png


I've only disabled Beamforming, other than that it's all default settings.

QoS is disabled and was never enabled after the factory reset.

Did someone else experience the same issue or does anyone have any idea how I could debug this further?

Thanks in advance for any replies!
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
So what is the actual problem?
 

ABSAhmad

New Around Here
Thanks for the reply.

The issue is the latency ranging from 3-15ms while I'm in the same room as the router (when not on a teams/slack call).

I already have a cable connection, so ~10ms overhead, and really don't want the latency overhead from my WiFi connection which is also one of the main reasons I chose the RT-AX88U which is a high-end router and shouldn't have these issues IMO.
 

octopus

Part of the Furniture
@ABSAhmad
can you remove "BETA" tag, you don't relese any software.
 

capncybo

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the reply.

The issue is the latency ranging from 3-15ms while I'm in the same room as the router (when not on a teams/slack call).

I already have a cable connection, so ~10ms overhead, and really don't want the latency overhead from my WiFi connection which is also one of the main reasons I chose the RT-AX88U which is a high-end router and shouldn't have these issues IMO.
Just like Colin said earlier, I am having trouble seeing the issue.
Or perhaps you may just be asking, "If I've disabled QoS, why would my latency actually improve while participating in a teams/slack call yet seem to worsen without ?"
Regardless...
3-15ms are fantastic results, (myself & many others) don't typically refer to such numbers as a problem???
Latency issues are typically only noticed via numbers of at least >60ms or even >100ms via online games & VOIP type technology. (Delayed voice or Choppiness/Lagging-out in games)
Anyways you also mentioned that most of your settings were DEFAULT...
Have you tried disabling some or all of the...
WAN> NAT Passthrough
(In particular I'm thinking SIP)
IMO I would have guessed that such settings would also require QoS be Enabled... maybe just try changing them to see if anything changes.

Or perhaps I've just completely misunderstood, what you are trying to ask???
 

ABSAhmad

New Around Here
Okay, so maybe I wasn't clear enough.

I'm getting 15ms latency from my client to my ROUTER. Not my ISP, not the internet but to the ROUTER itself.
So I doubt it's related to anything in the WAN settings since it's not really an ISP issue here — I tried changing the settings but to no avail.

If I ping 8.8.8.8 I easily get 30ms and then some spikes due to the WiFi issue (spikes to 15ms on the WiFi itself) + spikes on my connection (it's cable so a bit of jitter is kind of to be expected).

So to re-iterate I get 15ms ping to my ROUTER (192.168.50.1). If I'd get 3-15ms to while actually browsing/playing I'd be more than happy but I can barely get 15ms in the same city let alone other countries.
 

capncybo

Regular Contributor
Okay, so maybe I wasn't clear enough.

I'm getting 15ms latency from my client to my ROUTER. Not my ISP, not the internet but to the ROUTER itself.
So I doubt it's related to anything in the WAN settings since it's not really an ISP issue here — I tried changing the settings but to no avail.

If I ping 8.8.8.8 I easily get 30ms and then some spikes due to the WiFi issue (spikes to 15ms on the WiFi itself) + spikes on my connection (it's cable so a bit of jitter is kind of to be expected).

So to re-iterate I get 15ms ping to my ROUTER (192.168.50.1). If I'd get 3-15ms to while actually browsing/playing I'd be more than happy but I can barely get 15ms in the same city let alone other countries.
Maybe I'm having a bad day & need more coffee because, INDEED you did say, "... from Client to Router..." but when I look at your first PING Screenshot...
I'm not interpreting it quite as you, did...
What I see is indeed intermittent results, with many pings being normal & yes, some do seem delayed or excessive.
But here's the thing with WiFi... you really can't clean or control the air-waves & all kinds of noise can manifest in re-transmission/delay/latency.

You mentioned being close to the router...
Sometimes you could be experiencing ghosting/ringing over-driving the amplitude... think echos
Maybe try turning down your Tx Power under Wifi> Professional> (At the Bottom)
+
Do you experience this problem on any of your other clients or just the one?
EDIT: Ooops sorry you did say "... an older MacBook Pro 2019 (Intel)" also
Hmmmm
 
Last edited:

ABSAhmad

New Around Here
Just to summarize and add one more case to the information already known:
  • M1 Macbook has 15ms latency spikes to my router
  • M1 Macbook has consistent 3ms ping to my router while a Slack/Teams call is on
  • MacBook Pro Intel has 8ms latency spikes to my router (so it is a little bit better than the M1)
  • MacBook Pro Intel has consistent 1.5ms ping to my router while a Slack/Teams call is on
  • An ASUS ROG laptop, not sure which one exactly as it's my brothers gives me consistent 1ms ping all the time
So it kind of seems to be related to the Macbooks at this point to be honest and not the router itself.

The only question left is: Why would an open Slack/Teams call improve the ping to my router while QoS is turned off. Does that make any sense? Is this normal/expected behavior? If so, does someone have references to some articles explaining why/what's happening in the background as I'd like to know more about it.

Thanks for all the responses so far!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Possibly Apple power saving issues? Among other teething problems with the M1 chips.
 

capncybo

Regular Contributor
Just to summarize and add one more case to the information already known:
  • M1 Macbook has 15ms latency spikes to my router
  • M1 Macbook has consistent 3ms ping to my router while a Slack/Teams call is on
  • MacBook Pro Intel has 8ms latency spikes to my router (so it is a little bit better than the M1)
  • MacBook Pro Intel has consistent 1.5ms ping to my router while a Slack/Teams call is on
  • An ASUS ROG laptop, not sure which one exactly as it's my brothers gives me consistent 1ms ping all the time
So it kind of seems to be related to the Macbooks at this point to be honest and not the router itself.

The only question left is: Why would an open Slack/Teams call improve the ping to my router while QoS is turned off. Does that make any sense? Is this normal/expected behavior? If so, does someone have references to some articles explaining why/what's happening in the background as I'd like to know more about it.

Thanks for all the responses so far!
Good Troubleshooting on your part & I think L&LD may have just hit a bulls-eye with the culprit.
Sooooo... How to resolve it on your end is still the question.
From what I've read: Under WiFi> Professional
WMM APSD
is what will enable/disable the Powersave Mode... Maybe try & disable it (temporarily for testing)
You can check the device flags under...
System Log >Wireless log
With it enabled you should see a "P" under Flags...
But perhaps powersave mode causes you some extra lag...
in-fact thinking about it...
It might have to add some delay to actually attempt to save power on the mobile device.
EDIT: thinking about it logically the advanced Wifi settings may be adjustable on the Macbooks but sorry... I'm not a MAC guy.
 
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ABSAhmad

New Around Here
I generally have the power saving mode (MacBooks) disabled and had the AC adapter connected when doing the tests:

1644873647140.png


The P flag is not set for my MacBook either.
Changing "WMM APSD" also has no effect whatsoever.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Any Mac forums you follow? Apple drivers may still be the culprit here. Worth searching for.
 

capncybo

Regular Contributor
I generally have the power saving mode (MacBooks) disabled and had the AC adapter connected when doing the tests:

View attachment 39475

The P flag is not set for my MacBook either.
Changing "WMM APSD" also has no effect whatsoever.

After Googling I found this...
https://www.reddit.com/r/Stadia/comments/jqv6sy
But Please Note: IMO there is a typo & "Sudo" should probably be "sudo"...

On your Mac try...

You can disable AWDL by running the following command in a terminal:
Sudo ifconfig awdl0 down

To enable AWDL again run:
Sudo ifconfig awdl0 up
 

ABSAhmad

New Around Here
Thanks for the link I actually also found it a little bit ago and was testing it. Unfortunately to no avail. I've had a friend also test it who has roughly the same setup as I do, M1 Air + RT-AX88U and it turns out that he has the same issue.

So it seems to be something with the MacBooks and I'll have to live with it for now. Hopefully, Apple can/will fix it with a software patch but I doubt it for now.

I'll be switching my workplace in march and will get a new work MacBook, I guess I'll just wait the two weeks and test it with a fresh device although that's also not very hopeful for me at this point as everything points to a design issue in the MacBooks.
 

capncybo

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the link I actually also found it a little bit ago and was testing it. Unfortunately to no avail. I've had a friend also test it who has roughly the same setup as I do, M1 Air + RT-AX88U and it turns out that he has the same issue.

So it seems to be something with the MacBooks and I'll have to live with it for now. Hopefully, Apple can/will fix it with a software patch but I doubt it for now.

I'll be switching my workplace in march and will get a new work MacBook, I guess I'll just wait the two weeks and test it with a fresh device although that's also not very hopeful for me at this point as everything points to a design issue in the MacBooks.
The only other thing I stumbled upon mentioned to try & disable location services... but you've probably already tried that also.

Anyways,
Good luck (Maybe you just wanna stream some David Wilcox... Bad Apple, LOL )
 

Morris

Very Senior Member
You are demonstrating that you can measure a delay yet you have not demonstrated a real world issue that is affecting your application experience. You can not fix what is not broken

Morris
 

unsynaps

Senior Member
You are demonstrating that you can measure a delay yet you have not demonstrated a real world issue that is affecting your application experience. You can not fix what is not broken

Morris
So just because it is not outright 100% causing an issue with something it is not worth looking into when it's a repeatable phenomenon ?
 

Morris

Very Senior Member
So just because it is not outright 100% causing an issue with something it is not worth looking into when it's a repeatable phenomenon ?

One can learn a lot while trying to fix what is not broken
 

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