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Author Topic: DWA-171 Support?  (Read 24004 times)

Brokk

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DWA-171 Support?
« on: July 26, 2013, 02:54:25 PM »

Is there a forum to support this product?  I searched but only found two references and nothing about support or answering questions.

I have a new dlink ac1200 dual band router (DIR-860L) and I am trying to upgrade my equipment to talk to it, attempting to get better speeds and distance.  I bought a few DWA-171 in order to achieve that on the client side.  It's been pretty rocky.

The 5Ghz connection seems fast, but not always stable.  The client side configuration seems awful.  1/2 the time my computer has to connect to the router 'blind' because neither of the connections show up on the list.  The dlink software seems completely redundant to the Windows wireless support, then dlink uses some sort of MS mini-port wireless to connect through, which just confuses things more.  I am hoping it's the "dual band" nature of the beast that requires all this extra stuff.

My current issue is testing out the 2.4ghz connections.  My laptop already has wireless N built in.  It connects to the new router with screaming speeds, topping out my internet connection at over 50 Mbs.  Yet my DWA-171 struggles to break 5 Mbs, often times coming in around 1 Mbs.  Right now it's limping badly with .1 Mbs (1 kps?).  It's unusable.  I have the desktop and laptop sitting right next to each other.

If I hook the DWA-171 up to my laptop and disable the built in wireless, the speed is just as bad.  Coming in at a small fraction of what the connection should be.

The software claims the DWA-171 is using wireless N and has a 58 Mbs connection, while the built in adapter has a 78 Mbs connection with wireless N.

Is there something the DWA-171 is missing?  Some setting that is not turned on?  I tried tweaking a couple items in the driver settings, but it only made it worse (much worse).

Yes I have the latest driver.  I've tried rebooting, re-installing, changing USB ports, etc.

Any thoughts?  As I am really ready to pack up my three new USB adapters and return them as defective.  These things don't come cheap either.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 10:06:45 AM »

Link>Welcome!
  • What Hardware version is your router? Look at sticker under router.
  • Link>What Firmware version is currently loaded? Found on the routers web page under status.
  • What region are you located?


Router and Wired Configurations
Some things to try: - Log into the routers web page at 192.168.0.1. Use IE, Opera or FF to manage the router.
  • Setup DHCP reserved IP addresses for all devices ON the router. Setup/Networking. This ensures each devices gets its own IP address when turned on and connected, eliminates IP address conflicts and helps in troubleshooting.
  • Ensure devices are set to auto obtain an IP address.
  • Turn off WISH, and WPS under Advanced.
  • WAN Port Speed set to Auto or specific speed? Some newer ISP modems support 1000Mb so manually setting to Gb speeds can be supported by the router. Advanced/Advanced Networking/WAN Port Speed
  • Set current Time Zone, Date and Time. Use an NTP Server feature. Tools/Time.

Wireless Configurations
Links>Wireless Installation Considerations and Managing Signal Congestion
  • Ensure the default (dlink) SSID name is changed. Can be anything and not something thats already in use by any neighboring WiFi routers. Under Setup/Wireless/Manual.
  • What wireless modes are you using?
  • Try setting a manual Channel to a open or unused channel. 1, 6 or 11. 11 for single mode N if the channel is clear.
  • What security mode are you using? Preferred security is WPA-Personal. WPA2/AES Only. Some WiFi adapters don't support AES, so you might want to try TPIK only or Auto TPIK and AES.
  • What wireless devices do you have connected?
  • Any cordless house phones?
  • Any other WiFi routers in the area? Link> Use InSSIDer to find out. How many?
  • If you have any of these options, Try turning OFF or ON Short GI, WLAN Partition, HT 20/40 Co-exhistance and Extra Wireless Protection if you have it. Recommended settings are default. Under Advanced/Advanced Wireless.
  • Enable WMM Enable Under Advanced/Advanced Wireless.

3rd Party Security Software Configurations
  • Turn off all anti virus and firewall programs on PC while testing. 3rd party firewalls are not generally needed when using routers as they are effective on blocking malicious inbound traffic.
  • Turn off all devices accept for one wired PC while testing.


Ensure USB port drivers on devices are up to date as well on those devices that have USB drivers. Usually motherboard or PC drivers have these drivers.

Posting for this model adapter here in this forum is fine.
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Brokk

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 06:27:03 PM »

>>What Hardware version is your router?

H/W Ver: A1    F/W Ver: 1.00 (I upgraded the firmware to 1.01)

>>What region are you located?

North East of USA.

>>Setup DHCP reserved IP addresses for all devices ON the router.

My wife has several devices she will be using that are not home at the moment.  I will have to wait for those to be connected before assigning IPs, correct?  I now just added the two I have been testing with.

>>Turn off WISH, and WPS under Advanced.

Having had difficulty "seeing" the router, I have used WPS several times and things have worked better with it.  Does it really need to be shut off?

I could not find "WISH" under Advanced.  Nothing in the manual about it either.  Does it have another name or phrase associated with it?

>>WAN Port Speed set to Auto or specific speed?

My modem is a couple years old, so it it set to Auto.  I doubt it is 1000, though possible.

>>Set current Time Zone, Date and Time. Use an NTP Server feature. Tools/Time.

Time was correct, as was zone, but I was missing the DST setting.

>>Ensure the default (dlink) SSID name is changed.

Done on install.

>>What wireless modes are you using?

I want 2.4Ghz to support N and G.  So I just limited them now.

5.4Ghz should be AC only.  Set that now as well.  Before, both had everything.

>>Try setting a manual Channel to a open or unused channel. 1, 6 or 11.

Now set to 1.

>>What security mode are you using?

WPA-Personal

>>What wireless devices do you have connected?

To the new router?  Only my desktop and my laptop.  I haven't setup any other devices to connect to it yet.

>>Any cordless house phones?

Yes.  One base that I know of.  Not located near the router.  Do the location of the handsets count as well?

>>Any other WiFi routers in the area? Link> Use InSSIDer to find out. How many?

Many.  It's a multi-family and I'm also picking up signals from other houses nearby.  Currently InSSIDer shows 6, with my new router using up 2 of the slots.  5 are 2.4 Ghz.

>>If you have any of these options, Try turning OFF or ON Short GI, WLAN Partition, HT 20/40 Co-exhistance and Extra Wireless Protection if you have it.

20/40 was enabled.  I turned on WLAN Partition just now.  I couldn't find anything about Short GI or Extra Wireless Protection.

>> Recommended settings are default. Under Advanced/Advanced Wireless.  Enable WMM Enable Under Advanced/Advanced Wireless.

WMM is grayed out, yet enabled.

>>Turn off all anti virus and firewall programs on PC while testing.

I have Kapersky anti-virus on both machines.  Nothing else.

>>Turn off all devices accept for one wired PC while testing.

If I'm testing wireless, what is the point of testing with wired only?

>>Ensure USB port drivers on devices are up to date as well on those devices that have USB drivers. Usually motherboard or PC drivers have these drivers.

That may take me a bit, but I'll look into it.

So, after making these recommended changes, my desktop download speed test went from around 18 Mbps earlier today (tested 1/2 dozen times) to .59 Mbps now.  Upload speed dropped from 20 Mbps to .71 Mbps.

The laptop (using built in adapter) dropped from 50+ download to barely 40, but upload speed stayed up above 30, which was similar to before the changes.

So something made things worse, however it is still consistent that the DWA-171 adapter speed is far under performing.  Also the changes made the DWA-171 drop to 1/20 it's speed, while only affecting the laptop adapter a small amount.

One change I did make yesterday after posting, which made a huge difference was putting the DWA-171 on a USB extension cord.  This allowed me to move it about 3 feet from my computer and slightly closer to the router.  My average download speed went from under 5 Mbps to around 20 Mbps.  Of course all that gain is currently lost by these new changes.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 08:38:54 AM »


>>What Hardware version is your router?

H/W Ver: A1    F/W Ver: 1.00 (I upgraded the firmware to 1.01)

>>What region are you located?

North East of USA.

>>Setup DHCP reserved IP addresses for all devices ON the router.

My wife has several devices she will be using that are not home at the moment.  I will have to wait for those to be connected before assigning IPs, correct?  YesI now just added the two I have been testing with.

>>Turn off WISH, and WPS under Advanced.

Having had difficulty "seeing" the router, I have used WPS several times and things have worked better with it.  Does it really need to be shut off? If you set up WiFi SSID and use WPA2 and encryption, WPS isn't really needed.

I could not find "WISH" under Advanced.  Nothing in the manual about it either.  Does it have another name or phrase associated with it? Feature may not be available on this model router.

>>WAN Port Speed set to Auto or specific speed?

My modem is a couple years old, so it it set to Auto.  I doubt it is 1000, though possible. What model and Mfr modem do you have?

>>Set current Time Zone, Date and Time. Use an NTP Server feature. Tools/Time.

Time was correct, as was zone, but I was missing the DST setting.

>>Ensure the default (dlink) SSID name is changed.

Done on install.

>>What wireless modes are you using?

I want 2.4Ghz to support N and G.  So I just limited them now.

5.4Ghz should be AC only.  Set that now as well.  Before, both had everything.

>>Try setting a manual Channel to a open or unused channel. 1, 6 or 11.

Now set to 1.

>>What security mode are you using?

WPA-Personal WPA2 and AES only is preferred.

>>What wireless devices do you have connected?

To the new router?  Only my desktop and my laptop.  I haven't setup any other devices to connect to it yet.

>>Any cordless house phones?

Yes.  One base that I know of.  Not located near the router.  Do the location of the handsets count as well? Yes.

>>Any other WiFi routers in the area? Link> Use InSSIDer to find out. How many?

Many.  It's a multi-family and I'm also picking up signals from other houses nearby.  Currently InSSIDer shows 6, with my new router using up 2 of the slots.  5 are 2.4 Ghz. Ensure that you set a manual channel in this case. Hopefully 1, 6 or 11 are open and not being used.

>>If you have any of these options, Try turning OFF or ON Short GI, WLAN Partition, HT 20/40 Co-exhistance and Extra Wireless Protection if you have it.

20/40 was enabled.  I turned on WLAN Partition just now.  I couldn't find anything about Short GI or Extra Wireless Protection. Test with 20/40 and WLAN partition disabled as well.

>> Recommended settings are default. Under Advanced/Advanced Wireless.  Enable WMM Enable Under Advanced/Advanced Wireless.

WMM is grayed out, yet enabled.

>>Turn off all anti virus and firewall programs on PC while testing.

I have Kapersky anti-virus on both machines.  Nothing else.

>>Turn off all devices accept for one wired PC while testing.

If I'm testing wireless, what is the point of testing with wired only?

>>Ensure USB port drivers on devices are up to date as well on those devices that have USB drivers. Usually motherboard or PC drivers have these drivers.

That may take me a bit, but I'll look into it.

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Brokk

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 10:08:32 AM »

>>If you set up WiFi SSID and use WPA2 and encryption, WPS isn't really needed.

One feature of WPS which is useful is the ability to sync up by pushing a button on the router.  How would WPA2 and encryption mimic that ease of setup?

>>What model and Mfr modem do you have?

Actiontec MI424-WR Rev. E

"WPA-Personal" >>WPA2 and AES only is preferred.

My only options are "None", "WEP", "WPA-Personal" and "WPA-Enterprise".

Under WPA settings, I can choose "WPA2 Only" and "AES".

>>Ensure that you set a manual channel in this case. Hopefully 1, 6 or 11 are open and not being used.

1 is the only choice of those three not being used by others.  Yesterday every time I changed it to 1, the speed dropped to near nothing.  Setting it back to 9 worked well, but still not as fast as it should be.  Today I tried 1 and it worked well.

>>Test with 20/40 and WLAN partition disabled as well

The WLAN partition setting didn't seem to make a difference one way or the other.  I set the 20/40 to 20 only and we'll see how that works.

Right now I have my download speed close to 40 Mbps and upload around 27 Mbps.  Those are respectable numbers.  Not the 50+ Mbps I am getting with my laptop and an older wireless N card, but good enough for now.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 10:21:40 AM »

I've seen some odd behavior with that 20/40 Co-existance feature on other routers as well. I since have disabled it and most of my devices work better with it OFF.

Is that Actiontec a stand alone modem?

You could be seeing some environmental conditions as well.

What is the distance your devices are from the router?
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Brokk

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 01:10:37 PM »

I will try to remember that about the 20/40.

FIOS comes into the house via fiber optic.  Then there is a device that switches the signal over to coax, holding internet and phone (TV was broken out on the outside of the house).  That coax comes up to the modem, that breaks out the phone signal and plugs it into the wall jack and provides 4 ethernet ports as well as wireless.  It's only 2.4ghz wireless G.  Right now I've disabled it, in hopes of preventing any sort of interference with the new router.

I wasn't sure what your question was asking, so hopefully I have answered it.

Right now it's about 17 feet or so, through a single wall from the desktop to the router.

What I find odd about all of this, is all the tweaking you had me do was solely to the router, which from my perspective was already performing flawlessly.  I have 50/25 FIOS, and my laptop was exceeding those speeds with an old Wireless N built into it.  I was expecting the 171 to outperform the old hardware, rather than giving me a fraction of the speed.  None of the tweaking was done for my machine or anything that directly makes changes for the 171.
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FurryNutz

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Re: DWA-171 Support?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 01:34:38 PM »

You could go back and do a factory reset on the router and just set up the Wifi SSID and PW and see how it goes. I use only WPA2 and AES only. I leave everything else default accept for channel if it's crouded.

Let us know about the 20/40Mhz feature.
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