View Full Version : Signal Strength

March 18th, 2010, 01:00 PM
My service is driving me nuts!!

Problems I notice:
1. Wireless signal strenght is low (too often)
2. When I try to watch a trailer video, It chops it up continuously--even on a good wireless signal

My wireless router is about 40 feet away--on the same level as my wireless computer.
Any solutions?

March 18th, 2010, 01:45 PM
First, try your computer close to the router and see if the problems go away. If not, then something else must be wrong.

If it's the distance, it might help to change router position, or antenna position.

March 18th, 2010, 04:37 PM
I'll try it, and get back to ya.

Mr T
March 18th, 2010, 05:58 PM
Are there any walls between you and it? Plaster or drywall? Wifi doesnt like to go through walls. I forget but one of them eats signal faster then others. (probably plaster).

Try with anohter computer or device. Your router or your comp may have a damaged antenna.

C. Caudill
March 18th, 2010, 06:52 PM
I had the same problem but I switched to an N wireless router and the problem cleared. I got a Linksys N router first it would not work either, switched to Netgear and the signal goes through the drywall great.

March 18th, 2010, 11:12 PM
Yes it has to go through drywall.

I've had nothing but problems since I switched to linksys N. When I had the cheapo Netgear (has an antenna), it worked great. That's what I get for switching!! I will try to do a quick test tonight, and get back with you on my results.

March 29th, 2010, 05:55 PM
Had Comcast come out, their end wasn't supplying my house properly, so they adjusted their side. But, at times, I'm still getting a weak signal. I did have a strong signal when I moved closer to the router, but the computer is still slow. I guess comcast says I'm still running at half the speed. They tried their comp on my line, and the speed was proper. All in all, i'm able to stream video now, but I'm not satified with how slow my computer is running. Although this want make my computer faster, I have decided to rewire and reroute my homes RG6 cable--installing a central point for the RG-6 cable only. There I will install an amp for the RG6, and a splitter (non amplified of coarse) for the two dedicated computer jacks. When my company wires a new construction house, we provide free low voltage panels--giving the customer a central point for all low voltage wiring. It helps rid all the bull!!!
Obviously they didn't do that here. Oh well!!

March 29th, 2010, 09:49 PM
You have 3 levels of signal to worry about -- the cable signal to the modem, the quality of the ethernet from the modem to the router, and the strength of the wireless signal from your router.

I'm not all that happy with Comcast service, but I think I've worked all the hardware problems. They really want a dedicated cable from their tap in the outside box to your modem. The second wire (for the TV's) is fine to go to a powered splitter. Do you have two coax cables for your computer?? Never seen that type of install. Are you paying for two modems?

There is a certain minimum and maximum signal strength to your modem. Open your browser and go to This should connect you to your modem. Depending on the brand, you'll have various parameters avilable to you to monitor. From what I've read, you want signals in this range:
Up Power 30 to 53 dBmv
Down Power 3 to -3 dBmv
Down S/N 30+ dB

Being higher or lower in the first two is bad -- ideally you'd want to be in the middle. For the Signal to Noise ratio (S/N), the higher the better. I needed a 3 dB attenuator on mine, because the signal was too strong at times. Recheck these periodically, as they may change.

Next, does your computer have a wired ethernet port? If so, run a long cat5 cable from your router to your computer (just run it along the floor). If things go significantly faster, then your modem and router are probably fine, and weak wireless is dragging you down (try changing wireless channels -- could be conflicting with a neighbor, and/or change the base unit orientation to get it to work better). If things are no different, you may still have comcast issues, or some configuration issues.

Try going to these sites to check your speed:

March 29th, 2010, 10:10 PM
I agree on Comcast service.

They check the specs, and at their pedestal it read 46 MHz. After traveling 90 feet to the box on my house, I gained 2 Mhz. Then they had a four-way spliiter--which is bad for internet service, and this gained me another 4MHz. After all was said and done, I barely had internet service. The TV will work fine on the number I listed, but wireless doesn't. Well, they got it down to 48Mhz--which is still high!!! They got it down by running one of my RG6 cables directly from the incoming feed. Yet, they had to use a splitter to serve the rest of the house.

No, I do not have two RG6 cables for my modem, just one. But I will be installing two utilization points specifically for my modem, so I can use my modem in either location inside the house--which will give me a stronger signal. It will also give me the option to run direct--instead of using the wireless.

Technically I have 4 utilization points, but I will be running a coax directly to a splitter that will serve my modem first, then amplifier second.

When i get a chance, i will do as you suggested Suemark.


March 29th, 2010, 10:24 PM
OK, I'm running at these speeds:
A. Download= 311Kbps
B. Upload=327 Kbps

March 30th, 2010, 01:31 AM
That is horrible for cable internet service -- these sound more like DSL speeds. Typical cable modem service should be 10+ Mb/sec down and about 3 Mb/s up. Also don't know what you mean by MHz. I don't know what frequency band is used for internet, but CATV goes real high -- probably up into the 800 MHz band or further. But I don't know what MHz they are measuring, or why an RF carrier frequency would change.

Is your cable modem and router all in one, or separate units? If you're going to be running coax to different rooms, also consider running a cat5e cable too. Distribute that from the same low voltage panel and you're modem and router would also work well there (so have power outlets handy to power those and a powered TV distribution amplifier).

March 30th, 2010, 03:02 AM
I agree the speed is all messed-up! Once I get new wire in, i will see what happens, and call them (Comcast) back--if things still look bad!!! Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to log on :(. I almost broke my computer I was so mad one day. Poor computer--a victim for no good reason.....LOL!!! I have two separate units: 1.RCA modem (provided by Comcast) 2. Links N router
I have a very small panel, so I want be going all out.

Obviously I'm no tech geek!!!!

March 30th, 2010, 10:09 PM
Direct connect your computer to the cable modem using a network cable to eliminate wireless and router issues.

Check your speed on a couple of different sites. Run the tests enough times that you feel you're seeing the line's true performance.

Two sites that come to mind are:


March 31st, 2010, 04:00 PM
I'll will be doing all the test today---seeing that I have time.

I will check back later.


March 31st, 2010, 11:02 PM
Ban Test results [D= download U=Upload]:
D=1510.8 KB/Sec or 12086 kbps 2nd test=18788kbps 3rd test=15588kbps
U=206.4 KB/Sec or 1651 kbps 2nd=2061kbps 3rd=2096kbps

Speak Test results [D= download U=Upload]:
D=7.41 Mbps 2nd=18.62Mbps 3rd=16.06Mbps
L=.82 Mbps 2nd=.58Mbps 3rd=1.36Mbps

April 1st, 2010, 12:59 AM
Those seem much more reasonable. Did you change anything, or just run speed tests? You upload seems a bit weak, but download (which is what most people use) is good.

Got to watch the B -vs b (Bytes -vs- bits). KB/sec * 8 = Kb/sec. Not everyone knows there is a difference and they give the wrong units.

April 2nd, 2010, 01:47 AM
Those seem much more reasonable. Did you change anything, or just run speed tests? You upload seems a bit weak, but download (which is what most people use) is good.

Got to watch the B -vs b (Bytes -vs- bits). KB/sec * 8 = Kb/sec. Not everyone knows there is a difference and they give the wrong units.
Didn't change anything. Yet, I direct connected to my modem (Turned off the wireless).

April 2nd, 2010, 11:58 AM
Does your wireless adapter have wired ports you can use? If so, reconnect that and recheck your speed to the same sites using a wired connetion. The speed should be the same (although they will vary a bit from day to day and load from others). If not, you may have a configuration issue with your wireless router.

Then, switch to wireless and test again to the same sites. Wireless G is faster than your wired speeds, so it shouldn't be any slower. If it is, you are having intererference problems, the wireless signal is too low, or it is mis-configured. Move the wireless closer to the access point and try the wireless tests. See how far away you can get before the speeds drop like a rock (this should narrow it down between a configuration/interference problem and a signal strength problem).