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Thread: Weak Wifi signal strength

  1. #1
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    Weak Wifi signal strength

    Hello,
    After reinstalling ubntu12.04 on dell vostro1500, wi-fi signal strength is weak. After removing bcmwl-kernal-source my wifi started working though, but its too weak. I did tried a few suggestions but no success.
    HTML Code:
    wlan0     IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:"Patanjali"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   
              Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
              Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Encryption key:off
              Power Management:off
              Link Quality=51/70  Signal level=-59 dBm  
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:406  Invalid misc:691   Missed beacon:0
    
    lo        no wireless extensions.
    
    eth0      no wireless extensions.

    Thank you for help.
    "Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth." -- Swami Vivekanand

  2. #2
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Seems okay to me. Why do you feel this is weak?

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  3. #3
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    I agree with DuckHook. The signal strength looks fine. There is an app you might install to monitor your wifi connection. It's called "wavemon" found in the repositories and runs in a terminal. i did have an intermittent condition that 'felt' like a slow connection. It seems my ISP's DNS servers would infrequently become laggy. I'd click a link and nothing would happen for a couple seconds. I switched DNS servers and the perceived speed increased.
    Last edited by kurt18947; April 30th, 2013 at 08:21 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    The tech guy at my ISP suggested changing to channel 8 (UK).
    I can't remember the exact reason, maybe to avoid the band that mobile phones use.
    My wifi seems to work better now. In India I guess the channels will be different.

  5. #5
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Quote Originally Posted by coldraven View Post
    The tech guy at my ISP suggested changing to channel 8 (UK).
    I can't remember the exact reason, maybe to avoid the band that mobile phones use.
    My wifi seems to work better now. In India I guess the channels will be different.
    Wireless is a black art that sometimes requires magic wands to optimize or even to just get working. Like you, I don't know much about Indian spectrum rules, but I vaguely recall that the WIFI band was set aside for its purpose internationally and has been adopted almost universally. I don't see why anyone would want to flout this convention, if only in their own self-interest, except possibly nations for whom flouting convention is a point of misplaced pride, like North Korea. I don't believe there is anything special about Channel 8. Your tech friend may have suggested it because it was the least congested channel in your case.

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    ...an app ... called "wavemon"...
    +1

    Very useful for real time look at connection strength and link quality. However, it bears noting that it must be started in sudo mode for scanning option to work.

    @OP

    Please post output of:
    Code:
    sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning | grep -iA3 Channel
    ...so we can see how crowded your local WIFI environment is. If you are on a congested channel, then even if you have a good connection, you will experience lots of dropped packets and collisions due to competition for the same bandwidth. In densely populated urban centres, it is sometimes impossible to find a free channel, in which case, you have to choose the best one available. This usually means a balance between lowest competing signal strength, number of networks on that channel, amount of Rx/Tx on those networks, and even time of day. On my network I find that things go pear shaped two times a day: when school is out and after supper, when the kiddies start hitting their games.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  6. #6
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Seems okay to me. Why do you feel this is weak?

    (Tip) You can use simple code box with hash marks (#) in reply box menu bar (but must be in advanced reply).

    signal strength is only 52%. Isn't it low? It should be atleast more than 85-90 %.
    or I am expecting too much?
    "Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth." -- Swami Vivekanand

  7. #7
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Quote Originally Posted by coldraven View Post
    The tech guy at my ISP suggested changing to channel 8 (UK).
    I can't remember the exact reason, maybe to avoid the band that mobile phones use.
    My wifi seems to work better now. In India I guess the channels will be different.
    I am in Vienna and how do you change to channel 8 ? It works good in w7 though.
    "Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth." -- Swami Vivekanand

  8. #8
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Wireless is a black art that sometimes requires magic wands to optimize or even to just get working. Like you, I don't know much about Indian spectrum rules, but I vaguely recall that the WIFI band was set aside for its purpose internationally and has been adopted almost universally. I don't see why anyone would want to flout this convention, if only in their own self-interest, except possibly nations for whom flouting convention is a point of misplaced pride, like North Korea. I don't believe there is anything special about Channel 8. Your tech friend may have suggested it because it was the least congested channel in your case.



    +1

    Very useful for real time look at connection strength and link quality. However, it bears noting that it must be started in sudo mode for scanning option to work.

    @OP

    Please post output of:
    Code:
    sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning | grep -iA3 Channel
    ...so we can see how crowded your local WIFI environment is. If you are on a congested channel, then even if you have a good connection, you will experience lots of dropped packets and collisions due to competition for the same bandwidth. In densely populated urban centres, it is sometimes impossible to find a free channel, in which case, you have to choose the best one available. This usually means a balance between lowest competing signal strength, number of networks on that channel, amount of Rx/Tx on those networks, and even time of day. On my network I find that things go pear shaped two times a day: when school is out and after supper, when the kiddies start hitting their games.
    I have my own internet connection in apartment which works better in w7 and was working good prior to reinstalling ubuntu12.04. Now it seems to have fogotten it route to my laptop .
    Here is the otput
    Code:
    nityanand@nityanand-Vostro-1500:~$ sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning | grep -iA3 Channel
    [sudo] password for nityanand: 
                        Channel:11
                        Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                        Quality=54/70  Signal level=-56 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"Patanjali"
    --
                        Channel:1
                        Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
                        Quality=43/70  Signal level=-67 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:""
    --
                        Channel:1
                        Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
                        Quality=60/70  Signal level=-50 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"UPC0044562"
    --
                        Channel:11
                        Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                        Quality=35/70  Signal level=-75 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"madLAN"
    --
                        Channel:6
                        Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                        Quality=31/70  Signal level=-79 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"home10"
    --
                        Channel:6
                        Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                        Quality=37/70  Signal level=-73 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"KARLKREJCI"
    --
                        Channel:11
                        Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                        Quality=31/70  Signal level=-79 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"UPC013637"
    in bold color is mine.
    "Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth." -- Swami Vivekanand

  9. #9
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Quote Originally Posted by nns2006 View Post
    signal strength is only 52%. Isn't it low? It should be atleast more than 85-90 %.
    or I am expecting too much?
    Ah. I see where it may have confused you. That number is not 52%. It is -52dB which is a measure of signal to noise ratio. It is a negative logarithmic number and the closer it gets to 0 the better your signal. -52dB is very good. -70dB would be something to be concerned about.

    As suggested by kurt18947, I too highly suggest that you download wavemon. This gives you a graphical and more intuitive look at your connection strength.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install wavemon
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  10. #10
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    Re: Weak Wifi signal strength

    Quote Originally Posted by nns2006 View Post
    Here is the otput...in bold color is mine.
    As you more than likely understand by now, there are a number of other networks competing with yours on channel 11. You also want to avoid channels 1 and 6, but otherwise, your local neighbourhood is surprisingly clear (especially for an apartment). Your best bet would be channel 3 or 4. Channel 8 also works. Any channel that is not in conflict with another network, but the further away, the better. Set your router to these clear channels and I suspect that you will instantly see better results. Make sure to use WPA2 encryption. Some routers will call it WPA personal. If so, be sure to select AES cipher.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


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