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Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

Journeyman

Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

I just purchased a Sprint 3G/4G Overdrive. I get great speeds when connected to my laptop either through WiFi or USB tethering, both 3G/4G. But when I connect my iPhone or iPod to the Overdrive through WiFi I get really low speed, less than 80 kbps. Upload speeds seem to be less affected. Is there any tweak to get the same speed as in the laptop? Is that a bug that can be corrected through firmware update (I have the latest installed)? Should I ask for a replacement unit?

Thanks!



7 REPLIES 7
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Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

Well the good news is that we don't have to tear our operating systems apart and graft bits of drivers from different Sprint releases together to try and make it work as we did with the early U300s.  That bad news...

Definitely seeing some performance problem here with the Overdrive.  (I also have a Motorola USB100 WiMAX dongle directly from Clear (Sprint's WiMAX provider) plugged into an iMac which is sharing it via peer-to-peer WiFi to a laptop.  For comparison, my laptop tied into the iMac via WiFi and the iMac tied into WiMax, gets about 6Mbps/900Kbps best case here in the Greater Las Vegas area.  With the laptop tied into the Overdrive via USB cable, it gets about 2.7Mbps/360Kbps.  With the laptop tied into the Overdrive via WiFi it gets about 900Kbps/270Kbps and the iPod 2nd Generation is always slower than that.  Testing included WEP, WPA and WPA2 and "g" and "b/g" mode (iPod can't do "g" though, so you're not going to get much better than 1MB/s anyway.) On the Internet-side of these speed tests was bandwidth.com on the laptop and speedtest.net (iPhone app) with a Las Vegas area server selected.  As far as reception, tried to orient the Overdrive all different ways, moving outdoors staring at a tower, etc.. no major difference --signal at about 60%.)  The Overdrive is a turkey, barely 2x better than regular 3G when used here in Vegas, though I found on the Internet some folks using it in Atlanta are at least getting 8x the speed of 3G (even if that's 1/4 the speed they normally get using U300s).

The problem could be a lot of things, but none of them are within the realm of our control.  Best case, it's something they can fix in firmware --someday (I'm running late January 2010 firmware). Worst case, they're getting interference on their 2.4GHz WiFi from their 2.5GHz WiMax due to a design issue. Might also be something about Sprint's "back-haul routing" (like an unfortunate assumption in some router somewhere made back before WiMAX days), as I noticed packets going out of the Overdrive don't follow the same network path as they do going out over Clear's WiMAX gear. The CPU should be fast enough since, like I said, others in Atlanta are driving their units much faster than Vegas' network can go.

I had intended to drop the USB100 in favor of the Overdrive (which offers a firewall, etc..) but that's not going to be possible ($160+$60/mo for half the speed, lol!)  So the way I'm going to handle it is to wait a little bit for a new firmware update and if that doesn't happen, then I'll try swapping it out and if I still have trouble, then cancel and return the device before I'm locked into a $1440 contract and out $160 for a turkey.

(I'd report the problem to Sprint, but they don't have any means to do that online and in terms of calling, I've already lost hundred$ of hours helping them debug their U300 when it came out, just to find after many calls, store visits (even being ushered outside the store as it was closing to continue an hour or two in a deserted parking lot still on the phone with tech support) that in the end they had shipped thousands of those devices without the required digital certificate to authenticate against Clear's WiMAX network (on-top of all of its driver problems) --and for all that trouble they gave me a $10 credit.)

Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

Well, there's still hope. Take a look at this:

http://www.evdoforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=76073#76073

Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

Yep, after posting my novel earlier, I started tinkering with security disabled and playing with RTS/CTS and Fragmentation and effectively dropped the speed to 256KB/s download and 230KB/s upload, even after resetting all the parameters and power-cycling the Overdrive.  Eventually discovered I needed to reset the chipset in my laptop by rebooting.  Interestingly enough, rebooting also speed up the speed of USB-only mode.  This tells me it's definitely a firmware issue, and not related just to WiFi.  (Bear in mind, my laptop is known working at very high speeds using WiFi to an iMac which acts as a router for a Motorola USB100 WiMAX adapter...but I'm sure I saved myself hours of grief by not calling Sprint support which would have me reinstalling my operating system about now, roflmao.)

Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

The first thing I would try in this regard is to set the wifi to 802.11g only in the network section of the wifi tab.  It's possible this might force it into playing right.  The interference issue from WiFi I've pondered for a long time.  I would pay attention to the freq of the WiFi channel you use and the freq of the basestation that the device connects to (4g tab).  I have not run into an issue that was caused by interference yet.  I'm actually running channel 6 atm.  The most I've seen it do, is reduce RSSI by about 1 to 3 dBm.  Unless your in danger of 4g dropping due to signal, it shouldn't affect you too much.  With all of that together, I would pay attention to your CINR value.  This measures noise on the connection.  The higher the number the better.

GD

Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

Nah, from my novel above, you'll see I already tried "b/g" vs. "g-only" mode and, yeah, I did a site-survey from my laptop, found the least used g-compatible channel and checked it in the Overdrive, as well as trying both the lowest and highest channels to see if it impacted interference between the 2.4GHz WiFi and 2.5GHz WiMAX bands. (btw, the Overdrive only allows 7 different channels, not all 11, because it has no b-only mode.  in b/g mode it's adding additional overhead due to insulate the g-packets from interference by b-only transmitters.)  The only other WiFi parameters available for adjustment are CTS/RTS and Fragmentation, both of which default to being disabled (which is good for 1-user network).

Anyway, rebooting my laptop increases the link's speed, which tells me it is related to kernel memory pool which tells me it is due to fragmentation, sequencing, retransmission or framing issues (with the packets being exchanged to the Overdrive via either USB or WiFi). This tells me the firmware/chipset in the Overdrive was not adequately tested before being shipped.

Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

This issue was also reported on EVDOinfo:

http://www.evdoinfo.com/content/view/3066/64/

The next OverDrive firmware release (after 1.6) will fix this...

Journeyman

Re: Terrible Overdrive WiFi speed on iPhone/iPod

How is the new 1.07 firmware?  What is the best speed you can get on an iPod or iPhone connected via WiFi?  Does the device still turn on randomly and run its battery down?  Does it now always detect when its 4G connection has gone away?

(I polished up, re-packed and returned mine after about two weeks of determining it was released to market without adequate testing.)

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