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XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed

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Regular Visitor

XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed

I am subscribed to the performance pro package from Comcast and my wired internet speed is on par with what the plan promises (down ~150 Mbps, up ~5 Mbps). But when I unplug my ethernet cable, even as I'm seated right adjacent to the modem (about 1 foot away), and repeat the test (tried both speedtest.net and XFinity's own connectivity speed test option under my Comcast account), it consistently drops to a woeful, down ~1.8 Mbps, up ~2 Mbps. What could possibly explain this 100x drop in speed? As a result of this (I think), I'm unable to use the internet to reliably live stream TV, etc (works sometimes, but is generally flaky).

 

When I tried to use Netgear's Genie app on my phone to test the WiFi signal strength (from the same spot, next to my modem), it reports that it is at "100 % signal strength and ~85 Mbps". I am using my own ~4 year old Motorola modem (Motorola SBG6580 Wireless Gateway Device), so I wonder if the modem be the issue? But if it was the modem, then I don't understand why the wired internet would be OK? What can I do to troubleshoot the issue?

 

Appreciate any thoughts and ideas to hopefully resolve this.

 

Update 1: I've since contacted Comcast internet support via chat and they suggested some troubleshooting steps to try that would likely confirm if the problem is the modem or if changing the network channel might fix it. I'll update further as soon as I do those steps and find out more.

 

Update 2: I followed the troubleshooting steps given by Comcast support, basically to log into my modem's IP address and manually change the WiFi radio's channel, and it certainly improved the speed from down ~1.8 Mbps to down ~40 Mbps and up ~2 Mbps to ~5 Mbps. I'll continue to monitor and report back. Thanks.

Accepted Solution

Re: XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed

A combined gateway like that makes it a bit more costly since the two devices are integrated into a single box.  Changing the channel might get you some additional bandwidth from the device if you're in an apt building and have a ton of neighbors using the default channels of 1/6/11 but, usually the interference won't degrade the speeds that much.  I still suspect that one of the wifi radios probably went out and reduced your speeds.  If you're looking for a clear channel then I would recommend downloading "wifi analyzer" to your phone and scan what's in use and what isn't.  It will show you channels in use with both 2.4 / 5 ghz networks and help select a channel that isn't in use.  

 

Ultimately though I think you'll end up replacing the 6580 with something newer either a single box solution like the SBG7580AC or splitting it into a modem and router setup.  Since the modem side of the 6580 works fine for speeds you should be able to put it into bridge mode and pick up a good router to connect to it for WIFI.  

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Regular Contributor

Re: XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed

Well, it's not the modem.  You've already figured out that it's the router wifi signals.  

 

Chances are your router is as old as your modem and thay puts you in the position to need something newer.  Picking up even something for $50-$100 will improve your situation considerably.  The WIFI issue sounds like one or two of the radios might have failed causing the reduction in signals to handle your internet traffic efficiently.  

Regular Visitor

Re: XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed

Thanks for the response. Just to be clear, my modem has the router builtin, so I'm not exactly sure what you mean when you said "it's not the modem" but that "chances are your router is as old as your modem". By the way, I am using Motorola "Surfboard" SBG6580 Wireless Gateway Device. I've updated the original post with that detail and will try to provide the other details that @nerdburg suggested, in a future update to the original post. Comcast internet support suggested some similar steps to try out on chat, that I hope will address the problem. 

Regular Contributor

Re: XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed

A combined gateway like that makes it a bit more costly since the two devices are integrated into a single box.  Changing the channel might get you some additional bandwidth from the device if you're in an apt building and have a ton of neighbors using the default channels of 1/6/11 but, usually the interference won't degrade the speeds that much.  I still suspect that one of the wifi radios probably went out and reduced your speeds.  If you're looking for a clear channel then I would recommend downloading "wifi analyzer" to your phone and scan what's in use and what isn't.  It will show you channels in use with both 2.4 / 5 ghz networks and help select a channel that isn't in use.  

 

Ultimately though I think you'll end up replacing the 6580 with something newer either a single box solution like the SBG7580AC or splitting it into a modem and router setup.  Since the modem side of the 6580 works fine for speeds you should be able to put it into bridge mode and pick up a good router to connect to it for WIFI.  

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Re: XFinity WiFi Connectivity Speed