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Sprint Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Issues

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Journeyman

Sprint Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Issues

I'll try to explain my story & scenario the best I can so you can get a picture in your mind of what's going on here at home, or should I say what is not happening properly.

As most of you are aware, the Galaxy S3 has wi-fi capabilities of 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz.  My home router is the Netgear WNDR3700.  I use both channels here at home (2.4 & the 5 GHz bands) for various components...2.4 GHz for my TV, Blu-Ray player, Wi-Fi thermostat, & a spare laptop.  All four components can use the 5 GHz band, but the bandwidth rate is much better on the 2.4 GHz band because they are physically closer to the router, which is downstairs on the main floor.  That's the way the 2.4 GHz channel works...the closer, the better & faster the connection is.  But I use the 5 GHz band for my main laptop & my GS3 as those devices are used primarily upstairs.  I have better coverage & data rate with 5 GHz upstairs than I do on the main floor, even though I may be closer to the router when those devices are downstairs.  I guess that's just the nature of the beast with 5 GHz.  But when I'm downstairs, the 2.4 connection is better than the 5 on my GS3.  Oh, I have a 45/35 Mbps fiber optic connection here, in case you're wondering.

So continuing...  Let's say I come for the day & want to turn on Wi-Fi on my GS3.  I do this because the 3G connection I have here at home is absolutely dismal!  I'm lucky (even on a good day) to get .02 to .1 Mbps, but...now get this...I'm only two blocks away from the Sprint tower (yes, their own tower location maps shows this, & I've driven by there many times).  I have 1 to 3 bars displaying at any given time, even this close.  Loading a text only page can take anywhere from say...30 seconds to several minutes.  Forget about surfing the web here on 3G, it's impossible!  I could try to load up my local RADAR image, go to the kitchen & make a sandwich, then come back & the page is still loading!  On Wi-Fi, it's "click", BOOM!  There it is!  No wait time.  Instant page load.  But getting onto the issue here...

Whenever I switch on Wi-Fi, it always...always connects to the 2.4 band instead of the 5 band, which is what I need to take & use my GS3 upstairs.  Running a speed test while on 5 GHz shows me a respectable speed of 90 to 95% of my bandwidth of 45/35 Mbps.  On 2.4 with the same speed test, it will show 20 to maybe 40% total bandwidth.  Remember, the bandwidth is better upstairs on 5 than on 2.4.  If I take the GS3 downstairs, the results are reversed.

So...should I just tell my GS3 to "forget" the 2.4 connection & use the 5 GHz band exclusively?  Or is there something I'm missing in the GS3 to "prefer" to use the 5 GHz band over the 2.4 when I switch on Wi-Fi?  It would be an extreme pain to type in the password for the 2.4 band to use it each time, as both channels on my router have a 63 character alpha-numeric, upper case-lower case ASCII letters password (if that's what you want to call it).  It's a secure way to lock down my router, as it's not "guessable".

Maybe I'm just making a mountain out of a mole hill, but it's something that really "irks" me.  Any advice?  I'm all ears & open to anything simpler than what I have now.

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Journeyman

Re: Sprint Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Issues

Heres a few things to keep in mind.

2.4 vs 5 have different RF values. 2.4 will travel farther distance wise on the same amount of power. Higher frequencys penetrate solid objects better but travel shorter distances.. Your 2.4 band is in the same range as bluetooth. lets see what else.
Oh on my network i have both 2.4 and 5ghz.. BUT i have seperate SSIDs for each. for example xxxxx2 for the 2.4 and xxxxx5 for the 5ghz. This allows me to pick and choose what band i can pick based on the SSID. I think this is a goal your trying to acieve.

Also, remmeber you have other devices plugged into the 2.4 stuff. So all of those are creating RF paths an RF noise of their own. If you have 4 devices connected to your 2.4 network thats a lot of channel activity. If your 5ghz is open and your only connected to it with your phone then it makes sense your getting better thru put on it, no other devices sharing the bandwidth or the frequencys. There are also other settings inside each router that can vary by manufacturer. i wont go there because im not an expert in that crap..

NOW if your a few blocks from the tower and your not getting full bars, and your 3g is as crappy as yousay, might have a bad radio or something wrong withthe modem in your device.

IF other people have similar dismal data speeds in your house then its not a phone issue.

Find someone in your office with a Sprint phone and do some comparisons on network signal and speed. Then let us know whats up..

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Wizard

Re: Sprint Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Issues

Ctrl_Alt_Del

Being that they both work I would use the one that provides you the better service where you spend most of your time. So if you spend most of your time upstairs use the 5 gig. If your downstairs use upstairs.  Try to make things as simple as possible. As to not "irk" you with having to keep inputting the router password.

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Journeyman

Re: Sprint Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Issues

Heres a few things to keep in mind.

2.4 vs 5 have different RF values. 2.4 will travel farther distance wise on the same amount of power. Higher frequencys penetrate solid objects better but travel shorter distances.. Your 2.4 band is in the same range as bluetooth. lets see what else.
Oh on my network i have both 2.4 and 5ghz.. BUT i have seperate SSIDs for each. for example xxxxx2 for the 2.4 and xxxxx5 for the 5ghz. This allows me to pick and choose what band i can pick based on the SSID. I think this is a goal your trying to acieve.

Also, remmeber you have other devices plugged into the 2.4 stuff. So all of those are creating RF paths an RF noise of their own. If you have 4 devices connected to your 2.4 network thats a lot of channel activity. If your 5ghz is open and your only connected to it with your phone then it makes sense your getting better thru put on it, no other devices sharing the bandwidth or the frequencys. There are also other settings inside each router that can vary by manufacturer. i wont go there because im not an expert in that crap..

NOW if your a few blocks from the tower and your not getting full bars, and your 3g is as crappy as yousay, might have a bad radio or something wrong withthe modem in your device.

IF other people have similar dismal data speeds in your house then its not a phone issue.

Find someone in your office with a Sprint phone and do some comparisons on network signal and speed. Then let us know whats up..

View solution in original post

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Journeyman

Re: Sprint Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Issues

IAMSixNine:

Understood perfectly about radio wave propogations.  I was an Amateur Radio Operator for many years.  I could take my little hand-held 5 watt radio, attach a parabolic dish that I made, point it towards the moon, & CQ with someone on the other side of the world with what's called a "Moon Bounce".  So yeah, the length of the radio wave makes all the difference. 440 MHz sure goes a long way, but we're talking about 2.4 & 5 Gigahertz here aren't we?

Anyways, I'm getting a little off the subject here, so let's continue..

Yes, both bands have the same SSID (sort of) but they differ slightly.  On my 2.4 channel, it's the SSID followed by a 24.  On the 5 channel, it's the same SSID followed by a 5G.  I think for the sake of any further "irks" it's gonna cause me, I'm just going to remove the 2.4 GHz connection & just use 5.  Oh, & while I'm thinking about it, when the 2.4 GHz band is being used on my phone upstairs, there are no other devices turned on & using any bandwidth.  My phone has the complete channel & still has low transfer rates.

You asked about possibly having a bad modem inside, I believe that's doubtful.  My previous phone EVO 4G had all 6 bars lit while here at home.  When I brought the GS3 home with me, the bars were far & few inbetween.  I've read about many, many others having the same issue with "low bars" on the GS3.  I think it's all in the design of the antenna, so I tested a theory.  I took my phone for a ride earlier.  About a dozen blocks down the street, there's another tower where all bars lit up.  As I came back home, the signal meter went down slightly, then started to pick back up.  It was still full bars until I went inside.  Bingo!  There's something about the building materials of this place that blocks the Sprint signal.  I know there's nothing that can be done about that.  I'll just deal with it.  But as long as I keep my GS3 near the Westward facing window upstairs, I have full bars.  I wandered around here to find the best signal.  I can get about 1.2 Mbps download & a 1.5 Mbps upstream while I have it facing the Westward window where the tower is (I can see it from here blinking away).

So there we have it.  I'll just use the 5 GHz channel only & leave the 2.4 out of it.  I just wanted to see if there was a "setting" to prefer one channel over another if 2 different bands were being used, from the same router.


Capt.Random:

I appreciate your advice & that's what I'm doing.  I just wanted to see if there was an "app" or a setting that would do this, or I was just over analyzing the situation.  But thank you!


UPDATE:  I posted this question to another forum (for another set of eyes to see), & I believe they had an answer...NFC Tags.  I've read about what an NFC tag can do a few weeks ago, & this just may solve the issue.  If not, then I'll just repurpose them for other tasks.

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