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New Member
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-22-2016
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Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

My wifi network is a single AP-AC-LR with a number of Apple devices on Wifi (iPhones 6,8 and X, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro and Apple TV) and a few other Wifi devices (logitec, LIFX, Withings, ...). Wood house with low background 2.4GHz. Should be easy.

 

Every 10 to 15mn my devices would disconnect from Wifi and interrupt file transfers or communications. Sometimes short to the point I would not be disconnected but only interrupted (and lose file transfer), sometimes longer and I would get disconnected from servers and calls.

 

SInce the big upgrade a few years ago, this has been a very very frustrating issue. The easy and simple fix is reverting to 3.4.18 firmware from June 2016, before the big upgrade. So I lose all stats, events and some bells and whistles in the controller but I revert to a functionnal AP, with greater speeds (now above 200Mbps on 5G) and no disconnects for hours. The only thing is the controller nags you to upgrade to a DISFUNCTIONNAL P.O.S.

 

I spent a frustrating >3h with chat support 2 days ago to no effect, although I could very reliably reproduce the problem for them, trying all sorts of random permutations of firmware and settings. Things I had tried before but I played along. Slow and tedious. Not helpful in the end. 

WHY does Ubiquiti make such good hardware but can't fix major REGRESSIONS in its firmware for over TWO YEARS?
Add to that the incompetence of the support or their lack of information. Sorry for the venting but I hope my experience will be useful to other people in the same situation, as intermittent problems are really hard to recognize and track.

Senior Member
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Hello @phitar,

 

Don't have any issues with any of my Apple devices on the latest firmware...

What firmware version were you on?

 

 

Regards,

Glenn R.

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New Member
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-22-2016
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

I have tried a number of recent ones.

3.9.54

3.9.48 (from support)

3.9.42

but in the past

3.9.3

3.8.14

3.7.21

and others.


Note the problem is not easy to spot.

The problem manifests itself quite reliably (exact moment is random) interrupting file transfers above 1GB in the finder. Other file transfers (ftp, ...) would not always stop as they probably have more patient timeouts. Same for online conversations: most would only blank for a few secs without breaking even though I could observe the loss of connection from the Wifi indicator in the menu bar. On AppleTV, buffering usually masks the issue but it sometimes rarely also create breaks.

Senior Member
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Hello @phitar,

 

I Facetime quite alot and never have any issues...

How far are you away from the UAP?

What is the signal strength of the clients?
Clients > Gears ( top right ) > Customize Columns

 

Could you post your system config?

Settings > Maitenance > Support Info > Show System Config

 

 

Regards,

Glenn R.

Cloud Hosted Controllers | Glenn R. | UniFi Installation/Easy Update Scripts | UniFi-Video Installation Scripts | UniFi-VoIP Installation Scripts
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New Member
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-22-2016
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Here is the config. Power selecion is automatic now, and it still works but I tried extensively with a variety of channels and settings including manual power.

 

systemConfig.png

 

Sadly I can't show you clients as the controller is not compatible with 3.4.18 info. I regret that but much rather have a functionning AP :-)  

The problem manifests itself no matter how close I am from the AP. Can be within meters in direct line of sight. There are no interferences to speak of (no microwave, distant neighbours...) and no other users on the network.

With recent versions of the firmware, I would have two piece of information that may be relevant. Note I can't see these anymore with the old firmware as it does not inform the controller.
1. I would often get a warning event indicating interferences around the same time I would get disconnected but not always.
2. I would have really high numbers of Tx Retries (in the 10K/5mn but sometimes even higher)

Senior Member
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Hello @phitar,

 

I would recommend using the following Radio Settings

Devices > UAP > Config > Radios

 

2.4 GHz

Channel width: HT20

Chanel: 1/6/11 | Choose one of these channels, a RF scan will help you choose the most clean one.

Transmit Power: Low/Medium

 

5GHz

Channel width: VHT40 | Optional VHT80 might decrease wireless stability

Chanel: 36/44 | Optional (149/157) Choose one of these channels, a RF scan will help you choose the most clean one. Avoid using DFS Channels

Transmit Power: Medium/High

 

You may aswell disable band steering

Devices > UAP > Config > Band Steering

 

 

 

Regards,

Glenn R.

Cloud Hosted Controllers | Glenn R. | UniFi Installation/Easy Update Scripts | UniFi-Video Installation Scripts | UniFi-VoIP Installation Scripts
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New Member
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-22-2016
Kudos: 2

Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Thank you but I have tried all these conditions extensively and they have no impact.


RFscan show barely any traffic anywhere.
In fact, auto settings (which are in fact preferrable as they tradeoff between distance and bandwidth) work perfectly well with the old firmware. I left the channel settings in manual.
Same for band steering which does not have impact. I did a test with disabling 2G or 5G to no effect. For those reading, band steering setting is accessible on advanced settings only.

Regular Member
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

@phitar auto settings are never recommended by anyone. As suggested please use manual channel selection. Please disable band steering as well. Having the 5GHz power higher than 2.4GHz will steer the clients with LOS naturally to 5GHz

New Member
Posts: 21
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Thank you for the advice but read my posts. Those settings are for the 3.4.18.

Auto does not solve the problem at all on 3.8 or 3.9 firmwares. However, with the 3.4.18, it works better ;-)
Band steering has no impact either on the recent firmwares. On the old firmware, it steers inteligently.

Regular Member
Posts: 738
Registered: ‎02-17-2015
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Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

@phitar Did you try disable the advance features all together? After reading all your post it is not clear for me if you did. 

 

New Member
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-22-2016
Kudos: 2

Re: Random disconnect on Apple devices: revert to 3.4.18

Yes, thank you for your precision.
I actually spent 3h on chat with tech support going through every setting and disabling anything that would remotely be considered hazardous (auto transmit power, auto channel, auto steer, connectivity monitor and wireless uplink, changing DTIM 2G and 5G Periods to 3, no MAC filter, multicast enhancement (IGMPv3), DPI, band steering, ...)
Anything in particular you have in mind?

I think those settings do not matter in my case, what worked was downgrading to 3.4.18

The settings (the ones I listed and some others I may have forgotten) were fine under 3.4.18, and do not appear to make things better with 3.9... firmware. 

 

UniFi's firmware has a 2+ year regression. Something was broken more than two years ago and hasn't been fixed since. 

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