Do router manufacturers make wifi range worse over time?

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Do router manufacturers make wifi range worse over time?

Post #1 by alex_123_fra » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:26 pm

Hi all, I have in the past bought a number of netgear routers as well as an Asus RT-N56U more recently as my virgin turd hub was so bad in terms of wifi signal around the house.

The more I update the firmware on the Asus router, the worse the range gets and Asus always recommends having the latest firmware to get all the security features. Do they make range worse on purpose so that you then buy the next newest model out? When I first got it, I remember being on the other side of my garden and still having 4-5 bars signal.

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Re: Do router manufacturers make wifi range worse over time?

Post #2 by kkn_ » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:56 am

no need to update if things works.

you can go in to the options inside the modem and see if you can boost the signal?
or you can designate another channel and see if that boost's it in case it crashes whit some of the neighbors modem/wifi.

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Re: Do router manufacturers make wifi range worse over time?

Post #3 by Dartmaul » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:48 pm

WiFi is seems to be a very common and simple technology but in fact it's very complex.

If you're experiencing bad signal strength it can be caused by several reasons.

1st of all you have to realize that wifi is a both side connection, so sometimes you may be limited by your device (phone, notebook etc) wifi adapter but not router.
The first, and most common reason is the amount of interferences caused by your neighbor's wifi devices. To solve this you may try to force set a channel on your wifi router that seems to be the less loaded. Also 2.4GHz range is much more loaded that 5GHz, and 5GHz has more channels than 2.4GHz, so you if your router supports 5GHz you better use it.
Also, keep in mind that 1st and last channels have slightly lower signal strength. That is made for limiting WiFi from hitting other standard's freqs
The 2nd reason is the channel width. Lower width would result in lower bandwidth but better signal quality.

I'm not into WiFi technology much, but there are a lot of different specifics.

If you have an android device at hand, try WiFi analyzer app, may be pretty useful for router tweaking)

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Re: Do router manufacturers make wifi range worse over time?

Post #4 by Henkenator68NL » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:38 am

Top info Dart!

I am building/setting up a network for the business of a friend off mine. When considering network speeds the entire picture got so compicated that we actually went back tot the drawing board and retrieving every technical document of all hardware envolved. This list got longer and longer, you are right on the money stating that the whole technoloy behind this is pretty complicated!

In addition to your response: the wifi app is indeed great to also check the signal strenght in different locations in the house as an addition to see if neighboring routers are interfering with yours.

A few other factors are also important:
- the location of the router: many homes now a days have steel supporting beams in the construction. This greatly determines the signal transmission (the Farraday principle kicks in). So it really pays off to try to locate a place in your house where you have the least possible interference from steel constructions.
- also hiding routers deep into (maintenance) cupboards are not helping. The wifi transmission is best with the router sitting (or hanging) on a wale where it has good clearance on all other sides: this makes the broadcasting of the signal move way more freely through the house.
- if you have a router with external wifi antennas it helps if you fiddle a bit with the directions in which they are pointing.
- if you have big problems with signal strenght troughout the house and you have a router with external antennes.. this sounds like bogus but it really does work: you can make a reflector (shaped like the sail of a surfboard) from tinfoil. Place this on the antenna and you will see that the signal got quiet a boost. Just google for: boosting wifi signal with tinfoil there are tutorials out there.

As for updating software on routers... I am sure there is no intent to reduce performance. But the statement from manufacturers to always have the latest firmware should be subject of investigation... Some compagnies supply perfect update release papers that step by step explain every alteration. Hence maling it possible to take a facts bases decision wether to update or not. In my opinion this should be the standard working methode for any hardware manufacturer, however a lot of companies seem to think this is unneccesairy and give little to no explanation about the update.
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Re: Do router manufacturers make wifi range worse over time?

Post #5 by zoomee » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:26 pm

I've just recently done the CWNA course - more of an engineering course than anything - bloomin eck I didn't realise there was soo much to WIFI!

I'll keep this short - Asus and some other vendors have had their hands slapped by FCC and other ruling authorities for overpowering some of their devices (beyond the maximum spec allowed) - so have been forced to 'dial-down' power output for certain newer models (I know this to defo be the case for the RT-N66u dark knight router). So yes they can make changes via firmware.

However I don't think its intentional - most companies abide by the rules, and this is not something normally practised.

Just like others here have stated though- WIFI has many influencing factors some of which are outside of your control, so its best to experiment with location, settings etc until you find what is right for the situation you faced with.
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