Can anyone interpret what this graph is telling me ? It was created using iStumbler. My wifi connection is really bad and it keeps dropping (still connected to wifi but no connection to the internet). Resetting my wifi solves the problem for a few seconds until it starts dropping again. Any help is appreciated.


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From the graph displayed either your router or your MacBook (?) is having problems maintaining a connection. I assume this happens even when the computer is in the same room as the router? This is important as wifi signals are often attenuated by some kinds of building materials (wiring, metal studs, brick/stone walls, longer distances) so being near the router while testing is a good first step.

the fact that thing are OK for a minute or so after resetting your WiFi (power cycling the router?) may indicate a problem with the router. the trick is what the problem really is.

The second thing I would do is make sure you have the latest firmware on the router. Often times firmware updates will fix connection issues and stability issues with the routers. If it an Apple Airport then the Apple Airport Utility has a button to check for updates.

If it is a non-Apple WiFi router log onto the admin page and record the firmware version. The go to the manufacturers website and see if there is an update and apply it. Even if there is not an update re-applying the current firmware might help. Also you could try resetting to factory defaults.

Failing that you could try a 3rd party firmware like DD-WRT, Tomato or the like, and if those do not work then it may be time to get a new router. A decent router is not expensive, but depending on the construction and layout of your home you might just need more than a base model unit. Just remember that more $$ means generally faster access and better coverage.

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  • Sorry for being vague, the router is not under my control, I'm in an apart-hotel and they have a router for everyone here. Resetting MY wifi (switch of wifi on laptop) fixes the problem temporarily, not resetting the router. Is there anything I can do to troubleshoot my laptop instead ? Reception tried resetting router, renewing access point at my floor, and even gave an extender to boost connection. While that helped with speed, it didn't help with consistency. Maybe it's my laptop, but how can I know ?! – Render Aug 21 '14 at 17:23
  • It really looks like an issue with reception. EG you are getting an intermittent signal. If you can't fiddle with the router you may have to look at a USB WiFi card with a good antenna. – Steve Chambers Aug 21 '14 at 17:58
  • How would that help (USB card) if you don't mind me asking ? Also, I got myself an extender for myself, it helped with speed and a bit of consistency, but when the router is down, the extender goes down with it. Would a usb wifi card fix this ? – Render Aug 21 '14 at 19:15
  • an extender card with an external antenna is basically being used for its external antenna, giving you better reception. Apple provides no way that I know of to add an external antenna to any devices. If the router goes down then nothing will fix it except rebooting... – Steve Chambers Aug 21 '14 at 20:54

The top line in the graph is the signal, where it is solid the connection is assumed to be available between scans, where it is dashed there was no sample taken.

The bottom line the graph is the noise, note that where the noise spikes up, there is a corresponding dip down in signal.

Besides the above notes about signal strength I'd add that there seems to be something interfering with the Wi-Fi network and generating the noise spikes.

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