Question

T-Mobile Home LTE Router - Have to reboot multiple times daily

  • 14 January 2021
  • 14 replies
  • 537 views

Badge

I have a total of 12 devices.  Every morning I have to reboot the White Box (Home Router).  I’ll wake up, turn on Laptop or kids will turn on an Ipad and something won’t connect.  Those devices see the SSID but always say can’t connect.  The only solution I’ve found is to reboot the White Box then all is well with the world.   

 

I’ve delete devices under device manager on PC, reinstalled wifi drivers, rebooted computers, rebooted ipads, I’ve connected those devices to the hotspot on my phone just to verify and confirm the true issue is the White Box.  The only fix is to reboot the White Box.   Even later at night, I’ll go to basement to use my desktop or my XBOX, turn it on or turn both on, I can guarantee one of them won’t connect, same issue.  Reboot White Box, then everything is fine again.

 

Other than this, I’ve had perfect service, speed, signal, etc.  

 

I called support and they pushed an update to the Home Router but not luck.  They suppose to call me back later tonight to see if the issue was resolved.  Its not resolved. 

 


14 replies

Userlevel 1
Badge

I just posted a similar problem.
In my case problem seems to be that devices on the 2.4Gh WiFi band lose connectivity every 2 weeks or so… reboot solves the problem.
So no, not everyday, like you… But about every 2 weeks or so…

When smart-TV, cell phones, etc are all working… it’s more than 12 WiFi clients.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

10 device limit per band on the white boxes. Make sure they are split io between 2.4 and 5g wifi bands.  May need to rename at least one of them so you can choose each specifically (like putting 5G at the end of the name).

 

Keep in mind that 2.4 tends to be more reliable at longer distances or when more walls and such are in the way.  Some devices may actually perform more reliably on the lower frequency because of this, so you may want to test them on each band to see which works better.

Userlevel 1
Badge

I don’t know about the 10 device limit per band…
But even saying that is true, I haven’t hit the limit AND

It DOES NOT explain why some of my devices that work fine for several days just stop working…
Then after reboot… Start working again. 

So I call BS on the limit answer.
There is a bug in the router…
Seems most likely a software problem.  Perhaps where cruft accumulates over time like a memory “leak”…
But I have no way of telling…
And have come here to find others with similar symptoms….

Should I call T-mobile and ask for a replacement router?  Or a software/firmware update?


 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

OP stated stated there are 12 devices... you even mentioned you can exceed 12 devices.

it is documented that the white boxes have a limit of 10 devices per band, bringing us to the limit of 20 devices.

When the DHCP leases go to renew, some may be getting dropped because the limit has been reached.

A "simple" way to avoid this from happening is to make sure certain devices are locked to specific bands to avoid hitting that 10 device limit.

It is a plausible problem/solution to test against to rule it out before blanketly proclaiming it is bugged.

Userlevel 1
Badge

Wrong for a couple of reasons…
The DHCP table is shared and serves all devices - regardless of which band they are on and also hardwired devices..

DHCP lease time is set (default value) to 24 hours.  I don’t have a problem every day -- more like every 14 days.

Of my twelve devices at least 2 are fixed location in my house and set to connect via the 5GHz band.

 

Userlevel 1
Badge

To partly answer my question…  According to a tech at the 844-275-9310 service number - my router, model RTL0102 hardware level Rev.5 at firmware level 02944 is at the latest firmware level.

He suggested booting once a week…
I said that’s ridiculous - I’ve used home WiFi routers for about 15 years and never had one that needed a booting that often.  

Long story short - after a polite conversation, he said he was putting in a request to send me the other T-mobile router - known by some as the  “grey” router.

So we’ll see how that works out…

BTW - other than this issue where my thermostat, printer, older Roku box, etc, etc stop working once in a while… I’m quite happy with the service - speeds and hour-to-hour and day-to-day reliability are sufficient for my purposes.   I had 100/12 Xfinity - T-mobile LTE has faster uploads.  During normal day usage for me tests out at 30 to 50 Mb/sec down….  Although I did test it at at 5:22am EST and got 183/43 !

 

Userlevel 1
Badge

@bobTeatow and others- many thanks for posting and sharing those experiences….I have less experience ( none with that t-mobile LTE router) setting parameters for wifi and ethernet devices.  I thought a full suite of options was available for most/all routers.  Does that router have a dumbed down set of options ?  Who makes it, what is the specific model number and manufacturer, and how about some context about how long you have had it, when it started failing…  I am assuming this is the home router T-Mo provides for it’s OTA mobile signal at a fixed address.   I am also assuming that your experiences are the tip of the iceberg and many others have had difficulties, but are not as forthright as yinz are in reporting them.

(dullblade’s Law of Typical Human Ratios- for every 1000 views, there will be 10 likes and 1 comment)

according to this law, a lot of others are having similar issues, but they would rather not complain or try to fix it, as yinz have done, as more publically spirited humans have attempted to do.

thx for sharing.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

@bobTeatow 

Simple fact remains... the white boxes impose a limit of 10 devices per band.  If that wireless pool gets exhausted, when a wireless device tries to connect and/or request an IP, they may get rejected.

Is a known behavior of that router, and something that needs to be ruled out when you know you have more than 10 wireless devices trying to connect.

https://www.t-mobile.com/support/devices/device-troubleshooting/slow-or-no-internet-on-t-mobile-home-internet

In the section about dropping wifi:

"Remember, only 10 devices can be connected to each Wi-Fi band (5/2.4 GHz) at once, for a total of 20 total devices."

And then this:

"We recommend connecting up to 8 devices to avoid connection drops."

 

This coupled with the limited range of this device is why many of us have opted to use our own routers for the wifi.

Userlevel 1
Badge

10 is too few for a “modern” home with wifi devices, some of which become almost “invisible” - and hardly demand any bandwidth… Thermostats, lawn sprinklers…  

Anyhow in my case, there’s still a bug… If the limit is 10, then I should be able to connect 10.
When I last hit this problem, the Client list showed only 8 devices connected.  
So why wasn’t the router accepting another 2?  And that was a mix of two bands.  So no more than 7 on the 2.4GHz band.  
Also on the web admin interface there’s a system log and some other stuff… None of them show a problem… If one does hit a silly limit like 10, that should show up on the admin-interface.

Also also the admin interface lets you set fixed MAC to IPv4 addresses … (Curiously in the security settings … instead of the LAN settings where I’d seen similar on other routers)
I have 12 entries in that table… No warning about any limit...

Anyhow, hopefully the grey router will be better in this regard.  (Yeah it’s also supposed to do cellular 5G, but I don’t think that’s come to my neighborhood yet - Lake Worth exit on the FL tpk.)
 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

They don't specify whether that is concurrent users or not... just a limit of 10, and they recommended only setting up 8.

As for not seeing messages in the log, that depends on the level of logging they use... may not be set to track such exceptions.

There is also the potential issue of quality of signal... these units are pretty weak in comparison compared to solutions I've seen on the shelf at Walmart even.  May be worth taking note of the actual signal parameters in play with each device when attempting to use each band... number of bars is not always a good indicator of usable signal.

Also, no idea of the beacon and such in play.  It is rare, but sometimes tweaking such certain aspects of the wifi can help with certain issues, and those settings are nowhere to be found on their devices.  And there are LOTS of things that can cause issues with devices not resynching again--could be something more device specific, or environmental.  There are common household items that can monkey with 2.4g signal, many of which people never think about, others just outside the home that can knacker with 5g.  Sometimes it is better to use what looks like a worse option on the surface because it is more stable even though it has lower performance. 

The point is, without a proper audit, a lot of things could be getting overlooked.  Have seen people swap hardware and still suffer issues because they overlooked something completely different going on.

 

The newer gray units show up to 64 allowed in the GUI pics I have seen, but Tmobile may still be able to cut it down to 20 or something if they wanted... have not bothered to really dig on them yet as I have seen lots of more serious complaints about them that REALLY need to be addressed first.

They are pretty much just a "dumb" PnP type of device right now.  Until they unlock control of critical administrative functionality on them, I don't want one.  Some key elements are a proper bridge mode, and no "filtering" so port forwarding can actually work.

Thankfully I have an Asus router that covers our wireless needs, so I am not held back by most of their shenanigans on that front.  We just need them to fix their topology so it behaves more like a proper ISP and less like a hotspot.

Badge

I’m glad I’m not the only one seeing this issue. Like was written above, my 2.4GHz connectivity goes away about every 2 weeks. I checked the client list and I’m below the “Magic 10 Connections” that others have discussed. The only way to recover is to reboot the router. I use the LAN port for my primary computer so I can go into the router and see what is still connected. All the LAN connections along with the 5GHHz connections are still active. 

One doesn’t dare contact Home Internet support. After trying the Chat feature of contacting support, I waited 20 minutes to be told I need to call the -9310 number. So, I called it and the queue was over an hour so I said forget it. I’m not impressed with the T-Mobile Home Internet Customer Support.

 

Eric

I have a total of 12 devices.  Every morning I have to reboot the White Box (Home Router).  I’ll wake up, turn on Laptop or kids will turn on an Ipad and something won’t connect.  Those devices see the SSID but always say can’t connect.  The only solution I’ve found is to reboot the White Box then all is well with the world.   

 

I’ve delete devices under device manager on PC, reinstalled wifi drivers, rebooted computers, rebooted ipads, I’ve connected those devices to the hotspot on my phone just to verify and confirm the true issue is the White Box.  The only fix is to reboot the White Box.   Even later at night, I’ll go to basement to use my desktop or my XBOX, turn it on or turn both on, I can guarantee one of them won’t connect, same issue.  Reboot White Box, then everything is fine again.

 

Other than this, I’ve had perfect service, speed, signal, etc.  

 

I called support and they pushed an update to the Home Router but not luck.  They suppose to call me back later tonight to see if the issue was resolved.  Its not resolved. 

 

I had to reboot my lte gateway everyday sometimes multiple times a day so I ended up getting the 5G gateway and no more having to reboot speeds are pretty consistent usually 80-100 down before when I had the lte gateway I got dl speeds of 30-60 but the speeds would slow down  to about 5-10 down and so I had to reboot then they would go back to normal for a while then rebooting required again but I don't have to do that anymore work the 5G gateway and the speeds are better too!

I’m glad I’m not the only one seeing this issue. Like was written above, my 2.4GHz connectivity goes away about every 2 weeks. I checked the client list and I’m below the “Magic 10 Connections” that others have discussed. The only way to recover is to reboot the router. I use the LAN port for my primary computer so I can go into the router and see what is still connected. All the LAN connections along with the 5GHHz connections are still active. 

One doesn’t dare contact Home Internet support. After trying the Chat feature of contacting support, I waited 20 minutes to be told I need to call the -9310 number. So, I called it and the queue was over an hour so I said forget it. I’m not impressed with the T-Mobile Home Internet Customer Support.

 

Eric

It normally offers to call you back when it's your turn

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

There usually are a few settings to look at.  I don’t have the modem to comment on the lack of settings within, but when it comes to certain devices.  Have you tried disabling Windows ability to put the item to sleep?  A lot of WiFi connectivity issues are causes by Windows putting the adapter in to a sleep state.  If you check Device Manager, Network Adapters, and double click on your WiFi adapter.  Click on the Power Management tab and uncheck “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.  

Reply