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Huge amount of WiFi traffic until reconnect

asked 2019-03-23 11:26:49 +0000

haveyouseenthewalls gravatar image

updated 2019-03-23 11:27:22 +0000

Hello guys,

I have a problem with my WiFi which I suspect is either hardware related or some driver issue. I have a computer that is connected via wireless USB adapter. At random times, the network will slow down massively (as in simple HTTP requests will take over 30 seconds until the page is fully loaded). The connection is never lost completely, just slow to the point where Windows says "connected, but no internet access".

During this time, on my router, there is a huge increase in wifi traffic sent from the router (green waves). Being the only client connected, I can rule out other devices which could cause this.

Also, simply disconnecting and reconnecting to the network will reduce the packets sent immediately to the normal level (as seen in the middle of the graphic where I reconnected).

image description

How do I go about finding the root cause of this problem? Anything I should look out for? Packets? It happens randomly with no specific trigger and I'm clueless as to what is going on and why a simple reconnect fixes it.

Any help is appreciated.

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answered 2019-03-23 18:47:04 +0000

Ross Jacobs gravatar image

updated 2019-03-23 21:03:21 +0000

Take a packet capture with Wireshark or tshark.

Open the file in Wireshark. Go to Statistics > Conversations and look at the Ethernet, IPv4, and IPv6 sections. Sort by the Addresses/Packets column to see the src/dst MAC/IP that are producing the most traffic.

This equivalent with the CLI and GNU coreutils will print the most frequent conversations (based on IPv4 address): IP: tshark -r tmp.pcap -T fields -e ip.src -e ip.dst | sort | uniq -c | sort -r

Depending on how much you care about this, you may want to take a monitor-mode packet capture (tshark -I) on a device that supports it to see if there's an 802.11 problem. Whether you have access to raw wireless traffic is dependent on your device (most Windows devices don't permit access, but Macos/Linux do).

Edited per @guy-harris

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And if that doesn't show you anything, the traffic might not be IP traffic, in which case try the misnamed "Ethernet" conversation, which really means "802.x/FDDI-style MAC", which includes 802.11 as well as Ethernet (and Token Ring and FDDI and...).

Guy Harris gravatar imageGuy Harris ( 2019-03-23 20:38:52 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2019-03-23 11:26:49 +0000

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Last updated: Mar 23 '19