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WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

simeoncran
Aspirant

WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

I'm getting very variable and poor ping times to my ESP32 and ESP8266 devices connected to the WAX206. It doesn't seem to matter how close the devices are. This is in an apartment building with lots of competing signals.

 

Pinging these devices from a machine connected by ethernet I get times ranging from 2.3 ms to 20 seconds, and frequently the packets are dropped completely. I've tried changing channels and various other settings but nothing is helping. The ESP32 devices show strong signal and RSSI.

 

I have another WAX206 that is working great on 2.4GHz, but it's in a different location with less RF competition.

 

This might be a hint to someone: if I change a setting on the 2.4GHz radio via the Advanced menu, the connection to the device will become unreachable briefly, then will have great ping times (~2 ms) for a few seconds before falling back to the slow and variable pings.

 

Is this a faulty device?

 

 

Message 1 of 7

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plemans
Guru

Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

You kind of hit on your problem with the fact that you live in an apartment. 

2.4ghz is much more sensitive to interference and has less available channels to use. When a device is broadcasting on 2.4ghz, the other devices on that same channel can't broadcast. You even put that the wax206 you have in an area with less interference, doesn't have an issue. 

More than likely the reason it works well for a very short time when changing the channel is that most 2.4ghz routers tend to be set on auto. You'll get that brief period where the router is changing channels that its stops connecting and then works really fast for a bit as the other devices in the complex pickup that it switched. Then it drops back to longer pings as they go back to broadcasting. 

 

Apartment complexes are horrible for 2.4ghz signals. I ran into that same issue a lot until I moved into a detached home. Even then I have some higher ping/latencies because I can still pickup quite a few 2.4ghz signals.

Current setup: CM2000-> RBKE963B-> Trendnet TEG-S380-> GS716T-> pi-hole
also in AP setup: RAXE500->EAX80
1.4gig download/50mbps upload from Xfinity
We’re members of the public helping out on our own time.

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Message 3 of 7

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Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance


@simeoncran wrote:

I'm getting very variable and poor ping times to my ESP32 and ESP8266 devices connected to the WAX206.

 


The WAX206 is a WiFi 6 Wireless Access Point, not one of the General WiFi Routers (Non-Nighthawk and Non-Orbi) covered in this section.

 

While many questions about routers are generic and could be answered anywhere, some things need specialist knowledge.

You might get more help, and find earlier questions and answers specific to your device, in the appropriate section for your hardware. That's probably here:

Business Wireless - NETGEAR Communities

I will ask the Netgear moderator to move your message.

In the meantime you could visit the support pages:

Support | NETGEAR

Feed in your model number and check the documentation for your hardware. Look at the label on the device for the model number.

Check for various troubleshooting tips.

You may have done this already. I can't tell from your message.

I mention it because Netgear stopped supplying printed manuals and CD versions some years ago and people sometimes miss the downloads.

Just another user with a set of boilerplate macros.

My network DM200 -> R7800 -> GS316 -> PL1000 -> Orbi RBR40 -> Orbi RBS50Y -> RBS40V
Message 2 of 7
plemans
Guru

Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

You kind of hit on your problem with the fact that you live in an apartment. 

2.4ghz is much more sensitive to interference and has less available channels to use. When a device is broadcasting on 2.4ghz, the other devices on that same channel can't broadcast. You even put that the wax206 you have in an area with less interference, doesn't have an issue. 

More than likely the reason it works well for a very short time when changing the channel is that most 2.4ghz routers tend to be set on auto. You'll get that brief period where the router is changing channels that its stops connecting and then works really fast for a bit as the other devices in the complex pickup that it switched. Then it drops back to longer pings as they go back to broadcasting. 

 

Apartment complexes are horrible for 2.4ghz signals. I ran into that same issue a lot until I moved into a detached home. Even then I have some higher ping/latencies because I can still pickup quite a few 2.4ghz signals.

Current setup: CM2000-> RBKE963B-> Trendnet TEG-S380-> GS716T-> pi-hole
also in AP setup: RAXE500->EAX80
1.4gig download/50mbps upload from Xfinity
We’re members of the public helping out on our own time.
Message 3 of 7
simeoncran
Aspirant

Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

Thanks @plemans, you prompted a bunch more research on my side and I now understand just how little capacity 2.4GHz has in these circumstances. Seems like there's no solution except to accept that these smart plugs will have 20 second latency sometimes. Sad.

Message 4 of 7
plemans
Guru

Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

20 second latency is a bit much but a lot is also going to depend on the smart plug. Some are going to be faster than others based on their coding and how they're checking on the "if its their" turn to broadcast. (simplified)

Current setup: CM2000-> RBKE963B-> Trendnet TEG-S380-> GS716T-> pi-hole
also in AP setup: RAXE500->EAX80
1.4gig download/50mbps upload from Xfinity
We’re members of the public helping out on our own time.
Message 5 of 7
simeoncran
Aspirant

Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

I have similar smartplugs in both locations. In the non-apartment location they respond to commands from their web interface immediately, and in the apartment they typically take about 10 seconds, but as much as 20+ seconds although occasionally they're quick. That's also what I see just pinging them. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or what channel I force the router to. That surprises me as I'd have thought that the responsiveness would improve when the humans were asleep.

 

Constantly pinging a smartplug every 0.2 seconds makes it respond immediately, but it doesn't help if the pings are more than 0.3 seconds apart. That might suggest that the smartplug is going to sleep after a quarter second and taking ages to wake up, but when I move the smartplug to the non-apartment location it always responds immediately.

 

Also a pair of smart cameras that were working great when I first installed the WAX206 have given up connecting. They're old, so maybe they just all died within a few days of each other.

 

Presumably the other residents in the building are also seeing the same poor performance and are putting up with this crazy latency, or maybe it is the WAX206 after all. Next step is to swap the routers between the 2 locations and see if there is any difference. Lucky I bought 2! 😣

 

Message 6 of 7
simeoncran
Aspirant

Re: WAX206 poor 2.4GHz performance

ACTUALLY SOLVED

I ended up buying a 3rd WAX206 (don't have time to be swapping out routers that are in service) and that solved the problem. But I also learned that the firmware is flaky on these routers. Factory resetting the seemingly faulty device got it working again.

 

Even something as simple as switching these devices to AP mode then back to router mode renders them unusable (the wired connections stop working), but factory resetting fixes that too.

 

Oh well, at least they're cheap and have good range. Hopefully they'll keep running now.

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