Troubleshooting

Why is my Business WiFi slow or dropping offline?

Use these tips to troubleshoot WiFi speed issues and discover why WiFi disconnections can occur. Learn what you can do to fix and prevent it from happening in the future.

Why is my Business WiFi slow or dropping offline?

ComplexityEasy

Did you know WiFi modems have a limited range which can be affected by radio interference, physical obstructions, and distance, so keeping the device in a central and unobstructed location in your business will ensure the widest possible area of coverage. If you find your WiFi has slowed down to a snail's pace, try the tricks below to reset your WiFi connection.



Power cycling equipment Power cycling all equipment is the best first step you can take for any connection issues you may be facing. To power cycle your Shaw WiFi modem, simply:

Did you know WiFi modems have a limited range which can be affected by radio interference, physical obstructions, and distance, so keeping the device in a central and unobstructed location in your business will ensure the widest possible area of coverage. If you find your WiFi has slowed down to a snail's pace, try the tricks below to reset your WiFi connection.



Power cycling equipment Power cycling all equipment is the best first step you can take for any connection issues you may be facing. To power cycle your Shaw WiFi modem, simply:

  1. Unplug the power cable from the back of the WiFi modem.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Reconnect the power cable into the back of the Internet modem.
  4. Wait for the online light to go solid green.
  5. Connect to your WiFi network and test to see if the connectivity issues are still present.

Note: Most devices will use the same basic steps. For computers, shut them down first.



Restoring WiFi modems This process will restore your WiFi modem to default settings. This means that if you manually customized the password or network name, this information will be lost. To find the original default network name and password, find the white sticker on the top or side of the WiFi modem and refer to the SSID and passphrase or pre-shared key.

  1. Locate the small pinhole reset button located on the back of the Shaw WiFi Modem.
  2. Push and hold this button down for 30 seconds with a paper clip or pen. This will cause the modem lights to begin to flash, and after a few moments the modem will come back online.
  3. Reconnect to your WiFi network and test to see if the connectivity issues are still present.
    Pinhole location to factory reset business internet modem
    Pinhole location to factory reset business internet modem
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How to change the wireless channel on your Shaw Business modem

ComplexityEasy

You may need to change the wireless channel on your Shaw wireless modem if you encounter WiFi signal interference. While the wireless channel is set automatically by your modem, you can select a specific channel in the advanced settings for your modem. For a brief tutorial on why you might want to change your modem's channel, please watch the video How to Change the wireless channel on your Shaw Modem

Instructions

You may need to change the wireless channel on your Shaw wireless modem if you encounter WiFi signal interference. While the wireless channel is set automatically by your modem, you can select a specific channel in the advanced settings for your modem. For a brief tutorial on why you might want to change your modem's channel, please watch the video How to Change the wireless channel on your Shaw Modem

Instructions

  1. Connect one computer directly to the WiFi modem with an Ethernet cable.
  2. Identify the brand of your modem. If your equipment was provided by Shaw, you will have either Hitron, Cisco, or SMC hardware. Follow the directions provided below for your specific device.


Hitron CGNM-2250 Advanced WiFi modem

Hitron CGNM 2250 Advanced WiFi Modem
Hitron CGNM 2250 Advanced WiFi Modem

  1. Open an Internet browser (e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Edge) and, in the address bar at the top of the page, enter the following: http://192.168.0.1/. Then press the enter key.
  2. Log in to the Advanced WiFi modem page with the following information:
    • Username: cusadmin
    • Password: Enter the passphrase found on the sticker on the modem. Be aware that this information is case sensitive, so enter the information exactly as it appears on the modem.
  3. From the home page, go to 'Manage Wireless'.
  4. Select the 2.4G, 5G, or Guest network from the top of the page. By default, most devices will be using the 2.4G network.
  5. Under the 'Basic Settings' heading, select the 'Wireless Channel' drop-down, and set your preferred WiFi channel.
  6. Save your changes before exiting the page.
    Changing the WiFi channel on the Hitron modem
    Changing the WiFi channel on the Hitron modem


Cisco DPC3848V Advanced WiFi modem

Cisco DPC3848V Advanced WiFi Modem
Cisco DPC3848V Advanced WiFi Modem

  1. Open an Internet browser (e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Edge) and, in the address bar at the top of the page, enter the following: http://192.168.0.1/. Then press the enter key.
  2. Log in to the Advanced WiFi modem page with the following information:
    • Username: cusadmin
    • Password: Enter the passphrase as found on the sticker on the modem. Be aware that this information is case sensitive, so enter the information exactly as it appears on the modem.
  3. Select 'Wireless' from the top navigation bar, then choose 'Radio Settings'.
  4. Click the menu next to 'Standard Channel' and choose the channel number on which you would like to broadcast.
  5. If you would like to change the WiFi channel for your 5 GHz network, you can perform the same steps for the second network listed.
  6. Click Save Settings.
    Selecting the wireless radio settings
    Selecting the wireless radio settings


CISCO WiFi modem

Cisco WiFi Modem
Cisco WiFi Modem

  1. Open an Internet browser (e.g., Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Edge) and, in the address bar at the top of the page, enter the following: http://192.168.0.1/. Then press the enter key.
  2. Log in to the Advanced WiFi modem page with the following information:
    • Username: cusadmin
    • Password: Enter the passphrase as found on the sticker on the modem. Be aware that this information is case sensitive, so enter the information exactly as it appears on the modem.
  3. Select the 'Wireless' tab at the top of the page.
  4. Choose the 'Radio Settings' tab.
  5. Select the drop down option next to 'Standard Channel' and choose your new WiFi channel.
  6. Click 'Save Settings'.
    Changing the channel
    Changing the channel

Selecting the wireless radio settings
Selecting the wireless radio settings

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Understanding WiFi interference and impedance

ComplexityEasy

Interference can be caused by a large variety of devices, mostly from other devices on your own network or neighbouring WiFi networks, but can also include:

  • Bluetooth headphones or speakers
  • Microwave ovens
  • Cordless phones
  • Garage door openers
  • Any other devices that may be broadcasting wirelessly

Interference can be caused by a large variety of devices, mostly from other devices on your own network or neighbouring WiFi networks, but can also include:

  • Bluetooth headphones or speakers
  • Microwave ovens
  • Cordless phones
  • Garage door openers
  • Any other devices that may be broadcasting wirelessly

Unlike wired connections, which are dedicated, wireless devices have to share the wireless connection with all other devices. Even if your subscribed plan might be 120Mb/s, if your WiFi router tops out at 60Mb/s, you won’t get full speeds wirelessly. If you have three wireless devices simultaneously trying to use that same 60Mb/s capable router, the speeds you get on one device could be only 20Mb/s or less. So your single device is getting interference from co-workers on the same network.

Modem WiFi Range Diagram
Modem WiFi Range Diagram

Similarly, if there’s 5, 10, 20 or more networks around you, all with many wireless devices connecting, the speeds could be greatly reduced from all this usage. As such, you might suffer slow speeds during congestion. The best options are to reduce competition on the network by using a hardwired Ethernet connection whenever possible. If your router can use 5GHz (sometimes called 5G) wireless, try to use devices only on 5GHz when possible. The 5GHz band can handle a lot more devices and runs faster too. It’s not as compatible with old devices and has a more limited range, so reserving 2.4GHz use for only older devices or equipment far from the network can help.



Understanding impedance

Impedance is anything that reduces the power of the WiFi signal. Think of trying to talk to someone through a wall compared to face-to-face in the same room. Without the wall impeding your voice, you can talk more quickly, clearly, and it’s easier to be understood.

WiFi is basically light, just at a much lower frequency. You might even say that WiFi is a colour of light that we can’t see. The WiFi modem puts out a bright signal, and different things in your environment will ‘dim’ the signal, making it hard for your devices to ‘see’ the WiFi. A good analogy would be how you can see a flashlight shine through a piece of paper, or through your hand, but if you try to shine it through a wall, you’re likely not going to see anything.

Here is a list of common things found in an office that can impede the WiFi signal:

Material Impedance level
Air Very Low
Wood Low
Drywall Low
Thin Glass low-medium
Thick or double/triple pan glass Medium-high
Water Medium-high
Brick Medium-high
Concrete High
Metal Very high
Mirror Very high

Newer WiFi equipment has made great strides in being able to overcome some of these obstacles a little better, but there’s still no getting through thick concrete walls. This makes placement of the WiFi modem or access point critical to ensure impedance is minimized. Our technicians assess the business at install, and will try to position the modem to maximize coverage within the space. If you are having issues getting WiFi in a particular place in the business, try moving the modem to reduce the number of things that may be in the way that could impede the signal.

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2.4 GHz versus 5 GHz

ComplexityMedium

WiFi technology is named 802.11 with a letter added to the end to indicate the generation of the technology, with each new generation offering more performance, range, and ability to overcome interference from other wireless devices.

WiFi technology is named 802.11 with a letter added to the end to indicate the generation of the technology, with each new generation offering more performance, range, and ability to overcome interference from other wireless devices.

Similar to improving generations of iPhones or Android, each generation gets better. When WiFi was first standardized, the protocol was named B, then G, then N and most recently 802.11AC. These standards transmit and receive data via a radio-style connection between the access point and the client using two possible frequencies, 2.4GHz for all generations, and more recently in 5GHz on most newer N and AC models.

  • 2.4GHz has longer range, but can’t be used by too many devices simultaneously, and can’t go as fast as the latest Business Internet plans allow for.
  • 5GHz can’t communicate as far from the wireless router or access point, but can go much faster and handle more wireless devices before running into issues.
  • Newer WiFi technology has improved greatly. If you encounter repeated issues and don’t have AC capable routers and computers, consider upgrading to newer equipment.
  • Large areas can require multiple access points for full coverage. Solutions like SmartWiFi or others that use multiple access points allow the same network to be used throughout a large space.
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How secure is my Business WiFi?

ComplexityEasy

WiFi access for customers can be a popular request at businesses. To avoid security concerns though, this should only be done by way of separate guest networks, either by using two routers, or newer options that can broadcast a second, separated guest network.

WiFi access for customers can be a popular request at businesses. To avoid security concerns though, this should only be done by way of separate guest networks, either by using two routers, or newer options that can broadcast a second, separated guest network.

Shaw’s SmartWiFi plans do this, as do many newer third party routers. Properly setting up a guest network will ensure that guests can’t gain access to important business information, including other customer data like credit cards.

Sites that only have one WiFi network should generally limit the use to internal business use and not provide the access to guests.

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