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Wifi or router can't cope with the amount of traffic?

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banz

Regular Contributor
I have a RT-AC68P. I'm wondering whether it is because I have too much traffic and clients. Or that my 5G network is saturated by neighbors AP? I can see a couple of them between 45-55 dbm. Should I should go for something like a beefier setup with pfsense /opnsense and just use the RT-AC68P as an access point?

I have 10-15 devices. smartphones, tablets, tv, smart plugs, NAS etc. My bedroom is a little far from my wifi router which has the poorest 5Ghz wifi coverage. I can see the signal fluctuating between 100-500mbps. When I'm pushing out heavy traffic from my bedroom, I'm seeing the router becomes unresponsive, login to web gui becomes near impossible. All the other devices wifi connection starts slowing down. Latency goes through the roof. This normally occurs when I'm pushing traffic hard from devices with poor coverage. I'm assuming this is normal behavior when the clients are having a poor connection? I had a lot of devices connected to this box previously but I hardwired most of heavy usage devices.
 
What firmware are you on? Is the network more responsive after a reboot and let sit idle for 10 minutes before doing your testing?

What features are you using on the router? What are your ISP speeds? Can the devices which you use with heavy traffic in the bedroom fully saturate the ISP offered rates when they're located closer?
 
What you are seeing is the nature of Wi-Fi. Only a single device can be communicating with the router at any one time so while one device is connected every other device using that radio else its turn.

In your situation with the device with the poorest reception being the heaviest user it pulls the link rate down and if packets need to be retransmitted this further slows the connection down and increases the wait time for other devices to send and receive data.

You might be better off putting your more distant connecting devices on the 2.4 GHz radio and save the 5 GHz for the devices that can get a strong signal. You can also try moving devices that don't need a high speed connection to the 2.4 GHz radio to better balance the traffic between radios.

The real and best solution is to run an Ethernet cable to your bedroom. If you can't or don't want to do that then look at MOCA or powerline connectivity.
 
5 GHz does not work house wide from one point real well. You need multiple AP to distribute 5GHz well. Maybe a cable to your bedroom and connect an AP there. OF course wire is always better than wireless.
 
What firmware are you on? Is the network more responsive after a reboot and let sit idle for 10 minutes before doing your testing?

What features are you using on the router? What are your ISP speeds? Can the devices which you use with heavy traffic in the bedroom fully saturate the ISP offered rates when they're located closer?

I'm probably 1 or 2 version behind the latest. Just updated it in Jan. The network becomes responsive after I stop the heavy data transfer. I got a plex + NAS and whenever I run backups, it puts a huge stress on the wifi network. I can see ping spike on other wifi devices.

In terms of feature, it's fairly vanilla. Just some NAT+ port forwarding and ddns. Not running any ftp or webserver directly on the router. ISP is verizon fios at 100 mbps. On another subject, when they came to install the fios. I can't believe they were using nailguns to staple the fiber optics into the wall. I'm surprised that it didn't damage it.
 
@coxhaus + @CaptainSTX . I did think about using more AP but I wasn't sure if that would solve the problem. I was thinking RT-AC68P might not have enough processing power and I should get a dedicated box. This way I can probably do some squid proxy and web filtering.

I live in an apartment and I can see my next door neighbor have 4 AP's on 5Ghz. I was a little reluctant to be running so many ethernet cables as wife was not happy with my previous setup. I think I'm going to have to convince her. As she can definitely see the wifi degrading when there's heavy traffic.

First I'm going to try separating the clients on 2.4 and 5G as suggested by @CaptainSTX to see if that would help. As my 2.4G is not as saturated and oddly enough, some clients gets a stronger 2.4 signal than 5G depending on which room they are in.

Thanks!
 
If you are in an apartment multiple 5 GHz units may not be that important. I would upgrade to the latest firmware. There was a hack in the fall or late summer. You need to be running the latest firmware.
 

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