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mtormey
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Message 31 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

Hi, I am also having this issue across all of my devices (android, iOS & Mac) & have only just had the service installed 2 days ago... 

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jbrennand
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Message 32 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

If people are having issues will you please start your own threads.  All of the posts may have the same problem but due to different reasons.  Its impossible to sort individual situations for everyone who tags onto someone else posting a similar problem


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Services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Sephiroth
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Message 33 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

UNDERSTANDING KEY ASPECTS OF WiFi

 WiFi is a somewhat notorious, though essential commodity. In many cases, when its behaviour does not meet the user’s perception of the claims made by the ISP (e.g. Virgin Media), the blame is quickly heaped on the ISP’s router (e.g. Superhub 2/2ac, Hub 3.0).

Disregarding the obsolete Superhub 1, the Virgin Media hubs are constructed and certified to the WiFi Alliance standard.  This means, that apart from faulty devices, they broadcast WiFi signals as powerfully as any other router operating to the same standard (e.g. ‘N’, ‘AC’).

With that out of the way, we can look at what affects WiFi signal strength.  First, we need to consider how signal strength is measured (dBm). Then we can consider at what signal strength things can be done on the Internet over WiFi.

SIGNAL STRENGTH EXPLAINED

Fairly obviously, signal strength (power) must be ultimately measured in Watts. Given that a toaster, for example, consumes 2kw (kiloWatts), WiFi power levels need to be harmless and are prescribed in each country by regulation.

In the UK, the maximum permitted transmit power expressed in mW (milliWatts) is:

2.4 GHz band                                100 mW

5 GHz band ch 36 - 64                200 mw      (these are designated as ‘indoors’ channels)

5 GHz band ch 104-140              1000 mw   

Commonly available signal strength measurement apps (e.g. inSSIDer) express power on the Bel logarithmic scale.  In the WiFi case, the measurement unit is dBm (deciBel relative to the milliWatt). 

A key number to note is that 0.0001 mW = -40 dBm. 

In scientific notation 1.00E-04 mW = -40 dBm.

Conversely, 1.0 mW = 0 dBm.

dBm is not a linear scale; it is logarithmic.  Without going into the mathematics, this is illustrated by the following simple table:

3 dB gain

+3 dB

Double signal strength

3 dB loss

-3 dB

Half signal strength

10 dB gain

+10 dB

10x more signal strength

10 dB loss

-10 dB

1/10 of signal strength

 

Below is a table generated in Excel that takes us closer to understanding what measurement apps such as inSSIDer report.

dBm

-100

-90

-80

-70

-60

-50

-40

-30

-20

-10

-3

0

W

1.00E-13

1.00E-12

1.00E-11

1.00E-10

1.00E-09

1.00E-08

1.00E-07

1.00E-06

1.00E-05

1.00E-04

5.01E-04

1.00E-03

mW

1.00E-10

1.00E-09

1.00E-08

1.00E-07

1.00E-06

1.00E-05

1.00E-04

1.00E-03

1.00E-02

1.00E-01

5.01E-01

1.00E+00

 

Next, we’ll consider at what signal strength things can be done on the Internet over WiFi.

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF TRANSMIT POWER LEVELS

Most users of inSSIDer or similar analysis tools will have seen the dBm readings.  They will also know that as distance increases from the hub, or as walls intervene, the WiFi power falls (to a larger negative value).

So, how far can you go and what can you do with your signal level? We’ll deal with “how far you can go” in the next section.

Below is a table showing the signal/power levels and what you can expect to do in those circumstances.

 

Signal strength

What you can do

Required for

-25 dBm

The highest power level that you are likely to see right up close to the hub.

Anything

-30 dBm

Maybe 2m from the hub in the same room direct line of sight.

Anything

-40 dBm

In the same typical home room either at furthest separation or with an intervening non-water absorbant or metal object.

VOIP; Video conference; video streaming; real time programs

-50 dBm

In a room directly above the hub, or in an adjacent room with non-water absorbant walls.

VOIP; Video conference; video streaming; real time programs

-67 dBm

Minimum power level for response time sensitive applications.

VOIP; Video conference; video streaming; real time programs

-70 dBm

Minimum power level for reliable packet delivery.

Email; browsing

-80 dBm

Minimum power level for browsing connectivity but with risk of packet loss.

Not much

-90 dBm

The noise level will drown any packet data.

Nothing

 

 

AROUND THE HOUSE

The table below describes how common/household materials can affect the WiFi power level.  Acknowledgement is made to physics.stackexchange.com.

 

Material

2.4GHz attenuation

5GHz attenuation

Interior Drywall/plasterboard

3-4 dB

3-5 dB

Wooden hollow door

3-4 dB

6-7 dB

Brick /Concrete/Breeze Block Wall

6-18 dB

10-30 dB

Glass/Window

2-3 dB

6-8 dB

Double-pane coated glass

13 dB

20 dB

Steel door

13-19 dB

25-32 dB

Ceiling/Floor combination

6-8 dB

6-10 dB

 

Now let’s examine a theoretical house. In the next diagram, A is the equivalent of a concrete wall; B is the ceiling/floor made of plasterboard & wood; C is a plasterboard wall.

 WiFi House Attenuation.png

The diagram is reasonably self-explanatory (acknowledgement to zen.co.uk).  However, there are points of note that should make sense to some frustrated home users.

  1. Room 1 signal strength in the 2.4GHz band, if the hub is not placed behind a TV, is unlikely to fall below -45 dBm.
  2. Room 2 signal strength in the 2.4GHz band at device (a) in the furthest position away from Room 1 is likely not to be better than -70 dBm depending on the exact wall material (5GHz band -75 dBm). If device (a) is moved close to wall A, signal strength of -65 dBm could be expected (5GHz band -70 dBm). In the 5GHz band,
  3. Room 3 explains exactly what this document is really about. If the wireless signal in the 2.4GHz band to device (b) has to pass through wall A (as well as wall B), then WiFi will be barely usable if at all.  The wireless signal to device (c) in the same room, not having to pass through wall A, would have perfectly usable WiFi.
  4. Room 4 signal strength in the 2.4GHz band will be high in the -50 to -55 dBm range (5GHz band -55 to -60 dBm).

 

CONCLUSION

Without knowing the foregoing information, the WiFi user might well be tempted to blame the hub for their WiFi woes. The signal strength at the WiFi client is the most important driver for satisfactory WiFi. 

 

 

Seph - ( DEFROCKED - My advice is at your risk)

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jbrennand
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Message 34 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly


@Sephiroth wrote:

UNDERSTANDING KEY ASPECTS OF WiFi

 WiFi is a somewhat notorious, though essential commodity. In many cases, when its behaviour does not meet the user’s perception of the claims made by the ISP (e.g. Virgin Media), the blame is quickly heaped on the ISP’s router (e.g. Superhub 2/2ac, Hub 3.0).

Disregarding the obsolete Superhub 1, the Virgin Media hubs are constructed and certified to the WiFi Alliance standard.  This means, that apart from faulty devices, they broadcast WiFi signals as powerfully as any other router operating to the same standard (e.g. ‘N’, ‘AC’).

 


Interesting post Sephiroth, a follow up question to the starting statement - based on my ignorance and interest in knowing.  What factors are at play then when a SH2/Hub3, that is providing an "average" wifi signal coverage, gets immediately improved when a "decent" 3d party router is installed - side by side at the identical location.  And improved yet again when a "top dollar" router is sited there?  What are those routers doing, capable of that the Hubs are not?


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Services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Sephiroth
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Message 35 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

Thing is, the external router will never be in "the identical location". What is more, the Wi-Fi Association is not concerned with router form factor, only with such matters as power output. So on the VM hubs, the signal has to pass through the plastic and may not be oriented at the best angle for a particular house.

The external routers, in the main, have external omni-directional antennae. Makes all the difference, imo.
Seph - ( DEFROCKED - My advice is at your risk)

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jigz26
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Message 36 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

I have been having the same issue since early this year... more to the fact of when I got my new Hub3 and the new Tivo box. 

I contacted Virgin on many occasions and an engineer has come out on multiple occasions to check what the problem is and it all seems perfect for their side.

The broadband becomes unusable at times and it is worse when I need to work from home... I can't get in touch with work or be on conf calls.

What is the overall solution for this? because I am looking to move providers if this isn't sorted.

 

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jbrennand
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Message 37 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly


@jigz26 wrote:

I have been having the same issue since early this year... more to the fact of when I got my new Hub3 and the new Tivo box.

 


Start your own new thread describing what package you have, what Hub, what TV box, how are they connected, and what are the symptoms of your specific problem


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Services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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Forum Team (Retired) Samantha_L
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Message 38 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

Hi jigz26,

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting.

 

Sorry to read you are experiencing an issue with the broadband connection.

 

Looking at your line, everything has come back as fine with no errors.

 

As jbrennand mentioned, if you can start your own thread with more information on the issue we can then advise further. 

 

Thanks

Sam


New around here? To find out more about the Community check out our Getting Started guide


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TomAlty
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Message 39 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly

I've had the exact same problem for a couple of years now, and it's becoming quite infuriating, getting to the point where it's becoming pointless trying to watch anything on Netflix and the like, with the Wi-Fi disconnecting every 10-15 minutes (to which the only solution seems to be switching the router off and on at the mains and hoping for the best). Surely other ISPs don't provide such a bad service? I'm very much considering cancelling my subscription, as I don't watch much TV other than sport.

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jbrennand
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Message 40 of 44
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Re: Wifi keeps dropping out constantly


@TomAlty wrote:

I've had the exact same problem for a couple of years now.


See message 37


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Services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
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