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AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

jjjhawk88
Aspirant

AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

Hello Netgear Community, 

 

I'm hoping to get some help here.  I've been trying to figure out a problem that has been plauging my house hold for about 9 months.  In short, if both my wife and I are connected via Wi-Fi or LAN to the router and working, internet will start dropping for one or both of us.  This most often occurs if we are both on video calls with video going or if downloading files of significant size.  I have actually now installed an ethernet port expander.  I plug my work computer via LAN into the ethernet port expander and my wife's computer is directly into the Router.  With this setup, internet has been considerbly better.  If my wife does experience internet issues, my connection via the ethernet port expander is never touched.  Therefore I feel the router is the problem.  Last night I was downloading a new game to my PS where the PS was connected via LAN to the router.  As soon as I started to download the game, every connected Wi-Fi device dropped Wi-Fi for ~10 minutes.  Wi-Fi then came back and seemed to maintain the rest of the evening.  My game continued to download and was never interuppted.  In most cases I do have to reset the Wi-Fi router to get things back in line.

 

I've searched the forums and do see this topic dicussed all over the place.  Although none quite match my experience.  This issue has persisted across multiple router software updates.  It feels like the Wi-Fi router, when pulling large downloads, is trying to manage resources so it start **bleep**ting Wi-Fi down to other devices.  OoS is off, but it is set to allow Internet Speed Test to determine bandwidth.  That is the default setting.  For the life of me I can't determine what's going on.  Any advice would be helpful.  If I've left any details out please ask and I'll answer.

 

Thanks in advance!

Message 1 of 8
jjjhawk88
Aspirant

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

It's probably important to also note this is our second Netgear router this issue is occuring with.  When the issue first started, we were using a Netgear AC2300 Model: R7000P. We wondered if it were hardware related so we purchased this new AX5400.  

Message 2 of 8
Christian_R
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

Hello jjjhawk88,

 

Welcome to the community! Have you had a moment to get in contact with our support team regarding this? 

 

https://www.netgear.com/support/contact.aspx

 

Christian 

Message 3 of 8
Razor512
Virtuoso

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

Is the router using any DFS channels?

 

If possible, check the router page (often 192.168.1.1) and head to the advanced tab.

 

After that, scroll down to the page labeled Wireless Settings (5GHz), and tell us which channels are beingused.

 

If it is using a DFS channel and your home is located within 10 miles of an airport, or on a flght path used for landings, you will be very likely to encounter issues with DFS channels which will cause clients to randomly disconnect when the router detects any radar use.

 

Also if using smart connect, some older clients may not reconect fast enough during a band steering event if the router tries to move them to a different band, that can also cause connection issues, in which case, you may need to disable it.

Message 4 of 8
jjjhawk88
Aspirant

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

Thanks for the reply @Christian_R . I did contact Netgear support when this first started to happen.  At that time there was little information to go on, so they required that I make sure it wasn't the ISP and then give them a call back once I had excluded the ISP as the issue.  I don't necessarily know how to definitivley do that, but I'm pretty sure my current setup excluded the ISP since anything connected to the router Wi-Fi is shut off but anything connected to my LAN port extender is fine and has no trouble.  I may try and give them another call, but I feel like it's a setting that I'm not yet identifying driving the issue.  I thought a post here might provide an quicker answer.

 

Thanks again!

Message 5 of 8
jjjhawk88
Aspirant

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

Thank you for the reply @Razor512, I don't believe I'm using any DFS channels.  This router is at default settings out of the box outside of me selecting Channel 1 as the only channel to use since other channels appeared to potentially have a lot of surrounding interference.  This issue existed before I changed the channel and has existed after, although since moving to channel 1 it has been slightly better, but not by much.  

 

I followed your instructions and did find 5GHz, but there were no channels listed.  I do live within 10 miles of two small airports.  But, these drop outs only occur when either downloading a large file for a gaming system or when both my wife and I are on Zoom calls and streaming videos.  Under any other circumstance it's fine.  

 

One side effect of this issue that cropped up is that devices that are often powered off (printers, PS4) when powered on they will not get an IP address.  I have to reboot the router and the device in order for it to dump the self assigned IP and pick up a valid IP.  This never happened until we started working from home and demanding more from our ISP and router.

Message 6 of 8
Razor512
Virtuoso

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

By default, if that router is using any channel between 36 and 48 on the 5GHz band then by default, it is using DFS channels, as it defaults to 160MHz vhannel width.

 

This is why you will often see something like this on the advanced tab. 36 + 40 + 44(P) + 48 + 52 + 56 + 60 + 64

In those cases, the only way to change that behavior, is to leave the default settings, and change the mode from "Up to 4800Mbps" to "Up to 2400Mbps" that will set the router to use 80MHz channel width and thus not use DFS channels.

 

As for the IP address issues, check if those devices are getting a 169.254 IP address. If they are, then it means something is prevent them from receiving replies to their DHCP requests.

If the issue is the DHCP server in the router, then the issue will also impact wired PCs, e.g., if you restart a wired PC, or simply open a cmd window and enter the following commands:

 

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

 

If they fail to get an IP over Ethernet, then it could mean for some reason the DHCP server in the router has stopped responding.

Message 7 of 8
jjjhawk88
Aspirant

Re: AX5400 Starts Dropping Wi-Fi During Big Downloads

If I look under Advanced > Wireless Setup > NETGEARXX-5G, I see the channel is set to 44, mode 'Up to 4800 Mbps' and transmit power control 100%.  I have never touched these settings and so this would have to be default.

 

I've been watching this really close to see if I can come to any further conclusions as to what is happening.  Here is an example of an experiment I ran last night.

 

It was late in the evening and I turned on my PlayStation, which is wired directly into my router.  I had a few updates pop up.  One was 11GB in size and the other was 6GB in size.  I started the downloads and started playing my game.  Both downloads completed and installed without issue.  A few minutes later two more downloads appeared, one was 12GB and one was 16GB.  I started those downloads.  The first one of 11GB completed with no issues.  The second download reached about 10GB in the download and everything started falling apart.  WiFi dropped from my phone, the PlayStation stated the internet connection failed.  Interestingly enough, on the PlayStation, I couldn't play an online game or use the voice chat feature, but the download continued and completed during this time.  As soon as the download was complete, WiFi came back, the PlayStation showed connected again and I had full use of the internet.  It's important to note that everyone in the house was in bed except me.  No other devices were being used with WiFi other than those items that are typically connect 24/7.  But no other downloads or streaming taking place.  

 

So, this all took place while I was downloading a large file via a wired connection to the router and not over WiFi.  This leads me to believe the router is prioritizing the large downloads and shutting all other channels off to optimize performance.  I thought this might be a QoS issue, but QoS is set to 'Let Speedtest detect my internet bandwidth'.  Could this setting be causing this issue?  We used to never have a problem and then out of nowhere this started happening.  We've tried two seperate Netgear WiFi routers and both respond in this way.  One last note, I have 1 computer in the house wired to the internet coming in the house, but is not connected to the Netgear router via WiFi or LAN.  When this issue happens, this computer completely seperated from the Negear router is not impacted at all.  So again, this leads me to believe it's the router and not the ISP.  

Message 8 of 8
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