WiFi speeds drop precipitously in the evening

November 17, 2013
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We have an Actiontec M1424WR Rev e router and Verizon FiOS. We have the Verizon Double Play bundle, Internet and Phone only, no TV, and with the iMac connected to the Actiontec via Ethernet cable, our speeds are excellent. E.g., On a Saturday morning, the iMac gets download speeds of 58mbps and upload speeds of 34mbps.

The internet signal comes into the Actiontec via Coax cable. The Actiontec is located on the third floor of a three-floor townhouse.

The WiFi signal to the AppleTV three floors is  dismal at prime time in the evenings. A recent Ookla speed test returned 1.47/ 3.58 (downoad/upload), 66 ping. During the daytime, the received speed at the AppleTV is 13Mbps.

I have seen posts indicating that the Actiontec M1424WR gets poor ratings for WiFi signal strength and have seen posts claiming that you can turn off the WiFi on the Actiontec and add a WiFi capable modem with a good reputation for wireless strength. Specifically, I see a lot of recommendations for ASUS routers. Can any of you network gurus confirm this?

Would this be a good plan for achieving better WiFi signals at the AppleTV?

Is there another way which does not involve pulling ethernet cable throughout the house?

Second thoughts…

I had assumed that the drop in wifi download speeds I am experiencing at night was due to increasing numbers of people on the net, many of whom are streaming movies. Were that the case, however, would not the speed results of my iMac, which has a wired connection to my Actiontec modem also drop? But of course, mine don’t.

Mine is a case of where the download speeds to the iMac, via ethernet cable to the Actiontec router, are pretty much constant throughout the day. It is only the WiFi speeds which slow to a crawl in the evenings.

I had thought of putting the Actiontec in bridge mode, purchasing and introducing an Apple Extreme Base Station into the mix and possibly even installing an Apple Airport Express in the basement, next to the AppleTV to boost the signal.

However, if the wifi speeds two feet away from the Actiontec are 1.5Mbps, no matter what I do, that’s all I am going to receive at the AppleTV, no? It would be like coupling a firehose onto a garden hose in the expectation that you will get more water out of the firehose. Ain’t gonna happen.

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