Heavy WIFI traffic crashes my WIFI AP radio?

I noticed my laptop kept killing my WIFI network when I was upgrading to Fedora 40. It turns out it was the download that was killing it. I was able to reproduce the issue when using Ookla’s Speedtest site on both Fedora 39 and in Windows 11, so it is not driver-specific.

It seems to do this with both my 5GHz SSIDs. All of a sudden everything on that WIFI SSID disconnects (all of my Google Home, cameras, phone, tablets, etc). I was also able to reproduce it on the other 5GHz radio (It’s a Asus RT-AC3200 with 3 bands). The only fix is to reboot the WIFI AP.

2.4GHz seem to be fine, but of course it’s very slow.

Reddit is down right now (Gateway 502 error) so I can’t link it right now, BUT I found someone who worked around the issue by disabling 801.11ax in Windows Device Manager. That actually worked for me (and a good temp fix since my router is WIFI 5 ac anyways). I also noticed download speeds were much faster (250 Mbps vs 500 Mbps).

Question 1: How do I do the same in Linux? Windows Device Manager has that nice GUI, but I have no idea how to replicate the workaround in Linux.

Question 2: Anyone else seen this happen? I’ve read other issues with this WIFI card, but it’s usually disconnections or slow performance. I haven’t read anywhere about it knocking out the WIFI AP’s SSID or radio.

EDIT 2: Not sure why this is happening, but the “workaround” doesn’t work anymore. Today, without changing the workaround, my 5GHz network still gets knocked out if I do anything traffic intensive (ex: Ookla Speedtest).

At this point, I’m thinking about replacing my card with an AX210, but upset that Framework chose this RZ616. Even if I get it replaced by warranty, it’s going to be the same issue.

No reason/magic to say that router firmware, or possibly in this case specifically the 5GHz adapter’s firmware, can’t have bugs. There’s plenty of reports like that (traffic patterns crashing the router/adapter) on the OpenWrt user forum for example.

I assume you’re running the OEM firmware on the Asus. Any updates available?

Edit: I managed to miss your main question:

How do I do the same in Linux?

I assume you’re using the AMD/Mediatek adapter on the FW16, if so there’s a module parameter that can do this (I used to have issues with 802.11ax too). Can’t find it atm…

More edit: oops, it was the Intel module I was thinking of:

I can’t find anything for the MT7922 adapter (mt7921e and friends in terms of modules).

I experienced this back when I first got my 16 over a month ago on arch Linux. I noticed my steam deck sitting right next to me would lose wireless as well as the framework 16. Very strange. However, WiFi would come right back after a minute or so. I use ubiquity WiFi APs.

The issue went away a few days later with a firmware or kernel update so I never looked back.

Windows isn’t allowed on my computers so I have no comment on that.

Thanks anyways. The OP in that link has a similar issue, but a different card as you mentioned AND noticed that no one answered them either.

I am looking to upgrade my AP to WIFI 7. I’m making do with the Asus RT-AC3200 (WIFI 5). No complaints with speeds so I never felt the need to upgrade to WIFI 6 or even 6E. I figured I mind as well wait until WIFI 7.

I didn’t expect to have to replace the RZ616 due to a show stopper issue. I anticipated slower speeds. I can live with that. I was also waiting for a suitable WIFI 7 card in the future.

Now I am faced with replacing the RZ616 with an AX210 NOW or upgrade my AP NOW. I don’t like anything out there on the market right now in terms of APs. I want something that can do VLANs (configured on my OPNSense router) so a consumer router-turned-AP won’t work (and they are expensive as hell). Ubiquity U7 Pro is relatively inexpensive, but is 2x2, 2x2, 2x2. I actually liked the U6 Enterprise (2x2, 4x4, 4x4) but wanted a WIFI 7 version of it, so waiting for a U7 Enterprise.

I have a lot of clients so wanted the 4x4 to allow for multiple streams on the same radio (most of my clients are on 5 GHz).

the AC3200 was EOL 2 years ago , no problems with my Asus AX1100 pro , I retired my AC3200 2 years ago

From your description your AP: Asus RT-AC3200 is the limiting factor and locking up. If you have to power cycle it something is either wrong with the firmware the radio uses (not likely) or the chipset is getting aged in radio and has or is cooking itself to the point it locks up the whole system.

Unless you have faster than a Gigabit internet connection you are not going to get an appreciably faster connection with WIFI 7 vs. 6. You might get faster peak bandwidth but that will come at the cost of the number of clients on your already crowded network of clients.

If you want to customize the AP to the Nth degree; get a Mikrotik AP. Something like the HAP AX2. They are enterprise level devices just without fancy interfaces and convenient GUI wizards. Their forums are loaded with examples from SOHO to Enterprise setups.

The RZ616 card is not the issue, it is your old AP. the AX210 is not going magically fix your connection issues either. The Intel card has a little more pedigree, yet both cards perform very well.

Framework and other companies would not have made the choice to use flakey hardware with their laptops because it is a tech support nightmare. It costs them orders of magnitude more money than the cost difference of using the better quality part in the first place and their reputation suffers the whole way.

Lastly the 2x2 and 4x4 thing is not making that big of a difference. Most real world differences are about a 30% improvement. The key element is usually a better processor in the AP not even the radios; it is a dual or quad core with more memory and faster speeds to handle managing the traffic better.

P.S. MikroTik has ZERO training wheels; it will let you set yourself up for failure and will not warn you if you are doing something stupid (like real Unix systems have always done). With great power comes great responsibility…

Fair enough. It’s an awkward time to replace the AP right now for me. But based on what you say about 2x2/4x4, and based on my current networking skill set, the Unifi U7 Pro may be a good for me.

I’ll look into this.

Before I do, are there any consumer-oriented WIFI 7 routers that can be configured as APs that can handle VLANs? I personally am not aware of any right now, which is why I decided on the Unfi AP (and looking at other business-oriented APs like TLInk’s Omada).

If configuring OpenWrt on a device that supports it nicely sounds like something you’d be willing to try, then yes. I’m doing some (possibly ill-advised) things with VLANs and mesh networking on a Netgear WAX206 / Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H combo for example.

Another thing to think about if you want to do “sophisticated” things with your router is to separate the actual router part into a wired device like a protectli 2-port box, and use consumer wireless “routers” as dumb APs. You then have far more space/CPU to run more “full” Linux or BSD distros on that main box. BTW protectli have stated on reddit that they’ll be coming out with a new 2-port device with 2.5G ports soon.

That’s what I’m currently doing now. I have a OPNSense router on an industrial mini PC and using my Asus RT-AC3200 with the Merlin firmware as my AP.

People are able to get VLANS to work but it requires a lot of terminal commands and I didn’t want to go thru all that. I was hoping for an easier way to set it up via their interface.

Does anybody the aftermarket firmware you mentioned expose VLAN features and settings up front?

Sure, the capabilities seem pretty comprehensive to me. Documentation is here. It mostly refers to the configuration files format, which it’s a good idea to be familiar with. Having said that this (and most) configuration is accessible over the web UI which is what I used to set up mine. This is a VLAN device I’ve created on top of a wireless mesh interface. The VLAN interface is a bridge member too.

Is that OPNSense, Merlin or both? I’m not familiar with either. Unfortunately I don’t see the RT-AC3200 in the OpenWrt supported hardware list. But if you only used it in the PC that might not be an issue.

BTW - Not something I’ve done yet but, if/when I do go ahead and get a protectli or similar device: The plan and some advice out there is to run OpenWrt or whatever router OS you want not directly on the bare metal, but inside a VM instead.

That way other functionality, like various servers you might want to also host on the same hardware, can run in their own VMs using a base OS that is more appropriate/familiar for that use. Of course all that will almost certainly involve a lot of command line tinkering.

The aftermarket firmware Merlin for the Asus routers do not have a GUI way of setting up VLANs. They offer a terminal, so you can download the right packages and set it up that way. But that’s not what I want to do.

And I don’t want to “set up” VLANs on the AP. I already have a OPNSense router on one of those Chinese mini PCs that ServeTheHome typically reviews on his YT channel and site, and VLANs are set up there.

I guess I just want to make sure the AP is VLAN-aware and able to configure unique SSIDs for each VLAN.

I don’t know Merlin so I’ll go back to basics: The common Linux-based pattern should more or less apply here, of course YMMV, use at own risk etc.

In the vanilla, non-VLAN, single SSID case, the AP should today have a single bridge interface, e.g. br-lan. The member interfaces will include one or more wired interfaces (depends on the switch presence/architecture in the particular device) and the wireless AP mode interface. Let’s say the wired interface is eth0 and the wireless one is wlan0.

Note I’m assuming here that DHCP today is served out of the PC - the AP is just bridging, not routing.

To make this “VLAN aware”, in OpenWrt at least, this is what I’d try:

  • There’s instead going to be one bridge per SSID. This is driven by the need for wireless clients to be VLAN-unaware, even though they are being segregated into separate VLANs upstream. So br-lan-n for each n VLAN tag we have. In this case no layer 3 though, just layer 2 bridge membership.

  • Membership of this bridge:

    • eth0.n - you may or may not need to explicitly define this virtual interface in Merlin, in the past I’ve been able to obtain VLAN tagging just by referencing the .n part from layer 3 (static/DHCP IP etc) configuration for example.

    • wlan-xyz wireless interface which you’ve already defined to serve that segregated SSID.

  • I would leave these VLAN-specific bridges “Unmanaged” in layer 3. They don’t get IP addresses, they’re strictly layer 2 infrastructure. I assume here that it’ll be the upstream PC box that hands out addresses etc. via DHCP, including to the wireless clients, over each of the VLANs.

  • You do want the Asus itself to be reachable over IP however. Let’s also assume that you want it to be reachable over wireless too, so one (extra?) of the bridges and WLANs will be the “management” interface. That one does need presence in layer 3, so it should be a DHCP client (or just take a static address from the appropriate VLAN’s address space that’s outside the range handed out by that VLAN’s DHCP server).

Hope this helps…

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Hi @Techie_Zeddie ,

Go look at MikroTik, specifically the HAP AX2 it retails for like $100.

They have a graphical GUI called Winbox; you can use your OPNSense router and just have the MikroTik AP tag whatever traffic you want with whatever VLAN. It can do so much more though.

The amount of things you can do on it make OpenWRT look like a High School project.

That is quite a bold claim.

Sounds viable. Since it seems this router is dying anyways, I’m interested in trying this out for the educational value.

For now I have my FW16 connected to my 2.4 GHz which seems to prevent it from taking down my AP’s radio.

That’s a WiFi 6 AP. Still for $100, that’s pretty inexpensive.