WiFi connectivity problems when more than 4 clients are active

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by myscha, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. myscha

    myscha Serious Server Member


    I'm running Tomato Firmware 1.28.0000 MIPSR2-140 K26 USB AIO on a Netgear WNR3500L v2. The router is located in the cellar and we live on the ground floor. As there is steel in the ceiling/floor the signal strength/quality has always been quite low. But with one Laptop, two smartphones and a printer everything worked quite well. The printer is located in the room above the router and has the best signal, the other clients are being moved around and the maximum distance from the router is about 10m.

    When I bought the router I modified it to use 2 external 9dB antennas instead of the internal ones.

    My children got tablets as christmas presents and since then we experience problems also on the other WiFi clients. Very often 2 clients get no connection. If I reboot the router those two devices eventually get a connection, but two others remain disconnected.

    The image shows a snapshot of the current signal strength and quality.

    Is there a limitation that limits the number of clients on this router? Are there any settings I could try to improve the situation? Would another router with more antennas help to improve connectivity?

    Attached Files:

  2. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    Under Advanced Wireless there's a parameter called:

    Maximum Clients and it defaults to 128. So unless you touched no this is not the issue.

    Let me ask: if you put all the devices in the cellar do they connect fine? If so you just need to reposition your router and/or add a second device acting as a secondary AP perhaps on the ground floor.
  3. Magister

    Magister LI Guru Member

    Check the "TX power" settings? I am not sure it does what we are thinking, but from what I know, if you set to auto, it will modulate the power depending on the number of devices connected, so try to set it at 0 to test? if it is 0, try other value like 100 or 400? This is very gray area for me for years, I always set to 0.
  4. myscha

    myscha Serious Server Member

    Maximum clients was set to 128 and I changed it to 16 now.

    Putting the devices into the cellar sometimes works, but sometimes it doesn't. But I was not able to see any pattern.

    TX power was set to 0. With this setting I had the situation that the printer got no connection although it's located exactly above the router.

    When I changed the power to 200 then, it seemed that the wifi interface got stuck and no device was able to connect. I had to reboot the router, before it worked again.
  5. Techie007

    Techie007 Networkin' Nut Member

    Sounds like you need a better router. The Tenda AC15 runs Tomato, is inexpensive, stable, and strong on the 2 GHz (which is what you'd be using for best range anyway). I've had over two dozen devices connected to WiFi at a time with no issues. You can often get them for under $50 on eBay.
  6. fefrie

    fefrie Networkin' Nut Member

    Those are all dismal signal strengths. Tablets and cell phones don't have the greatest antennas, and a weak signal of one device to a router in the basement will generally make the other clients also connect at terrible rates.

    I'd do everything to at least get the router onto the main floor.

    That said, just the fact that if you reboot the router and something improves means to me that the router is finished. I have my own issues with ancient routers, but at least with those, it's consistently isolated to just a couple of devices with the weakest of antennas.

    I think I've used your router before and it had wifi issues and I got rid of it.

    If you're still invested in staying with that router, I'd switch the radio to broadcast to G spec only, as that seems to be a bit more robust and stable.
  7. Magister

    Magister LI Guru Member

    Heck, I even found my R7000 for $35 from kijiji from a guy who was upgrading his ARLO camera system and didn't know the value of it
  8. myscha

    myscha Serious Server Member

    Thanks for your tips and thoughts. In the meantime I decided to replace the router. It served me well for a couple of years, especially because I modded it to work with external antennas, but now it's also quite outdated.

    I already got an R7000 for 60€ on Ebay this evening. Not as cheap as the one from @Magister, but it was a good deal nevertheless. When it arrives. I'll also look for another place at a more central location in my house.
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