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WI-FI signal keeps dropping off

This is a discussion on WI-FI signal keeps dropping off within the Windows 10 Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a problem that the WI-FI keeps blinking off on both the laptop, especially when I move to it


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Old 05-30-2020, 10:44 PM   #1
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I have a problem that the WI-FI keeps blinking off on both the laptop, especially when I move to it to another location in the house) and our two tablets.

It is so irritating to keep having to go to Settings>WI-FI and turn the switch off, then back on, to restore the connection.

Would a "WI-FI booster" fix this problem?

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:22 AM   #2
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It sounds like you are loosing the signal and you have to reconnect. A WiFi Extender would cover the dead spots where WiFi signal drops out.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:16 PM   #3
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So exactly what search term do I put in: "WiFi Extender" or WiFi Booster"?

Are there any brand names that are reliable? What price range should I expect for something that works effectively?

Thanks!

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Old 05-31-2020, 02:32 PM   #4
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Netgear is what I use. Try a mid-priced one of around $75
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Old 05-31-2020, 03:38 PM   #5
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Corday, can you please recommend [a] model number[s] for the Netgear device?

I would like coverage for a 'smallish' 2-bedroom house.

Would it be courting trouble to buy one that is "pre-owned" on eBay, as long as it has a reasonable return date????

Thanks for your recommendations!

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Old 05-31-2020, 04:26 PM   #6
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Model EX6100. I'd question why someone was selling a used one.
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:33 PM   #7
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Try one of these that Corday has suggested https://www.amazon.com/s?k=netgear+w...b_sb_ss_i_1_28
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:52 PM   #8
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Somebody would have a used one for sale if the Wi-Fi extender was still too slow to stream UHD content and they switched to wired Ethernet or to Ethernet over AC Power Lines with an input adapter that loads the entire wiring system in your house with Ethernet transmission capability, completely eliminating the need to use Wi-Fi.

There are 2 problems that can be causing your difficulties... weak signal is the problem if your devices work reliably in the same room where your Wi-Fi Router is located. For a small 2 bedroom home, a single 3-antenna Wi-Fi router should be all you need... BUT BUT BUT... if the router is in one corner of your house, and you want to use the device way over on the other side of the house, and you get drop outs all the time... your signal is too weak on the far side of your house from where your Wi-Fi is located, you may be able to solve your weak signal problem with NO hardware. All you may have to do is to relocate your Wi-Fi router to the CENTER of your house so the signal reaches your entire home from that 1 location. And raise it up high... not to the ceiling, but if you have 8 foot ceilings, put the router around 4 feet up from the floor so you get the best "filling" of the wi-fi throughout your house.

If you simply CAN'T get the Wi-Fi router to the center of the house because of the location of your internet connection, then you will need a range extender for Wi-Fi. I also got a Netgear extender and it works fine, list price around $75 BUT... you asked about a returned/used one on Ebay... even though there could be a legitimate reason like the one above for someone to resell a current model, I would be suspicious. On the other hand any RECONDITIONED $75 device is 100% safe. Because NOBODY "reconditions" ANY product that costs less than about $200 and often, something has to cost $400 or more before it is economical to repair and repack an item for sale. Why? A $75 product like a wi-fi range extender has a manufacturing cost of about $15 IN THE BOX and ready for retail sale. These companies cannot receive a returned device and open the box for $15 let alone REPAIR the produce, verify function, and repack for sale. They would have $50 or so tied up in that RECONDITIONED item so selling it for $50 instead of $75 for a new one is only a break-even proposition for the manufacturer. If you have a bad one, replacing it with new costs them only $15 plus shipping and handling, so probably $22 or so. MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than trying to actually refurbish a $75 product. Today REFURBISHED means "We have made a LOT of these already, and our manufacturing cost is now so low, we can sell these for 40% off and still make money. BUT, if we started selling them for $40 less, our retail stores would be very annoyed by us and would probably stop selling our products. But if we put the product in a plain brown box and offer a 90 day warranty instead of 1 year, we can off load so many more units to discount stores who aren't our normal retailers and they will be selling something customers think is not new, but it is new and every bit as good as one in our pretty full-color box. But our retail stores won't be annoyed because people who buy the refurb are "getting less". So I would personally avoid "used" but I would absolutely go for REFURBISHED when considering most anything selling for under $200. If REFURBISHED is being offered on what you want. You may not see REFURBs for the first year or two after a product is introduced.

Your other possibility is that you are using Wi-Fi to stream HD or UHD video and your Wi-Fi is not fast enough to do that. This will be the problem if you have stalling and skipping problems even if you are in the same room with the Wi-Fi router.

Wi-Fi has been consumer un-friendly so long it's difficult to understand why nobody has given us the Wi-Fi info we need. You need to familiarize yourself with the icon on mobile devices that indicates the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. In the room where the wi-fi router is located, all the bars should be lit up showing a very strong Wi-Fi signal. Most of these Wi-Fi icons have 5 bars, the first one being very short and each one getting a little longer. By the time you get down to where you are seeing that signal strength icon flickering between 1 and 2 bars or always showing 1 bar or sometimes showing 1 bar and sometimes showing no bars. You can find these signal strength icons on computers, laptops, tablets, phones, and most anything else that uses Wi-Fi. They are your friends. Then there is Wi-Fi speed itself. Since introduction, Wi-Fi has been identified mostly by letters like a, b, g, n, AC, AD, AZ (because their whole name is the same thing, with only the letter on the end indicating speed. For HD video streaming... a, b, g, and n are officially too slow for decent quality HD video streaming. You want AC1200 or faster (AC2000 would be faster and AC2500 would be even faster). AD is faster than AC overall, and AZ is the fastest Wi-Fi we have for the time being. Of course each increment up in speed is a little more expensive at the beginning, but today, AC2000 devices are pretty common. Now... if your Wi-Fi router's maximum speed is "n" - the router is probably 6 years old or more and it's now too slow to support UHD streaming if you want to do that on a new UHD/4K TV. So you may need to update your Wi-Fi router if it is so old the speed can't keep up with what you want to do today. So... don't ASSUME all your problems will be solved with an extender... a fast extender will still be limited to the fastest speed your router is compatible with. So if you were to get an AZ5000 Wi-Fi router, you could probably stream UHD/HDR video in 10-bits with 4:2:2 color and DCI/P3/D65 color, you would have a smoking fast range extender, but if your Wi-Fi router's fastest speed is "n" your Wi-Fi network will still run at "n" speed.

Unfortunately, your question doesn't have a single simple answer. But it would be pretty easy to help you determine what you need if you provide more info about what you are doing over wi-fi (streaming video in HD with 5.1 sound is moderately demanding, but streaming 4K UHD video is very speed-intensive to move enough data fast enough). On the other hand, if you are shopping on Amazon or reading Email... those need very little Wi-Fi speed and most anything will work as long as you don't lose the signal (look at those bar graph icons to check your signal strength as you move away from the router. You may also find that if you sit on one end of a sofa, the Wi-Fi doesn't work, but if you move to the other end of the sofa, you may have a pretty good signal. Use that little signal strength icon to help you understand whether you have Wi-Fi dead spots or not. If you have no dead spots in the house, then Wi-Fi speed is more likely the culprit. And just to be complete... for streaming video, to get the WORST QUALITY video and audio, you need 25 Mbps internet service. You will get better video and audio quality if your internet speed is 100 Mbps... which is more than you need, but in real life, you may not get 100 Mbps because we pay for "up to 100 Mbps" and we do not pay for "at least 100 Mbps" when you look at most ISP's terms of service. Also, if somebody in your home is streaming a movie and somebody else want to look at YouTube videos or shop on Amazon, the 100 Mbps service will often give you enough speed for a couple of people to have a good time online at the same time. But if there are, say 4 internet users in your family who ALL want to stream video, you may need 300 Mbps because EACH computer could be using 50-70 Mbps to get good video and audio quality. So you have to consider your entire home theater and home network eco-system to have everything in the system correct to get the performance you want anywhere in your house. There may be a neighborhood 15 year old who can figure all this out for you in 10 or 15 minutes. But if you dig into this yourself and understand the concepts, you'll be better able do deal with something like this if it comes up again in the future.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:49 PM   #9
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HavFun,

Thank you for your detailed answer. An interesting and informative read!

Both on eBay and Amazon, I see lots of "refurb" listings.

I will reread your article several times, take some notes, and go back to look at offerings.

I will have more questions!

Regrettably, I don't know any 15-year-old techies! I wish there were several in the neighborhood.

Thanks!

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