NuBryte Support Center

    NuBryte Connectivity and WiFi Troubleshooting

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    We only suggest steps because we do not support the maintenance and operation of your home network. All things being equal the Touchpoint will connect to a standard WiFi network with no issues.

     

    First, reboot!

    The first troubleshooting step. Reboot the access point router first and reset the Touchpoint(s) using the pinhole reset on the left hand side of the panel bezel then test. If unsuccessful, repeat the reset procedure before beginning troubleshooting.

     Physical Interference: The Most Common Problem

    All homes have WiFi dead spots. 

    A graphical presentation of a WiFi signal is approximately the shape of a donut, with the antenna at the center ( hole ). The signal is strongest in the center of the cake part of the donut , closest to the hole and fades away outside of that boundary. ( Yes, you can be too close to the access point, that is only a problem within 2 feet or less) To further complicate matters the WiFi donut is lopsided, with more “cake” on the bottom of the donut if you view it from its side. That means that devices on the upper floors of a multi-story home or office will get degraded WiFi signal if the router is located on the ground floor. With the previous explanation in mind, inspect your home in relation to the routers location using the rules noted below.

     

    Simple WiFi rules:

    • Make sure that your router's antennas are securely attached and are positioned upright, perpendicular to the floor. Models with internal antenna should be placed in the OEM stand provided.
    • The router should be placed as high as possible in the room.
    • The router must not buried on a book shelf or blocked behind large metallic of fluid filled objects (like an aquarium). That will cause the signal to degrade and significantly reduce the range.
    • Place the router out in the open as much as possible so the signal can travel freely within as much of the line of sight path to the TouchPoint as possible.
    • Metal studs used in newer construction can adversely impact WiFi performance, particularly if the TouchPoint and router are located on the opposite sides of the same wall.
    Based on your assessment of your homes layout, you may want to consider moving the  access point to a more central location within the desired coverage area. Of course, placement options are limited because the router must be near a cable or suitable telephone jack. Most cable modems can plug into any cable outlet and DSL modems usually plug into most telephone jacks without special treatment. However, remember to switch out any filters that might be attached.
     
    If your Touchpoint is on fringe of the router's coverage zone and the home is limited in suitable locations for your router, a new , more powerful access point or the addition of range extenders (see bottom paragraph) may the best solution.

    WiFi Network Congestion

    The "newer" 5 Ghz WiFi band has significantly less congestion problems at the moment because most  US Wi-Fi routers and devices in use the 2.4 GHz radio band. (This is rapidly changing as older equipment is removed from service.) Currently the NuBryte uses the 2.4 Ghz WiFi band. (5G is slated for inclusion on the next generation device.)

    The 2.4 Ghz band   has 11 channels in the United States. Only 3 of the 11 channels can run simultaneously without overlapping or interfering with each other: channels 1, 6, and 11. 

     

    Interference from other routers in the vicinity is a very common source of connectivity problems, especially in densely populated areas such as zero lot line housing developments, apartment complexes and crowded commercial areas

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    Not only do you have to contend with competition for limited bandwidth among wireless users, other devices use the 2.4GHz band. For example, baby monitors ,cordless phones and other electrical devices , primarily microwave ovens, interfere with Wi-Fi signals.

    Note the bottom axis of the graph below. The numbers represent the WiFi channels, the solid lines are the relative strengths of the detected networks.   The strength axis is read  strongest from the top in dBm, which stands for decibels relative to a milliwatt. Recall that for measurements in decibels, each change of 3dB (m), plus or minus, is a doubling or halving of the relative power  of the signal.  -30dBm is a  much more powerful source than a  -80dBm, signal because -80dBm is a much lower power level.

    If the illustration below was a representation of networks detected at the NuBryte location and you were using WiFi channel 6, unless your network was represented by the top purple line, the NuBryte would not connect or intermittently connect to the WiFi network. If you were using channel 11, you would have intermittent loss of connectivity when the microwave was used depending on the proximity to the microwave.

     

    NOTE: Many routers are set to broadcast on channel 6 by default right out of the box and will remain on Channel 6 throughout their service lives without direct operator intervention. More "deluxe" devices have some type of congestion detection capability. On those units, Auto setting usually is sufficient in relatively uncrowded areas. That said all access points / routers can have issues automatically selecting the best network channel on very crowded local airwaves even if the unit has congestion detection capability and uses "Auto" for channel selection

    You can check if other wireless routers might be interfering by a looking at the list of nearby wireless networks. If you're using a laptop ( Windows, iOS) click the network icon in the lower right corner or Settings >WiFi  if using a smart phone. Rescan for active networks at the TouchPoints location. 

    NOTE: You can also check with a free programlike WiFi Analyzer for Android devices or WiFi Finder on Apple iOS devices) ,on your smart phone to scan for broadcasting WiFi networks, the signal strength and the channel it is using. These programs are a bit more sophisticated than the native WiFi managers on your devices and provide more detailed information.

    If you see other networks  with more bars of signal at the TouchPoints location than the local network there is a  good chance the other networks are  interfering with your signal. Verifying the channel in use and changing the channel of your WiFi access point / router may be your best option.

    Once you have decided on a channel to switch to, you'll need to log in to the router's control panel and change the channel. To access the router's Web-based control panel, open a new window in your browser while you're connected to your router's wireless network and then type in its IP address (most commonly 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1). Consult the manufactures documentation for details.

     

    Alternative Solutions

    Range Extenders ( some times referred to as "repeaters" )

    As previously stated all homes have dead spots and we know that there can be significant WiFi interference in the neighborhood.  If you have either issue, or both, and the logistics of moving the access point is too expensive and time consuming, your best solution may be a WiFi range extender (takes the router's wireless output and rebroadcasts it to where it's needed) .

    Range extenders can run from $29.99 to well over $100. Most use Power Line technology that employs existing home wiring to send the home network Ethernet signals to remote wireless transmitters. Setup usually is simple and often requires a small app installed on a PC or laptop / tablet to configure the wireless security. 

    The downside for extenders is that inexpensive units can be bandwidth limited. TouchPoint communications aren't normally a problem because TouchPoints have a small network footprint. Another drawback is that wireless devices can't distinguish signal sources, just SSIDs. A wireless device will connect to the strongest signal source regardless of capability. If that is an inexpensive extender, performance may suffer for power users.

    NBryte TouchPoints are labeled "TP" on the diagram.

     

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