Slow wifi due to mismatched country codes?

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Hello all!

I have a self-assembled mesh system here, consisting of a NBG6604 (as access point and router), a NBG6503 (as access point) and two WAP3205v2. All devices are connected with Ethernet cables as backbone, have the same SSID, and use channels 1, 5, 9 and 13 (on 2.4 GHz).

This configuration has worked without problems for several years. The individual end device has always connected perfectly to the geographically closest access point. The internet speed has always been excellent.

Recently, however, there are problems with the internet connection: the wifi connections sometimes drop, websites load very slowly, WhatsApp messages cannot be sent, ... HOWEVER: when I run a broadband test (website or iPhone app), I always get the maximum possible transfer rate!

I wonder what could be the cause of these problems. I have not made any change to the network.

But: I noticed after a wifi scan that the wifi devices have different country codes: All Zyxel devices were bought in Germany, but are now operated in Sweden. The NBG devices show the country code "CH", the WAP devices show the country code "FR". Surely, none of this can be right!

My questions:

  1. Can these problems be due to the different country codes?
  2. If so, how can I change the country codes?
  3. If it is not because of the country codes, what else could it be?

Thanks for all the help in advance!

KarlJohan

All Replies

  • tonygibbs16
    tonygibbs16 Posts: 841  Guru Member
    First Anniversary 10 Comments Friend Collector First Answer
    edited October 2023
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    Hello @KarlJohan

    Welcome to the forum.

    I will try to answer your questions:

    1. Maybe. but it could also be down to you having some neighbours who are using the same WiFi channels as you now. You might want to get a WiFi Analyser app from Apple store or Google Play store as appropriate for your smartphones to use to check if you now have a WiFi channel clash.
    2. https://support.zyxel.eu/hc/en-us/articles/360007514240-Access-Point-Activate-and-change-the-country-code suggests how you can get access in the Web GUI to setting country for WiFi , because the setting is usually hidden in the Web GUI. The following post might also be helpful.
    3. It could be a clash of WiFi channels of neighbouring access points and routers.

    I hope that this is useful.

    Kind regards,

    Tony

  • KarlJohan
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    Hi Tony,

    thank you very much for your quick reply and your help.

    About the particular items:

    1. The network is located in the rural area – the nearest neighbors are a few hundred meters away. No other networks nearby. Have scanned again to be on the safe side: nothing to find.
    2. When I enter in the terminal on my Mac:
      ssh 192.168.1.1
      I only get the message: connection refused
      This happens with all Zyxel devices/all addresses.
      How can I connect there if not via ssh?
    3. I set the channel distribution to 1–5–9–13 and knowingly set a channel width of 20 MHz. Then there should actually be no conflicts … I guess …

    In particular, I’m surprised that there were no problems at all for several years, but now they suddenly appear, without a change in settings.

    Do you perhaps have any other ideas?

    Kind regards
    KarlJohan

  • tonygibbs16
    tonygibbs16 Posts: 841  Guru Member
    First Anniversary 10 Comments Friend Collector First Answer
    edited October 2023
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    Hi @KarlJohan

    You are welcome.

    On the 3 points:

    1. Great. Good to know.
    2. Mmm. It seems from the user guide at https://download.zyxel.com/NBG6604/user_guide/NBG6604_v1_ed3.pdf that the NBG6604 only supports HTTP and Telnet.
      - I don't know if the command would work if you tried to access the NBG6604 using Telnet, if Telnet is enabled as shown on in 14.9.1 of the user guide…but you could try.
      - I cannot find the user guide for the NBG6503 but that might also only support WWW and Telnet for remote management…
    3. According to https://www.metageek.com/training/resources/why-channels-1-6-11/ only channels 1, 6 and 11 have not definitely overlap even with 20MHz channel bandwidth. This might not be the issue, but WiFi country code might affect whether channel 13 is allowed.

    I agree that it is surprising that there were no problems but now there are.

    Maybe one things is that the WiFi clients have been updated over time…so that they are more strict about which WiFi channels they use knowing their location…channel 13 might be an issue…

    There was a new version of firmware for NBG6604 released in August 2023, V1.01(ABIR.2)C0, available at https://www.zyxel.com/uk/en-gb/support/download?model=nbg6604
    - but I cannot see anything in the release notes that definitely seems like a fix for your issue…

    Kind regards,

    Tony

  • KarlJohan
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    Hi!

    Thanks again for your kind assistance.

    I tried to connect via Telnet (using a Windows PC), but the connection was refused.

    However, now I did two things: In order to determine whether it's caused by a clash of Wifi channels, I temporarily used one access point only on channel 1 … and everything went perfectly! Now I added another access point on channel 6 … and it's still OK. I'll continue to monitor the situation. Hopefully, that's the solution. :)

    Kind regards

    KarlJohan

  • KarlJohan
    Options

    Hi!

    Thanks again for your kind assistance.

    I tried to connect via Telnet (using a Windows PC), but the connection was refused.

    However, now I did two things: In order to determine whether it's caused by a clash of Wifi channels, I temporarily used one access point only on channel 1 … and everything went perfectly! Now I added another access point on channel 6 … and it's still OK. I'll continue to monitor the situation. Hopefully, that's the solution. :)

    Kind regards

    KarlJohan

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