[Solved] Video Calls Suffering from Freezing and Lagging


When I video call on my iPhone using FaceTime or any other video calling app, the audio and video are fine and work perfectly for the first few minutes. Afterwards, however, the video calling app becomes flat out unstable. I'm attempting to figure out whether or not it is a bandwidth issue or a settings on my router that's causing issues.

What information is needed to diagnose such a problem? Router is TP-Link Archer C20 V4 running 19.07.5

Thanks for the help

It would be useful to know how much your contracted speed is, and how much you acutally get.

Do a speed test here and see how much you get. Also note the buffer bloat figures.

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Here's the DSL Reports:

Here's the results. I have SQM implemented already to ensure that latency is kept to a minimum. Is there any other information that may prove relevant?

Anyone here? Bumping.

You had one big spike in your download latency, which if it's indicative of an intermittent issue that you regularly experience could ruin your video calls...

Which video call platform are you using? Also are you on WiFi or wired?

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I used a variety of video calling apps such as FaceTime, Google Duo, Signal, & Facebook Messenger. My devices are connected to the 5 GHz band of my Router. They're connected by a WiFi extender that acts as another AP (Connected via Ethernet)

It could help to do some tests from other devices (wired and wireless) to see if experience the same problem.

I take this to mean that you are connecting via a normal AP, meaning it's got an ethernet wire to the router, not that it's a wifi repeater which takes wifi packets and retransmits them back to the main wifi.

And that's a good thing. However, how's your wifi environment? Each of your wifi access points should be on a different channel. I'd suggest to turn off 2.4GHz entirely if possible, and make sure your 5GHz channels are different between your APs, in 40MHz channel mode, and with no overlap in channel between you and any significant wifi signal from a neighbor.

This is correct.

I can't turn off 2.4 because I have office workers who also use the internet. So, with 5 GHz, I should make it 40MHz channel, and both should use differing channels? (Such as the router using 36 while the 2nd AP [WiFi extender] using 40?)

definitely, wider channels = more chance for interference. 40MHz seems to be the sweet spot in my opinion for speed vs interference tradeoff.

You want different non overlapping channels. So channel 36 in 40Mhz mode might in fact be the same as channel 40... This would occur when one wifi device calls a 40 Mhz channel by its upper channel name, and the other calls it by the lower channel name.

The lowest 40Mhz channel would cover 32-40, then another one at 40-48, then another one 48-56 but this uses DFS/radar detection (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels#United_States for a crazy comprehensive list of channels)

The easiest way to see what's going on is to look on WifiAnalyzer, which is an android app, use the version from VREM. It has a quick visual graph to make sure the channels don't overlap.

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Here's the 5GHz

Here's the 2.4; is this ideal?

exactly that's ideal.

Yeah, this happens often. I don't actually know how to diagnose the cause of this in particular. Is it really just the WiFi that solves things? Or are there settings that can influence latency?

what router are you using?

TP Link Archer C20 V4

what kind of connection? Docsis/cable modem? and is it one of the ones with the Puma chipset? (you should be able to google this info)

The connection that my ISP uses is fiber with an ONT.

Do several speed tests using WiFi and others using Ethernet cable, preferably from the same computer connected to the same router.

Is that the main router? Do you have the same issue with video calls when you connect to this one instead of the extender?

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ok then it's not a Puma chipset cable modem issue.

Do sudden latency spikes occur when wired into the router? Or only on wifi?

This only happens on WiFi so far. I have not tested at length whether or not the connection is consistent.