Horribly bad, god awful wireless network performance in Debian

Feb 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd

This has been plaguing me ever since I switched from Ubuntu to Debian and to be honest the wireless performance wasn’t all that hot in Ubuntu either.  For the record this is on an AMD E350 which has a Atheros Communications Inc. AR9287 Wireless Network Adapter in it.  There has been a myriad of problems since day one..  Some wireless networks I just couldn’t connect to at all, although this was rare.  The most common issue here is that it was completely impossible to maintain a consistent download or upload.   It would connect to the site just fine, a video would start streaming at 20Mbit for the first 2-3 seconds and then it would drop down to 80kbs and then drop to 0.  Usuallyi I’d have to refresh the page and then everything would go tickity boo.. Not all the time mind you but I’d say about 40% of the time I wouldn’t be able to finish and upload or a download or at the very least it’d truck along at 15-30kbs on a 20Mbit connection.

Today I did some digging around and found a fwe things.  One thing I noticed in dmesg was this:

[ 42.256178] wlan0: deauthenticating from 38:60:77:84:3b:f1 by local choice (reason=3) .  While I don’t knwo if this is related it did spur me to do some more focused searches.  In the end I think I have a solution here that is working great as I just watched 9 streaming videos at a steady 500kbs without interruption.  It’s doesn’t even feel natural because it’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed uninterrupted video.  Anyways here’s what I did


Completely uninstalled network-manager.  I’ve read that simply shutting down the server isn’t enough, you need to take this fucker out all together.. I’ve been using WICD and disabling WIFI on the Network Manager but always kept it on just because it seemed that 1 out of 20 networks worked better with it.  Well I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it but from what I’ve heard getting rid of this alone is enough to solve most wifi issues

Second thing I did was to completely disable IPV6.  Now this is painful as I really want to be on the transition towards this protocol for many reasons but after doing a little research, seeing that it only has a .85% adoption rate I’m ok not using it for the time being.  So how to disable IPV6 you ask?  Well if I remember correctly I completely removed the module in the past so lsmod reveals no IPV6 related stuff but apparently this isn’t enough.  On top of that I commented out the lines in my /etc/host file that had to do with ipv6.

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
#::1 ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
#fe00::0 ip6-localnet
#ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
#ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
#ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

The next thing I did was specify that IPV6 should be off in my /etc/modprobe.d/aliases.conf file like this:

alias net-pf-10 ipv6 off

You’ll probably have a line like this:

# alias net-pf-10 ipv6

and you’ll need to uncomment it and add an ‘off” to the end.  After that I restarted the machine and everything was dandy.. Hope that helps anyone else going through this crapola

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