How can I check if Spectrum is stifling my internet speed?

JT1750JT1750 Posts: 3 ✭✭
edited November 18 in Connectivity Nov 18, 2020

I’ve been having issues for the past month with intermittent internet speed from Spectrum, to where it will get so slow it will affect business meetings - video chats pausing, etc., or internet just cutting out. I’ve had 3 visits from Spectrum techs so far, they’ve repaired a bunch of lines outside the house, including a split wire up on the poll. I’ve exchanged 2.5 year old Spectrum modem and router for new ones. Now Spectrum says the internet connection coming into the house, along with the modem, are working fine, even though I’ve continually had internet cut out or slow down. Finally a Spectrum rep told me yesterday their routers are garbage, even the new ones, with a lots of complaints, and recommended I buy my own router.  

So I went out and bought an ASUS AiMesh Wif-Fi System AC1750 RT-AC66U B1 2 Pack – to set up a router and node router for a Mesh System.

On my HP Spectre laptop, when I check my internet speed on 2G in the ASUS router admin> Adaptive QOS>Internet Speed, I get between 145 - 186 Mbps – it says it’s using Ookla Speedtest. When I go to (Ookla) in my browser on my laptop, I get anywhere from 13 – 20s or 30s Mbps on my HP Spectre laptop and usually 30s – 40s on my Samsung Galaxy S9 cell phone. Why the discrepancy – why is not showing the 145-186 speed on both my laptop and phone?

When I test 5G, I’m getting 232 in ASUS admin, 126 on laptop, 188 on cell phone.

Multiple Spectrum phone reps have told me I should be getting at or near the 400 Mbps on both 2G and 5G (depending on where I am in house), and I certainly should not be having the intermittent speed issues. The numbers above I’m testing in the living room where the modem and router resides (I have my node router in another room). Last time Spectrum was out, the tech tested the speed from the modem, through his device, and was getting much higher speeds at or near 400, possibly even over 400, than I'm getting on any of my equipment or even showing through the new router. Even my TCL Roku TV hardwired through ethernet is only showing between 55-65 Mpbs. I never had an issue with TV before, but last couple weeks since I exchanged modem and router, Vimeo app would pause on me while watching a screener.

Spectrum tech said, oh every device is different and the device may not have the right wifi card or something like that. That seems like a complete BS answer because our laptops and phones are only a couple years old and how would any business or home function if slightly old devices wouldn't read Spectrum's wifi correctly?

I’ve read about internet companies stifling speeds, so I want to know if Spectrum is doing this to me, and if so, what is the fix to get them to give me what I’m paying for.

I have another appointment set tomorrow – it’s supposed to be a lead or supervisor visit. Last time 3 phone reps and Twitter support promised me a lead or supervisor would visit, but instead Spectrum still sent a lower level Tech 2. I've requested a supervisor from a previous tech and he told me there was only one working in my area and he was out on another call with a customer, and then that tech left without repairing the poll issue he diagnosed.

For tomorrow’s appointment, what can I have Spectrum check, what should I ask, to ensure the internet they are delivering is what I’m paying for, and that their modem is working correctly. Thanks for any recommendations.


  • Lake802Lake802 Posts: 48 ✭✭✭✭
    Nov 18, 2020

    Greetings JT1750. Sorry to hear you are having internet issues. There are a couple things you can try to isolate current speed issues. First try connecting laptop directly to modem and bypass any router you have for testing purposes.

    None of the popular internet speed tests are super accurate. Testing connection on wifi instead of being direct wired on ethernet will show dramatically slower speed. That limitation is an trait of wifi versus direct wired ethernet. Direct wired is dramatically faster.

    To answer your question, no, Spectrum does not "stifle" your speeds. There are several factors that can impact performance on a connection (congestion, signal issues , line errors etc) but those issues are generally detectable and resolvable.

    Ask onsite tech to verify that rx tx and snr are in spec on modem. Ask them to verify there are no T3 or T4 errors in the modem log. Ask them to verify there are no errors of any kind in the modem log.

    Once the signals to the modem are stable , reliable in spec and without error - your speeds will generally go up. Once you add the router back into the mix , you can then gauge typical performance on wifi when close to the router and then gain perspective on the speed performance hit as you move the test device further away from the router and into other rooms.

    Please let us know how it goes after your next service appointment.

  • JT1750JT1750 Posts: 3 ✭✭
    Nov 18, 2020

    Thank you, that is very helpful. Unfortunately, I don't have an ethernet port on my laptop - it's a thin HP Spectre 360, so no ethernet port. I see Amazon has an ethernet to USB for $15 but is it really worth it?

    Since the Spectrum phone reps can check certain things remotely in the modem, do you think they can check this:

    Ask onsite tech to verify that rx tx and snr are in spec on modem. Ask them to verify there are no T3 or T4 errors in the modem log. Ask them to verify there are no errors of any kind in the modem log.

    Since hooking up new ASUS Mesh System routers last night, so far at least internet is stable. Will know more later once wife gets into video chats for work. But at least it seems better so far. So trying to determine if I should keep appointment tomorrow or if phone reps can do the work on modem.

    Also this might be a dumb question, but can I use Spectrum's router as a 2nd node router for the ASUS mesh system (hence we would have a total of 3 routers in the mesh system then - 1st main ASUS, 2nd ASUS node, 3rd Spectrum node) ?

    Obviously the Spectrum router wasn't working well as a main router, but possibly using as a node router could help extend my wifi network even better and allow ethernet connection in another room if needed. Thoughts?

  • Lake802Lake802 Posts: 48 ✭✭✭✭
    Nov 18, 2020

    Greetings JT1750 - not quite sure while earlier post didnt quite fully display in forum. Regardless , yes the Amazon adapter will work with your HP Specter 360. The version of your USB C ports ie USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USBC 3.1 Gen2 can make a significant difference in the test results and performance.

    Yes , would encourage you to keep appointment. Spectrum tech support can diagnose modem remotely but field tech will need to be onsite to correct errors/cabling and such.

    Your question is great - Asus AI mesh provides pretty good coverage with two routers. It works better if the two routers are connected via ethernet cable but works well in most residential homes under 4000 sq ft or so depending on construction. You can safely unplug Spectrum router after your AI mesh is up and running. It wont provide much additional value in terms of performance or coverage.

    Kindly let us know how it goes after your service appointment

  • JT1750JT1750 Posts: 3 ✭✭
    Nov 20, 2020

    Spectrum team that came out yesterday were great. They replaced line from poll to house, and switched out modem. Supervisor explained next steps of calling out maintenance team if we still have issues.

    So far we seem to be doing pretty good. However, still having some signal issues on my phone receiving wifi, bars keep fluctuating, while laptops seem pretty good except had a film through the browser pause a couple times. 2G on laptop keeps fluctuating speeds, ran 3 tests in a row, got 17 Mbps, 39, 16. Using Columbus server like supervisor suggested. Speedtest also fluctuating on phone. .Used wifi analyzer like supervisor suggested, switched channels on router from auto 10 to 6, which was the lowest congested one. Still not getting anywhere near what I should be on 2G, so still not understanding why.

    Is there anything else on the router to try? Is there anything I need to do to my cell phone - Samsung Galaxy S9?

    I've never had issues with my phone and cell signal before, but with the bars fluctuating, sometimes it will take way too long to load websites while browsing, so I'm am noticing a lag. I've restarted phone and that didn't do anything. I'm in the same room as the router, and I believe before I've always had full bars on both 2G and 5G.

    Any suggestions welcome.

  • Lake802Lake802 Posts: 48 ✭✭✭✭
    Nov 21, 2020

    Greetings JT1750 - sound like you are making good progress from a productive tech service visit.

    For the next steps - let us know how it goes with having just your 1st Asus router plugged in to provide wifi and have the Spectrum router unplugged/turned off.

    The Galaxy S9 should be able to connect to the 5Ghz wifi and deliver decent performance over 802.11ac connection as it has the internal chip to support that.

    We are assuming you are testing with google chrome as a web browser on the phone. You can also try an alternate browser like Brave to assess if you see any meaningful difference in page load speed/laggieness from web browser.

    Let us know how it goes after you have a chance to test things a bit more.

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