Packet Loss on FiOS Gigabit = "Unstable Internet Connection" on Zoom calls
Malulo
Newbie

Hi,

My family has FiOS Gigabit Internet-only service, with a Quantum Gateway. My wife and I are both working from home. She's on a recent Macbook Pro, and I'm on a recent Thinkpad, both connected wirelessly. Our kids have a couple Amazon Kindles and a Chromebook for school and games, all of which also connect wirelessly (but don't use much bandwidth at any particular time). Finally, we have a Roku that's used for a couple hours a day. 


My wife has to attend Zoom calls frequently for work, and she gets a LOT of "Unstable Internet Connection" errors, followed by frozen or dropped calls. All while maintaining a connection of between 30 and 90 Mbps. She has the latest Zoom version. We've done a lot of troubleshooting, and incredibly, the problem seems to occur almost exclusively when I'm doing something on my computer. Gmail and Slack are the biggest trouble-makers. If I start to write an email or a Slack message, and it's during one of my wife's Zoom calls, she nearly ALWAYS gets "Unstable Internet Connection" etc. Any ideas? It's not like I'm eating up a lot of bandwidth with an email. 

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11 Replies
cgervais
Enthusiast - Level 2

I don’t have a solution, but am experiencing the exact same, and extremely frustrating issue. My company is heavily invested in Zoom, so switching isn’t an option. I’ve experienced this issue on both my MacBook Pro and my iPad Pro using Zoom. I’ve tried various router settings, switching to different DNS providers (I typically use CloudFlare’s DNS resolver) and other finicky settings (it’s 2020 and even thinking about changing MTU isn’t acceptable). This feels like a routing issue beyond the edge of our local networks, so hopefully Verizon can address.

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jonjones1
Legend

This is just a thought.

put your devices on separate channels. Such as 5 Ghz or 2.4 Ghz although everyone wants faster 5 Ghz the wifes device may fair better on a 2.4 Ghz connection.

additionally if the router is setup using self organizing network *(SON) Turn it off.

it really is more harm than good.

let me know how it turns out.

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Malulo
Newbie

No dice, I'm afraid. The problem persists, even if we're on separate channels. It also seems that any kind of internet activity on my part causes the issue, not just gmail and Slack. Again, I would think that suggests a bandwidth issue, but our bandwidth seems to be perfectly sufficient. 

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appDev
Contributor - Level 1

have you done any speed tests from both your devices? independently and at the same time?

Do you have an extender or another Access point? how far are you from teh router? 30-90 does sound slow if you are on gigabit?

Is it possible for you to be on a 'wired' connection? or her? for at least once - to validate?

Malulo
Newbie

It does seem to be tied to the wireless connection, in some way. I am currently working on an ethernet connection to the router, and my wife's Macbook is the only device connected to the 5.0 wireless connection, in the room directly above. If I switch over to 5.0 or 2.4, it will disrupt her connection, at least when she's on a Zoom call. (We've confirmed this a number of times.) It does not matter what distance she is from the router. 

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appDev
Contributor - Level 1

This might not be of much help, but maybe try and separate the 2.4 and 5 Ghz SSIDs to be separate, and ensure you are connecting to the 2.4 and she's on the other? Theoretically, 5 GHz is better, but has shorter range, and 2.4 is slower, but goes farther.

If all else fails, might need a call to verizon to maybe send out a replacement router? The G1100 has been around a while, unlike the G3100 which still has issues (everyday, seems like), so unless its a bad piece, not sure what else we can determine.

Not matter how you slice it, two-five devices on wi-fi not being supported is just unacceptable.

Malulo
Newbie

Yeah, we've got the 2.4 and 5 networks separated, and we're never on the same one. Makes no difference. When my wife is working, my laptop is now always connected via Ethernet in order to avoid problems. I forget to take my iPhone off Wifi sometimes, though, and even THAT causes issues. If I see my phone wake up to show a new email notification, my wife immediately tells me she's gotten the "unstable" Zoom error. It's bananas. 

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cgervais
Enthusiast - Level 2

I’ve taken to rebooting the router once a day, which sometimes helps. I still believe it’s not just local network contention causing this problem. I kicked everyone at home off the network to participate in a webinar on Wednesday and experienced 90% packet loss for a majority of it 😡

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Malulo
Newbie

Last night I switched out the Gateway router for another unit. We'll see if the problem persists. If so, it would go a long way to confirming your theory that it's a non-local issue. 

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cgervais
Enthusiast - Level 2

Good luck! I had an extended support session with Verizon — they pushed some changes to the route (god knows what) and then I rebooted it again after the session was over. I ran a Wifi sniffer to see if there was channel contention with the networks around me (I live in a residential area and don’t have to deal with bad density) and found a couple of other networks running on the same channels. After dealing with that, I rebooted it again and thus far, Zoom performance has been improved. Will keep monitoring it and post here if anything changes.

Malulo
Newbie

Thanks for the suggestions, Jon. We'll try using separate channels today and see if it makes a difference. SON was already turned off. 

I'll post results. 

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