N signal strength 30% lower than G?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Livin, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Livin

    Livin Serious Server Member

    I have a Belkin with Toastman's on it. Been using it with G for quite a while. I just got a phone that uses N so I turned on 5GHz N and found that in my 'usual' locations in my home (wood frame construction) my N signal strength is always at least 20% lower than G and usually 30%-50% lower.

    I have searched/read and cannot find anything that address this directly. I have tried some recommended FW setting tweaks but nothing seems to make a difference.

    My closest neighbor has G and one farther away with N on 20MHz - both register with 12 & 10 on Tomato, respectively. I have one DECT 6.0 (1.9GHz) wireless home phone base and 2 remote handsets
    ... I don't think any of these cause the problem with N?

    Any suggestions on what to do/check/etc?

  2. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    G is slower but it can cover bigger area than N... it is normal
  3. Dark_Shadow

    Dark_Shadow LI Guru Member

    Your also trying to compare 5GHz to 2.4GHz and this is not possible. A more likely comparison would be G to N on 2.4GHz band. Comparing different bands is like comparing apples to oranges.
  4. Livin

    Livin Serious Server Member

    I cannot imagine that having Tomato shows G with 54mbps and N with 52mbps is normal? Both show Interference Level as Acceptable and WPA2/AES.

    What am I doing wrong?
  5. BikeHelmet

    BikeHelmet Addicted to LI Member

    Using 5ghz. Higher frequencies can carry more information, but are more vulnerable to interference, so they travel less far and through less. If the signal degrades enough, speeds will drop below 2.4ghz's, which are a bit less vulnerable.

    You should try using 2.4ghz Wireless N.
  6. Livin

    Livin Serious Server Member

    2.4ghz does not seem to be any different. I have even tried moving channels... nothing helps. On both 5 & 2.4 I do get signal that will say 56,65, etc but those are very fleeting... usually followed by 19, 21, etc.

    Is everyone else getting better N strength/speed than their G?
  7. BikeHelmet

    BikeHelmet Addicted to LI Member

    I definitely am most of the time. May I ask how many wireless devices you tested it with? Two possibilities spring to mind.

    First, there might be poor compatibility between your wireless router and wireless device. My RT-N16 has a Broadcom chipset, but sometimes when I'm fixing PCs they have an Atheros wireless card in them. Most of the time that results in far poorer signal strength. My router is down one floor through a concrete garage, but I've seen one laptop get 60-70% signal strength (4-5 bars) while another sitting right next to it will get only 1-2 bars. (Even if I test one at a time to rule out interference.) That's quite a difference.

    The second possibility is your wireless card isn't transmitting at full strength. Somewhere in the control panel (power options) and device manager (network adapters) there are options that lower the power output of the WiFi card. I think power saving options usually kick in once you reach a certain performance level - perhaps Wireless N is getting you the same speed, but with less power draw?

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