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My WiFi adapter is starting to suck? | WiFi USB tethering?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

when i first bought this wifi adapter it was working great. over the past week i notice that it is starting to suck. i'm not 100% sure if the wifi adapter is the issue or if it's an issue with the distance and power of the modem, or a combination of both.


we got a new modem recently. it's in the basement and i'm on the top floor. when i first connected to the wifi from the new modem i didn't notice any problems at all. it's been over 3 weeks since then and for the past week i've been having problems with getting a consistent wifi connection from the modem.



i test it by attempting to stream a youtube video on 1080p. it is supposed to buffer instantaneously. lately it has often been buffering slowly or not at all. when i turn off the wifi adapter and then turn it back on, it seems to work perfectly for a few minutes and then starts to crap out again.

for the first time, i had to try adjusting the antenna on my wifi adapter. it has two massive (maybe 7-8 inches?) antenna. i would adjust the antenna until the youtube video starts buffering fast. just a few minutes ago it fully crapped out. i tried adjusting the antenna and it wouldn't connect, but it showed that i was still connected to the wifi and that the connection was strong, which is weird.


the main thing that makes me think that the wifi adapter is the sole problem is that my phone is connected to the wifi and i rarely notice any connection issues. connection issues on my phone are so rare that they are more likely due to problems on the other end. so my phone is right beside my pc, which has the wifi adapter, but the wifi adapter craps out while my phone gets a great connection.



i decided to use usb tethering to connect the wifi from my phone to my pc. my data is turned off so i'm hoping that it's not secretly using my data instead.


anyway, is my wifi adapter dying or something? should i use usb tethering on my phone from now on or should i buy a new wifi adapter for my pc?

Thanks in advance.

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9 hours ago, kaddle said:

-long snip-

  1. What are the makes/models of the modem and WiFi adapter?
  2. When you run a speed test, what speeds are you getting if you’re on the upper floor compared to nearby the wireless router?
  3. What speeds are you promised based on your internet connection package?


First of all, USB WiFi adapters perform poorly in general. If it’s the only thing you can use to get WiFi, then you’ll have to accept that it will always behave like this, even with good network optimization.


Secondly, most consumer WiFi routers do not perform well when it comes to vertical signal broadcasting. Furthermore, signal frequencies weaken the more layers of obstruction that have to be penetrated. You’re trying to get a good signal 2 levels up which highlights the vertical challenge and there are 2 solid floors in between you and the WiFi router. The only way to solve this is to add at least 2 more wireless access points at each level, preferably on a gigabit ethernet uplink to the main router/switch, and configure them properly.


Thirdly, some phones just have better WiFi antennae that can utilize even moderately weak signals, so it’s no surprise that your phone is performing better. But keep in mind, that phones can fall back on 3G/4G/LTE/5G data signals when WiFi is weak making you think that the phone has a better connection.


Finally, the fact that your WiFi connection seems to be better just after you re-connect but fades a few moments later suggests to me that your wireless airspace might be congested. This can be optimized to some degree, but if your neighbours’ WiFi signals are taking up all the usable spectrum, you will get slow speeds since clients must now “wait their turn” to communicate. I’d suggest you run WiFi Analyzer and post the screenshots of the ‘Networks’ and ‘Analyze’ pages (let’s see what’s happening on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands).

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