Improving router reception (not signal strength!)

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by anytiger, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. anytiger

    anytiger LI Guru Member

    Hi all,

    I've searched around for an answer to this question with no success.

    I recently replaced an OLD (4-5 years old) Microsoft router in my office that was flaky and had to be rebooted frequently. I've had good success with the WRT54GL and Tomato at home, so I used that combination.

    Having made the replacement, I'm now seeing significant packet loss from laptops in the office. The Tomato "Device List" shows that a wireless picture frame about 10 feet away in the same room is being received by the router at -54dBm, but laptops that are about 50 feet away in the next room are showing -70 to -80dBm. I've read that -65dBm is a good target for a strong connection. Note the noise floor is showing up at -99dBm

    Meanwhile, the laptops show full bars and "good" signal strength from the router. Clearly, it is sending at a good strength, but it is not getting a strong enough signal from the laptops.

    Are there any settings I can tweak to improve reception to the router? I've already tried changing channels with minimal effect. Would prefer not to buy new antennae.

    I'm particularly surprised that the 4-5 year old flaky MSFT router had far better reception (when it was working). Also, my home WRT54GL + Tomato shows -57 dBm from devices that are 40 feet away through 2 walls, and of course no packet loss.

    Any suggestion would be much appreciated.
  2. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    I noticed a lot of wireless collisions on my network. After doing some research, I came away with the impression that nothing abnormal was occurring. Such may be your case as well. What sort of wireless throughput are you getting? Are the connections stable? It may not be as bad as you think.

    This thread may be helpful.
  3. anytiger

    anytiger LI Guru Member

    Thanks for the link. Hadn't seen that thread. I will try some of those tweaks out and see what the effect is. Will let you know the results.

    Unfortunately, the end user experience is pretty bad. There is high latency when browsing the web (even though most pings complete in 16 ms or less) due to packet loss when the browser is downloading images on the page.

    Also, we use a VPN to get to our internal network here, and the VPN client will randomly disconnect every 10 minutes or so. Performance for our internal web apps over the VPN is unacceptably slow - it seems our VPN has low tolerance for packet loss. =(
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