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Old Apr 21, 2022, 10:28 AM   #1
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Riptide
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Default WiFi6 Latency

I did a little latency testing this morning to see the difference between my onboard gigabit ethernet and WiFi5.

I was seeing about 1-2ms in extra latency with the WiFi option. The concern however is not so much that but the occasional lag spike up to 68-70ms that would happen about every couple dozen packets or so. The antenna and the router were very close together though they did not have line of sight. I was on the 5ghz band.

I've been kicking around the idea of throwing a WiFi6 NIC on the computer either a USB option or alternately a 1x PCIE card.

Are these latency spikes likely to still be an issue in that configuration?
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Old Apr 21, 2022, 10:40 AM   #2
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I'm glad to know you're running into these issues too.


I spent a lot of time last year trying to understand similar behaviour in my home network.


I tried:
* fixing channels onto the least used bands, and separating 5 Ghz/2.4 Ghz networks to rule out channel hopping (also monitoring bands regularly)
* buying a wireless mesh to see if signal strength was a factor
* doing all sorts of tests to see if the issue originated from the Internet side


In the end, the only thing I can guess that causes these random spikes is if my neighbours use their wireless networks heavily.


I've now routed ethernet under the baseboards to my desktop.
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Old Apr 21, 2022, 03:04 PM   #3
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Yah I think as long as these spikes can happen it is kind of a non-starter for fps multiplayer games over wifi.

I'd like to test wifi6 but I don't have a NIC for that and I'm not sure it's worth spending money and time on that unless I find out that it definitely resolves the issue.

You and I aren't the only ones to notice these lag spikes either btw. Seems like it's a common complaint.
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Old Apr 21, 2022, 03:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
I did a little latency testing this morning to see the difference between my onboard gigabit ethernet and WiFi5.

I was seeing about 1-2ms in extra latency with the WiFi option. The concern however is not so much that but the occasional lag spike up to 68-70ms that would happen about every couple dozen packets or so. The antenna and the router were very close together though they did not have line of sight. I was on the 5ghz band.

I've been kicking around the idea of throwing a WiFi6 NIC on the computer either a USB option or alternately a 1x PCIE card.

Are these latency spikes likely to still be an issue in that configuration?
First off do a ping 1.1.1.1 -t and post a pic on here of it, it will look like this:



Like Metroid said, begin by separating your 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, do not run a Single SSID, break them up and make your 2.4GHz is atleast 60MB/80MB and your 5GHz if WIFI 6 or 6E should be set to 160MB.

Next download a WIFI analyzer ( get a free one, even on your phone ) and use it to scan your local area. This will allow you to pic the best channel for your area that is not populated, you want to make sure you are not overlapping with others, as you can see with mine I've fine tuned it greatly.

Next up, update the ****in drivers my dude, use station drivers, if you using an Intel WIFI adapter they will have the latest drivers.

Lastly, download a TCPIP Opimizer:

https://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php

Just drag the bar all the way to the right, make sure you WIFI adapter is selected and then choose optimal. Click apply and enjoy.

Hope this helps the both of you.
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Old Apr 21, 2022, 06:57 PM   #5
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Unless you live in the middle of nowhere and only have one WiFi device you'll almost certainly get occasional latency spikes.

If two WiFi devices try to talk at the same time on the same channel (even if they're on different SSID's) they both will stop and wait a random amount of time before trying again. This is the main cause of WiFi latency spikes.

Things like changing the channel to one that doesn't overlap what your neighbors are using, and having a router and clients that both support MU-MIMO can help reduce the likelihood that those latency spikes happen, but the only way to guarantee low latency is with an Ethernet cable.
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Old Apr 21, 2022, 11:17 PM   #6
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Get some good prosumer or better WAPs and call it a day. I run a single SSID with band steering over 2xUnifi AC Pro's and we never have lags like that, and we have a **** ton of devices connected and live fairly close to our neighbors. I can play Call of Duty on XSX over Wifi with no issues.

Wifi6 by itself will not fix your problem.

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Unless you live in the middle of nowhere and only have one WiFi device you'll almost certainly get occasional latency spikes.
This isn't true.
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 08:33 AM   #7
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My bands are separated w/unique SSID and I don't have a lot of other devices on the 5GHz band either. The NIC is an Intel 9260 and the driver is 22.80.1.1 dated 9/12/21. So not really that old and it is using the native Intel driver.

I haven't run an analyzer or tried cherry picking channels yet.

Not sure at this point the troubleshooting and tweaking is going to be worth it when I don't even have a wifi6 capable NIC in the picture. Would 802.11ac even be capable of sustained gigabit speeds? Seems debatable. I have gigabit fiber at&t.

When I upgrade to AM5 or Z690 eventually then I think I'll have another crack at this. I could spend $60 on a NIC from amazon and end up wasting a bunch of time and effort for minimal gain. Will just be easier when I get a new motherboard with a newer integrated option.
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
My bands are separated w/unique SSID and I don't have a lot of other devices on the 5GHz band either. The NIC is an Intel 9260 and the driver is 22.80.1.1 dated 9/12/21. So not really that old and it is using the native Intel driver.

I haven't run an analyzer or tried cherry picking channels yet.

Not sure at this point the troubleshooting and tweaking is going to be worth it when I don't even have a wifi6 capable NIC in the picture. Would 802.11ac even be capable of sustained gigabit speeds? Seems debatable. I have gigabit fiber at&t.

When I upgrade to AM5 or Z690 eventually then I think I'll have another crack at this. I could spend $60 on a NIC from amazon and end up wasting a bunch of time and effort for minimal gain. Will just be easier when I get a new motherboard with a newer integrated option.
1Gbps on AC is easily doable, I've got a AC 201 from Intel on my desktop and hit 1.5Gbps constantly when I use it for testing.
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 12:46 PM   #9
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If I could get 1Gb throughput on the AC wifi, a minimal 1-2ms penalty paid in latency and no lag spikes then I would ditch the ethernet.

I might give this another try however I'm definitely not a fan of scenarios like this. I expect things to 'just work' and yes I know tech is often times not that easy though it theoretically is supposed to be. I should be able to park this on the 5GHz band and have no issue. That's it done. Frequency analyzing, cherry picking channels manually, etc. just to get a stable connection is fkn stupid.

Minimal reward vs. effort here though since I already have ethernet and zero issues. Was just hoping to ditch a cable. So maybe one more try but after that I'm done.
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 01:36 PM   #10
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX5AzBDCzfc&t=4014s

At 56:40 Timestamp on my YouTube channel, are my tests, wired vs WIFI tweaked. Above is Wired, WIFI on the bottom.
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapatingjaky View Post
Like Metroid said, 5GHz if WIFI 6 or 6E should be set to 160MB.
Couple ignorant questions here:

1) If 802.11ac/WIFI 5, then what band should it be set for at 5GHz? 160? The PC is on ac, I have a couple other devices (mobile phones) that are on ax.

2) After I run the wifi analyzer on my phone I assume setting the channel manually would be done on the router side of things. The router selects the channel it operates on and then the devices which pair to it follow along. Correct?
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
Couple ignorant questions here:

1) If 802.11ac/WIFI 5, then what band should it be set for at 5GHz? 160? The PC is on ac, I have a couple other devices (mobile phones) that are on ax.

2) After I run the wifi analyzer on my phone I assume setting the channel manually would be done on the router side of things. The router selects the channel it operates on and then the devices which pair to it follow along. Correct?
1.) AC and AX will have a bandwidth option that will need to be changed on the router, for 5GHz and 6GHz band you will have options for 80MHz or 160MHz, make sure 160MHz is selected by default. The phones won't matter, but I wouldn't use mobile devices on a 5GHz band.

This is how I have my setup currently. I have a 1.5Gbps interwebs through Shaw. I use the shaw provided cable modem/router as my old AX Asus router did not support a 2.5G WAN port so I would only max out at 940Mbps.

2.4GHz - Mobile phones, tablets, fridges, washing machines, etc etc.

5GHz - Home theater, PC's, consoles, anything that will require a higher bandwidth channel.

If you have an AX router outside of the provided modem from you ISP and the mode is in bridge mode you may have the following options:

2.4GHz
5GHz - 1
5GHz - 2
6GHz - WIFI6E Only

If you have a router that is tri-band or quad band then evely distribute your devices. Again mobile, tabets, appliances on 2.4GHz and then home theaters, PC's, consoles evenly distributed over 5GHz 1, 2.

2.) Yes, you would set the channel manually instead of AUTO which is the default. For me what I've seen is most modem/routers will default to 6 or 11 on the 2.4GHz. 5GHz and 6GHz there are more channels. Its best to use the analyzer and then pick a channel that does not overlap with anyone else. This will boost strength and overlap issues.
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 06:53 PM   #13
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The router is a RT-AX86U. It supports WIFI6 but not 6E. So no 6GHz band. I'm on a 1Gb fiber connection so no issues here with needing to use 2.5Gb ports. The router sits behind the AT&T fiber access point device and is in router mode not bridge.

The phones support WIFI6 so it seemed like a no-brainer to have them on there. Any particular reason you push them onto the slower 2.4GHz band?
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Old Apr 22, 2022, 10:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowless View Post
Get some good prosumer or better WAPs and call it a day. I run a single SSID with band steering over 2xUnifi AC Pro's and we never have lags like that, and we have a **** ton of devices connected and live fairly close to our neighbors. I can play Call of Duty on XSX over Wifi with no issues.

Wifi6 by itself will not fix your problem.



This isn't true.
My Unifi wif 6 access points are amazing. Wired all the way though. Want faster, get a 2.5gbps switch and 2gbps internet.

Wired > Wireless all the time.
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Old Apr 23, 2022, 07:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
The router is a RT-AX86U. It supports WIFI6 but not 6E. So no 6GHz band. I'm on a 1Gb fiber connection so no issues here with needing to use 2.5Gb ports. The router sits behind the AT&T fiber access point device and is in router mode not bridge.

The phones support WIFI6 so it seemed like a no-brainer to have them on there. Any particular reason you push them onto the slower 2.4GHz band?
Phones and Tablets typically will max out at around 100Mbps - 120Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. There's nothing you are going to do on a Phone or Tablet that's going to require 1Gbps.

If your phone or tablet supports 4K streaming then all you need is 25Mbps for 4K+HDR. Gaming on a phone you will need even less, even if you live stream off your phone or tablet all you need is a max of 62Mbps and bitrate of 21000 to 51000. The 2.4GHz is more then capable.

5GHz and 6GHz bands you want for your multiple devices streaming and gaming all at once. Wider pipe, more bandwidth.
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Old Apr 24, 2022, 11:03 AM   #16
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OK so update on this. Tasks I've carried out:

1. Updated the intel wifi NIC to the latest driver from their website.
2. Set the router to 160MHz.
3. Used wifi analyzer to check the 5ghz bands and made sure we were on the best one. The router on AUTO had actually picked the best option already. I set it manually to that band.
4. Checked and router is on the latest firmware.
5. Disabled the wifi access point functions on my AT&T fiber device. It was sitting there broadcasting, I had completely forgotten that it was in the picture still.
6. Removed the mobile devices from the 5GHz bands and set them back to 2.4GHz. Only the PC and the TV are on 5GHz now.

I have not run the SG TCP Optimizer yet since I am on Windows 11 and it doesn't list that as a supported OS.

Bandwidth tests show results within 5% of what I was seeing on the 1Gb wire. Latency is improved over what I was seeing previously as well with a more stable connection and lag spikes were significantly reduced.

I've not yet tested mp games over the net but I suspect the difference in outcome would be so similar as to be difficult to notice - though it would be there.

While the connection does seem to be more stable overall and notably improved I do agree that it is still, however small, a step down from the quality of the wire. I haven't pulled the ethernet cable yet and will probably leave it sitting there for a while in case I change my mind on this.
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Old Apr 25, 2022, 05:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasy View Post
My Unifi wif 6 access points are amazing. Wired all the way though. Want faster, get a 2.5gbps switch and 2gbps internet.

Wired > Wireless all the time.
Yeah I have no complaints with our WAPs. We put them through hell and they keep ticking.

While wired is better, at least for me the latency difference isn't that big of a deal and I don't get any latency spikes. My brother is up for the week and we were playing warzone yesterday, me on my wired PC and him on my XSX over Wifi and his ping was only ~8ms higher when in game.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 10:26 PM   #18
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Old Jul 1, 2022, 09:52 AM   #19
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So bit of an update here and a thread bump.

I am back on WiFi6 right now and have switched to a WiFi6E router. It's a 'budget' option that was only about 280$ vs. the 500+ you would typically spend right now for an ASUS WiFi6E router. Speaking of which, there is a new AXE-16000 from ASUS that just came out and looks to have some awesome features. 10GB LAN/WAN ethernet ports for one so no issue with being stuck on 1GB ethernet connections on your LAN. The price is stupid high though at $700 and they aren't available atm anyway.

The router I'm on now is a Linksys MR7500 and so far it seems to work OK. I am disappointed in the UI options though. There is no way to manually select channels only a scanning option that auto selects the best one for you though it doesn't tell you which one it chooses or operates over.

No wifi analyzer on this Apple phone either without jailbreaking it. So even if I could choose one I can't use my mobile to scan now.

This router gets so-so reviews on 2.4 and 5ghz band performance so in that sense was a bit of a step back though I can't notice any difference in normal use. Once I upgrade this motherboard though I should be able to connect up at WiFi6E speeds and utilize those much less crowded channels. Might be time to upgrade to 2GB fiber at that point.
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Old Jul 2, 2022, 11:04 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Riptide View Post
The router I'm on now is a Linksys MR7500 and so far it seems to work OK. I am disappointed in the UI options though. There is no way to manually select channels only a scanning option that auto selects the best one for you though it doesn't tell you which one it chooses or operates over.
Can it run DDWRT?
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Old Jul 3, 2022, 09:09 AM   #21
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Doubtful but I'm not 100% on that. At this point I'm thinking of just chalking this up to a failed experiment and re-selling the Linksys on ebay for a loss. It's fine but I want more customization than it offers. I'm seeing lag spikes again on WiFi from my desktop too with this device and I can't manually select channels which is an issue.

The new asus router is stupid expensive but I may not be able to restrain myself. Finally a legit high bandwidth WAN port and LAN ports on the same device plus great range and WiFi6E support too. Would provide the excuse I need to upgrade our fiber connection to 2Gb.
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