wifi drops packets and speed on some networks while other devices work fine

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deepskydiver

Occasional Visitor
I'm not getting much work done..

Windows 10 PC
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Asus Prime X570-Pro/CSM AM4 ATX Motherboard
ASUS PCE-AX3000 Dual Band WiFi 6 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless

The issue is that my wifi will sometimes drop speed dramatically which I then found was due to packet loss (> 50%)
This happens connected to a router on the 2.4 or 5GHz bands.
My phone on the same network doesn't drop a packet. Other PCs on the same network are also unaffected.

The confusing piece is that when I connect my PC to my phone hotspot - it's fine.
Both are using:
* Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)
* WPA2-Personal

Over an ethernet cable the connection it's fine. I can't get any later drivers than those on the ASUS site ( 2019/11/08 ).
I'm bewildered. Has anyone come across something similar?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Speed drops from what to what? How often and for how long?

What is the signal strength shown on the PC? PCI network adapters are generally located in the worst possible position, behind a metal PC case and monitor up against a wall. Not very good conditions for radio communication.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
is wireless N the best the pc adapter can do ?

is the router band selection set to Auto ? If yes, set it to a fixed band/channel.

Are you using external antennas on the pc ?
do they have direct line of sight , nothing in between, to the wireless AP/router ?

if, not, then move one or the other until they do.
results change ?

if not, do a wireless survey to see what other bands are being used by neighbors.
 

deepskydiver

Occasional Visitor
In answer to your questions (and thank you):

- the PC doesn't have line of sight
- but signal strength is -65 to -68dB. There is nothing else stronger than -82.
- there are just the antennas on the back of the case, yes.

I've swapped it out for another card I just bought. But after a brief period it's the same!! And now it's the symptom thought my phone hotspot. I've got no connectivity.
So given other PCs and my phone are fine it's got to be software, yeah?
Can I reset the whole network stack?
 
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deepskydiver

Occasional Visitor
I've now reset the network settings in Windows.
The result is the same, but the signal strength is lower by about 5 dB.
It's just as if random chaos has been injected.
 

Falcon6574

New Around Here
Does this happen after the computer has been put into a powersave mode by windows? Windows does a poor job of putting computers to dleep or waking them up. Does toggleing the airplane mode correct it?. If your wifi is a pcie card, go into device management, find the wifi card , under power management uncheck the box to let windows power manage the device. If its usb, the device and the usb hub its attached to needs it to be disabled.
 

deepskydiver

Occasional Visitor
> Does this happen after the computer has been put into a powersave mode by windows?
It happens from a boot straight away or in minutes. Power saving is off (it's a gaming PC)
I do get the issue you refer to on my laptop (even since stopping power saving)

> Does toggling the airplane mode correct it?
I will try it next time it occurs (It's stable for now despite nothing specific I can recall changing aside from flicking between my hotspot and the router)

> If your wifi is a pcie card, go into device management, find the wifi card , under power management uncheck the box to let windows power manage the device.

Thanks - I've done that too.

I'll report back when it happens again with more info. For now I can't explain why it's working any better than I understood why it had the issue.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
-65 to -68 dB is very weak for a stable connection and high throughput. you will be lucky to get 20-40 mbit/s over wireless. Many devices would switch to another AP at this level if it was stronger. That is why you do not have the issue when using your cell tethering. The new adapter may be stomping on the signal your cell tether is generating unless you turn the radio off.
You need to use something to get an AP into a more robust location or move the original AP/router.
Choices in order of preference would be 1) ethernet cable to an AP close/in same room, 2) MOCA2 (any coax in the house nearby ? see the MOCA threads here), 3) powerline - latest version (see threads here), 4) a wireless router with dedicated radio to a separate wireless extender ( likely to have the same issue as your current setup), or 5) a wireless extender using your current wireless router (give up 50 % of your available bandwidth if shared radio and same strength issue).

Bottom line is you need to change the distribution of wireless signal in your house. You probably need signal strength in the 40s - 50s for a fast stable connection.
 
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deepskydiver

Occasional Visitor
Thanks, I'll keep an eye on that and I've repositioned to improve the signal as much as I can.

Meanwhile things just got weirder looking at a traceroute I'm running.
I'm not losing packets but latency working remotely is very poor. And at the same time on another windows PC (admittedly closer to the AP) the times are low and consistent.
On my PC in the next room however it's bad - and there's a pattern (attached). Does this indicate anything?

[UPDATE - it's the router, minor movements start packet loss or alternatively bring it down to normal and constant]
 

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degrub

Very Senior Member
You might consider using iperf as a free tool to diagnose local network throughput issues rather than depending on the internet.

there are also some free versions of popular wireless analysis tools that can help document a wireless survey.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
-65 to -68 dB is very weak for a stable connection and high throughput.

Actually - that signal level is just fine - challenge OP has is self-jamming by the host PC, so the SNR is bad, and this is why...

Desktop PC's, esp home builds, where there is little RF engineering, are very hostile for WiFi and Bluetooth.
 

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