Menu
Reply
  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
lelee
Joining in
835 Views
Message 1 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Hub 3.0, all apple devices running latest 12.x image.

After seeing initial improvement in coverage at extended distances (clearly being put on to 2.4GHz), everything ground to a halt...literally. 

I have now disabled smart wifi and further separated out the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels.

Its become clear that with both signals frequencies available, that iPhones and also Macs will not be steered....whilst iPads will.

I've have sat with iPhone next to iPad and whilst the Pad is streaming Netflix, the iPhone can't get on the network. Done the same experiment now with a MacBook Pro and see the same issue. the phone simply won't get on the 2.4GHz network.

I do have a challenging house for wifi coverage, the band steering really should have sorted it, however, there are clearly limitations and so I have finally opted to split the frequencies.

This is a real disappointment for me...and I don't care whether its apple device or the virgin router...and lets face it, with so many apple devices around, there's no excuse for this not working well or not being flagged.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 59
  • 1
  • 3
Anon
On our wavelength
741 Views
Message 2 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

I phoned tech support as after the update we were experiencing similar issues. He was adamant that the 5 and 2.4 should have different names or it would interfere with each other?  I suggested this is not what all their information said, but he was having none of it. I understood intelligent Wi-fi meant it would do the switching automatically, which is why I restored factory settings to benefit from the upgrade. After hours with connection errors and a near riot from the kids, I changed the names back to split the networks, which works but defeats the object.

  • 980
  • 49
  • 131
Forum Team
Forum Team
714 Views
Message 3 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Hi lelee, thanks for your post.

 

Sorry to hear about the problems you've had with WiFi since the recent updates. We're not aware of any compatibility issues with Apple iPhones and the intelligent WiFi features, just to confirm are the devices in question both up to date software-wise?

 

@Anon when you said "I understood intelligent Wi-fi meant it would do the switching automatically, which is why I restored factory settings to benefit from the upgrade" - was it the hub that you factory-reset? 

 

Tom_F 

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 59
  • 1
  • 3
Anon
On our wavelength
711 Views
Message 4 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Hi Tom

Yes, I restored factory settings to the Superhub in order to get the full benefit of the Intelligent Wi-fi - however, doing so meant we lost internet connection from many devices when we moved upstairs away from the hub (despite setting the passwords correctly and the Wi-fi appearing to be connected on devices in many cases). 

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 980
  • 49
  • 131
Forum Team
Forum Team
700 Views
Message 5 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Thanks for confirming Anon. Have you been able to try our Virgin Connect app? 

 

It offers a step-by-step guide to help identify and resolve WiFi issues in your property:


Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.virginmedia.simplewifi&hl=en_GB
iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/virgin-media-connect/id993173723?mt=8

 

Tom_F

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
lelee
Joining in
633 Views
Message 6 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Hi Tom,

All devices are up to a date with latest OS versions.

Devices I am referring to are all running latest available 12.x os:  iPhone 8s plus, 6s plus, 6 plus. MacBook Pro 15” 2017, MacBook 2016, MacBook Air 2019, iPad air2, iPad Pro 1st, iPad 2018.

I can also add that the Apple TV - HD and previous gens are all working fine on the 5GHz band.

As Anon says, its really disappointing as I am now left with multiple networks and having to resort to lowest working service.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 4.41K
  • 304
  • 262
Forum Team
Forum Team
630 Views
Message 7 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

I do apologise that you're disappointed with the changes Leelee, if you do wish to discuss it further please give us a call on 150/0345 454 1111. 

Emma_C - Forum Team
0 Kudos
Reply
  • 59
  • 1
  • 3
Anon
On our wavelength
615 Views
Message 8 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Hi Tom, yes I have the connect app and that sees both networks. It also identifies various black spurs which is the subject of a separate thread.

If the intelligent Wi-fi worked as indicated (switching the band automatically) then it would be a great improvement. As it stands, having to separate the bands as separate networks speeds up the device switching to a more reliable connection, but loses the benefit of the upgrade. 

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 5
  • 0
  • 0
lelee
Joining in
591 Views
Message 9 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

Hi Emma / Forum team,

Thanks for the offer, however I am really not sure what there is to discuss.

I’m actually a networking consultant so have been dealing with such issues fo 25 years.

Happy to pursue any testing paths that you may have and share on the forum, however, I’ve been through device restarts, hub restarts and after the last set of testing I don’t really have anything left to try.

Any advice or pointers on devices that COULD be interfering?

I would also suggest that the VM implementation of this tech is not alone in having issues.

It would seem that the tech may work for houses where the coverage is great so it steers devices onto 5G, however  in environments where the 5G signal is visible, but where throughput is unpredictable, it simply fails.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 11.8K
  • 1.08K
  • 2.56K
griffin
Alessandro Volta
574 Views
Message 10 of 12
Flag for a moderator

Re: Smart Wifi...better off disabled!

I am not sure what you are expecting from band steering, it is not designed to overcome challenging wireless environments but to alleviate congestion on the narrow, interference prone, 2.4GHz band by steering clients to the wider, less interference prone, 5Ghz band. It is worth noting that wireless clients will tend to roam, to the strongest signal, usually the 2.4GHz band by default. (depending on the client's roaming settings.)

Band steering has three settings, which unsurprisingly are not configurable on the Hub.

Force 5Ghz
which forces clients to connect to the 5GHz band by ignoring 2.4GHz probes from a dual band client.  This can be problematic if the 5GHz signal is weak.
Prefer 5GHz which will force clients on to the 5GHz band providing the signal is above a preset level. How well this works will depend on the set signal threshold, and the variability of the signal strength.
Load Balancing which balances the load between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios for better throughput.

It is worth noting that band steering is not part of the 802.11 standard and how well it work will depend on the vendor algorithm.

Personally, I prefer to let my wireless clients make the decision by setting my preferred band to connect automatically, and disable automatic connection on the other band.

There are many things that can interfere with wireless connections, especially on the narrow 2.4Ghz band. A\V Streaming Devices, Baby Monitors, Bluetooth, older Cordless Phones, Fluorescent Lighting, Hearing Aids, Microwave Ovens, Plasma TVs, Security Systems, Wireless Controllers, Zigbee etc. etc.

The 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands are Ofcom license exempt, so are free to use which explains their popularity.

Interference issues can be alleviated by changing the wireless channel(s) the Hub is broadcasting on, trying to avoid interference from other wireless networks and domestic appliances.

VM has  incorporated channel optimisation as part of the Smart WiFi package, but how well this works will depend on the algorithms they use.