I have switched to another ISP because after 2 years of smooth sailing, we started to have upload speed issues and they didn't care. Strangely, the new ISP has the same problem: from time to time, upload speed goes away. When this happens, Speedtest measures 4 ms ping, 8 Mbps down speed and 0.01-0.02 Mbps up speed (or the upload test hangs).

This slowdown happens seemingly randomly, several times a day, takes 5 minutes to an hour, then goes away. ISP says they are seeing big packet loss, but they have no idea why.

I'm about 1300 meters away from the base station and when installed, measurements have shown -70 dB signal strength and sustained speeds of 20 Mbps up, 50 Mbps down. (I didn't check signal-to-noise ratio and now I don't have the password for the AP.)

The AP (Ubiquiti PowerBeam PBE-M2-400) points about 10-15 degrees away from optimal direction because the installer didn't have the right console. The old ISPs antenna (a different Ubiquiti model) pointed the same bad direction for 2 years without a problem. Both ISPs have their base stations on the same water tower.

I'm starting to suspect that my problem may depend on other users' usage pattern (of the Internet or their microwave, don't know). Not necessarily from even the same ISP.

Can this be caused by the wrong antenna direction or the problem is elsewhere?

  • 2
    There are a lot of reasons this can happen. Radio is a shared medium over which you have little control.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


WiFi is a poor choice for ISP last mile connectivity. Call your cell phone company and get 4G LTE, assuming you can't get a wired connection where you are.


  • Any feedback on the downvote would be greatly appreciated. 4G LTE is superior for last mile connectivity. See USA tests and Global tests. WiFi is unlicensed and much more susceptible to interference. Or is this one of the little resident trolls vandalizing this site again? Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 1:03
  • 4G is available, but a luxury with a 10GB monthly data limit being the best option for a similar price than an unlimited Wi-Fi plan.
    – Arthur
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 5:10
  • Finally they have introduced a 100GB 4G plan for an acceptable price. I have cancelled the other contract.
    – Arthur
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 13:22

First thing I would suggest, assuming this ISP manages the AP installed at your location, is get them out there to align the AP properly. At 15 degree offset you will be pointed off the water tower by 339m at a distance of 1,300m from the tower. The signal may be weak and susceptible to slight interference.

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