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Unacceptably slow internet connection...why?


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#1 jmw3025

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 03:35 PM

Mac OSX (current) on iMac, running Chrome (current):

I have Comcast "Performance Pro" internet, billed as 100Mbps download speed. Until recently, I was using the cable modem router they supplied, a Cisco DPC3939 DOCSIS 3.0 unit, paying them $10/mo. My computer (& laptop, iphone, ipad) connect via WiFi and I always had good connectivity & speed.

Then about a week ago I called Comcast & successfully negotiated a price reduction in our service (& they promised no degradation of internet speed). I also bought my own cable modem router in order to eliminate that $10/mo. from our bill. I purchased one of the units that Comcast themselves recommended, an Arris TG862G-CT that was used, but factory reconditioned.

I hooked it up per instructions, called Comcast to activate the equipment and saw 100Mbps download speed after they reset & configured the modem. However, since then my connectivity has become very slow. I called back & a technician walked me through testing different channels. We settled on Channel 6 as having the fastest speed, but the best I can get now is only mid-60's and on my laptop & ipad it's horrible--like sub-20Mbps.

I know you're not supposed to get full speed when connected via WiFi (one of the Comcast techs told me to expect about 50%), but what I'm getting now is horrible. Could it be that Comcast is not delivering the promised service or that some settings need to be changed or that the Arris I bought is flawed? Do I need to bite the bullet & go back to paying Comcast their lousy $10/mo. & use their equipment?

Any help would be appreciated!

 

 

Mod Edit

Moved to Networking.

NickAu


Edited by NickAu, 04 January 2017 - 05:02 AM.
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#2 smax013

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:59 PM

Have you tested the connection with an Ethernet wired computer? This will eliminate any possible issues related to WiFi.

As to WiFi, I have found that most combo modem/router/WiFi access point devices tend to have really crappy WiFi range, which then means you will tend to get crappy Internet speeds at greater distances. I have an Arris combo unit supplied by Comcast (for $10 a month...on my list is to buy my own to save the $10) and its WiFi is crappy, so I use a separate router rather than the built-in router/WiFi.

Keep in mind that as you get farther from any WiFi access point that your Internet speeds will decrease. So, if your WiFi has crappy range, then you will end up with slower speeds closer to the AP if it has crappy range.

#3 jmw3025

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 08:47 PM

Dear BC,

Thanks for your reply.
No, I have not tested with an Ethernet cable because that won't give me an answer to my question. I know a direct connection will be faster than WiFi. My question is, why is my current WiFi so much slower than my previous WiFi? My previous WiFi (with the Comcast-provided modem/router) was fast enough. In terms of location, the devices (both old & new) have been located just 10ft. from my computer, so the slowness can't be attributed to that cause. Maybe I should consider buying a separate router?



#4 smax013

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 10:15 PM

Unless you check with a wired connection, you cannot tell if is just a WiFi issue or a more general Internet connection issue or maybe both. In other words, yes, the wired connection might end up being faster than the WiFi connection...but it might not. It might be that you are only getting 60 Mbps with a wired connection (equivalent to your best WiFi connection if I understand your original post correctly), which would mean you are not getting your full supposed connection speed of 100 Mbps. The point of testing with a wired connection is to try to isolate a variable...i.e. WiFi.

If you test it wired and get the about the speed that you should get, then we know it is some wireless issue. If you get similar speeds with a wired connection to what you got with WiFi, then it is likely not a WiFi issue (or not JUST WiFi)...could be an issue with the modem/router that you got or maybe an issue on Comcasts' side of things.

#5 jmw3025

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 02:16 PM

Makes sense. So, I did this & here are the results:

Direct ethernet connection gives me 110-120 Mbps from which I conclude that my "feed" from Comcast is as promised & paid for.

Still only getting 9-15 Mbps with the Arris device WiFi connection from which I conclude it's a bum unit. I paid $120 for it to save the $10/mo. lease fee from Comcast, so 1yr payback period. Then save $10/mo.

To shed more light on the matter, I found an older Asus router in my equipment closet, Model #TM-AC1900. I connected via ethernet cable into the back of the new (refurbished) Arris TG862G-CT & switched my Mac WiFi connection to it. It gives me 110-120!!! How 'bout them apples?

So, what would you do? (1) Keep the Arris & use it in conjunction with the Asus router--2 devices to get me the $10/mo. savings starting a year from now, (2) return the Arris for refund & buy another one, hoping it will be good, or (3) return the Arris for refund & plug back in the original Comcast Cisco DPC3939, call Comcast & have them add it back onto my account @ $10/mo.?


Edited by jmw3025, 03 January 2017 - 02:18 PM.


#6 smax013

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 03:08 AM

An Arris TG862G-CT should be able to get you must faster WiFi speeds. It does support 802.11n, which supports up to a theoretical 600 Mbps. Combine that with the fact that your Asus router was giving you the same speeds as a wired connection and it suggests there is something wrong with the Arris modem/router unit...at least in terms of the WiFi portion of the modem/router.

As to what to do, that it more your call.

What I can say is that I have the same model modem/router (supplied by Comcast...for $10 per month) and I don't use the built-in WiFi. I use an Apple Airport Extreme plugged into the modem/router with the modem/router's WiFi turned off. In my personal experience, the built-in WiFi of that Arris modem/router is crappy...and I even had one Comcast tech more or less confirm that.

I would likely suggest that if you decide to keep going with the separate third-party router that you at least still exchange the Arris modem/router. It certainly seems to be working fine in terms of supplying a correct speed by way of a wired connection to your Asus router, but the fact that WiFi seems to be so bad does suggest that there is something wrong with it. And if there is something wrong with it, then it is possible that the problem could spread, which could then result in issues with the wired connection speeds. So, I would suggest it is best to return it (if you can) and get another one. FWIW, if you want to buy one new (which I have been planning to do when I find time to get around to it and thus save the $10 per month), you can do so here on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NR1EHP8/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_50?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Of course, a new one will cost more than a refurbished one, which means a longer "cost recovery" time.

As to whether to try again with a bought Arris modem/router or go back to paying Comcast for their modem/router, that is something you will have to decide. I do know that I plan to buy my own as some point soon...my main hangup has been figuring which direction I have to drive to return the rented one (I don't trust Comcast enough to ship it back to them) as they closed the local Comcast service center in my town and I now have to drive about an hour away to return it. And once I figure which location I can use (I get conflicting answers from the "front line cannon fodder" customer service reps when I call in), then I just need to find time to be able to do it...after I buy the new one, of course.

#7 jmw3025

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for all your help!



#8 smax013

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 03:24 PM

Glad I could be of help.




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