Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Improved iPod Touch wifi performance

I was always just a little disappointed with the internet performance of my new 3G iPod Touch.
In particular, the Scanner app took quite some persuasion to find all of the network devices in our system (needed maybe 3-4 rescans) and Air Video took a long time and very many attempts to connect to the server (generally my MacBook) even though the iPod was placed within a few centimeters of the router.
OrbLiveFree, which I posted about yesterday, really didn't work at all.
I had almost concluded that the iPod just had a weak wifi receiver and I was stuck with the problem.
But then I tried the Airport Express Base Station and used it to generate another wireless network.
Folks, this made a huge difference tio the performance of my iPod.
Scanner found all network devices on the first try, Air Video connected to the server right away. Not only that but even OrbLive Free almost works, in that it connects to the server right off. However, still many times the media gives a "not playable" error. Even when it does play it needs to buffer very frequently.
In any event, still a very welcome performance boost.
So, I called my ISP (Eircom) to complain about the poor wifi from my relatively new Zyxel P-660HW router.
He told me that there were wireless issues with this particular router but suggested that upgrading the firmware may well alleviate the problem.
Apparently, a new firmware update was issued in February 2010 but only to ISPs as the latest firmware on the Zyxel download site is from August of last year.
Sure enough, the wifi signal was very noticeably better after the upgrade although perhaps still not quite as good as the Airport Express network.
But at least my iPod is very signioficantly more usable than it was up to yesterday.

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