Packets or packets are small units of data that pass through a network. When you send information, the data is divided into small packets and then recombined at the other end. Loss of these packets is called packet loss, that is, they have not reached their destination. These packets can pass through any type of network: WiFi or Ethernet. WiFi loss is much more important, and in this article, we will talk about WiFi packet loss and how you test and repair it.
What is a WiFi packet loss?
There are many reasons why WiFi packet loss can occur. It can be radio frequency interference, weak signal, signal-source distance, and even faulty cables and hardware. Since the signal is in the air, the risk of data loss is even greater. Fortunately, technology has advanced with better source and reception, but data loss still occurs.
Too much packet loss can slow down the Internet experience. So if your internet is working properly, here are some ways to test and fix WiFi packet loss.
How to test and repair lost WiFi packets
Before testing begins, if everything goes well, you will have two options. Defective cables and hardware. This is something that can be diagnosed by changing the cables and the router or repeater.
Packet loss test and diagnosis
When data is sent, they jump from one network to another. Data loss occurs between hops or congestion at the junction. To know where packet loss occurs, you need to know which parts of the connection are slow and the networks are causing the problem.
1] Traceroute and Ping
Traceroute is a command in which a sample of data is sent to the destination and the result of each hop is displayed with the IP address. If there is a data loss, it will be marked with a star and then an expired request. In traceroute results, the first initial hops are made from your computer to the router, then to your ISP server. If you see timeout on these roads, you know the problem is on your side.
Ping, on the other hand, involves finding out if the host is available and measuring the response time. The advantage of using ping is that you have an idea of the percentage of data loss.
2] Microsoft Network Monitor
It is a free tool available in Windows (netmon.exe) where you select the network card and start capturing the data that comes out and on the computer. It is useful for capturing, viewing, and analyzing protocol mail traffic and other system messages. You can troubleshoot and test protocol implementations. Useful for professionals.
Fixed loss of WiFi packets
Distance between source and signal
One of the main reasons for network packet loss is that the distance between the source and the signal is too great. If your device, laptop, or phone is far away or in a blind spot, this will cause a lot of packet loss. There are two solutions. You can choose to close the source, or you can add repeaters or get a powerful router to make sure the blind spots are covered.
Mesh routers are a good example that can help you cover more area. Some routers offer applications and services that can help you determine the coverage area and blind spots.
These are the main cause of data loss. The routers can operate in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range. While the former offers a wide range, the latter offers better resistance. That said, wireless devices do comply with 802.11 (a / b / g / n / ac) standards.
Let’s take a construction example, if there are too many radio devices in this range, then packet loss is inevitable. When an 802.11 box hears another signal in range and in almost the same direction, it delays transmission until the signal weakens or stops. If interrupted too often, this will result in a relay request, which will reduce performance and throughput.
This problem has been resolved with the 802.11n standard. It uses multiple radios from a single access point to transmit multiple WiFi transmissions in different directions simultaneously. This increases the chances of lossless data transmission.
Therefore, the ideal solution is to switch to a smarter router, which offers a signal to noise ratio (SNR). The increasing gain in one direction may not be reduced and therefore you need a router with adaptive antenna arrays and software algorithms to get the gain.
Upgrade or Replace Ethernet Cables
If you have been using a network cable to the router for a long time, you may want to upgrade it. For example, category Cat 5 offers a speed of 100 MBPS while category 6a offers 10,000 MPBS every 100 meters.
Loss of WiFi packets on the network is nothing new, but with so many WiFi devices around, high multimedia consumption, it has become more common. The need for a smarter router in software and hardware is the demand of the day. I hope the message is easy to follow and that you have been able to resolve or understand what was causing the loss of the WiFi packets.