Win10 Wifi slow and erratic, IOS and Droid devices OK Solved

  1.    05 Feb 2017 #1

    Win10 Wifi slow and erratic, IOS and Droid devices OK

    I am in a vacation rental house that uses a Comcast TG862 combo modem/router. We have several IOS and droid devices, they are all fine, with Ookla routinely showing download speeds of 20 to 30 mbps for them.

    On my Surface Pro 2, however, at best I get 10 to 15 mbps. This would be fine, but often (75% of the time), the wifi effectively freezes up, and Ookla shows perhaps .1 or .2 mbps. It does not drop the connection, just gets very, very slow. I can detect no pattern.

    I have re-booted repeatedly. I have done a hard reset of the router. Re-boots do not always fix the problem. Sometimes the speed will magically go from .2 to 12mbps without a re-boot and without any system changes.
    I have googled and googled, but none of the "fixes" has any affect (turn off Location, etc etc). I have logged into the router and changed from DHCP to assigned IP. No change. I have called Comcast, and a very earnest person checked the router from their end. They report no problems and they offer no suggestions regarding Win 10 specifically. (No surprise.)

    The Surface network adapter is a marvell avastar 350n. The driver version is 14.69.24054.176 (mwlu97w8x64.sys). Windows Updater tells me this is the most recent version. I have nonetheless Uninstalled the device and had Windows re-install it on re-boot. I have visited the Marvell site, but it is very unfriendly and I cannot determine what THEY think the most recent version is. I have downloaded the most recent Win Pro 2 Drivers and Firmware from Microsoft, and it also contains 14.69.24054.176 (mwlu97w8x64.sys). I nonetheless tried to do a driver update to the file in the download, but Windows says "you've already got this".

    I am hesitant to go willy-nilly with changes, because the Surface works fine at home (on an Asus RT-AC68R router). My work-around is to use a hotspot off my iPhone, which is how I am typing this post right now. But I dislike using up my data plan when there is wifi here at the house.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Last edited by mwf7501; 05 Feb 2017 at 12:32.
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  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 11,213
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       06 Feb 2017 #2

    Welcome to the TenForums @mwf7501

    While you've changed how addresses are handed out I'm keying in on your comment that it just changes from working and back to not working. It possible you are dealing with interference and there are lots of sources of that in our world. One thing I would initially suggest is a quick analysis of what is around you. Interesting that droid and IOS devices are fine but they likely have different adapters so may be handling this better.

    Wifi Analyzer - Android

    Wifi Analyzer - Android Apps on Google Play
    Inssider Free - Windows

    inSSIDer Download - TechSpot

    The goal is to find a clear channel. If that is not possible pick a channel that overlaps networks that are farther away. As well the 2.4Ghz network gets better distance and the 5Ghz gets better speed. I didn't look up the comcast router, it may not be dual band which means you are likely on 2.4.
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  3.    06 Feb 2017 #3

    Thanks, but Channel apparently not the issue

    Ken -- Thanks very much for the reply, that was very educational. I downloaded Inssider, what a great tool. I did not know anything about Channels. I found the router was set to Channel "auto", and it had selected Channel 11 as best. That was in fact validated by the Inssider scores. I tested Channels 1 and 6, and they scored lower than Channel 11. Also the really poor internet speeds did not change on my Win 10 device on Channels 1 or 6. (And the speeds stayed very good on my IOS and Droid devices on those Channels.)

    In using Inssider I saw another network coming from the router. I found out from google that Comcast by default forces users to broadcast an "open" Xfinity hotspot, which they market as a "feature"-- nearby Comcast users can connect through the hotspot -- and suck up some of your bandwidth. You can turn the hotspot off, but not in the router (for which I have admin access). Instead you have to contact Comcast or use their customer portal. I cannot do this because I don't have that P/W, and I don't want to bother my landlord about it since I'm only here for a few more weeks.

    But I notice on Inssider that the hotspot is broadcasting on the same channel as the "Private" wifi that I use here in the house. I'm wondering if somehow my Surface is confused or slowed by this, whereas the IOS and Droid network adaptors are not? I will attempt to insert an Inssider screen shot below. The "SUNSET HOUSE" ssid is the private wifi I connect to. The "xfinitywifi" ssid is the hotspot. I don't know what the third one is (the blank ssid). I note the MACs are identical for all three except for the first 2 characters. Fyi and fwiw, I have tried connecting my Surface to the hotspot -- no improvement, no change from the private wifi.

    In any event, thanks again, I really appreciate the suggestions.
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  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 11,213
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       06 Feb 2017 #4

    Interesting that it reports AC as your Surface Pro 2 does not have an AC radio. It does support a/b/g/n so it may see 5Ghz and just report it as AC. This is an older version of software.

    If you go to settings, network and Internet, click on WIFI I would shut off everything below WI-Fi sense. If you change anything make a note so you can undo. I don't believe in connecting to Open networks until I okay it.

    Can you look up on your phone to confirm IOS and droid are using the exact same network SSID. Be interesting to see the analyzer from Android.

    One thing you might try, it supposedly is not very neighbourly, enter your router and find channel width. Set to 40Mhz and test. In INSSIDER notice how it changes on graph view.

    You might also enter device manager, your wireless adapter, properties, under the advance tab. You can have a look at settings. You may have option for just "N" networks. Again if you change anything, write it down. Please.
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  5. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       07 Feb 2017 #5

    I would disable IPv6 to see if it improves your connectivity.

    I uncheck all IPv6 associated protocols in my adapters and reset my wifi for highest roaming sensitivity (which Windows persists in returning to the default, 3. medium, )

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    Very little of the internet uses IPv6 yet (16%), and that is on top of the IPv4 background which is the protocol that runs almost all of the consumer internet.

    You don't need any of the protocols that depend on IPv6 for private home networks, which run fine with IPv4, except homegroups, which are incompatible rubbish IMO.

    I had bad connectivity, but Windows said I had Internet access, wifi and ethernet. I pinged several well known sites -,, etc., and they all returned IPv6 addresses, in fact the same one - that I think was my Router's IPv6 address. My router has not had the firmware upgrade supplied by BT (my ISP) to make it fully IPv6 compliant - I expect they want me to pay for a new router - so disabling IPv6 in Windows seemed to make the problem go away.
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  6.    07 Feb 2017 #6

    Fafhrd -- thanks for the suggestion. I disabled IPv6 and re-booted the Surface. At first I thought BINGO, because on re-conection the speed was the best I've seen -- 40 mbps download. It stayed that way for maybe an hour or so, then deteriorated (getting maybe 10 - 15 mbps), then went back to dead (.2 mbps, or perhaps 1 mbps at times). So no joy. But thanks again for the info and suggestion. As I note below, it goes unpredictably from dead (.2 mbps) to OK (10 mbps and above).

    Ken -- Thank you very much for the follow up. Not sure about "shut off everything below WI-Fi sense" -- I do not see anything similar to "wifi sense". Below is a screen shot of my wifi adaptor settings. It is unchanged from what I started with, except I have disabled IPv6, per Fafhrd's suggestion (see above).

    Yes, the IOS and Droid devices are connecting to the exact same SSID (SUNSET HOUSE).

    I cannot find a free Inssider for Droid, and I'd rather not pay the $10 for something that may or may not solve the problem. I am about ready to admit defeat, and just continue using my iPhone hotspot.

    I find the wholly erratic nature of this to be maddening -- I will think I've fixed it, then back to molasses. Even from click-to-click I can tell the speed is varying dramatically. Something is "confusing" Windows. Perhaps it is some sort of transient interference as you first suggested. I would think the adapter itself is bad, but it is fine with the iPhone hotspot (and it was fine when I left home). And the router itself must be fundamentally ok since the IOS and Droids are fine.

    Two last items I will toss out:
    1. When the speed is dead, I cannot even get to the local router url ( In other words, even response time here locally, what I think of as the WAN, is bad. Its not just to/from the wider web. When I'm in "molasses mode", I have to log into the Router Admin from my Droid. Whatever is causing the slow response is affecting access to the router just 30 feet away. Maybe I just don't understand how urls like are resolved -- maybe they still have to go to "the internet".

    2. I keep looking at what is different between the way the iPhone hotspot shows up, versus the router. Below is a screen shot from another wifi analyzer (called WifiInfoView). The security for the router says "WPA-PSK + WPA2-PSK", with a "Cipher" (whatever that is) of "TKIP+CCMP". That is different from the iPhone hotspot, and it is different from every other network that shows up on the analyzers (I did not include them in the screen shots). The iPhone and all the other access points show security of "WPA-PSK" or "WPA2-PSK", but not both. And all the others show Ciphers of either TKIP or CCMP, but not both. I wonder if this is a difference in this router that is ok with IOS/Droid, but confuses Windows.
    In any event, thanks again for your time and help.
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  7. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 11,213
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       07 Feb 2017 #7

    Yes Inssider is not on Android. I gave you link to Wifi Analyser in play store.

    To see wireless security protocols available, right click on network icon in systray, click on Open Network and Sharing, once open, click on wireless network connection, window opens, click on Wireless properties, click on security tab.

    When you enter settings, Network and Internet and click WIFi, you should see WiFi sense on right page, may need to scroll down some.

    When the connection between router "dies" your speed dies. When you type address your browser looks for specific address and should find router. Now as the connection is under duress it may not find. Did you try setting channel width to 40.

    I would go into router and force set it to 11 no auto. Also check its position and possibly re-position it. Noise comes from everything. So is it a motor starting or a microwave. The droid and IOS again could be handling better.
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  8.    09 Feb 2017 #8

    Ken -- very sorry for the delayed response, I really appreciate your efforts to help.

    Inssider is now available on the droid PlayStore, but it costs $9.99. I did download the free Wifi Analyser and also the free Wifi Analyzer to my droid (LG 7 tablet LTE). They showed similar info to what I saw on Inssider on Windows. They seem to show fewer details about the networks, but for the data they do display, I could see no material differences between them and Inssider on Windows.

    And of course you are correct about Wifi Sense -- another real learning for me. I was going into Control Panel --> Networking. And in there I could not find Wifi Sense. But when I use Start --> Settings --> Networking, then I see it as you said. It was enabled, I disabled it. (Everything below it was already disabled.) Right now everything seems to be working, but the real test is over time (over say an hour or so). Who knows, maybe Wifi Sense will prove to be the problem cause.

    I did not change the router channel width to 40 --- I am hesitant to tinker with my landlord's router. And frankly I'm giving up. If speed deteriorates again I will just reconcile myself to using my phone's hotspot while I'm here for the next two weeks. If speed stays good, I think that will mean that Wifi Sense made a difference, since it is the only change of late -- I will post a followup just fyi in a week or so.

    Again I really appreciate your help. The problem may not have been fixed, but I learned a great deal.
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  9.    15 Feb 2017 #9

    Solved -- Wifi Sense

    It has now been a week since I turned off Wifi Sense, and the problem has not recurred. Sounds like that was the issue. I don't understand very much about Wifi Sense, but I'm wondering if the Comcast router public hotspot "feature" (!) was confusing Windows Wifi Sense.

    Thanks again Ken for your help.
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  10. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 11,213
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       15 Feb 2017 #10

    Hey that is great to hear. That is one to add to answer sheet. It must have been.

    I don't understand why and I likely never will. Thanks again for posting and posting follow up.
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