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BT Hub/Wi-Fi

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Steveam
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BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449673

Postby Steveam » October 12th, 2021, 9:41 pm

I have a BT internet service and a BT Smart Hub. All has worked well for a several years. Recently I’ve been getting poor to very poor connection on Wi-Fi devices (smartphone and tablet) and this shows up in speed tests but similar tests from physically connected devices give good speed. I haven’t moved the hub and I’ve tried the mobile devices in close proximity to the hub but the problem persists.
I’ve just had a friend visit and he’s also had poor speed using another smartphone. I’ve tried restarting the hub to no effect.
I’m intending to contact BT Support but I suspect they’ll say speed to the hub is fine and that’s it … I’m really not sure how to move forward - could this be that the hub is giving up or some (new) interference?
I’m totally out of my depth and just need everything to work!
Any thoughts or suggestions will be much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Steve

Midsmartin
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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449700

Postby Midsmartin » October 12th, 2021, 10:37 pm

Do you have a laptop or PC that you can plug directly into the router with an Ethernet cable? I wonder if that's slow as well?

Steveam
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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449701

Postby Steveam » October 12th, 2021, 10:40 pm

My desktop is connected by Ethernet and tat shows a good speed. It’s only the Wi-Fi connected devices which are (very) slow.

Best wishes,

Steve

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449708

Postby mc2fool » October 12th, 2021, 11:21 pm

Firstly, if you haven't already, do try the cliche of powering cycling the hub, leaving it turned off for a few minutes. I've had occasions where that's fixed a router wi-fi problem that just plain restarting hasn't.

Then, post here all of the hub's wi-fi settings & configuration, so we can make sure you don't have some setting on that's making it slow. If you don't know how ask here for someone with BT Smart Hub knowledge to tell you (not me I'm afraid...).

Also, if one of your wi-fi devices is running Windows then try downloading something like inSSIDer, https://www.metageek.com/products/inssider/. That'll show you any conflicts with neighbouring wi-fi.

Or if you've only got Android devices then search around for a similar wi-fi scanner (or maybe someone here can recommend one?)

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449711

Postby Stompa » October 12th, 2021, 11:34 pm

Is the WiFi slowness occurring on 2.4GHz, 5GHz or both?

Have you tried changing WiFi channels on the Smart Hub?

https://www.bt.com/help/broadband/how-d ... -my-bt-hub

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449715

Postby mc2fool » October 13th, 2021, 12:16 am

Stompa wrote:Have you tried changing WiFi channels on the Smart Hub?

A good idea but getting a wi-fi scanner first to see potential conflicts is useful.

On a quick look for Android ones I've found and installed this one, which is perfectly adequate. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=abdelrahman.wifianalyzerpro&hl=en_GB&gl=US

And on Windows this is a reasonable alternative to inSSIDer. https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/wifi-analyzer/9nblggh33n0n

Looks like 5GHz channel 44 is one to avoid ... I can pickup no less than six BT Hubs on 44 and 3 Virgin ones -- and nothing else on any other 5GHz channel except for my router (on 64)!

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449725

Postby servodude » October 13th, 2021, 4:22 am

You've had really good info so far regards checking the channels used for collision; and that's definitely the first place to look

So what else...?!

most likely would probably be "in band" congestion - where there's just a bit more "valid" traffic on the wifi than you might expect
I'd be having a look in the HUB status to see what clients are connected and checking that they all made sense (and there wasn't a neighbour attached being the kind of neighbour I used to be)
- all it really takes is for one thing on the network to go a bit overly chatsome and it can affect everything else
- you might be able to find out how much data the clients are going through and establish if there's a bad netizen that way
Or you can reboot your router with everything else off, only connect with a single device and see if there's a noticeable improvement

I'd also be looking at the absolute value of RSSI (received signal strength indicator) reported
- you should be noticeably stronger than the other APNs around (especially if you move near to the access point)
- if that doesn't look to be the case check that eveything is plugged in properly; external antennas if it has them but also the power (I've used wrong/broken DC bricks in the past that can lead to things appearing to work but being quite under performing)

There are things that are not wifi points that can interfere at a radio level which won't show on a wifi-scan
- this https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54239180 kind of thing (but less extreme ;) )
- if you suspect that there's something which could be causing problems turn it off and have a look (only takes a few minutes)

Good luck
- sd

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449741

Postby bungeejumper » October 13th, 2021, 8:32 am

mc2fool wrote:And on Windows this is a reasonable alternative to inSSIDer. https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/wifi-analyzer/9nblggh33n0n

Somebody on this forum once put me onto https://wifiinfoview.en.softonic.com (freeware), which has served me very well over the years. It has full channel info, and it sees my Homeplug extensions etc.

Generally agree that it's worth moving the router around, even if only by a metre or so. Or switching off other appliances that might be interfering. (Ageing light bulbs? Dimmer switches?)

Failing that, you've probably got Havana syndrome. Ever find it hard to concentrate? :lol:

BJ

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449750

Postby Infrasonic » October 13th, 2021, 9:26 am

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/02 ... placement/

The Ars Technica semi-scientific guide to Wi-Fi Access Point placement
Wi-Fi is like real estate—the secret is location, location, location.

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449783

Postby Stompa » October 13th, 2021, 11:31 am

A couple of years or so ago I had a similar problem with a BT Smart Hub 1. Periodically (maybe every 6 weeks) 2.4Ghz WiFi would slow down to perhaps just 10% of it's normal speed. 5GHz was unaffected. Changing channels made no difference, and I suspect it would have stayed slow forever without some sort of intervention. Rebooting would fix it, and I subsequently discovered that so to would a Channel Rescan. I was never able to identify the cause, but wondered if it might simply be due to buggy software in the router (e.g. a memory leak) which only failed after it had been running for a longish time. Perhaps the reason why BT hubs automatically reboot themselves every 2 weeks (not something I've ever noticed with other routers) is a bodge to try and prevent such issues.

Either way the hub eventually developed another seemingly unrelated problem, and after a quick chat here:

https://community.bt.com/t5/Home-setup- ... -p/OtherBB

was swiftly replaced by BT with a Smart Hub 2, and I've had no such problems since.

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449799

Postby Infrasonic » October 13th, 2021, 12:23 pm

Stompa wrote: Perhaps the reason why BT hubs automatically reboot themselves every 2 weeks (not something I've ever noticed with other routers) is a bodge to try and prevent such issues.


Or maybe it rebooting every two weeks is another bug? :D

BT - Broken Technology?

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449867

Postby Steveam » October 13th, 2021, 4:22 pm

First, A big thank you to everyone for contributing - a really helpful community spirit which is much appreciated.

I switched the hub off (pulled out the plug!) for a few hours this morning and restarted. This did not solve the problem.

I've now connected both devices using 5GHz and they are much, much faster ... does this indicate a conflicting WiFi nearby? I'm using Apple phone and tablet - can anyone recommend a suitable WiFi conflict checker for Apple (and how to use it!)

This is obviously early days so the problem may return tomorrow on 5GHz but many thanks for the support.

Best wishes,

Steve

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449870

Postby Infrasonic » October 13th, 2021, 4:29 pm

5GHz is a lot less congested generally, mainly because less people use it and because it is a higher frequency it has less 'reach', so conflicts less. The downside is you might find it losing signal more at the extremes or through multiple walls.

If you read that Ars Technica link I posted it goes into all the pros and cons of 2.4 vs 5 and solutions to congestion, optimal placement of routers, signal levels et al. The author Jim Salter is a pro sysadmin and really knows his stuff.

Edit: Just to add an analogy. If you had a room with a hundred people in it would it be easier for them all to communicate with each other by shouting or whispering? That's how Wi-Fi signals work best, you want to avoid 'drowning out' if possible.
Last edited by Infrasonic on October 13th, 2021, 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449872

Postby Watis » October 13th, 2021, 4:39 pm

Steveam wrote:First, A big thank you to everyone for contributing - a really helpful community spirit which is much appreciated.

I switched the hub off (pulled out the plug!) for a few hours this morning and restarted. This did not solve the problem.

I've now connected both devices using 5GHz and they are much, much faster ... does this indicate a conflicting WiFi nearby? I'm using Apple phone and tablet - can anyone recommend a suitable WiFi conflict checker for Apple (and how to use it!)

This is obviously early days so the problem may return tomorrow on 5GHz but many thanks for the support.

Best wishes,

Steve



Glad you've most likely found a solution, but for the benefit of later readers with similar problems:

Interference on the 2.4GHz band signal can be caused by a DECT phone:

https://www.howtogeek.com/126327/how-to ... erference/

And/or a microwave - particularly if your wifi is using channel 9, which is closest in frequency to that which microwaves use.

More info here: https://www.howtogeek.com/171869/why-do ... nectivity/

HTH,

Watis

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449874

Postby Infrasonic » October 13th, 2021, 4:42 pm

Bluetooth is in the 2.4GHz spectrum as well.

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#449999

Postby servodude » October 14th, 2021, 12:53 am

Watis wrote:
Steveam wrote:First, A big thank you to everyone for contributing - a really helpful community spirit which is much appreciated.

I switched the hub off (pulled out the plug!) for a few hours this morning and restarted. This did not solve the problem.

I've now connected both devices using 5GHz and they are much, much faster ... does this indicate a conflicting WiFi nearby? I'm using Apple phone and tablet - can anyone recommend a suitable WiFi conflict checker for Apple (and how to use it!)

This is obviously early days so the problem may return tomorrow on 5GHz but many thanks for the support.

Best wishes,

Steve


Glad you've most likely found a solution, but for the benefit of later readers with similar problems:

Interference on the 2.4GHz band signal can be caused by a DECT phone:
...
And/or a microwave - particularly if your wifi is using channel 9, which is closest in frequency to that which microwaves use.


It's amazing anything ever works if you think about it!
Time to finally pick up an SDR for home scanning (tinkered with https://www.rtl-sdr.com/ in the past)

Infrasonic wrote:Bluetooth is in the 2.4GHz spectrum as well

- I didn't think of that in my earlier post and I'm slapping myself in the forehead

Anyways
if 5GHz works then it generally works well:
- it's faster over the air
- and doesn't penetrate as far (which for interference issues means that other folks' shouldn't be blatting your signal)

Pretty much all free WiFi analyzers look and work the same
- so just pick one from the apple store (go by rating) and see if you can get along with it

I've just had a look at the bluetooth (using Nordic RF Toolbox) and wifi (using wifi analyser) on my phone
There's a lot of stuff about on the 2.4GHz
Image

If I was having problems I'd look for the access point I was using and see if there was other stuff nearby (the higher the curve the stronger the signal)
- and if there was I'd consider moving it to a different channel
- if not I'd be looking at what's connected in the router status and see if there was anything hogging bandwidth

- sd

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#450208

Postby xeny » October 14th, 2021, 8:53 pm

Infrasonic wrote:Bluetooth is in the 2.4GHz spectrum as well.


I've just had a conversation with someone quite senior at work that their iPad's Bluetooth keyboard looks to be the root cause of their complaints about our apparently "terrible" (no budget for it so 2.4GHz only) WiFi that we couldn't reproduce. Wondering how long before the budget appears for new APs now. :lol:

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#450217

Postby Steveam » October 14th, 2021, 9:35 pm

Continuing progress …

I logged into the Hub (BT Smart Hub 5) and while there saw a button to tell the hub to rescan channels. I’ve done this and the 2.4GHz performance is much improved. It’s still better in the 5GHz band. I only have one Wi-Fi device which doesn’t have 5GHz (an old internet radio) and it’s operating ok.

I’ve been using FaceTime a lot today without a glitch and this is what was failing and caused me to start the thread. My problem has been solved (many thanks to everyone here) and I’ve learnt a lot about Wi-Fi interference.

I’ve tried to find a channel scanner in the Apple store (to run on iOS) but haven’t found anything.

Best wishes,

Steve

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Re: BT Hub/Wi-Fi

#450239

Postby Breelander » October 15th, 2021, 12:28 am

Steveam wrote:I’ve tried to find a channel scanner in the Apple store (to run on iOS) but haven’t found anything.


Believe it or not, macOS actually has this feature integrated. To access it, hold the Option key and click the Wi-Fi icon on the menu bar at the top of your screen. Select “Open Wireless Diagnostics.”
https://www.howtogeek.com/197268/how-to ... ng-system/

and apparently iOS should also have it built in since iOS 13.
iOS13/iPadOS has brought an unexpected diamond to us as well! You are now looking at WI-Fi Diagnostics on iOS13 and iPadOS! What you are seeing is live data utilizing the iOS 13 & iPadOS beta and the Apple WiFi Performance Diagnostics profile for iOS.
http://www.my80211.com/home/2019/10/5/i ... stics.html


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