Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-06-2013

EA4500 - poor 2.4GHz and 5GHz range

I have an EA4500 running in bridge mode into an EA6500 in a two-story house. I don't have a good central locaiton for a single wireless router so I put the EA6500 at one end with the EA4500 at the other, both on the lower floor. The EA6500 is working fine wired and wireless and the wireless roaming between the two works fine too. The appears when devices associate with the EA4500 - the performance is degrades rapidly as range increases.


The EA4500 is running I've made some wireless settings changes that I found on this forum. They are as follows...


  • 2.4GHz: to 20MHz from Auto, to Channel 9 from Auto
  • 5GHz: to 40MHz from Auto, to Channel 149 from Auto
  • Security: to WPA2 Personal from WPA2/WPA Mixed Personal

There may have been some slight improvements with these changes but nothing substantial. All of the mentioned wireless settings of the EA6500 are Auto.


Here's what i'm seeing. Because I expect the range to be worse in 5GHz, I'll focus on 2.4GHz.


When I'm nearby, I get 45Mbps down and 10 up. In this location get a -46dBm signal with a 46dB SNR.


When I move the floor right above it -- in a wood-framed house with 12-ft. ceilings -- the download speed plummets to 5.4Mbps (not a typo!) and upload hangs in there at 10.5. In this location I have a -60dBm signal with an SNR of 31dB. And if I move further away on that same floor it gets worse fast to the point where it roams over the the EA6500.


Connecting to the EA4500 on Ethernet, I get about 51Mbps down and 11.5Mbps up.


I've tried physically reorienting the box to see if the mouting position made any difference and couldn't see any effect.


Does anyone have any magic bullets to fix this problem?

Posts: 2,736
Registered: ‎07-07-2012

Re: EA4500 - poor 2.4GHz and 5GHz range

[ Edited ]
Why did you choose channel 9?

Make sure you use different/unique SSIDs as per bridge mode instructions.

Also remove your old profiles and try again.

Leave security set to WPA2 personal.

Bridge mode instructions. See "quick tips". Also be sure to "specify an IP address " when configuring bridge mode.
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-06-2013

Re: EA4500 - poor 2.4GHz and 5GHz range

Thanks for your quick response jibjib. Sadly, I'm not that fast.


I chose Channel 9 just recently whilst grasping at straws. It turns out to be a decent channel choice given other SSIDs in the vicinity. Previously, I  had 2.4 and 5 set to Auto everything with basically the same results.


BTW, which of the metageek products where you suggesting? I'm currently using Wi-Fi Scanner but I'd like to find a better tool.


Now for what I've tested...


I already had a proper IP address for the EA4500. I changed the SSID of the EA4500 to be different than that of the EA6500. I left the EA4500 in Bridge mode, left WPA2 personal security but switched back to Auto for everything possible. After deleting the profiles for the old and new SSIDs I have now discovered that the 2.4GHz is worse than before, even when I'm right next to the AP. I played with the Channel and Width but wasn't getting consistent test results, possibly due to being in a city at the end of the work day using Comcast. The range is still aweful as well.


Any ideas on where to look?


Also, the whole point of this system was for users to be able to roam (between APs). From the link you provided, Bridge mode is clearly not the way to make that happen. Is there another configuration that you would recommend?






Posts: 2,736
Registered: ‎07-07-2012

Re: EA4500 - poor 2.4GHz and 5GHz range

Use "20 MHz only" for 2.4 ghz for both EA4500 and EA6500.

The reason I said to use "specify an IP address" when configuring bridge mode is because there is a bug in the firmware that adversely affects the radios if you use "obtain IP address automatically".

You can try to use same SSIDs when in bridge mode because some people reported on this forum that it didn't make a difference.

Roaming is over-rated unless you're at work using expensive enterprise equipment designed for seamless roaming. Most home computers and their wireless adapters do not roam very well out of the box. It's often simpler to use different SSIDs and connect manually to strongest SSID.

If you live in an area of heavy wireless congestion, it can be difficult to have good luck with 2.4 ghz. inSSIDer for home is fine for most people and is free. inSSIDer for office isn't cheap and isn't free but is better.