Wireless N & Battery Life

Chris Kerrigan

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I just upgraded to a Wireless N router today, as previously I was "renting" a router from my ISP, which wasn't N capable. Since then, I'm noticing that my Fascinate's battery life is being sucked down almost twice as fast as normal, and it's been just sitting around for most of the day. Battery Use is showing WiFi as the largest culprit with 48%.

Did a little trial and error, re-installed my old router temporarily, and connected my phone to it and bam; WiFi jumps back down in usage. Anyone else noticing this or have any ideas?
 

gunnermike53

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I just upgraded to a Wireless N router today, as previously I was "renting" a router from my ISP, which wasn't N capable. Since then, I'm noticing that my Fascinate's battery life is being sucked down almost twice as fast as normal, and it's been just sitting around for most of the day. Battery Use is showing WiFi as the largest culprit with 48%.

Did a little trial and error, re-installed my old router temporarily, and connected my phone to it and bam; WiFi jumps back down in usage. Anyone else noticing this or have any ideas?

802.11 n uses 5 ghz

802.11 band g 2.4 ghz.

n uses more power. longer range, better penatration through objects takes more power.
 
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dkoss

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802.11 n uses 5 ghz

802.11 band g 2.4 ghz.

n uses more power. longer range, better penatration through objects takes more power.

While this is correct. The 5ghz bands allow a wider and less crowded spectrum for your device to send information through, 40MHz as opposed to the 20MHz the more crowded and narrower 2.4ghz band allows. The N routers that do offer 5ghz also offer 2.4ghz because not all devices recognise the 5ghz range. One of these devices that does not recognise the 5ghz range is the Samsung Fascinate, it only works in the 2.4 range.

I personally have an N router and at 9'30" have only 9% loss due to the wifi connect and that includes some surfing and downloading throughout the day. With almost full battery power on the phone itself. You may want to double check the set up of your router and whether you have something running in the background that is pulling your battery down. It could also be the actual brand of the router there is some question if certain brands or firmware versions pull battery more so than others.

Just for reference my set up is:
Linksys WRT160Nv3
Network Mode: Mixed
Channel Mode: Auto 20MHz or 40MHZ

With WPA Personal security
 
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Chris Kerrigan

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Hmmm. Well, I have a Netgear. This is my setup:

Netgear WNR2000v2
Network Mode: Mixed; Up to 300Mbps
Channel: Auto (although I have tried changing the channel to various things)

Using the WPA-PSK + WPA2-PSK with AES encryption for security.
 

gunnermike53

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Hmmm. Well, I have a Netgear. This is my setup:

Netgear WNR2000v2
Network Mode: Mixed; Up to 300Mbps
Channel: Auto (although I have tried changing the channel to various things)

Using the WPA-PSK + WPA2-PSK with AES encryption for security.

dkoss is correct about the freq. i thought the 2.4 ghz thing was another stupid eclaire thing. it is not however.

that being said, n will STILL use more power. i dont know why that is. but it is something i see everyday on my laptop. i keep track of the networks i connect to and the setup, it is a noticable differance between the n networks (even those at 2.4) and the g.

one of the things that increases the battery drain is the increased bandwidth being maintained at the same congested freq as g at lower bandwidth.

i should clear up one more thing, the 5 ghz does not increase range. it does however give you more object penatration. much of the increaced performance from 5 ghz comes from the lack of congestion.
 

jackmei2

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dkoss is correct about the freq. i thought the 2.4 ghz thing was another stupid eclaire thing. it is not however.

that being said, n will STILL use more power. i dont know why that is. but it is something i see everyday on my laptop. i keep track of the networks i connect to and the setup, it is a noticable differance between the n networks (even those at 2.4) and the g.

one of the things that increases the battery drain is the increased bandwidth being maintained at the same congested freq as g at lower bandwidth.

i should clear up one more thing, the 5 ghz does not increase range. it does however give you more object penatration. much of the increaced performance from 5 ghz comes from the lack of congestion.


heh... you said penetration. sorry, I couldn't help but giggle
 

dkoss

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Regardless of whether the N router uses more power or not, the power usage that Chris is seeing is considerably more than would be expected. One thing you may want to look into Chris is whether your firmware version is up to date on your router. I can't recall right off the top of my head whether you can do it automatically with a Netgear (haven't touched one of those since I left Comcast) but for some reason I think you can. If not go to their website and it will give you the latest firmware version for your router. I'm assuming yours is a Version 2 (most likely something like v2.x.xx) hence the v2 in your model. If you do not have the latest either download direct (if possible) or upload it through your computer.
 

Chris Kerrigan

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Regardless of whether the N router uses more power or not, the power usage that Chris is seeing is considerably more than would be expected. One thing you may want to look into Chris is whether your firmware version is up to date on your router. I can't recall right off the top of my head whether you can do it automatically with a Netgear (haven't touched one of those since I left Comcast) but for some reason I think you can. If not go to their website and it will give you the latest firmware version for your router. I'm assuming yours is a Version 2 (most likely something like v2.x.xx) hence the v2 in your model. If you do not have the latest either download direct (if possible) or upload it through your computer.

Yep. That was one of the first things I did after setting it up was update the firmware. It was a relatively large update, too. I just checked again for the hell of it, and it's up to date.

I tried turning WiFi sleep on, so WiFi isn't active when the screen is off. This seemed to help a little, but it's still pulling way too much juice for my liking.
 

sushiguy732

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I am using an Apple Airport Extreme which is an N router and my phone has been on all day and I see a 9% usage. I have been in the Market and online (facebook, web, etc) for parts of the day.
 

gunnermike53

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Yep. That was one of the first things I did after setting it up was update the firmware. It was a relatively large update, too. I just checked again for the hell of it, and it's up to date.

I tried turning WiFi sleep on, so WiFi isn't active when the screen is off. This seemed to help a little, but it's still pulling way too much juice for my liking.

turn off the n radio. see what you get then.
 

dkoss

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Yep. That was one of the first things I did after setting it up was update the firmware. It was a relatively large update, too. I just checked again for the hell of it, and it's up to date.

I tried turning WiFi sleep on, so WiFi isn't active when the screen is off. This seemed to help a little, but it's still pulling way too much juice for my liking.

Yeah, now I remember you can run through the update in the set up screen, and it takes forevvvver.

I don't think you should have to turn WiFi sleep on to keep your battery usage down. As I said I am using ~1% per hour today with minimal usage but I do not shut my WiFi off at all while I am at home. It sounds almost like your phone is fighting to stay connected to the router. I used to run WPA2 for my security until I had a little disagreement with it and my Linux system and the Linux system won out so I dropped it to WPA. That may be another area you might want to look at, if you're comfortable with it.

As far as having your router to run at the 300mbps limit you would have to have all of your peripherals compliant with the 5ghz bandwidth. Which, unfortunately for us Fascinate owners is not a possibility once we connect our phone. So you might also try changing some of the settings for that to see if it helps.

One other thing, I don't know if you have an option for the Channel Width but check to see what it is set for if you do.

I wouldn't worry so much about the actual Channel that is more for issues with connectivity. For instance if someone around has their on the same channel as you are you would want to change your channel.
 
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gunnermike53

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Yeah, now I remember you can run through the update in the set up screen, and it takes forevvvver.

I don't think you should have to turn WiFi sleep on to keep your battery usage down. As I said I am using ~1% per hour today with minimal usage but I do not shut my WiFi off at all while I am at home. It sounds almost like your phone is fighting to stay connected to the router. I used to run WPA2 for my security until I had a little disagreement with it and my Linux system and the Linux system won out so I dropped it to WPA. That may be another area you might want to look at, if you're comfortable with it.

As far as having your router to run at the 300mbps limit you would have to have all of your peripherals compliant with the 5ghz bandwidth. Which, unfortunately for us Fascinate owners is not a possibility once we connect our phone. So you might also try changing some of the settings for that to see if it helps.

i usually turn off that stupid feature on the netgears. i just wanna get in and get out as quick as possible.

my wifi on my phone drains my battery pretty quick. i suppose the security could be an issue, i have not seen that. of course my experiance is computers not phones, and very few of my customers that would require me to log into thier router run linux. i beilve 75mbs is the max bandwidth for 2.4 n. i thought by limiting the router to g, it would give a good place to start troubleshooting.
 

dkoss

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Most of my experience has also been with computers and not phones that is why this has peaked my interest. Shutting the N radio off kind of defeats the purpose of buying the N router.
 

Chris Kerrigan

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Most of my experience has also been with computers and not phones that is why this has peaked my interest. Shutting the N radio off kind of defeats the purpose of buying the N router.

My thoughts exactly. I throttled down the max from 300 to 150Mbps, so I guess we'll see what happens from here on out. If that doesn't work, I'll try removing the security alltogether for a period of time and see what effect (if any) that has.
 

dkoss

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My thoughts exactly. I throttled down the max from 300 to 150Mbps, so I guess we'll see what happens from here on out. If that doesn't work, I'll try removing the security alltogether for a period of time and see what effect (if any) that has.

I wouldn't recommend shutting the security down altogether but I would recommend going down to WPA. The other option is to try another brand router.
Let me know what evolves over the next day or so.
 

gunnermike53

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shutting off the n radio does defeat the purpose of an n router. thats why i said turn it off not break it :p. you want to isolate the problem. is it the n protocol on the phone or a problem with the router. you dont have the problem with your old router that is not an n. will you have the problem with this router with n turned off? if you do then you found your answer, if not we now have narrowed the problem down and can move on from there. its all about eleminating possibilaties.
 

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