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Wi-Fi Drops Signals Frequently and Other Common Connection Issues: The Causes and Their Best Fixes

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If you experience Wi-Fi dropping signals or disconnections or can't connect a device to your network (at the expected speeds), this post is for you. It offers a comprehensive collection of real-world tips to fix common Wi-Fi connection issues.

I wrote this piece based on the myriad of questions I've received daily and my first-hand experience. It will explain how Wi-Fi works and provide tips that will likely improve things.

"Likely" because there's a chance it's not possible to remedy the problem at your particular place. Sometimes, that's just the nature of the wireless connection. But at least you'll know you've done all you could to improve your Wi-Fi situation.

Before continuing, familiarize yourself with handling a home router. Also, this post is about Wi-Fi dropping and other related issues within your local network. For broadband-related and other matters, check out the related posts in the box below.

Dong's note: I first published this post on March 29, 2020, and last updated it on February 5, 2024, to include additional up-to-date and practical tips.

The TP-Link Archer BE800 BE1900 tri-band Wi-Fi 7 Router Front LED light
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: Don't immediately blame your router.

I recommend reading this entire post, but the Table of Contents below will help you quickly find the item relevant to your situation.

Wi-Fi dropping, disconnections, and failure to connect: The general causes

To have good Wi-Fi, you first and foremost need the proper hardware. So get the best router or mesh system and set it up properly. Then, get your home wired. But even the best network must deal with these A-B-C connection-related issues.

A quick refresher: Wi-Fi signals use the same principle as radio broadcasting and, as a result, can be temperamental. The cabinet below includes some highlights.

How Wi-Fi works

Wi-Fi uses radio frequencies, measured in Hertz, to transmit data from one party to another. It shares the same principle as any other technologies that use radio waves, including the radio itself.

One Hertz vs. lots of Hertz

To understand Wi-Fi radio frequencies, we need to know what constitutes one Hertz.

Heinrich Hertz is a German physicist who conclusively proved the existence of electromagnetic waves in the late 19th century.

As shown in the GIF below, in the simplest terms, Hertz is the number of radio wave crests—or wave cycles—in 1 second. How frequently a wave crests per second is its frequency. It's simple enough.

Wave frequency
How Wi-Fi works: The demo of frequencies

The higher the frequency, the closer the distance between two consecutive wave crests, which translates into a shorter length the wave itself can travel. However, in radio transmission, that also means the more information you can put on it.

FM and AM radio broadcasting stations use frequencies measured in megahertz (MHz), kilohertz (kHz), or even lower frequencies. At these frequencies, a broadcasting station can cover a large area, like a big city.

Signal coverage also depends on the station's broadcasting power. At the same broadcasting power level, signals travel further using lower frequencies than higher ones.

Traditional Wi-Fi broadcasters (routers or access points) use much higher frequencies measured in Gigahertz (GHz), including 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz frequency bands. Additionally, per regulation, they use no more than 1 watt (or 30 dBM) of broadcasting power. As a result, generally, a single Wi-Fi broadcaster can only blanket a modest home in physical size.

Wi-Fi is also available on two unique frequencies: the short-lived 60 GHz band (802.11ad), which has an extremely high bandwidth at an extremely short range, and the upcoming 900MHz band (Wi-Fi HaLow), which has mile-long ranges but extremely low bandwidth.

How Wi-Fi works: Radio signals are similar to the ripples of water when a pebble hits the water's surface.
How Wi-Fi works: Radio signals are similar to the ripples caused by a pebble hitting the water's surface.

Real-life Wi-Fi visualization and interference

You can visualize how Wi-Fi, or any wireless radio transmission, occurs by dropping a rock in a still pond and watching the ripples move outwards on the water's surface.

The size of the rock and how hard you throw it equal the "broadcasting power".

Pick a particular ripple and count the number of times it reaches its highest point in one second. If it crests only once per second, you get one Hertz, twice equals two Hertz, and so on. That's the idea.

Radio wave crests can't be counted with the naked eye—we can't see them to begin with—and, as mentioned, Wi-Fi uses frequencies in GHz. For example, 5GHz means there are 5,000,000,000 wave crests in a second. So, I'd leave the counting to the science!

Now, if you drop another pebble at a different spot, that'd be your neighbor's Wi-Fi signal. Toss a rubber duck in the water! That's a microwave. See what happens when the ripples collide? Those are signal distortions—it's when your Wi-Fi signals drop, disconnect, or degrade.

Here's the thing: the pond was never entirely serene. Wind, insects, fish, debris, the liquid's viscosity, etc., are always there to affect the ripples. Similarly, visible and invisible stuff around us can adversely affect Wi-Fi signals. The point is that at any given time, there are more things in the air that hinder a router's Wi-Fi signals than those that don't. And there's always something in the air.

Signal distortions and degradations are part of radio transmission. As radio waves travel through the air, their integrity is degraded by distance and other factors—the fact that Wi-Fi works at all is remarkable.

A. Hardware incompatibility

Incompatibility is likely the most common cause of Wi-Fi issues.

There are so many hardware vendors with lots of devices that it's tough to keep all of them interoperating well in all scenarios. That's not to mention hardware and software quality and different Wi-Fi standards and tiers.

But at the core of it, this issue derives from the fact as Wi-Fi evolves, broadcasters (routers/access points) and the clients (phones, laptops, IoT devices) don't share the added nuances designed to improve speeds.

Instead, they only share the basic level of the involved Wi-Fi standards, enough for them to (barely) work together.

B. Signal saturation or interferences

Signal saturation is also typical, especially in urban environments. On your phone's Wi-Fi scan, you can see that there are always many Wi-Fi networks (SSIDs) besides your own. Each represents a broadcaster and takes up a portion of the airspace.

The more Wi-Fi broadcasters in the vicinity, the more likely you'll have to deal with signal interference. That's not to mention other devices (like microwaves, cordless phones, RADAR, etc.) that also use the same frequencies.

Interference: The curious case of Bluetooth

Bluetooth also uses the 2.4GHz band. However, it's very different and generally won't cause (much) interference.

Bluetooth is mostly for peer-to-peer communication and, therefore, doesn't require a fixed channel. As a result, it can "channel hop," meaning it picks and chooses the most unoccupied channel to use in real-time. And it does that up to 1600 times per second.

As a result, generally, Bluetooth doesn't affect Wi-Fi. Except in two instances:

  • The 2.4GHz band is fully saturated: Now, no hopping can help, but, well, chances are non-Bluetooth devices saturate it.
  • Hardware sharing: This only applies to clients. Many (older) Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chips don't work well when both wireless functions are used simultaneously.

It's safe to say modern Bluetooth devices generally don't cause Wi-Fi issues.

C. Other factors

There are other factors, too, including those we have no control over.

Examples are hardware issues, RADAR activities, walls, or even a jammer near your home. Or the fact your home is made of materials that block radio waves.


Now that we have identified the issues, let's find out how to fix them.

How to fix Wi-Fi dropping and connection issues

A wireless connection has two sides: The broadcaster, namely your Wi-Fi router, mesh system, or access points, and the receiver, including your computers, smartphone, or anything that can receive Wi-Fi signals.

Each side can have issues of its own. Let's start with the broadcaster—there are more things we can do on this end.

Wi-Fi dropping, failure to connect, and disconnection: What to do at the broadcasting end

Your router is the center of your Wi-Fi network. If something is wrong with it, all devices in the house will suffer.


You should never cover your router or any broadcaster. Don't fall for nonsense like Wi-Fi router protective cages! It's best to leave your Wi-Fi broadcaster out in the open.

Also, don't mess with the router's antennas—including using aluminum foil or silly stuff like that. When applicable, keep those little poles opened up and vertical and leave them alone.

Wi-Fi antennas explained: Why you shouldn't care about the dBi value

0. Common housekeeping

Make sure you've taken care of the usual suspects, including stuff that seems obvious:

  • Plug it in: That's right, nothing works without being plugged into power. You need to turn it on, too—some routers have on/off buttons for power and Wi-Fi.
  • Restart: You should restart—not to be confused with reset—your broadcaster once in a while, like once a month. Many routers allow you to schedule an automatic restart. In this case, it's a good idea to make the router restart once a week—pick the time when everyone is asleep! A restart takes no more than a few minutes but will cause all devices to disconnect briefly.
  • Up-to-date firmware: Updating the firmware to the latest generally helps with security, compatibility, and performance. A firmware update might take up to 10 minutes.
  • Too much customization: If you have played with your router's settings willy-nilly, that can cause problems. (I've seen folks blocking clients via their MAC address by mistake.) In this case, reset the router and set it up from scratch.

Also, note:

  • You have a router with a web user interface and are comfortable with the interface itself. (If you're using a router that only uses a mobile app and no web interface, your chance of getting things fixed is minimal.)
  • Back up the router's settings to a file: You can reset and restore it to a previous state if you mess up. That happens.

It's generally a good idea to repower your Wi-Fi hardware once you have applied the changes:

  • Unplug it from the power
  • Wait 10 seconds or longer
  • Plug it back in (and turn it on)

While this might not be necessary in many cases, it's the only way to ensure your new settings are in effect.

With that out of the way, let's look at more specific things you can do. The list below is in reversed order, with the latest (and possibly less common) issues on top.

14. I just upgraded to Wi-Fi 6E or even Wi-Fi 7, but my coverage doesn’t improve! Why?

This is the situation when you upgrade your router or, especially, mesh system to hardware that supports the "latest and greatest" 6GHz band—available in Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 hardware—yet nothing changes in terms of coverage.

The short answer: Tame your expectation

By nature, the 6GHz has the shortest range—just about two-thirds of the 5GHz band's reach. This new band is not about extended coverage but better bandwidth at close distances.

The long answer

Contrary to the marketing hype, the 6GHz band does not improve Wi-Fi coverage. It only enhances the bandwidth, thanks to the ditching of the DFS channels and the increase of channel width available in Wi-Fi 7.

Consequently, it's generally not a good idea to invest in a Wi-Fi 6E mesh system unless you have a wired home. Wi-Fi 7 has the new Multi-Link Operation (MLO) feature that will help improve bandwidth and reliability, but its signal reach is generally not better than that of Wi-Fi 6/6E.

Wi-Fi 7 is slated to have a new feature called Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC), which is designed to increase the broadcasting power, hence, the range of the 6GHz band. But when/if AFC becomes available, this band's new reach will initially be as far as that of the 5GHz.

In short, Wi-Fi coverage is tricky, and starting with Wi-Fi 5, more expensive hardware generally doesn't improve the range much. For the best coverage, consider getting your home wired first.

13. I just added a new Wi-Fi router and gained better coverage, but my printer and speakers don’t work anymore. Can you help?

This is that mysterious case when you get a new router, plug it into your current network, and get better Wi-Fi and Internet access as a result but yet can't seem to use your connected local devices, such as a network printer, an IP camera, or a Wi-Fi speaker.

The short answer: Ensure you have a single-NAT setup

Change the newly added router into AP mode. You can do that via its web user interface or mobile app. Almost all routers have this mode. But if you have one that doesn't, replace it with a standard wireless access point.

The long answer

For devices to "talk" to each other locally, they must be in the same subnet, a single network with the same IP range.

When you use two or more routers on top of each other, each has its own subnet that's separate from the subnet of others. It's a double NAT situation.

Similarly, connected clients can belong to different NATs if you have a single router but segment our network via VLAN.

Consequently, a device connected to router A can't communicate locally with those connected to router B. They can communicate via the Internet, but that's inefficient and might not be an option for specific device types.

A typical Double NAT Diagram
In a double NAT home network, local devices separated by their subnets can't communicate with one another.

To rectify this, you need to put all devices in a single network by removing the NAT function of the top-level router or not connecting any device to the low-level router.

Check out this post for more details on how to deal with double NAT properly.

The point is that you only need a single router in a home network, and it's important to know how to extend your Wi-Fi coverage using the correct devices.

12. I have a 10Gbps Internet and Multi-Gig Wi-Fi router, but I never get 1Gbps on my device. What gives?

This case applies to those lucky enough to get the non-compromising 10Gbps Internet but can't figure out how to feel lucky. Generally, it applies to anyone getting faster-than-Gigabit broadband.

The short answer: Get a router with two or more Multi-Gig ports!

To have a real Multi-Gig experience of a particular speed, all wired network devices (the router, switches, and client) must support the same Multi-Gig grade—2.5Gbps, 5Gbps, or 10Gbps. Putting a single Gigabit piece of hardware in the mix will render your network Gigabit.

Multi-Gig Wired Backhaul AiMesh: Asus GT-AXE16000 Network Ports
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: Here is the port side of the Asus GT-AXE16000, the first router with three Multi-Gig ports. Its two 10Gbps ports are the minimum requirement for those wanting to enjoy 10Gbps broadband.
The long answer

It's very challenging to get even close to sustained 10Gbps Internet, as I detailed in this post of my own experience, because:

  • Many, if not most, Wi-Fi clients (2x2 Wi-Fi 6/6E and older) sustain at Gig+. So, there's no way to see Multi-Gig sustained speed via Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi 7 clients are faster but also caps at around 3Gbps in most cases.
  • You need 10Gbps-capable equipment throughout.
  • Hardware has overhead.

You need a router with at least two Multi-Gig ports—like these, to have a real Multi-Gig Internet connection. One port is for the WAN side (the Fiber-optic ONT), and the other is for the LAN side (a Multi-Gig switch).

Home routers and the 10Gbps speed grade

A router needs more than just a couple of 10Gbps Ethernet network ports to deliver (close to) true 10Gbps. It also requires high processing power and applicable firmware to handle this bandwidth.

Generally, consumer-grade Multi-Gig routers and switches do not deliver true 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) throughputs. After "overhead", they sustain approximately between 6.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 6/6E hardware) to 8.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 7 hardware). Often, a router's traffic-related features, such as QoS, security, etc., when turned on, can impact its bandwidth.

Many home Wi-Fi routers support the entry-level Multi-Gig, which is 2.5Gbps and can deliver close to 2,500Mbps in real-world speeds.

After that, you must use a computer with a Multi-Gig port, and the house should be wired with CAT6 (or better) cables. (CAT5e will also work but at a shorter length.)

Vritaully, with all routers that have a single Multi-Gig WAN port, there's no way to get a connection faster than Gig+ out of it.

11. I use a mesh Wi-Fi system for my network, and some devices get disconnected or reconnected frequently at a specific location. Am I crazy?

No, you're not. This is the mysterious yet common case where your Wi-Fi works well around the (large) house, but some devices get disconnected and reconnected at particular locations.

The short answer: Move stuff around a bit!

Move your mesh's primary router or the satellite units around, or adjust the dBm trigger.

The long answer

When multiple broadcasters are used—such as in a mesh system or a combo of a Wi-Fi router and an access point—with a shared SSID, they all broadcast a single unified Wi-Fi network so that devices can stay connected as they roam around.

In reality, a Wi-Fi client—or a third mesh satellite unit—still has to jump from one broadcaster to another. That's called seamless handoff or roaming assistance.

Seamless Hand Off
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: Here's the section within an Asus router where you can adjust the dBm level for better seamless handoffs.

Handoff can be tricky since it depends on both the broadcasters and the device. When this occurs, the device will have a brief disconnection—the device needs to disconnect from the receding broadcaster and then connect to another that's just gotten closer.

Note: If the broadcaster and the device share the same roaming standard, the former's preset level of dBm, a.k.a. the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), triggers this handoff. If they don't, the handoff might not happen at all or happen in unpredictable ways.

I detailed dBm here, but the higher the value, the stronger the signal at which a client would jump—it jumps more often. The lower the value, the more clingy the client is to its current broadcaster—it might stay connected at a slow speed to the far broadcaster.

If you have the dBm trigger at a certain setting and place a client—including a third mesh satellite unit—right between two equally strong sources of signals, it might jump constantly, causing disconnections.

The real issue here is there's no concrete solution because it's nuanced. However, changing the dBm trigger value will make a difference. Unfortunately, not all broadcasters have this setting. With systems that don't, moving the broadcasters around, sometimes just by a foot or so, will do the trick. Specifically, move your preferred broadcaster a bit closer to the location and the other one a bit further away.

Steps to change this dBm value on an Asus AiMesh system.

10. I have Gigabit Internet and recently upgraded to a top-of-the-line Wi-Fi router, but my phone can’t connect faster than 350Mbps. Why?

This is another assumption, like the case of question number 8 below. A connection's speed is that of the lowest party involved.

The short answer: Get a new phone!

That's right. You would need to get a new phone, and it likely has to be an expensive one, too.

Or, maybe, just stop speed-testing.

The iPhone 5 and its Lighting Port (no USB-C)
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: You can never have fast Wi-Fi if you still use the iPhone 5, and that's OK unless you want Wi-Fi 7, of which many broadcasters require WPA2 and later security protocol for all of the bands and will not support this phone and legacy clients anymore.
The long answer

I wrote a long piece on Wi-Fi and Internet testing, but the gist is this: The router and your phone—or any Wi-Fi client, for that matter—are two different things. Upgrading one doesn't automatically make the other up to snuff.

Most importantly, our phone doesn't need to connect at a super-fast speed—350Mbps is speedier than any application would require.

9. I just got a new (and better) router, and my 2.4GHz devices have difficulty staying connected or connecting at slow speeds. What’s going on?

This case is when the 2.4GHz band performs at extremely slow speeds, even when you put the client close to the router.

Again, we talk "extreme" here since this band is slow by nature compared to the hardware's specs. So be concerned if you can only connect at around 15Mbps or slower. But in any case, this trick will only help.

The short answer: Check the router’s USB port!

Switch the router's USB 3.0 port to USB 2.0 mode when applicable. Or remove the connected USB device from it.

The long answer

This case applies only to routers with a USB 3.0 port and allows you to manage this port's speed.

Using the router's USB port in the fast USB 3.0 standard (5Gbps) can cause adverse effects on its 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band.

I've experienced this in high-end routers from Asus and Synology, but the issue might be more prevalent.

Router USB 2 0 Mode
You can change the USB mode of an Asus router to USB 2.0 to improve the performance of its 2.4GHz band. You might need to plug in a drive before changing this option in an Asus router.

The solution: Switch the USB port to USB 2.0 mode, which has a cap of just 480Mbps. You can generally do this within the router's web interface, either in the USB or 2.4GHz Wi-Fi section. This setting is not ideal for those using the router as a mini NAS server since the NAS speed will be slow. But that's just an example of how we can't have everything.

8. I installed a new top-tier Wi-Fi router, but my Internet speed didn’t improve. Why?

I get this question a lot. Folks get a new and exciting Wi-Fi router and automatically expect their Internet to be faster. Specifically, they want it to match the upgraded Wi-Fi speed.

The short answer: How fast is your Internet?

It's likely your Internet. Wi-Fi can't increase your Internet speed—only your service provider can.

The long answer

Internet and Wi-Fi are two different things. If you have slow broadband, no Wi-Fi can make it faster.

However, in this case, proper QoS configurations will likely help. Also, reduce the number of smart devices, especially cloud-based security cameras, to free up the upload pipe.

Note: Effective QoS will reduce Internet bandwidth for speed testing.

7. I have fast Internet at the modem (or ONT) but slow via Wi-Fi or even when wired to the router. What happens?

This broadband speed discrepancy has become increasingly common as Gigabit-class, Gig+, or faster Internet access becomes more popular. Here's the scenario:

When using the same (wired) client, you get fast Internet directly to the modem (or the fiber-optic ONT) but not via the router.

The short answer: You might have messed around a bit much.

Check your client's speed grade, router's bandwidth control, QoS, MTU, and Jumbo Frame, and use applicable settings.

Linksys Router MTU Settings
The MTU setting section of a Linksys router.
The long answer

Assuming you already have an excellent router. After that, here are a couple of things to try in this order:

  • Turn off or re-tune the QoS setting on the router. QoS is an Internet regulating feature, which might slow down the broadband speed depending on the application. In any case, remember that QoS is not about making your Internet faster but better for real-time usage of the whole local network.
  • Ensure that the client you use for testing is the only one using the Internet. That's because the bandwidth is shared.
  • The router must have a fast WAN port. It has to be one of those Multi-Gig-ready routers.
  • The Wi-Fi (or wired) connection between the router and the client has certain cap speeds. The point is that the connection between the router and the client must be the same or faster than between the router and the Internet. So:
    • If that's a wired connection, make sure it's Gigabit or faster—it has to be at least the same speed grade as your broadband.
    • If that's a Wi-Fi connection, remember that 2.4Gbps negotiated is the best for now (real-world speed is much discounted) if you use Wi-Fi 6/E. If you have Wi-Fi 5, the general rate is around 800Mbps.
Extra: Jumbo Frame or MTU settings can be the real fix for a Gig+ and faster network

Jumbo Frame and MTU sound foreign—they are not meant to be popular settings.

However, in many cases, enabling Jumbo Frame or setting the MTU to the optimal value is the last crucial step in getting the best connection speeds.

You can find details on how to do that in this post about handling MTU and Jumbo Frame.

6. A (new) device can’t re/connect to Wi-Fi?

Assuming you're not blocking the device by mistake, this is likely the issue with the IP address pool.

The short answer: Check the IP pool!

Make sure the IP address pool is large enough. Generally, having the pool significantly larger than your total number of devices is recommended.

DHCP Server
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: You can configure your IPv4 address pool using your router's interface.
The long answer

By default, most routers (or mesh system) limit their IP address pool to accept no more than a certain number of clients, like 25, 30, or 50—much lower than the total number of IP addresses any router can give out, which is 253.

It's a good practice to make the address pool significantly larger than the number of devices you want in a network.

Not all clients are active at all times. Additionally, one device might briefly occupy more than one IP address for various reasons, such as reconnecting after being disconnected.

Due to the lease time (as shown in the screenshot), a reconnected device can simultaneously be given a new IP address while still marked as occupying the previous one by the system, gobbling up two or more IP addresses for a period of time.

If you keep the pool too tight, the limit can run out earlier than expected, causing new or returning clients to fail to connect.

For more on IP pool and the detailed steps to change that, check out this post on Wi-Fi routers.

Extra: IP lease time and you

In the screenshot above, below the IP pool, you'll note the Lease time setting.

The IP lease time is the window of time the router will keep an IP for a particular device—even if the device is no longer connected. The IP will not be available to any other client during this period.

This period starts when the device first connects and won't change until the release time runs out or when you restart the router, whichever comes first. When a router restarts, all devices reconnect with a new lease.

The lease time is used in seconds. By default, most routers set it at 24 hours (86400 seconds), which is fine for most cases. But if you have an environment where you want the IP to become available faster, such as when you have a lot of devices for the IP pool, you can and should use a shorter lease time.

However, setting a lease too short can cause a router to overwork since it might have to renegotiate a new connection (and a new lease) for active clients. Generally, setting the lease time shorter than a few hours is not a good idea.

5. Why can’t my Internet of Things (IoT) smart Wi-Fi devices or legacy devices connect to my Wi-Fi network?

First of all, when it comes to IoT devices, just because they have "smart" on their name doesn't mean it's a smart thing to use them. I'm talking about devices that connect to your Wi-Fi network directly.

By the way, this is the supplement to tip #2 below.

The short answer: “Smart” is subjective.

Smart Wi-Fi devices are tricky. The quick tips on using them are:

  • Don't use them, especially cheap ones, but if you have to, use no more than a few in a network.
  • Put them on a separate SSID (or broadcaster).
  • Set your Wi-Fi to compatibility mode and use a simple SSID (Wi-Fi name) and password.
The long answer

In my experience, most smart Wi-Fi devices are terrible and prone to security issues—that's almost always the case if you buy cheap ones of unknown brands.

More on how to handle smart Wi-Fi devices in this post on Airtime fairness.

But even when buying one from a reputable company, remember that these devices generally use minimum and rigid Wi-Fi specs.

As a result, the broadcaster (router) needs to work in a mode that supports the lowest denomination of clients, which is slow. In other words, having these devices in the home might adversely affect the performance of your entire Wi-Fi network.

So my first advice is to avoid them. But if you still want to use these devices, the following trick might help.

Simple SSID

In my experience, the complexity of a Wi-Fi network's name (SSID) and password can be why some clients—especially IoT devices—can't connect to it.

That said, here are the rules for making your Wi-Fi network's name:

  • Use plain English letters
  • Avoid using special characters or spaces
  • Keep it short

For example, instead of using a name like "Dong Knows Tech," or even worse, "Đông Knows Tech ⚡," pick "Dong-Knows-Tech" or, better yet, just "DKT". (Needless to say, the quotes are not part of the names.)

Digit-only password

For the password, it's best to use a long string of digits. Picking a long and random number can make it hard to guess.

Tips on Wi-Fi passwords

When it comes to passwords, it's always about keeping it a secret that matters. Don't associate complexity with security.

The goal is to make your password hard to guess but easy to remember and use.

A Wi-Fi password that includes letters, numbers, UPPER case/lower case, and special characters can be a real pain, especially when you need to enter it into an IoT device, such as a printer or a media streamer—even a modern one like the Fire TV.

Generally, it's best to use a digit-only password. Here's a way to make a password effective and easy to remember:

Pick a long sentence or phrase and use each word's letter count to form the password.

If you use that previous sentence, the password would be 414833545652438—use another phrase for yourself. If you think you can't remember the password, write that sentence down in a conspicuous place instead of the password itself.

Segment the network via SSIDs

If you need to use a fancy name and password for your Wi-Fi for one reason or another, you can create a separate simple Wi-Fi network just for the devices that can't connect to the fancy one.

In this case, you can make a Guest network for this purpose—make sure you turn on the intranet access. Or you can even get an additional access point exclusively for IoT and smart home Wi-Fi devices.

Many IoT devices only work with the 2.4GHz band, so turn this band on and apply the name and password rules above.

4. Network printers, IP cameras, etc., get disconnected sporadically?

This is the curious case when those devices work fine when you first set them up, but after a while, you can't use them even when they remain connected.

The short answer: IP reservation for the win!

Reserve their IP addresses. In other words, you want to ensure they connect to the network using the same IP every time.

The long answer

This issue happens in all devices that use the IP address as the only way to identify themselves in the network—some devices use something else to avoid this issue.

But this issue will happen in all applications requiring a fixed IP address. Examples are VPN servers (or any server type) or remote administration.

When its IP changes—often when you restart the router or the device itself—the device now appears as a new network device, causing the rest of the network to no longer see it as what it used to be.

IP Reservation Netgear router
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: IP reservation on a Netgear router

To keep this from happening, you need to reserve an IP address for the device in question to ensure it always has the same IP. IP reservation means you "bind" a particular IP address with the device's unique MAC address.

Find out more about IP addresses and specific steps for performing IP reserving in this post.

Extra: Stop using extenders

On this IP reservation topic, note you can't do that with most if not all, Wi-Fi extenders. That's because they automatically give out virtual MAC addresses to their clients.

So, if you need IP reservations, stop using extenders in your home or connect the device in question directly to the router.

3. Intermittent Wi-Fi disconnections on high-end/new devices?

This issue applies to those with a high-end Wi-Fi 6 router who experience intermittent brief disconnections seemingly out of the blue.

That's likely because the router works in the 160MHz channel width required for top performance.

The short answer: Blame the radar!

Avoid Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) channels and use the router with an 80MHz channel width. You can also turn off the 160MHz width and use the router in the Auto setting.

The long answer

DFS shares its airspace with radar and, by regulations, takes the back seat. Consequently, when radar signals are detected, a router automatically switches its DFS channels to a free one, causing a brief disconnection that lasts from a few seconds to even a minute when this happens.

It's a dilemma since DFS channels are necessary for top Wi-Fi 6 speeds.

Depending on how frequently radar signals are present, you might not notice the disconnection. But if that happens when you're in the middle of a real-time communication app, it can be frustrating.

So, if you live close to a radar station—within tens of miles—it's good not to use DFS channels. Note that all airports have radar, and almost every city has a weather radar station.

Disabling DFS Channels
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: Steps to turn off DFS on an Asus router.
Extra: How to not use DFS channels

How we handle DFS depends on the router—some don't support DFS at all. Generally, you can make the router ignore all DFS channels or manually pick one that is not part of the DFS spectrum.

Before doing that, note that DFS is only available in the 5GHz frequency band. So first, you might need to separate it from the 2.4GHz—turn off Smart Connect, that is—before you can make specific changes.

After that, remember that the 160MHz channel width requires DFS, so don't use it.

Finally, DFS ranges from channel 52 to 144. That means channels outside this range, including 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161, and 165, are not part of this spectrum—it's safe to use them.

2. Many (legacy) devices can’t connect to Wi-Fi. What’s happening?

This issue happens when you upgrade your router to a newer standard. Existing 2.4GHz or 5GHz clients might not be ready for it. On this front, also check out what you can do on the client itself below.

The short answer: It’s a matter of compatibility

Change the router's Wi-Fi and security settings to favor compatibility. You can also consider separating its bands (5GHz and 2.4GHz) as different SSIDs (Wi-Fi network).

The long answer

Though all Wi-Fi standards are supposedly backward compatible, the devil is in the details.

That said, if you have many legacy clients, such as Wi-Fi 4 or the first-gen Wi-Fi 5, and get a new Wi-Fi 6/E router, you might run into issues if you insist on making your router perform at its top speeds.

In this case, it's a good idea to make the (new) router friendly to older clients. (More on how to improve issues on clients' side).

Generally, you can do this in the Wi-Fi or Wireless section of the router's interface. Two things to consider are compatible Wi-Fi settings and band separation.

Compatible Wi-Fi and security settings

Note that there are many Wi-Fi settings, and the actual number on a router varies. Also, any of the following items alone might be enough to fix the problem. So, try them out one at a time.

  1. Wireless Mode: Use Mixed or Auto.
  2. Channel width: Choose the value that works for most devices. The Auto setting is generally the best for compatibility.
  3. Security level: For now, the level that balances security and compatibility is WPA2/WPA3. However, in many cases, you might need to use WPA1/WPA for legacy clients to connect.
  4. 802.11ax HE frame support: Available in some routers; this setting favors performance for Wi-Fi 6 clients. If you have a lot of Wi-Fi 5 and older devices, you should turn it off.
  5. Turn on Extended NSS: Not available in all routers, but if yours supports it, it's in the advanced/professional area. Also, it's likely already turned on by default.
  6. Smart Connect (when available): This setting combines the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands into a single Wi-Fi network. It doesn't necessarily improve compatibility, but it helps keep your connection consistent since clients can automatically switch between the two.
Separate the bands

This setting is the opposite of item #6 above. I know this is confusing, but it's best to separate each band of a broadcaster into a Wi-Fi network (SSID) of its own in certain situations.

It applies to:

  • You have older or single-stream (5GHz or 2.4GHz) clients.
  • You want complete control of which band a client or a group of clients should use. For example, you can designate the 2.4GHz band for low-bandwidth IoT devices and 5GHz for high-end gaming rigs.

If you use a tri-band wireless mesh, set the backhaul band to be the fastest supported by the satellites. There's no need to worry about compatibility with this band—it works exclusively for the satellites anyway.

1. What’s the most important Wi-Fi setting for the best connection speeds?

There's no short answer to this.

A Wi-Fi router has three things to fulfill at any given time: The best connection speed, the most extensive coverage, and the highest client compatibility. The last one is most important since the first two are irrelevant if a client can't connect.

But all three are handled with nuances. The most crucial Wi-Fi setting is likely to pick the right channel. By default, most routers use the "Auto" setting, which means the router will determine the best channel based on real-world conditions.

And most of the time, that works out. If you have a standalone router, that might be all you have to do.

However, a router can only detect the signal at its location, not throughout the entire home. As a result, all can be fine when you're near, but your device may disconnect intermittently as you move farther out.

The disconnection often happens when you use a mesh system with multiple broadcasters at different places around your home. To improve the situation, pick a channel that's used the least, on average, throughout your area of desired Wi-Fi coverage.

Wi-Fi Analyzer
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: A Wi-Fi analyzing app helps you visualize your airspace and pick the best channel for your Wi-Fi network.

Here's how: Get a free Wi-Fi analyzing app to site survey the airspace as you walk around. You'll be able to "view" the channels in real-time. You'll note that a channel might be completely free at one spot, wholly used at another, and lightly used at another.

Pick the one that's used the least on average. Do that for all of the router's bands. In a mesh system, the primary router and the satellite(s) will share the same Wi-Fi channel for each band.

By the way, to understand the Wi-Fi signal strength and usage, you need to know the value of dBm. I explained dBm in detail in this post, but the gist is you're dealing with a negative number, so the lower the value, the better the signal is.

Synology Router Wi-Fi Settings
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: The Wi-Fi setting section of a Synology router.


And that's it. Now, cross your finger and apply the changes to the router when applicable. Hopefully, things are all good now. If not, it's time to check on your clients.

Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: What to do at the receiving end

There are two things about a Wi-Fi receiver: the hardware and the software driver.

Client’s Wi-Fi settings, physical condition, and protective case

First, check the client itself. Is it physically intact? If you have dropped it, that could have caused some hardware parts to malfunction, and the Wi-Fi adapter might be among those.

Then, ensure you haven't turned off the Wi-Fi (Airplane mode) or manually set its Wi-Fi to work in a certain way—leave the settings at default unless you know what you're doing.

If you use a phone or tablet, remember that its protective case adversely affects wireless reception. All phone cases do—it's a matter of degree. Generally, the thicker the case is, the more it reduces wireless signals.

Software drivers

Generally, the latest driver—the software that allows a hardware component to work with the operating system—is the best for each client to work well.

If you're on a Mac, you'll need to upgrade your computer to the latest version of macOS and also the latest of whatever is offered via Mac Software Update. That's how you can keep your Wi-Fi driver updated. There's no other way.

On a Windows computer or a mobile device, there are a few things you can try.

Intel's Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 (such as the AX210 and BE200) only officially support the 6GHz band in Windows 11. If you have a legacy computer, here's how you can upgrade it to the new OS.

How to upgrade the Wi-Fi driver on a Windows computer
Driver Check
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: It's easy to check and update the Wi-Fi adapter's driver on a Windows computer.

In Windows, you can check on the driver of the Wi-Fi adapter the same way you do any other hardware components. Here's how:

  1. Right-click on the Start button (lower-left corner) to bring up the Windows X menu. (I call it the "Windows X" menu because you can also call it up using the Windows + X keyboard combo.)
  2. On the menu that pops up, click on the Device Manager item to bring up its window.
  3. On the Device Manager window, navigate to the hardware component in question. In this case, it's one of the Network adapters. Pick the Wi-Fi adapter and double-click on it to bring up the Properties window of that device.
  4. On the Properties window, click on the Driver tab to look at the Driver Date value.

The driver's release date for a Wi-Fi adapter shouldn't be before 2019. If so, it's too old, and you want to try updating the driver. To do that, click on the Update Driver button, then on Search automatically for updated driver software.

If there's a new driver available, it'll be downloaded and installed automatically. Alternatively, you can also check the manufacturer's website to see if there is a new driver.

If there's no driver update and the computer's Wi-Fi doesn't work with your new router, even after you have done all the router-related tricks above, you're out of luck. It's time to replace that Wi-Fi adapter or get a new device.

How to fix Wi-Fi dropping issue on a mobile device: Latest updates and reset

You can't update just the Wi-Fi software driver on a mobile device. The only way to update anything is to wait for the update pushed out by the manufacturer.

Reset Network iOS
Wi-Fi dropping or disconnection repair: Resetting the Network Settings can help improve Wi-Fi performance on a mobile device.

However, there are ways to fix your mobile device, especially an iDevice, from Wi-Fi dropping issues without getting any update.


If you have an Apple device, including a computer, and its Wi-Fi connection starts acting up after an OS/Software update when connecting to the same router, do this:

Remove your Wi-Fi network from the device in question and re-add it to remove any extra erroneous settings caused by the updates.

Here are a few general things to try—any of them might fix the problem, so try one at a time.

  • Restart your device: It's a good idea to close all open apps and perform a restart once in a while. That can solve many issues, including Wi-Fi (and cellular) connection.
  • Update your device to the latest OS version and patches: This is especially true with incremental updates.
  • Reset the network setting: This will erase all saved Wi-Fi networks. However, it also removes all incorrect settings that might cause connection issues.
  • Reset the device to default:  This will erase everything you have on the device, so make a backup first. This drastic step helps refresh your equipment and make it work like new, at its optimal state, including the best possible Wi-Fi support.

Tips on getting help

If you still need help from a processional, keep the following in mind.

Often, figuring out the issue is the most time-consuming part of tech support. That's because people tend to talk about gadgets as though they were humans. They are most definitely not and are 100% independent of how you feel.

That said, when asking for help, it's best to avoid giving the person who's helping you non-technical information, such as your frustration or your disappointment.

For example, common stuff like "I can't get online," "My internet/Wi-Fi/computer/phone/etc. is not working," or "I have an issue connecting to Wi-Fi," etc. don't help with troubleshooting because they include zero information about what actually has happened.

Instead, be descriptive and explain precisely what happened. For example, when I go to an ABC website, I get a ZYZ message. You can also give the person the error messages or information about what you see on the hardware, such as the status lights' colors or behaviors.

It's especially helpful to take and share photos of the error messages and the device itself. Visuals are always helpful when troubleshooting.

The takeaway

Wi-Fi is a lot more complicated than wired networking. For one, it's invisible. You can't see what causes interruptions in the radio waves. So knowing what has gone wrong could be a challenge.

Proper hardware setup on the router and using clients with the latest software are the keys to a well-performing wireless network. Besides that, make sure you pick the best setting for your particular situation and environment—you're already there.

Most importantly, again, don't expect magic! Take some time and appreciate how the technology has worked for you. A little Wi-Fi dropping and disconnection here and there is a small price to pay for so much gain you've been getting out of it.

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191 thoughts on “Wi-Fi Drops Signals Frequently and Other Common Connection Issues: The Causes and Their Best Fixes”

  1. Very informative post. I will have to go back and read it in more detail to pick up some of the tips for the issue I am having with my Wi-Fi and my Android phone.

    I did want to clarify your comments about the AFC. It is not specifically for Wi-Fi 7, it was developed when the FCC opened up the 6 GHz band and is targeted for outdoor devices only. It was not implemented at the same time that Wi-Fi 6E was introduced because there was the issue of how to deal with incumbents in an outdoor scenario. The FCC and ISED in Canada did finalize their AFC requirements about a year ago, and again, it is for the 6 GHz band for outdoor devices.

    The idea is if you want to make use of a 160 MHz channel, but an incumbent is active in your area (goes by geolocation of your device), you may not be able to use a 20 MHz sub-channel of that 160 MHz channel, or you can, but at a reduced power.

    This requirement gets a bit easier to deal with in regards to Wi-Fi 7 and Static Puncturing. In that scenario, the AP can decide just to puncture (i.e. drop transmission in that sub-channel) and continue to use the rest of the channel for transmission. Simple in concept, but interestingly difficult to implement and test for (that is what I do for a living).

    Keep up the great work, very informative!

  2. Your the only one ive seen mention using the usb 3 port being a problem but ive been having all kinds of trouble with it on my asus router. Not just losing wifi but it causing the router to keep rebooting (flashing red and blue) and or losing its mind and doing a mini factory reset. It will keep the settings but when logging in it will go to the modems start up screen and i have to re-enter the wifi ssid’s and passwords. Its seems to happen when copying alot of files at once. Like it gets hot or something. RT-AX82U or AX5400

  3. Hi Dong,

    Love your posts!

    I realize there’s probably not a straight answer for this, but regarding your topic of “B. Signal saturation or interferences”….

    I reside in an apartment complex. There’s Wi-Fi broadcasts from other apartments everywhere around me. I live in a two bedroom apartment (~1100 sqft) that’s symmetrical in shape and size from bedroom-to-livingroom-to-bedroom. My setup includes three TP-Link Archer AX11000s, one placed in each of those rooms, mounted sideways and high on the walls, wired backhaul, and in access point mode (except the main router).

    I understand the amount of hardware could be overkill. I’ve been trying to experiment with the best Wi-Fi signal setup, specifically playing with the “Transmit Power” setting for each band — Low, Middle, and High are the options. “Channel Width” and “Channel” are both set to Auto.

    In a crowded broadcast area, does it make sense to keep Transmit Power set to Low in order to have less interference with surrounding neighbors as well as each access point in my own apartment? Or does setting it to High “shove” out other signals that could be interfering in my apartment?

    Thanks for any tips.

    • You should replace them with a mesh system. As is, those units are interfering with one another no matter how you configure the dBi. For your case you have lots of options. More here.

      • Thanks for the reply and the advice! I figured a mesh system would help here. I was holding out for TP-Link to release their One Mesh or EasyMesh updates for this router. It’s been in the “planned” state forever. Would you happen to know any inside-info if this could be coming soon for the models like mine? Or is it best to just go with Asus system?

  4. Thank you for sharing this insightful article, “How to Fix Wi-Fi Dropping and Disconnection Issues.” As someone who has experienced the frustration of dealing with unstable Wi-Fi connections, I greatly appreciate the comprehensive guide you have provided.

  5. Hello
    I have AiMesh setup with full wired back haul.
    Gt axe16000 primary router with 2x et8 and an ax58u for nodes. Was working flawlessly. I have a 1gb connection and was getting 700 mbps consistently over wireless. This was stable for several months since I set up the mesh in our new home.

    All of a sudden devices stopped connecting to the the axe16000 which has 0 wireless devices. Only wired devices connect to the router. And now my nodes are oversaturated and now I only get 100 mbps wireless.

    I never updated firmware or changed anything. Is there any reason this happened? Can’t seem to debug. Tried about everything.

    • You might have auto firmware update turned on, Tony. Or you’ve changed some Wi-Fi settings. You can try resetting and resetting up the mesh from scratch. Good luck!

  6. my advice is to install the latest firmware and keep rolling back until you get stability, but making sure to give it days and see if reboots (router + client) helps. I have had extremely mixed results with Asus mesh. At time of writing, the latest firmware was awful with devices dropping off wifi, but rolled back to FW_ZENWIFI_XT8_300438822068 and it has proven rock solid – albeit with some tweaking thanks to Dong (USB 2.0 etc).

    I found AP mode was the best for me as it disables all the bells and whistles that caused regular hangups and drop offs due to the Asus “AI” featuers

  7. Hi Dong,

    I purchased the Asus GT-AX6000 after reading (feels like) a billion of your posts multiple times, and actually asking some questions in another post. Thanks so much for your brilliant insights. It’s been a great buy and I’m loving it over my previous RT-AC68U.

    With my previous RT-AC68U, I had scheduled a daily reboot of the router, cause I was experiencing dropouts and low performance.

    Should I be doing the same for the GT-AX6000? I can see your recommendation in the post is to do it weekly if there are issues, monthly if there aren’t issues.

    Is a daily reboot overkill? Will it degrade the longevity of the GT-AX6000? Or is it neither a good thing or a bad thing (and just a thing based on personal preference)?

    Thanks so much again.

    • Rebooting won’t harm the hardware, Melvin, but there’s no need to do that daily, maybe schedule it to restart once a week or a month, etc.

  8. Hi Dong!

    I read most of posts regarding possible issues I have, but haven’t found a solution. Namely I have troubles with constant wifi connection dropping with my Samsung A52 in my home network (router TP LINK Archer C7 and AP TP LINK EAP 245).
    The connection drops every 20-30 seconds and gets back within few seconds and it is really, really disturbing.

    Since all of my other devices work fine, it seemed that the phone itself is the problem. However, when I connected to wifi at two of my friends, there were no issues, phone connected and maintained connection flawlessly in both cases. So there seems to be the problem in communication between router and phone. I also performed a factory reset but the issue remains.

    Do you have any suggestion how to solve this disturbing problem?

      • You mean to remove Access point? This is not an option as I would lose wifi signal in half of the house.

        I also doubt that this is causing problem as I also lose wifi connection if phone is connected to Archer C7 and not to AP EAP 245…

        Any other suggestions or ideas what could cause these problems?

        • The phone is trying to connect to the router or the AP. That’s mentioned in issue number 11 above. So if you can’t remove the AP, maybe move the router to the AP around a bit.

  9. Hopefully you can help.
    I noticed recently that whenever another WiFi network turns on, it kicks us off our WiFi internet hub. So we have to power off the internet hub and turn it on again. The other network stays on for a few minutes then disappears, I’m guess whenever we turn on we kick them off. So there must be some kind of interference.
    I’ve recently hid our network (turned off SSID broadcasting) changed the name of our network and the password.
    How can one network SSID kick ours off? I’m using Netspot but don’t see any overlap when the other wifi network turns on. Both are on the 2.4GHz channel, we can’t switch to 5GHz.
    Any ideas

  10. Dong,
    This is a fantastic guide. I purchased a AX86U based on your recommendation but my wifi intermittently goes from having my full 350Mbps to not being able to even load a webpages on either band even right next to the router and can last for a while despite still having full speeds if hardwired. A reboot doesn’t fix the issue, it just starts working by itself again 15-20 minutes later usually.
    I then bought a AX82U and it is having a similar issue but it my internet doesn’t completely stop working its speed just drops to under 1Mbps but I can still load pages and run a speed test and again can run full speed hardwired still but on this one a reboot fixes the issue immediately. I can’t imagine I am in possession of 2 defective units.
    I don’t believe this to be an interference issue as I have separated the bands and it happens on both 5ghz and 2.4ghz. I never had any issues with wifi in my home with the Netduma R2 or the Deco M4.

    • Hi Brad, I am having the same issue as you but with a different router, and replacement was the same model. Issue happened on both, but wasn’t happening on my previous router and no changes in house/devices configuration. I was suspecting interference but when there is a “blackout” it’s on all frequencies, and it last from 1 to 10 minutes. Down to 1 Mbps or so. I can’t figure what’s the problem!

  11. Hi Mr. Dong
    Please help me solved my problems.

    When i am using application ZeroTierOne (application for making an Internet connection but treats as a LAN (local area connection), so i can play LAN games through internet connection.

    The problem is my wifi signal occationally keeps disconnecting and the strength signal always dropping..

    But when i end task the zero tierx64, the wifi normally worked; but if i reopen zero tier it wouldnt connect. i have to restart my pc so the zero tier will work, but if the zero tier work again, the wifi will periodically disconnected..

    • Hi Dong,

      thanks for your tips and reviews!
      I bought an Asus XT12 2pk mesh system, but unfortunately have 2 issues:

      1.) the router split the bandwidth for a parallel clients.
      Client1 connects to 5-1, Client2 connects to 5-2. Main or node.
      Node uses 2,5GbE wired backhaul, Smartconncet Tri-band selected. No other network on site.
      How can I use the full of 2Gbps ISP bandwidth with this wifi system all of my clients parallel?

      2.) link speed is 1200 Mbps, but the real speed is under 800 Mbps. Every client wifi6 capable devices.
      AX on, 160MHz, DFS on (tried these on Auto), MU-MIMO, OFDMA auto or on… Ive tried factory and Merlin fws too.

      With wire, i can reach 2000Mbps from the LAN port.
      Internal speedometer reaches too the maximum bandwidth of ISP.

      Where can I find the solution?

      • 1. That’s not an issue. In fact, you should be happy that that’s happening. More on tri-band in this post. (Your “parallel” notion is random, irrelevant, and non-applicable.)
        2. Generally, that’s about as fast as you can get the way you tested it. More on testing in this post.

        The solution is not to have assumptions and try to understand what you’re doing, Heinz. 🙂

  12. Hi,

    I am pulling my hair out with a recent problem and I don’t know if I am going mad or there genuinely is an issue that can be fixed. A PC we have is on the network with a USB antenna (Netgear AX7000 as its impossible to use Ethernet). Recently we had a thunderstorm but with no power outage etc. This PC network connection dropped out or the ping increased massively. It has now done the same over the last few days whenever we have had a rainstorm or a distant thunderstorm. No other devices on the network appear to have an issue. Reinstalled drivers, windows, you name it. Tearing my hair out. USB ports all appear to be fine. Any ideas? Was fine before this.

    • That’s nuts. Try changing the channels on the router, Jon. But maybe you should replace that adapter. It could have been accidental that it stopped working properly when there was crazy weather. Now if the same thing happens with a new adapter, then we have a problem. 🙂

      • Apologies, I should have said we have tried other adapters. Same thing occurred :o(

        Unless its a router problem? I am on a fibre connection using a FritzBox 7530 which has been rock solid since installation with my ISP. USB ports on the PC are working fine, along with everything else, so it doesn’t appear to have fried those.

        Only other option I am considering is a mesh and using a lan cable into a mesh device to see if it is a bizarre USB issue?

        • I’d say try changing the channels or some other settings of the router first. I’m familiar with that box — spent a couple of months in Brighton with a friend who got one — and it’s quite good hardware, plus everything else works. But using LAN cable will always be the best.

  13. Hi Dong,
    I have a question, hope you correct me if I am wrong as follows:
    My friend moves from G/F to 3/F (2/F other people) and keeps G/F for his mother’s life (her device is all Wifi4 and 5).
    The Fios set on G/F, he was already layout the Cat 6 wire from the Router to 3/F (3/F Most devices are Wifi 6 and 5 with NAS).
    He has 2 routers Netgear R7000 and RAX120, he want to get the best Wifi 6 on 3/F.
    So, if the R7000 router for the G/F connects the Fios and RAX120 set as AP for 3/F, am I correct?

  14. Hi Dong, you were kind enough to recommend a good replacement (Asus RT-AC86U) router for an aging AirPort Extreme a year or so ago which has for the most part been great. I have a broadcast studio that depends on optimal ISP performance for some software that facilitates real-time audio transmission to other studios. My main computer dedicated to this is ethernet connected and port-mapped to the Asus, while I am also using the same router to provision my home wifi network. ISP(Spectrum) service is 400mbps Up/30-40mbps Down. Just this past week, during a live audio session the receiving studio reported multiple packet-drops which disrupted the audio ‘takes’ during a performance. This is the first time I’ve experienced any issue since setup of the Asus. I am wondering how to approach diagnosing what might be at fault in an effort to guard against this happening again. The computer is a 2018 Mac mini i7, with maximum (64gb) memory and 3.2g processor. I did swap to this machine from an older 2012 recently and that required reconfiguring the port mapping. It’s fairly essential to have the port mapping for the software for stability. I thought of you because I really respect your expertise and had a couple of questions relative to troubleshooting this issue. Yes, maybe it was a one-time thing…but odd that it occurred after months of problem-free connections with this audio stream software… Packet loss/drops was what the engineer told me it was – and suggested it was on my end… Maybe. So question- could this router cause packet drops if my ISP speeds are higher than it can handle. Is this Asus model robust enough for 400-500meg or higher – or is there a more ‘bullet-proof’ alternative you might suggest – based on this being a critical link for my business usage… Alternately, is there any possibility that having an idle VOIP phone provisioned off the same cable modem –OR my home wifi network with multiple devices -being ‘hosted’ on this same router as the ethernet-connected studio computer – could in any way introduce network congestion – even tho the wifi devices are typically “off” during business periods where I need that critical audio stream connection to be flawless. I just need to identify any variable that could invoke packet drops and rectify the issue. Beyond that perhaps there’s something else that can be configured in the router settings to address this. ? Before I assume upgrading to Gig speed internet (at an extra $40 a month) would reduce the chances of packet drops -I want to rule out anything on the equipment side of the equation. If a newer, better, more robust router is necessary I’d certainly upgrade but at this point not sure that’s necessarily “It” either. One other detail I question as far as the wifi is that there are indeed a lot of devices from other computers to Blink cameras and FWIW I also have an old AirPort Extreme ethernet-connected acting as a ‘repeater’ to boost the 2.4g wifi coverage at the far side of the building. That said, if devices are not ‘active’ on the wifi when I’m doing my studio session connections – could they still be draining or degrading the overall bandwidth usage to where they would/could introduce network congestion ? Just trying to think of anything and everything in going through the potential variables. I REALLY appreciate your time reading through this and would be grateful for any insights you might have about this… Thanks again! -Mike in Michigan

    • It’s impossible to “bulletproof” any connection or apps, Mike. I’d recommend giving the router a manual restart shortly before a critical section. Also turn off non-essential features that could make the router over work, like AiProrection, etc.

      Hope it was a one-time thing.

      • Dong, thanks for your reply! I will start doing the manual restart as a routine. As far as any non-essential additional features that might be overworking the router, i’m curious if there’s any reference as to what those things would be. I’ll look at the menu and see if something looks like it fits that description. I take it, though, that it doesn’t sound like anything on the “Wi-Fi” network might be causing overconsumption or network congestion if the devices are “idle” at the time I am using an ethernet connection? Or would there be any value (not sure if even possible) in turning the wifi network “off” entirely, during the Ethernet ported audio-software computer sessions? This engineer who was on the session said that ‘dropping packets’ can be caused by other devices sharing the same network. Other than that I gather that you don’t think this Asus router model should have any problem navigating high-speed of 400-500mbps connections? I would definitely consider getting a higher capacity router if that could be the case. It doesn’t seem like i should need to go to 1Gig speed for rock-solid drop-free audio streaming… but like i say, since its critical for my business, if that can in any way be responsible for packet drops – I would invest in upgrading..

        • Generally the more features you have running, the more taxing on a system, just like a computer. Most of the time things are fine but if you want to make sure, lower the load.

          And yes, that router should handle that bandwidth fine. I’ve had the same model handling a Gigabit fiber topic for a large network for years, generally with no issues. But since your need is particular, maybe er on the safe side and hence the suggested restart and lowering the load, etc.

          • Ok thanks! Good to hear you have the same modem handling that bandwidth. I doubt i need to go to gig speed for this connection purpose –actually most important for transmission stability with this application is how robust my Upload speed is, which generally even with wifi hits the 25mpbs range… and AFAIK this is more than sufficient for stable live audio stream…
            (Hate to shell out another 40/month if its not really going to matter, relative to this issue). I just started looking around within the Asus menu. I do have a lot of ‘clients’ on the Wifi net (not using Mesh). Perhaps some ‘traffic analysis’ can help me to determine what might be impacting overall bandwidth consumption. There’s no device on the Wifi Network that needs to be “on” during these ethernet-computer sessions, and as far as VOIP home/office phone, well, that is AFAIK a fairly fractional and marginal ‘drain’ on overall bandwidth – and if not actively being used, shouldn’t matter in an ‘idle’ state.

      • Thanks and again I appreciate your time. If I can just run one more quick question by you…and it just occurred to me – re: cable type. Is there any way that I could be throttling speed by using a standard (at least 10 yr old) RJ45 Cat 5 or 5e long-run ethernet cable from modem>Router and Router>Mac Mini (target computer ) vs say, a newer Ethernet Cat 6 or 7 or 8 – cable ?? Just a thought…. (and i will research this online as well) THANKS Dong! Much appreciated!!!! Mike

          • Thanks Dong – and i mentioned elsewhere after discovering your piece about QoS settings – that might be a really relevant ‘tweak’ for me to make – to help assure optimal bandwidth allocation to the real-time broadcast streaming audio software application I mentioned, to minimize potential for any possible packet loss/drop issues. Thanks for pointing that out! I don’t “Think” that it could hurt to employ it ..
            .in addition to upgrading ethernet cables to CAT 6a and 8, and maybe moving from 400g to Gig ISP service. Much appreciated! mike

  15. I was going crazy trying to determine why all of my 2.4 Ghz devices were continually losing connection to my Netgear R8000 running on (the latest version 2022.2) Fresh Tomato firmware.
    As you mentioned, the culprit in my instance was USB 3.0. After I unselected USB 3.0 my 2.4 Ghz devices connected immediately.
    So glad I found this article.
    Thank you so much!

  16. Hi Dong,

    After 2 months of wifi misery, I have resorted to begging for help on the internet.

    I have 2 Asus XT8 in mesh, and they don’t like my sonoff plugs and other ESP8266 iot boards around my home. They experience stuff like drop off wifi as client or can’t ping them (sometimes they can ping out).

    I’ve turned off all optional features and just have DHCP + reserved IPs and have a daily reboot which sometimes causes ones that were connected to disconnect. I also power cycle the plugs or chose “optimize” the client in the asus app.

    The only thing I haven’t tried is set USB to 2.0 (think its at 3.0 by default) as saw that as being relevant for me in 1 of your posts. Would you by any chance have any ideas?

    Asus support told me that I should apply for a refund! I’m close to putting back in my 7 year old R8000 (dd-wrt) and EX7000 extender


      • Thanks Dong, I have about 3 “IoT” devices per mesh unit. Airtime fairness is not on. For 2 of the “IoT” devices the furthest away mesh wants to take them so rather than having RSSI of -65 on closer one, it wants them on the further one resulting in RSSI -96. I tried binding but still get the dropouts. I noticed that having “parental controls”, “Adaptive QoS” and/or “AiProtection” all make the issue much more frequent, rather than just once or twice – leads me to believe there is code somewhere on the XT8

        I must record usage and see is there a trend i.e. after watching a movie (from NAS). Generally there is very low WiFi usage (2 phones on social media at same time)

        I had hoped spending so much money on Asus XT8 would be plug and play. I might try an extender to keep the “IoT” isolated from main wifi and see how things behave

        Thanks, I’m learning a lot from the information you post

  17. Hello Dong,
    thanks for the great work and post.

    A few days ago I got an Asus RT-AC87U but I have some problems with the 5ghz. A few times it dropped the 5ghz and I had to restart it. But the main problem is that even if I set the encryption of 5ghz to wpa2-person it doesn’t ask for the password. This happens only to my 5ghz while the 2.4ghz works flawlessly. After tons of restarts, it asks for the password randomly.
    I tried changing the channels from auto, changing the security to WPA-auto-personal, dropping the bandwidth to 40ghz from 80ghz, 4 times factory reset, installing manually another firmware, setting the password from both the and from the Asus mobile application, but no luck… Any help on that will be appreciated.


  18. I fixed this problem by replacing my RV180. It did not have the resources to maintain the NAT session and ephemeral session for all of my things and their connections. Each connection to the internet on a different port has to be tracked in both directions by the internet facing router. It just didn’t have the resources and was dropping internet sessions. I knew this because my WiFi was handles by ASUS ROG GT-AXE11000 AI mesh routers.

  19. Hi Dong
    To start off with, thank you for all of your great work, it has helped me solve a re-booting issue I had with my Asus ZenWIFI AX. It appeared to have been DFS related, so when I changed my backhaul 5GHz-2 channel to 149(I setup a wired backhaul for my network), all was resolved.
    Now to my question; I have read that in a Mesh network, only the primary router handles all of the load for the network, the nodes only act as a passthrough. That seems like a waste of resources considering the node has essentially the same hardware specs. Is there a technical reason as to why not or is it just lazy coding on Asus’s side?

      • Sorry, I guess it was a badly phrased question. The question was pertaining to the percentage of CPU and RAM being used by the primary device and the node(s). The router System status seems to only showing the primary router’s resources being used not the node(s)

        • That’s correct, but it doesn’t mean the router handles *all* the load. However, as the primary and only unit with the routing function, the router must deal with more than any satellites. That’s just how it is. Adding satellite doesn’t help on this front. This is like adding a trailer to your car only helps to increase the tonnage of the haul, but the car itself still has to do the pulling. You can add a managed switch to the network, or use a satellite in the AP mode, which would help with other functions, but things will get entirely then — it’s like you link two cars together.

  20. Dong – I’m at my wits end, I know you aren’t it support, but would love to see if you see a big red flag here…

    I purchased a couple 92u’s as to our last discussion on the thread:

    I setup the ai mesh system with the dedicated wireless backhaul, I also followed your instructions here (especially because i thought it would be due to the usb3 attached device) as well as

    …my iot devices work immediately after connect the rt-ax92u’s .. but after a few hours the IOT devices are slow to respond… after a day or two a few of them don’t at all.
    Replace with the old existing RT-AC87U – all works fine once again.

    Anyways – again if anything springs to mind…



  21. Hi Dong,

    Thanks for the article. I’m having trouble understanding OFDMA and Airtime Fairness, which are both disabled by default on my TP-LINK AX73 despite being a “headline feature”. What do they do and should I enable it on my router? I stream games to my TV and sometimes the signal would drop for like 15-30 seconds seemingly randomly.

    • I explained OFDMA in this post about Wi-Fi 6, Mark. As for Airtime Fairness, it’s only applicable when you have legacy devices (Wi-Fi 4 and older), in that case, it allows these devices less amount of airtime so that their existence will adversely affect the speed of faster devices (Wi-Fi 5 and newer) less. These days, this setting has almost no effect.

  22. I have a problem when I add mesh to the network. I had a Linksys velop ax4200 and it was working fine but needed more range so I had bought a Linksys velop mesh extender AC – 130 and my internet started losing connection I would have to unplug my modem and router for it to work again. I decided to buy the Asus ax82u and it was working fine but recently I had bought the Asus dual band extender RP-AX56 and the same thing happened my internet lost connection hours later after I hooked it up to the network and had to unplug the modem and router for it to work again and lost connection the next day. I unplugged the ax56 and no internet drops yet. My question is why when I add a mesh extender I lose internet connection?

  23. Good stuff here, all of it should mostly work depending on the router/clients involved. The most recent updates definitely add additional clarity to the troubleshooting that this article refers to.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  24. I have a NetGear Nighthawk R8000 router that I use for home automation (smart switches, smart thermostats, webcams, Google Home, roughly 15 devices). This router was rated as one of the best for home automation. It is connected to the internet through a cellular modem since it is at a remote cabin. I have separated the 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections with a separate SSID and the automation devices exclusively use the 2.4GHz band.

    The issue I am having is that it will randomly lose connections to the devices and the devices can no longer connect. Usually, a few devices stay connected (not the same ones). Sometimes I can fix it with multiple reboots, but, often it requires a complete power cycle of the router before devices can connect again. The router firmware is up to date. When the router gets into the “no connections” state, I can also not connect to the 5GHz band with my phone or laptop, getting an error message “can’t get IP address”. I am not using fixed IP addresses.

    I couldn’t find anything in this article that seemed to apply. Any thoughts?

    • It’s one of the worst routers I’ve tested, Roland — more in this post. It’s kinda tricky for me to say anything when you started with “rated as one of the best….” Maybe the fact that you can’t find anything here is telling enough? Maybe the lesson here is to go back and question the source that rated it as one of the best?

      I’m not here to justify what you have already believed — it’d be much easier for everyone if you got a new router. 🙂

  25. Hi, Dong,
    Thank you for your library of great articles, which I found very helpful in setting up a new mesh network with two Asus RT-AX68U routers. It works great with one exception. Using Smart Connect all of my devices connect fine and switch between the 2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz bands appropriately. But when I “Hide SSID”, my Motorola One 5G Ace will no longer connect to the 5Ghz band – even when next to the router – and has a much slower connection on the 2.4 Ghz band than when the SSID is broadcast. If I try this with Smart Connect off, the Motorola phone will connect fine to the 5Ghz band if the SSID is broadcast, but not when the SSID is hidden. I have worked with Motorola who found no phone problem (even in safe mode. In fact, I did a factory reset which didn’t help.) Now I’m waiting patiently for help from Asus. Do you have any thoughts about what could be causing this?

    • That’s totally normal, Bob. A hidden SSID generally takes the backseat compared to a non-hidden one. Try hiding both bands or neither. Or you can separate them as two SSIDs.

      • Hi, Dong. You might be interested in knowing that I solved this problem. On my phone’s settings for manually setting up a network connection (like one would do connecting to an SSID that was hidden) there was a setting for hidden network. This was located at the very bottom of the list of settings, on the next page. I’ve never seen a separate setting for a hidden network. One wonders why the Motorola support tech didn’t think of this.

        • Glad you figured it out, Bob. But that won’t “solve” the problem if you use another Wi-Fi client. And you can’t do that on every single device — on some, the option to make it explicitly take a hidden network as the priority is not available at all. Thanks for sharing, though. 🙂

  26. Hi, I just got a ax92u but the 2.4ghz Guest Network has issue. I think it keeps dropping or kicks out all devices or some devices. Please help. Thanks.

  27. Hi, great post! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the answer to my problem and I’m hoping you can help.

    My router provides a perfect wired ethernet connection with no issues, but all my wireless devices disconnect from the router for a few seconds about once an hour. The router’s technical log is full of logs like “was disconnected on SSID…”, “has successfully connected to SSID…”. I believe it’s not DFS interference (which looked like the best explanation from your article) because the problem still happens for channel 36 and on 2.4GHz. I’ve checked the bands using a wifi analyzer and all looks good. It persists over a router restart. There’s nothing I can see in this article to explain the problem – e.g. I’m not using an extender. Any thoughts?

    • This can be a problem with the router itself, Andrew. Try the usual stuff like updating to the latest firmware, backing up, reseting, etc. Maybe try another router?

      • Since signal levels look good, interference may still be the problem on the 2.4 GHz band, however, on the 5 GHz band, I’m wondering if channel 36 may be an issue as well, since transmission output for the lower bandwidth channels has been limited, especially on older routers. It’s worth a try to go higher. I get stronger and more consistent signal output on my Asus 1900p on the higher bandwidth channels 149-161 in my 3 level townhouse. (I’m excluding 165 since I believe it’s width is limited to 2O MHz.)

      • Hi, thanks for the advice. I got onto BT who sent me another router of the same model (SmartHub) and it had exactly the same issue. They also did tests on the line and found nothing wrong (as expected since I have had no problems with the wired connection). So I’m thinking of buying a different model of router entirely – do you think that’s likely to help when both SmartHubs hit the same problem?

    • You may find that there is a device on your network which is scanning or probing the network. My guess is that might be scheduled to run hourly and doing so a bit aggressively which may interfere with some clients. Do you have any network monitoring or home automation equipment ?

    • I have similar issue and question is, if there can be a bad implementation of Wifi Key Rotation interval on router or client. Default value for rotation on Asus is 3600 sec – 1 hour… and what is my observation, this happens approx each hour… so may be client is disconnected for a while during key rotation. Anyway, what helps me little bit is to manual assign IP addresses in DHCP, turn off Wifi Roaming Assistant and turning off some options in Professional tab of Wifi config.

  28. I am using an EE Smart Hub which has recently bee replaced because of erratic WIFI problem. the problems still exist so the hub was not faulty.
    The cable connection runs faultlessly and without any issues. The WIFI however drops out or runs erratically quite frequently.
    I have checked with a WIFI analyser and it runs at between -65 dB and -40dB and even when the analyser shows a good signal it can still drop out.
    There are 14 wireless devices connected.
    When it drops out or becomes erratic restarting my computer or hub will normally rectify the problem, but as the problem seems to occur several times daily it is not practical option also some of the wireless devices are badly affected by the problem.
    I have tried updating my drivers, the hub firmware etc and am wondering if a WIFI booster will help or is a case of rubbish in rubbish out???

      • HI!,
        I have been using the EE hub for at least 12months. The problem has only arisen in the last two months and EE have replaced the hub but it has not cured the problem.

        My question is would a booster improve the situation or if not,
        Which make/model of hub would you suggest as a replacement.


  29. Hi Dong, In your router reviews you often indicate results like, “This router didn’t drop connections for xxx amount of time.”

    How could I similarly measure the stability of my routers (two ASUS AX11000 in mesh mode, though I am most dependent on the main router)? If it’s in the logs, what description should I look for?

    Thank You,

    • There’s no log, Nick. I actually wrote a piece of software that transfers data within a few network devices constantly and measures speeds, disconnections, etc. You can do something similar by copying data from one device to another. More on my testing in this post.

  30. For the first 5 months of this year I did not have any issues with wifi. Since May 31, 2021 I drop wifi at least once a day if not more for anywhere from 5 seconds to 5 hours. I have a Netgear AC1900 purchased in January. I have 16 devices connected – 4 wired and the rest wireless. The cable company replaced all lines and installed a new modem, I live near the beach so salt water intrusion was a problem, even so I still have drops. I changed from auto channel to a fixed channel. I still have drops. What should I be looking for to keep from dropping so much? Can this router handle this many devices?

      • Am I missing something Dong? She claims her Netgear 1900 was purchased in January. I would suspect her WiFi settings if the problem is limited to her WiFi clients. If it’s also happening with Ethernet connected devices, it could be the cable tap by her house or a problem in the node.

  31. Hi Dong,

    found this website very helpful, i was using linksys router E2500 for the past 5 years in my office, it was working fine, and then it started restarting 2 to 3 time a day, it was a old model router so i have purchased new Dual band Router linksys MR9600 on january 2021 and having same issue, it also gets restart automatically, i have configured my router with different settings, but no progress.
    Things i have already done:
    1 Used auto channels on both SSID
    2 Used selected channels on both SSID
    3 Changed my network switch to HP Aruba 2530
    4 replaced All network cable cat 6 under the floor and patch cord (connection between patch panel and switch)
    5 DHCP pool set to 100 IPs – starts from ( we have only 12 employees having 30 to 35 Devices, including desktop, laptops and mobiles)
    6 – office is large so we are using one AP Linksys LAPAC1200 using same setting, i.e SSID ,passwords but different channels ( when i observe my router by using different channels)

    sometimes router works without any issue for one or two weeks, but then it get restart , i have tried alot of options but still no luck.

    please advise if i missed something or have done wrong configuration.

    • Make sure the power (electricity) at the place for the router is OK, Ahsan. If it’s not a power issue, get a router from a different vendor. I’d recommend an Asus or Netgear.

      • Hi Dong,

        i have already plugged my router with different socket (directly in the wall) before 12 days, and my router has not restarted for 12 days, but now after 12 days it got restarted at 10pm in the evening time(after working hours).

        • If it restarts at a particular time like that, Ahsan, then it gotta be something to do with the power source, OR somebody has programmed it to automatically restart using its web interface. Sorry, I don’t have any better answer for you.

          • Dear Dong,

            Thanks for your constant support.

            I am sure there is no power issue, because router is connected with the same power source where other devices are connected , like server and switches. and they have no issue.
            and this router Linksys MR9600 does not have any option to set automatically restart the router..

            please see my router configuration for your reference.

            security mode wpa2 personal
            wife mode: mixed
            channel: 13 ( selected manually)
            channel width: 20 MHz only

            security mode wpa2 personal
            wife mode: mixed
            channel: 48 ( selected manually)
            channel width: up to 40 MHz

  32. Hi Dong
    My wifi calling at my home network is not working whereas it works fine in my office. My home router is Asus RT-AC87U and I am having an iPhone 12 pro. Since it is working fine in my office network, I guess my home router is the culprit. I have reset my router to factory settings but wifi calling on my iPhone still failed to work. Out of the blue, it will show wifi calling for a minute or two then it will drop off.
    I had a VPN client connected in the past but I had disconnected it long ago when my wifi calling started to have a connection issue.
    Could you please advise? Thank you in advance.

    James Lee

    • It might just be your internet connection, James. Home Internet is generally not as good for Wi-Fi calling as business one. But check out the QoS section in this post for more.

    • Hey I’ve been having a problem where no device in my house can connect to my 2.4g and the 2.4g does not even show up on my phone. Rarely when I’m close to my modem it will show up and I can connect but when I move less than a foot anyway it disconnects. I’ve searched everyone for a solution but nothing I’ve done in the settings or factory reset has worked. After talking to a technician he said I need a new modem is this true.

  33. Dong, great article as usual. I have a question about IP reservation. I have an Apple TV wired to internet through a MoCA adapter, I noticed that sometimes the Apple TV looses the internet connection while my other Apple TV wired through an Ethernet port very seldom loose the internet connection. Should I assigned a fixed IP address to the MoCA device?. Is it also a good idea to make IP reservation to all my wired Apple TV’s?. How many IP reservations can I make on my router (GT-AC5300).

      • Dong,

        Thank you for your prompt reply. I understand is better to use network cables than Moca but my home only came pre-wired with two network ports that I am using for the aimesh nodes. I have a third aimesh node at my garage connected to a powerline adapter since it was the only way to get a wired connection inside my garage that was not getting wi-fi signal due to the concrete wall construction. The powerline adapter gives me over 400 Mb/s out of my Gb internet but I only need the aimesh to wirelessly connect my smart garage door opener and my smart sprinkler system. I only use MoCA adapters because my home came pre-wired with coax cable at all rooms. I am currently using two MoCa satélites connected to a MoCa adapter on my router. Both of them are getting over 900 Mb/s internet connection. (I get a max of 800 Mb/s on Wi-Fi and 980 Mb/s when my computer is wired through a switch on my Gigabit fiber connection so I believe I am getting good speed through the MoCAs). I went through the MoCA manual and they recommend reserving the IP address of the device so I am going to do that. I may as well reserve the assigned IP address of my powerline adapter (TP-Link AV2000) though so far I have not experience any drops on the aimesh node signal.

      • Dong, to clarify my previous post. The MoCA adapter do not get an IP address the device connected to it gets the IP assignment therefore I need to reserve the Apple TV IP address. The AV2000 does not get an IP address but my third Aimesh node gets the IP address. I have noticed that the wired AiMesh gets a Static IP assigned instead of DHCP. Shall I leave the AiMesh as it is and not do an IP reservation?

        • I know how those things work, Ricardo. Like I said earlier, there’s no harm in reserving IP addresses as long as they are used.

  34. Great summary on ways to stabilize the routers based on environments. PSA – disconnect problems I’m seeing are directly related to Asus’ latest firmwares across ALL of their products since January 2021 firmwares, mostly stemming from them launching AImesh features in Nov. Latest batch of updates address dnsmasq vulnerabilities. You can see many people complaining in their forums about the deauths in logs, but doesn’t look like Asus is trying to fix it. Wi-fi crashing out randomly on all devices in both bands. . I’d buy a new router suspecting the age of ac1900, as I liked the Asus configuration options, but it definitely seems to be pointed at firmware after last 4 months of troubleshooting.

    • Dong, I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.
      I have RT-AC5300 as master for Aimesh to RT-AC68u. Both running latest version of merlin.
      Internet is poor at the cottage running off high altitude satellite with latency of around 700ms.
      I powered up the cottage and everything connected. I upgraded the firmware on the routers as they would not have been updated since last spring. 5300 was new last year.
      Wifi radio is turn off and on. I will stay on for hours other times on and on every 10 minutes. Reduced TX from Performance to Good on 2.5 and both 5g setup.
      Do you think it’s the firmware. I see ASUS has a newer one then merlin. Merlin patch in Alpha. I can wait for Merlin for a week or two.
      The routers are not hardwired together. I also don’t really need the aimesh one on for inside the cottage. It is used to extend into the yard.
      Wifi seems to recycle (router does not recycle) more when hardwired PC in one and RT-AC68u is on. However can be stable for hours. Have not used to for hours since reducing power level. Though it did cycle right after I changed them.
      Thank you for your time.

      • I’d go with Asus firmware in your case Alpha is a bit too buggy early, Vic. Also, if possible, run a network cable to link the two.

        • I will wait a few weeks for Merlin to catch up. Hopefully that will fix the issue. I might do a factory reset re-apply 386.2_4 as well and see if that fixes it up. I will keep everyone posted.

          • You can always back up the setting and restore them with the newer version then. But sure, you can wait, too. More on Asus routers and Merlin in this post.

          • Well I stopped be Lazy, Saturday did a factory reset and on my 5300 and all is good now. Reset my wifi / passwords and firewall setups. I did not export the setting as I figured it was upgrading from aimesh 1.0 to 2.0 without a factory reset caused the problem. After main router was solid. I reset my AC66u node. Has been stable for hours and the laptop I was using was taking big win 10 update. So I think I am good.

  35. Dong, thanks for another excellent and comprehensive article. I’ve used many of your suggestions, but I’m still scratching my head over the connection quality between my Asus AiMesh system (3 XT8 units) and my 3rd Gen. Nest Learning Thermostat.

    The Nest is located approximately 6 feet from one of my XT8 nodes, yet still consistently connects (via the 2.4 Ghz band – no Smart Connect, it doesn’t seem to work well in my system) to my router located over 25 feet away. If I try to reconnect the Nest via the Asus GUI, or bind it to the closest unit, I get a warning message that the signal is too weak and may preclude connection to that unit. Same result occurs if I try to set the Nest for the 5 Ghz-1 band (3rd Gen Nests are dual-banded).

    I’ve heard comments that Nest IoT products don’t play well with Asus mesh systems. I’m wondering if that’s the case here, or I’m missing something obvious.

    • Thomas – I have exactly the same issue with a Nest 3rd gen thermostat and my mesh XT8 system. I have tried lots of configuration changes on the 2.4Ghz band – lots on the internet about IoT devices on Asus 2.4 Ghz

      I read an article today which suggested that after a recent ASUS firmware update it effectively broke the 2.4Ghz band and causes regular wi-fi device and internet disconnects. Unfortunately the only way to resolve it is a full factory reset of the nodes and then manually resetting all the configuration. I plan to try this at the weekend. I will feedback on my results.

    • Thomas

      I did a full factory reset of my my three XT8 nodes running the latest version of firmware. I manually entered all the settings/configuration. I created 3 separate WiFi networks again (I use ethernet backhaul) – all WiFi settings left as default. So far Nest 3rd generation thermostat is working perfectly with no drop outs or offline in app.

    • Thanks for the great post Don !

      Hi Thomas !

      I am struggling myself with the 2.4gHz network and “smart” devices. It seems that sometimes the devices really connect to the worst possible node and have terrible connection as a result. In my case it seems like a networking / IP issue where devices stop responding after a router reboot.

      I came across this post (see link below) on stability issues with the Asus xt8 and it does appear that newer firmware really broke things.

      Most people seem to see all their issues going away if they roll back to firmware 42095 (August release… 6 releases ago !)

      I have not tried it myself. I just did test the USB trick that Don just suggested, but do intend to try this next

      Hope this helps.

      • Yeap, that’s the general issue with the XT8. Here’s the link for the 42095 version if you want to try it, Thomas. But if you backup the router, reset it, and restore after each firmware update (or better yet set it up from scratch) that might help, too.

  36. Thanks Dong ! Another great post. Honestly I have learned so much through all your posts, they are truly fantastic.

    Very stupid question on the subject of interference, and more specifically on interference within my own mesh network. As you mentioned in another post, one cannot control the channel used by individual satellites in an Asus AI mesh network (can only control a channel for all). Yet if I am using a 5GHz back haul, that means that the router and the satellite need to be close enough for the 5G to get through, (ideally without too much loss). But since the 2.4G signal propagates further and goes through walls better, it seems that the router and satellite will necessarily interfere with each other. Is that true ? Why would AI mesh system not try to optimize the mesh by using the most appropriate channel on each AP so that they don’t interfere with each other?

    Looking at wifi analyzer, my AP is placed just right so that the 5 GHz signal covers the house well (without the satellite it doesn’t work in the back). But on 2.4gHz it feels like there is a very strong overlap and I could almost do with the 2.4 turned off on the satellite.

    • That’s not exactly true, Leo. That’s where a mesh is better than an extender. That’s because the two hardware units that have overlapped signals work together. You can think of them as sharing the same signals, so to speak. But the 2.4GHz band is generally congested even by non-Wi-Fi devices anyway — your analyzer won’t show these signals. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  37. Hi Dong,
    I have an ASUS ZenWifi mesh using both a wired and wireless backhaul. At least once a day I lose my internet for 5-10 seconds, both wired and wireless. I am running the latest firmware version. Any thoughts as to what I should try – could it be hardware?

      • Many thanks Dong. I should have mentioned that I have the ZenWIFI AX, but I will follow your instructions about DFS. We are rurally located, and can only see one neighbors WiFi, but are close to a number of radio towers. Additionally we are approx 6.5 miles from an airport!

        • Yeap, I suspected that you use the XT8, Steve. You’re close to an airport. Disable DFS, including for the backhaul band, — you’ll get slower speed but things will be more stable. There’s no way around it.

  38. Hi Dong,
    I was a longtime Amplifi HD user and switched to the Linsys MX10 with 3 (MX5300) nodes in Dec. They are all using backhaul to the main. I am constantly having to start the main node and the firmware has never updates. The app is also slow to update.
    I was thinking of switching back to Amplifi with the new Alien and 2 extra Aliens using backhaul. But, you have made me start thinking about switching to ASUS instead. What do you think? Dump the MX units? ASUS or Alien. House is 5800 sqft. 3 stories.

      • Seconded (fwiw). I was going to ask if you had any suggestions as to why my Lenovo laptops can’t connect in SmartConnect mode while my mobile and IoT devices connect just fine.

        Dong, thanks for all of your informative reviews and articles. I’m fairly technical but I still learn a lot from you.

      • Hi Dong,

        I was just searching your site for a detailed on how to setup smart connect rules on an Asus router and saw this comment. Just curious if you are working on anything that explains how to set the smart connect rules? I reviewed the ASUS website and it leaves quite a bit to be desired. I am thinking of using smart connect on my XT8s but I am not quite sure how to set them.


        • Don’t use SmartConnect, Mario. It’s not that smart. I’d recommend using the bands as separate SSIDs — you can even use the same name for them, at least for the 5GHz ones. You’ll note that I don’t use SC in my reviews’ screenshots. I might write a post about that at a later time.

  39. Hi Dong — I have the ZenWifi AX router and node set up in my house. Updated to latest firmware, reset to factory default and then reset my network through web GUI. The node is connected to router through dedicated wireless backhaul on the 5Ghz-2 channel. Because of location of node in my home I can’t use wired backhaul.

    I’m having an issue where the node randomly disconnects from the router. It will flash blue for a few minutes and then reconnect (solid white). Great signal strength (-44 dBm). Disconnects happen periodically throughout the day. The main router always maintains its Internet connection to the cable modem. As a result of the node disconnect all connected devices reroute to the main router. So I end up with 30 devices on the main router and nothing connected to the node. Then slowly as devices find the node again it will connect them — until the node randomly disconnects and all devices go back to the main router.

    Is this an issue I can address myself or a hardware issue that needs to be sent to ASUS for diagnosis?

  40. Hi Dong
    I have just joined Vodafone broadband after having years of Stone Age broadband speeds with BT and others.
    It seem I’m getting good speeds into the router but then crazy poor WiFi signal throughout the house.
    I cannot game, I can barely watch tv. And signal is constantly dropping.
    A colleague has mentioned adding a few mesh access points?

  41. Hi Dong I have a virgin media hub 3 and have had it for 3 months with no issues. We decided to get 3 wireless cameras fitted to the outside of our home and since we did this our wifi is now terrible. I can be just 2 meters from the hub and my devices loose connection. I tried different channels but no improvement? Is this because of the new cameras and if i were to wire the cameras up to the network would this restore the wifi back to a better state?

      • Hi Dong thanks for your speedy reply, I turned all cams off and reset the home hub 3 and still had bad WIFI afterwards. So luckily I had a BT Superhub lying around and put this in the center of the home and sent a Ethernet to it from the virgin hub. I setup the BT hub first now WI-FI runs through the BT hub and all works very well. The virgin hub is very poor for Wi-fi in my home. Thanks for your help again.

  42. Hi Dong – this is the most useful piece I’ve read on troubleshooting wifi issues at the router level (and I’ve since followed you down a rabbit hole on other posts).

    I’m completely at a loss for my issue and wondering if you’ve seen anything similar. I recently replaced my router with a newer one – same SSID and password for wifi. I can get about 90% of my IoT devices (mainly outlets, switches) to connect to the 2.4 ghz and then the network refuses to let me connect new devices. Refuses phone, tablet, laptops, but retains IoT existing connections. If I adjust the wifi or router settings, or reset the connection or device, I can temporarily connect a phone/tablet/laptop for a few minutes.

    Never had this issue with the previous router, and that one connected to 100% of my IoT devices. Checked the channel, bandwidth, DHCP. I don’t have DFS controls. Anything else you can think of? I returned this router and replaced it with another unit thinking it was the unit, but same issue occurred.

    • Check the IP pool and security settings mentioned in the post, Diana. Also, make sure you use the same IP subnet, meaning if your old router used the 192.168.x.1 IP, then the x should remain the same as the new one. If you don’t remember what you used, reset the IoT devices and reconnect them.

  43. Hi Dong,
    I recently switched from Linksys 1900AC wireless router to the TP Link Deco M9 plus (router + 2 AP mesh). We’ve been having problems where it appears to drop the internet link periodically throughout the day. Wired devices show no issues, wifi local devices do not appear to drop, but my VPN tunnel will close for a minute and I lose SSH connections to office hosts.

    Any thoughts on this? Wife is getting frustrated since she’s always online.


  44. Hi Dong, came across your site. Awesome info! Maybe I can ask you a question: I’ve got fiber 600 Mbps entering my home in my living. My desktop is ~40ft away in the adjacent room (= study, 1 wall in between). Since no ethernet runs to the study, I think about the ASUS RT-AX92U (2-pack mesh). One to be used as main router (living), the other in my study wired to my desktop. I’ll use the backhaul for communication. The node in de study can also cover (by 2,4 n + 5 ac) the garden directly behind the study. Do you think the AX92U is a great buy, or do you recommend another type/solution? The mesh feature is not mandatory.

  45. Came across this post through a google search….
    I don’t know if you’ll have a solution to this problem I’ve been having but I occasionally get WiFi isn’t connected to the internet errors which lasts a couple seconds to a few minutes randomly through the day, it’s extremely annoying when working from home getting disconnected and having to reconnect to conference calls all day, or in the middle of gaming afterwards.

    I’ve already tried rebooting the cable modem and wireless router, forgetting the wireless access point/reset network settings on devices but it still happens. Any thoughts on ways to find a remedy to this problem?


  46. Hello! I recently found this site while searching about AI Mesh and Asus routers. Lots of info and very rich piece of work you got here. I’m not too into tech and I actually feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information available. I will make this quick to see if you can help me. I have a 1450 sq ft. 2 story town house in Miami, FL. Wi-fi has always given us issues and now we notice it even more, due to the fact that the kids have remote school. ISP is Comcast Xfinity 300 mbps plan, Arris SB6190 modem, AI Mesh RT-AC3100 router (primary) and RT-AC68P (node). I used to have the cable modem and primary router inside the master bedroom (2nd floor) and the AC68P node in the living room downstairs, but I decided to bring the modem and AC3100 to the living room downstairs, because I became a bit scared that all these radio waves could cause health issues since they were concentrated inside our room.
    Connections are wireless because it is almost impossible to run a cable in this house. I wish I could though.
    At this point, my primary router AC3100 is in the living room along with the modem, and the router is located nearby the stairs that lead to the second floor. The AC68P node is located in the hallway on the second floor and it is about 23 to 25 feet away from the primary router. My questions:

    1. I have read some bad things about the SB6190 and the Puma chip causing latency issues. I have noticed my modem drops signal very often and it always leaves me thinking if the issues could be on the ISP side or mine. Should I get a different cable modem for this AI Mesh setup? If so what would you recommend?

    2. As far as the AI Mesh goes I’m using this dual band routers because its what I have and I wanted to take advantage of whatever resources I had without spending too much money. Should I get another node to place on the first floor about 10 feet away from the primary mesh router?

    Thanks for time and attention in advance. I would just like to make my setup a bit more reliable. My kids home schooling gets impacted a lot when the internet doesn’t work right and I would like to see if I can fix this.

  47. I have a new PC which I’m trying to connect to my ASUS Zen WiFi AX6600, and I’m not getting very far. The PC came with an ASUS PCE-AX3000, and while it connects to the router, it usually doesn’t get Internet access without running the Windows troubleshooter, or manually flushing DNS and releasing and renewing ipconfig. And when it does get Internet access, it usually lasts about 30 seconds before losing it.

    I have copied the latest firmware over to the WiFi adapter, reset my router a couple times and updated it to its latest firmware, to no avail. I have also tried removing the WiFi adpater and re-enabling the motherboard’s built in WiFi, but get pretty much the same results.

    It seems unlikely that the problem lies with the router, because I have multiple devices connecting to the Internet through it with no trouble. But it also seems unlikely to be a hardware problem with the new PC, as two different WiFi connections are having the same problem. Is there a setting in Windows 10 that would be causing this? Or do you have another article you could point me to which might help for this issue, where one device can connect to the WiFi but can’t get consistent Internet access, while other devices have no problem with the same router?


  48. Extremely grateful to have found your site. The past week I have been having Wi-Fi issues. After many speed tests, I concluded it was my Apple Extreme. Checked the firmware per your article and found the last update was May 2019.
    Guess I didn’t realize it was that old!
    I’ve been reading many of your reviews, so I can find the best replacement. 🙂

    • Happy to have you, Michele. You’ll likely find what you need here, mostly because almost any routers you find here will be better than the one you have. 🙂

  49. Hi Dong,

    I live near the airport and while playing Xbox which is connected to the node I had some instant connection lags. Searching the internet brought me here and as always helpful article.

    I believe the issue could be backhaul connection between the nodes of my Asus ZenWiFi AX. I disabled 160Hz for 5Hz 2 which is now 20/40/80Hz but can not disable “Auto select channel including DFS channels”. Every time I unselect it and apply it refreshes as selected. Also available control channels are 100-140Hz which according to this article are the DFS channels. Am I doing something wrong?

    My ISP speed is 200mbps download so I don’t need gb wireless seeds. What I need is solid connection with no interruptions or lags. Thanks.

    • @Dong Ngo, unfortunately not possible in my home, or I would use cable for sure. I’ve disabled 160Hz for backhaul, is there anything else I can do? Thanks.

  50. i don’t think combine 2.4GHz and 5GHz is a good idea. when the client switch between two band, gaming dropout happens. seperate is better.

    • You’re right TKO. This is more about “compatibility” as in making sure something can get connected. Separating them will give you more control.

  51. Hi Dong, your articles are excellent and very informative. I’ve progressively improved my home network based on your articles. I moved from my ISP Modem/router to bridge mode and standalone router. I also added a Netgear AP(wired) for wifi purposes because of our larger house. Unfortunately, I am not ready for a Mesh setup yet. What is the preferred setup same SSID for my router and AP or different? I was cautious with no overlapping channels etc. but had issues with drop-out, so I am trying different SSID’s. Unfortunately, the changing of SSID is painful with the number of clients.
    Any suggestions or articles that I may have missed be very appreciated.

  52. This post is very informative. I’m trying some new things as a result, but still having an issue. My issue may be too specific to warrant a reply, but I’ll give it a shot and if you have time and advise I’d very much appreciate it!

    I upgraded to an Orbi mesh network and was quite happy for about 2 months. I have quite a few smart home devices, and everything was working beautifully.
    One day I decided to add in a raspberry pi with and a Conbee II zigbee stick. That evening I noticed the wifi was completely disappearing and reappearing every 10min or so. I have no idea if that had anything to do with the problems, but of course I started googling and found that zigbee can cause some interference. I unplugged it and haven’t plugged it back in, but the problems have remained and gotten worse.

    I’ve tried all sorts of things, but never got it to return to “normal”. Sometimes changing channels helped, but it wouldn’t last long. I notice on day my laptop was getting extremely slow speeds while my phone was still getting good speeds. I tried turning off the satellite that day, and my laptop bumped up to reasonable speeds. So I tried moving the satellite around and fiddling with various settings, but that didn’t help. So I just kept the satellite off for a while, but after a week or so the disconnecting/reconnecting issue returned.

    I’ve also tried factory resets, which didn’t help (or at least not for long). I even tried a factory reset and just left the default SSID and only connecting my phone. I also confirmed the firmware was up-to-date. That particular time, after only 10 minutes I noticed the wifi disconnecting and reconnecting again (on for a few minutes, then off for a minute, then repeat).

    You mention in this post that radar (and airports) can cause disconnections like this. I DO live 1 mile away from a very small airport. But I’ve tried playing around with the channels and that doesn’t seem to fix the issue, or at least not for more than a few days. I’ve tried doing the site survey you recommend and there didn’t seem like there was an unusual amount of stuff going on. I only have one neighbor who’s a good distance from me, so I typically only see my own network and sometimes hers and a very weak signal coming from one of our town’s ISP’s open hotspots.

    Any thoughts? Is it possible I may have somehow killed the router? Could the rasberry pi/zigbee stuff I was fiddling with have anything to do with it?

    • It’s unlikely something to do with the Zigbee, Jacob. But it can be anything. It’s impossible to diagnose from afar, unfortunately. It can be just issued with the hardware itself.

  53. I live in a complex with lots of ppl having wifi
    I would get frequent disconnects on my ipad/iphone when in my bedroom, router was in lounge. Ipad worked perfectly fine in the lounge.
    I changed the radio frequency etc with no benefit.

    Interestingly i split 2.5ghz and 5ghz and only allow ipad/iphone to 5ghz and have not since had a problem. My iot decices connect fine to the 2.4ghz.

    Router – tp link Ax3000.

    Sadly I was having a similar problem with my apple airports and replaced the router unnecessarily

  54. Having issues with WiFi and own Roku streamer. The Roku may be your issue. The Roku uses WiFi channel to talk with its remote. How does Roku pick WiFi channel? It follows your router. If router is on 48 the Roku picks 48. If the router moves to 36 the Roku moves to 36. Had major issues with WiFi stability. The router kept changing channels to fix inference, but Roku followed. Fixed Roku WiFi issues, smooth sailing.

  55. Hi

    Do you have an article on how to set up FTTP interface with a Talktalk super router as my WIFI keeps dropping, more so when 2/3 people are doing Zoom together. Thanks

  56. I mentioned this on your AX82U review. Have been very satisfied with my new AiMesh network (AX82U as my main router on the first floor and TUF AX3000 wired as my node on second floor). Now I have full 5Ghz coverage and full internet speed as advertised by my ISP around the house.

    Was having problem with some of my older devices (especially the older IoT that I use to control my air conditioner). Tried to reset those IoT devices, change a lot of setting on my router but still have troubles. Finally change my 2.4Ghz security to WPA2 only (I use separate SSID for 2.4 and 5Ghz) while keeping WPA2/WPA3 for the 5Ghz channel. Now all of my devices are working fine and I am very satisfied with it.

  57. Does anyone know from Asus confirmation as to whether Guest nodes will fully support Guest Networking in the Asus ZenWifi AX and if so, when? Thank you.

  58. Hello, just received the RT-AX89X this weekend and so far it has been somewhat unstable. Twice it has locked up to the point that both wireless and directly wired clients lost connectivity. I could not even connect to the management IP address of the router, it seemed to be completely locked up. The only way to get things back up and running was to power cycle it. The last messages in the log prior to it locking up look like this:

    wlan: [0: E:NSS] [nss-wifili]: wifi peer message send fail2

    The firmware that it came with is and when I check for updates it says “Temporarily unable to get the latest firmware information. Please try again later.”

    Have you seen similar issues with the router and how did you resolve?

    • Happened to my Asus TUF AX3000 router too (I think it’s regional Asia type only). You need to do a manual update (download the newest firmware to pc/laptop, connect the pc to router and upload it from router menu). In my case, I have to reset it a couple of times to access the router page.

    • you can manually update the firmware from asus and apply it from a pc. IT also depends on how you have the router set up. I have an AXE-11000 and since i have an xfinity wifi router, I have it set up as an access point so it wont hand out ip addresses. I even have it set up as the master to an AI Mesh system with an AX88u and an AC1900 connected to it wirelessly so the main one will update all 3 of them. how it acts is all determined by your setup. Hope this helps.


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