Troubleshooting your Fiber Optic Connection and Wi-Fi
First Steps to Troubleshoot Fiber Optic Connection
- Check the lights on the side of the ONT – are any lights red? If so, please contact our office at (833) 787-2522.
- Check the cables plugged into the ONT – make sure all cables are tightly plugged into the proper port and check for any damage to the cables.
Lights Indicating Correct Operation
When the system is operating correctly the following lights will be green:
- Power (Solid Green)
- Broadband (Solid Green)
- Service (Flashing Green)
- 2.4 GHz (Flashing Green)
- 5 GHz (Flashing Green)
- 4 Ethernet ports (Flashing Green)
- Phone In Use (Flashing Green)
If any of the following lights are red, please call a customer service representative at (833) 787-2522 or submit a trouble ticket.
Understanding your GigaCenter Fiber Optic Network Terminal (ONT)
Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Performance
There are many reasons why your wireless network may not be optimized, causing performance to suffer.
Attenuation and Weak Signals
- Wi-Fi signals experience attenuation due to distance from their source just like any other radio.
- This signal attenuation subsequently causes the radio to be less effective and throughput suffers.
- Eventually, connectivity is lost when the signal becomes too weak.
- There are essentially 2 factors that affect signal attenuation between the access point and the client, and those are range (or distance), and attenuation due to obstructions.
- The amount of distance or range that can be tolerated between an access point such as the GigaCenter and any client device is affected by several factors.
- Some of these factors are built into the hardware of the receiving and sending devices, such as power amplifiers on transmitters to boost power, and low noise amplifiers on the receivers to make them more sensitive.
- Transmit power can only be increased so far due to FCC limits, in which case most access points operate at the maximum power legally allowed by the FCC for transmission.
- An overly sensitive receiver also picks up more interference, so there is a balance point where transmit power and receiver sensitivity are optimized for a specific application whether it be in a business environment or a subscriber’s home.
Physical Obstruction Interference
- To maximize range and reception, it is helpful to know what structures and materials affect Wi-Fi signals.
- RG Placement, Orientation, and Turn-up details common building materials and their effect on Wi-Fi signals.
- Understanding these variables and building your network with an awareness of the effects of physical obstructions will minimize problems in this area.
Guidelines When Optimizing Your Wi-Fi Signal Path
- Metal structures reflect and scatter Wi-Fi signals.
- These can include anything with metal framing, like ductwork, electrical panels, metal roofs, mirrors, cubicle walls, metal furniture, or less obvious materials like concrete or stucco that are reinforced with metal mesh.
- Transmission through building structures that have continuous walls that are lined with metal coatings or foil may be extremely limited (such as Structural Insulated Panels [SIPs]).
- Metal is most problematic when it is in close proximity to the access point as it may also affect the radiation pattern of the antennas. Wi-Fi signals will not penetrate metal enclosures.
- Your wireless connection may have a shorter range or a slower speed through walls made of non-porous materials.
- Elevators block Wi-Fi signals significantly.
- Tinted glass panes (such as Low-E-windows) have metallic coatings and can attenuate Wi-Fi signals.
About Client Device Limitations
- Client devices generally have less sophisticated Wi-Fi capabilities than the access point due to size and cost limitations.
- While an access point may have multiple antennas, MIMO technology, and the ability to support both frequency bands (resulting in a high available throughput rate), client devices are often limited to a single antenna and the 2.4 GHz frequency band.
- Wi-Fi throughput rates are determined by the least-capable device in the link which is usually the client.
Smartphones & Tablets
- Because of their compact construction and (usually) single antenna, client devices such as smartphones and tablets can be more sensitive to device orientation and may suffer slow throughput because of poor reception.
- This is inherent in the design of these devices and needs to be accommodated by the user by staying within a reasonable range of the access point.
- More capable Wi-Fi clients such as laptop computers often have multiple antennas, MIMO technology, and dual-band radios.
- These clients are specifically designed to operate effectively over a wireless network and will be able to take the best advantage of the data throughput provided by the access point.
- The ideal WLAN client will have 2 or more antennas, support 802.11ac, use MIMO technology, and be able to operate in the 5 GHz band for best performance with the GigaCenter.