Only 11 mbps or 5.5mbps when connecting to wireless ap internet as wireless client tomato shibby

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by manhas, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    Hi guys i m new here and i have somewhat of a problem my router is an Asus WL500g deluxe and i m connecting to wireless internet ap, so it happens that i receive a signal quality of 26/27 but when i connect the speed starts at 54mbps and descends to 11mbps can anybody help? thanks :)
  2. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    This sounds normal. Try inducing a very long (try 30+ seconds) high-throughput transfer (from the WL500g to the AP, or vice-versa), and you should see the rate increase back up to 54mbps. Use something like and that should be sufficient (assuming your traffic goes client -> WL500g -> AP -> Internet).

    The reason: wireless chips go into "power-saving" modes that decrease their link rate when they're not used (this also saves electricity, and a couple other things which I won't go into). There is no way we know of right now to disable this feature. This can also happen during high interference situations. "Signal quality 26/27" doesn't mean much to me, it's just an arbitrary number.

    Laptop wireless chips do the same thing, by the way, as do mobile phone wireless chips. It's pretty much "the norm" at this point.
  3. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    and how do i do that with tomato firmware?
  4. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    i ve attached some screen captures

    Attached Files:

  5. gfunkdave

    gfunkdave LI Guru Member

    That is showing relatively low signal strength (only one red bar). So that's probably your problem. Also note that even if it shows 54 Mb/s as the connection speed, you will likely only get a fraction of that as actual throughput unless you're in a lab.
  6. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    no i could never connect manually at 54mbps just at 11mbps the problem is a low signal then i need to get an external antenna any suggestions? yaggi or parabolic? thanks
  7. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Thanks for the screenshots -- the one that matters are the ones with (9) and (13) in the filename, but mainly the (9) one. The (13) one is susceptible to miscalculations because it doesn't look like you've calculated the noise floor; that capability is under Status / Device List. (You will lose all wireless connectivity during that calculation). Make sure to write down what the noise floor was before and after.

    You didn't disclose any aspect of the physical environment this equipment is in. How far is the WL500g from the "wireless internet AP"? How many walls are between the two devices? How are the antennas on the WL500g positioned (yes this really matters! I can point you to a thread explaining that) ?

    Other possibilities include the following:

    1. You may be in an area with a large number of other wireless APs using the same channels or band. You can determine this by using the "Scan" button under Basic / Network next to the wireless interface. What you'll get back is a list of all the channels (relevant to your geographic region (Portugal)) and how many other APs are seen. There are other posts on this forum that explain what channels you should pick. You're currently using Channel 1. It's strongly recommended you do not choose "Auto".

    2. You may be in an area with a large amount of interference, in which case your choices are very limited. Such things include baby monitors, microwaves, certain kinds of consumer equipment using the same band (many don't even list this off, sadly -- they just say "wireless!" like it's something magical), USB 3.0 (really!), and other things. You won't have control over any/most of this stuff, so there isn't much you can do. Welcome to why wireless is basically unreliable. There is no way to "see" these type of devices using inSSIDer by the way -- the only thing that can is an actual wireless spectrum analyser (these tend to be expensive from what I've seen. Just Google "wireless rf spectrum analyser" (alt. spelling "analyzer") and see what you get). inSSIDer will just see wireless APs, not other things (ex. baby monitors, garage door openers, etc.) stomping over parts of the spectrum.

    3. You may actually have a router that's badly manufacturered, i.e. the internal wiring for the antennas is bad/flaky. Believe it or not this has happened many times to people on this forum, where simply getting replacement units suddenly results in signal strengths 10x higher than before. You could open an RMA request with Asus if you want, but it might be better to take your WL500g out in an open area somewhere (i.e. little to no other wireless traffic seen, or an area where there is wireless traffic that is known to be rock solid/reliable) and see what you get there. Then you'd rule out geographic location.

    4. You may be in a building structure which has a high amount of interference (metal, pipes, etc.) within the walls. You can't do much about that either, sorry to say, other than run Ethernet cable.

    So as you can see there are lots of possibilities here. It's up to you to rule them out, one by one, through troubleshooting. Take meticulous notes. Do only ONE THING at a time -- don't "mix changes", write down everything you do, anything you change, one step at a time, until you figure out what may improve things.

    Now, about buying replacement antennas:

    This is a blessing and a curse at the same time. While you may be able to get antennas with higher gain (ex. +5.5dB, or even +9dB) and thus get past distance limitations, the trade off is in SNR/noise. Increasing the gain may create other problems. The type of antenna matters too -- I don't mean "yagi vs. parabolic" -- see here for what I'm talking about (esp. the link at Cisco). Many antenna vendors do not disclose how exactly their antennas are designed and this is very very frustrating. But now you see why I asked about positioning, location, etc.. :)

    You may want to walk around with a laptop (connected to the wireless internet AP) running inSSIDer and see if you can determine signal/power problems based on location. If everything looks good, then the issue is probably specific to the WL500g, in which case try getting a replacement and see if that solves it -- like I said, the internal wiring for the antennas (inside of the router) has sometimes been known to be faulty on consumer products.

    Oh, and finally, about power-saving modes on wireless chips: this cannot be disabled on TomatoUSB in any way. The wireless driver is a binary blob, not open-source, and the internals are only known by Broadcom. The only command I know of that adjusts maybe a TINY part of the power-saving features of a chip (and it's not guaranteed to do anything at all, or even work reliably, or even function on your model of wireless chip in the WL500g) is the wl wake and wl PM commands. I do not recommend messing with those if you can avoid it.

    I hope this gives you a lot of things to think about. Welcome to wireless troubleshooting -- it's a complete and total utter nightmare, and why every single day I'm amazed the world seems to think "wireless is awesome!". It isn't -- it's a nightmare.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  8. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    i m sending a screen capture of the devices list,well the router is near a window that goes to the roof this and near the front door glass are the only places i can get a wireless signal i think it comes from my neighbour across the street. Now its even worse,the signal decreased to 20/21(rssi=-72dbm/noise=-94dbm) and rate is only 1mbps

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  9. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    Language barrier is starting to take effect; I apologise that I don't speak Portuguese. :( The fault is mine.

    Are you saying the "internet wireless AP" is above you? As in directly above you?

    If so, try changing the direction of the antenna on the WL500g. Instead of it pointing upwards, rotate it 90 degrees so that it's pointing to the side and not up.

    As I described earlier in one of my previous posts, with a link to Cisco's documentation... most consumer device antennas, when positioned up and down (vertically), are intended to cover areas to the sides (as in to the left, right, front, and back) in a circle. If you turn the antenna 90 degrees, so that it's horizontal, the coverage area then is vertical (as in going up/down, rather than left/right).

    See this picture for what I'm talking about, and look very very closely at the position of the antenna (see the far right picture):

    This is why I said that not all antennas are the same, and how many antenna vendors do not disclose what exactly they're doing. "Omni" is not precise enough; it could mean a "half sphere", it could mean purely horizontally, or it could mean an entire sphere.

    Yagi antennas are purely directional, as in they need to be focused *directly* at where the other device is. If someone was to move the device, or even change its antenna direction, then it would impact you.

    So try adjusting the antenna like that, then see if there's any change. Give things ~15 minutes to figure it out.

    If there's no change, then you'll need to read my previous post and do the things I mention + troubleshoot. And don't forget there's always the possibility that the internal wiring between the mainboard and the antenna is bad/faulty (just do an RMA with Asus).
  10. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    no i m saying that the ap is in front of me if i put the router near the front door or as i described if the router is upstairs facing the window in this last case the ap is below me because my neighbour s house just has one floor in this case the ground floor nothing more
  11. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    I'm sorry, that's a run-on sentence and it's very hard for me to understand what you're trying to convey. It would also help if you used terms consistently, i.e. please say "WL500g" and "wireless internet AP" like you did in your original post. I'm having trouble figuring out what device you're talking about and where it is physically.

    Otherwise I've really exhausted all the avenues + answers I can at this point, sorry to say.
  12. Grimson

    Grimson Networkin' Nut Member

    One more thing about antennas: If you really want a good chance of a better connection you'll need to upgrade the antennas on both ends of the connection, not just on your device.
    And judging from your post here:
    I doubt your neighbour knows about you trying to use his wireless connection, so he is likely not willing to put better antennas on his device.
  13. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    ok if the wl500g is in the front door of my house (behind the glass) the wireless internt ap is in front of me across the street
    if the wl500g is upstairsin my house (behind the window) the wireless internet ap is below me
    since in both cases is house is across the street and only has one floor
  14. manhas

    manhas Network Newbie Member

    ill try upgrading the antenna on the device and get back to you later
    thanks guys once more for all the help and tips
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