Windows 10 wifi dropouts - not hardware related (STUMPED!)
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Thread: Windows 10 wifi dropouts - not hardware related (STUMPED!)

  1. #1
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    Windows 10 wifi dropouts - not hardware related (STUMPED!)

    I have a self built desktop that is dual booted with Windows 10 (1903) and Mac OS Mojave. I use a USB dual band USB adapter (based on Realtek RT8811AU chipset). In Windows 10 I experience WIFI dropouts. In Mac OS, the WIFI works 100% flawlessly. Hence, this is NOT hardware related.

    The issue is apparent when I run a speed test and see huge sporadic dips while the test is running in Windows. The same test in Mac results in NO dropouts.
    It's also apparent when streaming HULU and the video will randomly pixelate to a lower quality/lower bandwidth stream. Again, not in Mac OS.

    WIFI signal strength is maximum and PC is close proximity to the router. There is nothing else on the network sucking up bandwidth or causing interference.

    Things I have tried to no avail:

    - a newer and different WIFI adapter with a different chipset (Hence, not adapter related)
    - using 2.4 GHZ or 5 GHZ WIFI
    - different WIFI channels
    - updating WIFI drivers
    - disabling "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" in Device Manager for the adapter
    - a program called WLAN Optimizer which is supposed to disable automatic periodic scanning for new networks
    - disabling and re-enabling the adapter
    - restarting the WLAN service
    - Assigning a static IP and DNS settings and DHCP for the adapter
    - scanning for malware with Malware Bytes Anti Rootkit and Windows Defender (none found - newish OS install)
    - using the netstat command to look for abnormal traffic while the dropouts occur (none found)
    - using Windows Resource Monitor to check for processes using network bandwidth (nothing abnormal or relevant)
    - disabling/enabling QOS for the adapter
    - just abut every other setting for the adapter in Device Manager under the Advanced tab
    - removing unused hidden devices in Device Manager
    - checking for and disabling various programs and processes
    - staying current with Windows Updates
    - disabling browser-Firefox extensions (I use the same extensions and browser in Mac OS with no ill effects).

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Alcyone; September 13th, 2019 at 04:32 PM.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpywareDr View Post
    Sounds like Windows 10 itself, or a combination of it and other running software must be the problem then.
    Agreed. What I don't understand is how anyone streams TV like Hulu in Windows 10 if it handles wireless so poorly.

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    I discovered the issue is related to Firefox. Does not happen in Edge.

  6. #6
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    Interesting. With all of the folks using Windows 10, WiFi, Firefox and Hulu you would think there would be a slew of complaints ... and some possible solutions. <shrug>

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    I removed all extensions and refreshed Firefox with the refresh feature. I even scanned for malware with malware bytes, but nothing was found. No other problems with the PC. The browser is fine when I first open it up for an hour or 2, then the bandwidth gets throttled. I was downloading a file in another problem while Firefox was open and experiencing the issue. As soon as I closed Firefox, download speed increased from 150 kb/sec to 3 megabytes per second. If it's not malware, and I'm sure it isn't, then it has to be a defect with the browser. I'm totally stumped.

  8. #8
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    That's a new one to me. What version of Firefox are you using? Is it 32 or 64 bit? Maybe you could try the ESR version instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    That's a new one to me. What version of Firefox are you using? Is it 32 or 64 bit? Maybe you could try the ESR version instead.
    I appreciate the suggestion. Thank you! I've never heard of the ESR version until now. Giving it a shot and will post back...

    I must say I'm very disappointed with Firefox. I really don't want to have to go back to Chrome because I'm not a Google fan, but Firefox appears to be unbelievably buggy. Another thing I've noticed is that it seems to slow down the system bus, even though it's not using much CPU, disk resources or memory. When I have some audio processor software running in the background for a radio station, it sputters every once in a while when Firefox is open. If I close the browser, the audio sputtering goes away as do the WIFI dropouts. I've also noticed that text in Firefox menus and webpages will appear green/multi-colored for a few seconds at random times. This happens every several hours.

    I would use Edge to stream Hulu, but every once in a while the video stops as if it's out of sync. Despite this, I've noticed streaming Hulu in Edge is lightening fast when skipping commercials. There's almost no buffering. Firefox, however, is terrible. Again, I have no extensions loaded and have done a refresh of the browser. No malware on the PC at all. Under Catalina Firefox appears to work OK.

  10. #10
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    You still didn't say what version of FF you are running. The current Release version is 70.0.1.

    FF ESR has been around since FF10. The current FF ESR is 68.2.0.

    I'm not a Hulu subscriber, so I can't really help you there.

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    Apologies. 68.2.0esr (64-bit) since installing the ESR version. Still the same problem. Using Edge now as Firefox is totally unusable while streaming.
    Last edited by Alcyone; November 9th, 2019 at 11:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have found that the latest versions of Firefox are junk also. They crash all the time and use loads of resources on my systems also. Unfortunately, all current web browsers that I have tried are junk. Their "accelerated release" schedules do not allow for any testing whatsoever. They have they latest "features", but their stability is non-existent.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    I have found that the latest versions of Firefox are junk also. They crash all the time and use loads of resources on my systems also. Unfortunately, all current web browsers that I have tried are junk. Their "accelerated release" schedules do not allow for any testing whatsoever. They have they latest "features", but their stability is non-existent.
    Agreed. I can't use Edge on Hulu with live TV as the video glitches at random points (strangely DVR recordings or on demand videos work just fine). After some research, people have been complaining about this for several years, but no solution has been made.

    I've completely given up on Firefox. It doesn't appear to use significant resources when I look at disk usage, memory, CPU and network. But it still seems to cause stuttering and slowdowns that I can't deal with. Hulu pixilates all the time.

    I guess it's back to Chrome for now, which is very disappointing.

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    You could try Vivaldi or the Brave browser. They use the same code base as Chrome.

  15. #15
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    Did you fully remove FF before you installed FFESR? It's possible that you have a profile issue.

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