Frequent Disconnection on 5G Home Internet

  • 15 January 2022
  • 28 replies
  • 4862 views

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Just putting out my observations on disconnects on my 5G Home Internet -- hoping that T-Mobile’s engineering will take notice because I’m not sure if my support calls during the past several months have trickled up.  I will place another support call again to communicate these observations.

 

My gateway is on the latest 1609 firmware.

 

During the last several months, I noticed that at least once a week, usually on a weekend, my Internet connection will drop out, sometimes two or three times on a given day.  It was unpredictable.  It could occur several times during a  given week; and, like most, working remotely, it wreaked havoc on my work day.  Often noticed service disruption when streaming video starts buffering or my vpn drops out.  Sometimes, I’m able to catch a severe degradation of speed on a speed test app before it becomes unusable.  I usually see 300/50 Mbps, so 1 to 2 Mbps down was definitely not a reasonable speed -- especially with the gateway still showing four bars.

 

In every case, power cycling the gateway fixed the issue.  But obviously this is an unacceptable solution.

 

I opened a support ticket back in October 2021.  Over the next couple of months, we replaced the unit+sim.  We’ve powered off/on with removal of power for a period of time.  We’ve replugged directly into the wall as opposed to a surge protector (which was an inane suggestion).  Two engineering tickets were opened with no one getting back to me.  All to no avail.  The support experience was frustrating, especially when it was clear no one had a clue to what was going on and were trying to give me things to do to make me feel like something productive was being tried.  I had to fly out for two weeks during the Christmas holidays, so held off of switching service providers until the new year.  (I was a FIOS customer and was looking to go back -- I had no issues there, but I thought I’d try T-Mobile after a storm ripped out my optical switch from the  side of my house.)

 

During my time away in December 2021, I asked my tenant to check speeds and report any service outages.  To my surprise, during the two weeks we were away in December, there were no outages.

 

When I returned from holidays, service was still consistently good -- actually even better, up to 320/60 Mbps -- and I wondered if there was something repaired or improved on T-Mobile’s network.

 

Until I used a vpn (RealSolid) to watch some, er, region specific video content.   Noticed that an hour or two into the viewing of the video stream over vpn, service would degrade until it dropped out.  A reboot of the gateway would bring service back.   Service was good during the week until I used the vpn again the following weekend.  So this had gotten me to suspect that while1609 may have repaired some vpn client issue, it is still not handling vpn traffic properly.

 

During the previous months, I actually rarely used this aforementioned vpn, so I’m hypothesizing that it may have been my work VPN (GlobalProtect) with a sustained connection over time.  My work vpn has been fine since starting back at work, but i have purposely shut down my work computer every evening.  I’m going to keep it running as I did prior to Christmas to see if I can reproduce the issue.  If it recurs, I suspect the sustained use of some vpn clients may be affecting service.

 

In any case, it appears that engineering will need to look closely at their code and fix the handling of vpn traffic.


28 replies

One possible solution.

Background, we have 2 mobile phones, 2 tablets, 3 laptops, 2 TV, and 4 arlos cameras utilizing the internet. 
It has been about a month since we signed up with the Tmobile 5G home service in Oct ‘22.  The model of our black 5G tower is FAST-5688W.  Yes, it is sensitive to placement and also the proximity to the Netgear Nighthawk wifi router, causing the 5G internet to randomly drop over the initial 8 days.  The duration of the drops can last from 5 mins to forever.  That is until I moved the Netgear wifi router 12+ inches further away instead of setting closely side by side.  It has been almost 3 weeks of reliable internet since.  We’re very happy that T-Mobile is available in the mountains of Colorado.  Subsequently we cancelled the Starlink reservation.  

 

Saltgod21, I didn’t get the details you have, but yes they told me the same, so my fingers are crossed too.

I’ve been having issues with the signal constantly switching between 4g and 5g, while gaming it will constantly go to no signal every couple minutes. Used to have an excellent signal strength and now it just has 2 bars no matter where I move it to. Having a fan to cool it off doesn’t seem to help. I work from home so sadly this issue is going to cost me my job

I have had this issue on and off for the last several months of having 5G Home Internet.  I got complacent and ordered a Keep Connect, which is a device that automatically power cycles your modem if internet is lost.  It is up to 300+ resets in the past few months.

I called support today to see if there is anything else that can be done as it seems to be getting worse rather than better.  The support was energetic and helpful and did have new reason for this issue.  They said there is a ‘fix’ coming to firmware in a few weeks that has something to do with the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz signals and devices switching back and forth.  I was told I could manually separate devices onto either network to get instant results, but that sounded like too much work so I am gonna wait and hope a firmware fix is weeks away.  Anyone else hearing this?  Is it true?

Being new to this forum I can not figure out how to make changes to prior posts.  However, the posts I made about the cooling fan solving the problem are incorrect.  It worked only for about a day or so, and the problem has returned again.  It does always seem to drop the internet when I am not actively using it, which could be a clue to the failure.  But the cooling is not eliminating the previous problem.

Just putting out my observations on disconnects on my 5G Home Internet -- hoping that T-Mobile’s engineering will take notice because I’m not sure if my support calls during the past several months have trickled up.  I will place another support call again to communicate these observations.

 

My gateway is on the latest 1609 firmware.

 

During the last several months, I noticed that at least once a week, usually on a weekend, my Internet connection will drop out, sometimes two or three times on a given day.  It was unpredictable.  It could occur several times during a  given week; and, like most, working remotely, it wreaked havoc on my work day.  Often noticed service disruption when streaming video starts buffering or my vpn drops out.  Sometimes, I’m able to catch a severe degradation of speed on a speed test app before it becomes unusable.  I usually see 300/50 Mbps, so 1 to 2 Mbps down was definitely not a reasonable speed -- especially with the gateway still showing four bars.

 

In every case, power cycling the gateway fixed the issue.  But obviously this is an unacceptable solution.

 

I opened a support ticket back in October 2021.  Over the next couple of months, we replaced the unit+sim.  We’ve powered off/on with removal of power for a period of time.  We’ve replugged directly into the wall as opposed to a surge protector (which was an inane suggestion).  Two engineering tickets were opened with no one getting back to me.  All to no avail.  The support experience was frustrating, especially when it was clear no one had a clue to what was going on and were trying to give me things to do to make me feel like something productive was being tried.  I had to fly out for two weeks during the Christmas holidays, so held off of switching service providers until the new year.  (I was a FIOS customer and was looking to go back -- I had no issues there, but I thought I’d try T-Mobile after a storm ripped out my optical switch from the  side of my house.)

 

During my time away in December 2021, I asked my tenant to check speeds and report any service outages.  To my surprise, during the two weeks we were away in December, there were no outages.

 

When I returned from holidays, service was still consistently good -- actually even better, up to 320/60 Mbps -- and I wondered if there was something repaired or improved on T-Mobile’s network.

 

Until I used a vpn (RealSolid) to watch some, er, region specific video content.   Noticed that an hour or two into the viewing of the video stream over vpn, service would degrade until it dropped out.  A reboot of the gateway would bring service back.   Service was good during the week until I used the vpn again the following weekend.  So this had gotten me to suspect that while1609 may have repaired some vpn client issue, it is still not handling vpn traffic properly.

 

During the previous months, I actually rarely used this aforementioned vpn, so I’m hypothesizing that it may have been my work VPN (GlobalProtect) with a sustained connection over time.  My work vpn has been fine since starting back at work, but i have purposely shut down my work computer every evening.  I’m going to keep it running as I did prior to Christmas to see if I can reproduce the issue.  If it recurs, I suspect the sustained use of some vpn clients may be affecting service.

 

In any case, it appears that engineering will need to look closely at their code and fix the handling of vpn traffic.

 

I just got this KVD21 this past Friday, 10/7. Plugged one Ethernet cord directly to my PC and the second to my Netgear router. The KVD21 was loading internet pages, it would stop loading and I would have to refresh for the page to finish loading. I went into Wi-Fi settings and turned it off and that seemed to fix the problem until I turned on my Norton VPN. That crippled my internet.

 

I have a Wi-Fi card in my PC. I unplugged the Ethernet cable going to the PC, still had a cable from the KVD21 going to the Netgear router. Initiated the Wi-Fi and connected to the internet using the Wi-Fi from the router. Wallah, solved the problem for the time being.

 

Got up this morning and rearranged the Ethernet cables as they should be and all is fine today. Reading in this forum it seems this is an intermittent problem. I have this KVD21 on a two week try out and it seems support is lacking from what I read here. I had high hopes for this KVD21. We shall see, I may have to go back to my previous internet provider.

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Awesome!

Okay I said I would update my prior post if it dropped the internet again, but guess what???  The fan fix solved the problem, or miraculously it fixed itself!  I did find that merely sitting the tower on the fan didn’t do anything, because the insides are constricted so it just pushed the air out the gap between the fan body and the gateway case.  So I sealed that up with some curved plastic rims off of a frozen microwave meal tray.  BOOM!  Airflow established, and the case cooled down nicely.  Tried to clean it up a little to look presentable, but hey it works. 

Materials:

Noisy used 12 volt computer case fan
Dirty used 120vac to 9vdc adapter (makes the fan run quiet)
Feet for under the fan, and a 4.5 inch filter screen to not suck dust into the gateway
12dc automotive switch with LED indicator
Hot melt glue
Shrink tubing
Edges cut off of a Stouffer’s Lasagna microwave meal tray
More hot melt glue
Alcohol to clean off all the excess hot melt glue, LOL

 

 

As far as other responses, I too have the exact same problem with my 5G gateway, the Arcadyan KVD21.  It’s in a window facing the direction of the tower as located by the app, and when working, has 4 bars and reports “Very Good Signal.”  It is plugged into a wall outlet via a 6 foot 3-prong extension cord (14 gauge).  Nothing else is plugged into the outlet.  It works fine most of the time.

However it tends to cut out at night when I’m asleep.  I wake up about 3am and it’s off again, the time of the very least area demand.  It does not often cut off while I’m using it.  I haven’t noticed any lagging or slow responses when it did drop the internet while I was using it, it just went dead.  I  Just finished building a cooling fan base for it, and sealed the fan to the bottom of the gateway.  The fan is a 12 volt computer fan 4.75 inches square, so a perfect fit.  It is raised up on (4)  3/8” feet.  There was substantial airflow from the fan at 9volts, and no noise like there is at 12 volts, so I used an old 120vac to 9vdc adapter.  I notice hardly any air coming out of the tiny holes in the gateway, but am trying it.  The cabinet used to get warm (not hot) but now is cool to the touch.  I rigged up an indicator switch to both control the fan and provide a blue LED when running  I’ll let it run and report back if it drops the internet again.

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I had the same problem with frequent disconnects. After reading up on the internet on similar problems, I purchased a cheap 4.5”x4.5” cooling fan on amazon. No more drops. Apparently when the modem gets a lot of use, it overheats and drops the connection. I placed the cooling fan on a cookie cooling rack (a screen that is about a half inch from the table) with the fan blowing toward the ceiling. Then place the T-Mobile modem on the fan. The fan has run 24-7 for about 7 months now. I just had Astound cable service hooked up for only $32/month and have now cancelled the Tmobile internet. Good luck cancelling T-mobile internet … it took numerous calls, as they were unable to locate my account even after I gave them the account number and assigned phone number as listed on my monthly wireless internet bills.

 

I should have read the entire thread before posting my last post.

 

I believe overheating is my issue as well.

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Please check this thread for a possible fix.

 

I had the same problem with frequent disconnects. After reading up on the internet on similar problems, I purchased a cheap 4.5”x4.5” cooling fan on amazon. No more drops. Apparently when the modem gets a lot of use, it overheats and drops the connection. I placed the cooling fan on a cookie cooling rack (a screen that is about a half inch from the table) with the fan blowing toward the ceiling. Then place the T-Mobile modem on the fan. The fan has run 24-7 for about 7 months now. I just had Astound cable service hooked up for only $32/month and have now cancelled the Tmobile internet. Good luck cancelling T-mobile internet … it took numerous calls, as they were unable to locate my account even after I gave them the account number and assigned phone number as listed on my monthly wireless internet bills.

So update.  It did not work. My spouse and I have gone so far as to remove the 5g network and it has not changed a thing. We reduced the number of electronics on the router, nothing changed. So we're going back to fios. Seriously T-Mobile, I get that contracts are signed and you're supposed to use a product for a certain amount of time. However, you think that there would be a clause that states that if the product is causing so many issues, that y'all can void out the contract and not have this machine as your advertising piece. Idunno, y'all don't pay me at all to give advice or work for you. But like tvision, y'all dropped the ball hard on this one. 

My router has been working much better since one of the techs realized that my little tower was not connected to the phone number assigned to the device. Still, it’s not as reliable as cable. I’ve found that all I have to do, rather than move router is to just unplug and replug it without moving it at all. Still, that means that you have about 2 minutes down time before the router fires up again. But my internet now works a couple days at a time now without going out. Has that been checked for the rest of you

 This isn’t a giant issue for me most of the time, but it is inconvenient, espcially if I’m watching a movie and internet suddenly cuts out.

The issue is that these routers are not plug and play. The instructions to install them do not include things like attaching a phone number to your router if it wasn’t programmed in before it was shipped to you. 

 

Hey everyone.  I think I have found the solution for you.  So, like y’all, I’ve been having issues with the internet for almost 3 weeks now (my gateway is the arcadyan kvd 21).  When I called T-mobile they just sent a replacement gateway and said that should fix it.  Surprisingly enough, that did not fix the issue, the replacement gateway that was sent did not match their records and due to maintenance on the nearby tower, the gateway wouldn’t communicate.  Today, at least for the past 2 hours, there have been no issues with the wifi.  So when it comes to solutions.  It could be because of the manufacturer.  but the advice my spouse and I got was to go in the home internet app, go to  the Networks tab and add a network.  Make ones frequency set at 2.4 and set the others frequency exclusively at 5.  Its been a bit over 2 hours and the wifi hasn’t dropped.  We do have the gateway connected to a router that is handling the load pretty well.  Good luck fellow travelers 

I’ve had the t-mobile 5G internet for less than a week now. It works intermittently at best. 
There are 2 locations in my house that get pretty strong reception, but in this short week, I’ve had to move the router almost everyday to get a signal strong enough that my computer can even connect to it. This is not acceptable service. AND, while most people on this forum say that they notice the most drops in service to busy hours, I find that the service all but disappears during the middle of the night when I’m occasionally woken by my dog, a child or strange sounds during the night. 

I really want this service to work because my prior internet service, while much more stable, was incredibly expensive. 

 

I recently subscribed to Home Internet and got the KVD21. Installation and set-up was simple. After two weeks of use and testing, I have found that the unit is fully capable of sustained advertised download speeds of 115 Mbps.

The problem that I have found is that T-Mobile is not pushing the bandwidth to the device when network usage in your area is high. In fact Home Internet has no priority at such times. In my use thus far that means speeds of 0-3 Mbps during these Prime Times. When network traffic is lower I have sustained speeds of 81.43 Mbps, 86.76 Mbps, and 94.16 Mbps for a few hours. So basically in a 24 hour period my ability to use this service goes from being on a 2400 baud modem (remember those) for a few Prime Time Hours to moderately high bit rate speeds that allow you to adequately use the service. Yes I have tried power the unit off, factory reset, unplug, change locations, reset devices, different cables and reinstall software multiple times.

I see the solution to this issue is simple at this stage. SUSTAINED MINIMUM BANDWIDTH. T-Mobile needs to set a minimum speed for these devices if they want to maintain subscribers until they can build out their network to handle demand in areas there is a problem.10 Mbps is an acceptable minimum during these Prime Times. If they want to compete with cable and fiber they can’t expect people to accept daily speeds under 10 Mbps with all the options out there. This service solution has many positives but the biggest negative at the moment is sustained usable speed.

 

I've had a couple random dropouts before but today experience multiple disconnections from the internet while signal strength looked good.

 

I believe this to be an easy thing to detect on the network and something they should be trying to avoid.

I have been fighting this issue since mid Jan, right after the first weekend of 5G tower upgrades.  Prior to that when the Gateway was on the 4G LTE, it worked flawlessly for 3-4 months and I never had to reboot it.

Sadly, the customer service is clueless as I too have been asked to change the power outlet, factory reset, power off, unplug, etc. 

 

I was first told that there were tower issues and I’d be impacted for 2 weeks.  I got a credit for that and 2 weeks later it worked a few days and the same issues occurred (no internet though good tower connection, drops during the day which is painful with VPN).  They moved me to a different tower only to be kicked off and re-assigned to my non working tower when they told me there were once again tower issues needing several days to correct.

 

On 3/3, they sent me a new gateway with no sim card.  I changed sim cards and had the same issues.  They then told me it was a sim card issue and would send me a new sim and GW that is verified to work before sending.  It yet again cam without a sim card so I took it to the local store for a sim card and it wouldn’t boot due to a hardware failure. 

I then demanded a second credit for loss of service and a new gateway from the store with a sim card so I at least knew quality control was in place.  I took the now 4th GW, 3rd sim card home and still had the dropouts (3/10).  When I called in they informed me that there were yet again (3rd time) tower upgrades and would not complete until 3/31!!  Since I will not be billed until April I told them I would give them until 4/1 and if it isn’t working, I will cancel the service and get Verizon’s home internet GW 4G or 5G service that works. 

When this works, it is great but dealing with the incompetence and lies from the support team is infuriating since I work in high tech networking and know how to troubleshoot networks.  They simply do not know what is causing the drops based on my experience and make things up.  10 weeks and 3 excuses saying the tower upgrades were complete and then not complete is enough so if it is not working by 4/1, they are clearly unable to deliver with 5G which is a major disappointment as a user that was an early adopter where it worked well on 4G.

After my first month with no issues I'm unfortunately on the same boat as many of you in these posts. My first non issue month was too good to be true now these connection drops are becoming the norm.

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Thanks for the heads up.  I just checked and apparently did get upgraded.  I will have to run some tests this weekend. 
 

@raphael  -- have you updated to the .0338 system yet?  Others have reported better VPN service since they updated.

i too have been having this issue lately. i was told it could be: not plugged into a wall socket - not the case, messages being sent to unit that might be causing the disconnect, so the number was changed - makes no sense to me, but.... they kinda don’t have an answer as to what the problem is. i think it could be due to too many users in my area streaming at the same time. it seems to be in the evenings and weekends. if it happens during the day while i’m at the office, i wouldn’t know. but they need to fix the issue. if it continues, they have to give credit since it’s an issue with their service. it’s not like i’m doing something wrong.

Hi. Around super bowl I had one disconnect a day. Streaming froze up once.  It was stable for 5 days without disconnect. Able do a little streaming without problems. No buffering. Not a problem to reboot the router once a week. As you found I doubt any of what you tries was the problem. More likely this is how Tmobile is handling traffic off of there servers. When it does disconnect the wifi signal and lye and 5g signals are good (2 -3 bars) but there is no data coming in. This is a problem if not home as can not reboot the router remotely only if at home on wifi. I believe Tmobile can reboot the router remotely however as some have said. Right now things are fairly stable. There was a firmware update recently that may have helped???  Also remember that Tmobile can reduce speeds if you use more than 50-100 FBI per month. This might be effecting your ability to stream at a high rate. 

I'm probably going to demand a refund as I'm 3 weeks into this 5G system and it's dropping wifi and lan at the same time disconnecting randomly. Speeds like you mentioned can be great regardless of the time of day but crap out when it's getting ready to disconnect. I have it connected direct to my high end Asus router/mesh for lan connections. Check this out though. I'm not connected but the app thinks I am. Look at the top status bar on my phone screen shot. Not connected to wifi. 

 

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