Wireless signal strength & Netflix downloads: adjust QoS?
Kent
Enthusiast - Level 3

I have a 15/5 FiOS plan and an Actiontec M1424WR router.  My wireless network has been adequate for my laptop even though it shows a download speed of only about 6 Mbps, even sitting right next to the router.  (Speed on my hardwired computer is 25.)  I’m writing because there’s been a noticeable problem with Netflix downloads via an LG Blu-ray player that connects wirelessly to the same network.  It shows a decent signal (5 out of 7 bars), but audio and video are often out of sync and the picture occasionally freezes or stutters.  Both problems can sometimes be solved by pausing or reloading the movie.

A Netflix tech support rep said he could see a wide variation in my wireless download speeds, from 0.4 to 4.5, which presumably predicts whether I have viewing problems.  He suggested buying a $15 wireless repeater (although those I saw for sale are significantly more expensive than that).  Verizon FiOS techs (1) rebooted my ONT (apparently because it’s what they’re told to do for any problem), (2) changed my wireless channel (which was set to “automatic”) from 11 to 10, and (3) told me they don’t guarantee even a modest level of wireless speed.

I’ve seen threads on this and other forums about using the router software to play with Quality of Service - traffic priority.  The idea of making sure that my Blu-ray player has first priority for the wireless signal makes sense, but I’m not sure it will work and I don’t know how to change the settings.  (Discussions on this topic are too technical for me, or else they deal with specifying the bandwidth for a given device, which I don’t think is necessary.)  Verizon tech reps either can’t or won’t help me with this.  One gave me the number for Actiontec’s Verizon help, but it turns out they’ll only speak to Verizon techs, not to the public.

Any advice?

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6 Replies
Hubrisnxs
Legend

from my uderstanding, You can only affect upstream QoS, downstream will depend on your provider. If you hammer the download, then QoS wont work; if you hammer the upload, it might do something. You would need a managed switch which supports it to provide QoS for lan traffic.  I wouldn't really expect it to do much for you. To implement QoS properly you really need to have control over the full end to end path in both directions.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

you should play with the wireless channels first,  log into the router @ 192.168.1.1 -

user name admin

password is the serial number under the upc barcode of your router (case sensitive) unless you have the dual antenna router, and then its labeled login password. again case sensitive.

once you are logged in, stay inthe first column and click change wireless settings.   and then look for channels, 

change it from auto to 1, save/apply and test..  if its better, leave it there.  if its the same or worse, try channel 6 and then 11, rinse and repeat.  

worse case scenario I use the trendnet wireless n upgrader and its cheap and works very well.

the techs should never have used anything but 1, 6 or channel 11.  if they didn't try all three, i would go back into the router and try the ones that they did not.

and actiontec will only talk over the phone with reps but they will provide free email support, so go to their page and go to the contact support form with your question if you really want to try qos.

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Kent
Enthusiast - Level 3

Thanks for these thoughts.  I hadn't really thought that changing wireless channels would do much good, but I suppose it's worth a try.  (The Verizon tech said that channels 0, 6, and 11 are slower.)

Will try Actiontec help by e-mail, but I'm reluctant to mess with these settings without step-by-step instructions and some assurance that it's likely to help.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

imo the wireless channels give most users the biggest bang for your buck.  

1, 6 snf 11 are used in n.america, because those channels are five bandwidth wide.  think of listening to your fm radio and changing the station by one number, you will still hear the remnants of the stronger signalled radio station.  

same concept.  with it being five wide, 1, 6 and 11 don't interfere with one another.   whereas 6 7 8 9 10 all mess with each other and all interfere with one another.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

I did find this thread that might be helpful.  If you find some good settings that work, please feel free to share them. 

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-Internet/Actiontec-MI424WR-rev-G-router-and-xbox-live-best-setting...

GL

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smith6612
Community Leader
Community Leader

If you have an older ActionTec router, such as a Rev. A, a Rev. C or a Rev. D, the units are in fact known to have another trick that could be done to them to fix the infamous 6Mbps issue. Apparently, setting the Wireless Mode from Mixed B/G to "G Only" in the router will resolve a ton of speed-related issues on the Wireless that changing channels and other methods won't fix, at the expense of preventing Wireless B devices from connecting (which slow everything down anyways on G networks). I'm not sure if this applies to the Rev. E or higher ActionTecs as I haven't heard of any issues, but it is something to try 🙂

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