Forum Discussion

mikecox's avatar
mikecox
New Contributor II
5 years ago

Slow WiFi due to "too many devices"

I have struggled to get answers to this question.   

Cox gets my WiFi speed up, it lasts for a month or two then drops down in the 30s. They got me to subscribe to the fast speed and that helped, for a while! When I dropped off again I called back and they came out and replaced the Modum/router combo, and again, that helped for awhile!

The response I get, when all this fails is "you've got too many devices running.  But why were my speeds up for a while, after each fix?

If I accept that argument I have to consider all my devices. 90% of which are simple plugs, I also have a security camera, a thermostat, a couple of tablets, and a phone.  I am quite sure that there are costumers with way more devices than that!

So the last suggestion I got was "you have to manage your devices".  Well, how do I do that in a convenient way?  

I'm guessing I could turn them off, or inactivate them; one by one, but that sounds like a tedious and time-consuming process, and I can't disable my security camera or my thermostat.

Any suggestions on a practical way to "manage" my devises?

I appear to me that my only real option is to jettison the combo and get a stand-alone router.  But I don't want to go there unless I absolutely have to!

5 Replies

  • bearone2's avatar
    bearone2
    Contributor III

    how many actual cameras, more than one thermostat, locking of doors, only a couple tablets, just the one phone, no pc or laptops....just wondering??

    what speed are you paying for??

    • mikecox's avatar
      mikecox
      New Contributor II

      One camera, one thermostat, a laptop, a half dozen or so plugs, a couple of tablets; usually powered off.

  • Canuck's avatar
    Canuck
    New Contributor II

    You need to isolate the problem. Is the problem poor wifi connection, ourloaded ourter, bad QOS due to router not prioritizing traffic properly, devices wasting bandwidth, or a problem with your internet itself?

    Wifi connection can easily be checked, just check if the slowdowns correspond to connection problems.

    Overloaded router - during a slowdown try disconnecting 2-3 users that ARE NOT USING SIGNIFICANT BANDWIDTHand see if anything improves.

    QOS should have some settings in your router, check what options are available

    Devices wasting bandwidth - this is a big one and likely culprit with a large home network, and will take effort to track down. When you get slowdowns, try disconnecting devices to see if it solves the problem. If it is a certain device causing the problem, change some settings on it (e.g. if it's a camera uploading footage to the cloud, maybe decrease the resolution, or change to local storage). Keep in mind phones will be busy backing things up, downloading updates constantly. TVs will be streaming stuff. Computers will be downloading things, cameras uploading things etc etc.

    Internet itself, unlikely culprit, but possible- when you're experiencing a slowdown, disconnect all wifi entirely and plug straight into the router. Check speedtest.net or similar and see if your internet speeds are close to what you should be getting

    Hopefully something in there helps.

    • mikecox's avatar
      mikecox
      New Contributor II

      You need to isolate the problem. Is the problem poor wifi connection, ourloaded ourter, bad QOS due to router not prioritizing traffic properly, devices wasting bandwidth, or a problem with your internet itself?

      This really sounds like something "outside my paygrade" Seriously, should am ISP require it's users to get so deep into the weeds to address internet WiFi speeds?

      Wifi connection can easily be checked, just check if the slowdowns correspond to connection problems.

      Connection problems? If this is a router issue, and Cox just gave me a new modum/router combo unit and it's powered up and my WiFi analyzer app says I have to strong signal, on multiple channels, it that r/o a connection problem?

      Overloaded router - during a slowdown try disconnecting 2-3 users that ARE NOT USING SIGNIFICANT BANDWIDTHand see if anything improves. When you say "users" do you mean people or devices?  I live alone, so there is no one in the house using my devices, except me.  When I turn off my tablets are they still using bandwidth? When my desktop is off, is it still using bandwidth? As far as I know, the only things accessing bandwidth is my thermostat and my security camera...and the plugs the control power to my laptop, tablets, and lights.  Do plugs use a lot of bandwidth?

      QOS should have some settings in your router, check what options are availableWhat is QOA

      Devices wasting bandwidth - this is a big one and likely culprit with a large home network, and will take effort to track down. When you get slowdowns, try disconnecting devices to see if it solves the problem. If it is a certain device causing the problem, change some settings on it (e.g. if it's a camera uploading footage to the cloud, maybe decrease the resolution, or change to local storage). Keep in mind phones will be busy backing things up, downloading updates constantly. TVs will be streaming stuff. Computers will be downloading things, cameras uploading things etc etc.

      My security camera may be the culprit but it's also a high priority device because is surveys an area where there has been some illegal activity recently. Should I be concerned about plugs?   

      Internet itself, unlikely culprit, but possible- when you're experiencing a slowdown, disconnect all wifi entirely and plug straight into the router. Check speedtest.net or similar and see if your internet speeds are close to what you should be getting No, on my desktop, which is connected to the ethernet I have good speeds.  I can't 

      I would prefer not to be forced to spend $2-$4 hundred on a stand-alone router but I'm beginning to wonder if that wouldn't be the simplest solution, as getting into the weeds with the Cox combo, which appears to not be takes, would be easier than constantly have to deal with slowdowns. But would that solve this apparent bandwidth issue?

      Bottom line, it seems to me that Cox should be more helpful in resolving this issue.  I still don't understand why the speeds come up after they visit then drop down again a few weeks later.  This has happed TWICE before.    

       

      • Canuck's avatar
        Canuck
        New Contributor II

        Maybe the router is just crappy. Maybe the Cox techs perform a hard reset on it when they come visit, which clears the memory, and then over time it gradually gets clogged up somehow? (this shouldn't normally happen, but I also know some of these pieces of hardware are terrible)

        Like I said, you need to figure out if it is your internet being slow / too many users on it, downloading stuff in the background, or if it is a router problem.

        A good router does not cost have to cost $200-400. I just bought a used one for $20 on Facebook Marketplace (Netgear R6400v2). It's a few years old, but has all the features of the latest and greatest. You could do this just as an experiment if you want, it's not too expensive. Now, obviously there is a slight risk to buying used, but the same one would have cost about $90 new, but it's still far cheaper than you're quoting.