Pluggable UD-3000 USB 3.0 Docking Station -- WIFI Bandwidth Reduction (5X slower) -- (on Surface Pro 3)


#1

Simply put, Pluggable USB 3.0 Docking Station is causing a reduction in internet connectivity over WIFI.

I use this device in union with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

I have been putting blame on Microsoft for about 6 months now for the WIFI connectivity issues. I even relocated the WIFI router in my house to several different locations, in an attempt to get a stronger signal.

I discovered that when I run a speedtest on a website like speedtest.net, I would get about 5x faster speeds when Pluggable UD-3000 was unplugged.

I tried plugging in several other USB devices, including other USB 3.0 devices, into the Surface pro 3. I could not duplicate the reduction in speed with any other device.

The Pluggable UD-3000 device is definitely responsible for the reduction in my WIFI connectivity speed.

Please address this problem. I will post a video on youtube to demonstrate the issue if someone requests it of me.


#2

Hi Matt,

Thanks for posting. I’m sorry the docking station is affecting your Wi-Fi performance. I’d be happy to help.

There can be a lot of factors at play when it comes to Radio Frequency devices like Wi-Fi adapters, but usually the type of behavior you’re describing is caused by interference between the wireless card in your Surface and the USB 3.0 hub chipset in the dock, as both devices operate in the 2.4GHz spectrum. This can potentially happen with any USB 3.0 docking station, not just ones made by Plugable.

In these cases, most of our customers have had positive results experimenting with re-positioning things on their desk to try to minimize interference.

Apple has a pretty good article up regarding potential causes of interference, if you’re interested:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1365

Intel also has a very thorough technical whitepaper covering USB 3.0 interference as well:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/e…

If moving things around doesn’t bear fruit there are other possibilities to explore such as using a USB extension cable to put some distance between the dock and the Surface, or potentially changing the wireless channel in use by your wireless access point if using the 2.4Ghz spectrum or if possible switching over to the 5Ghz spectrum if your AP supports it, but lets focus on the simple things first.

Hopefully in this case it’s just a matter of moving things around or possibly getting a longer USB cable. We also have a 30 day no hassle guarantee on our products and a one year warranty. If we can’t resolve the interference we can certainly offer a full refund.

Please let me know if moving things around does the trick, and we can go from there.

Thank you,

Bob
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support


#3

Thank you for your prompt response and for the information.

Because, like I explained in my post, I have been having this problem for roughly six months, a 30-day money back guarantee is obviously worthless to me. Moving the docking station away from my computer is not practical since moving it ~4 ft had very minor effects and it was not practical to position these 2 devices in that configuration anyway.

I did change the channel on my wifi router, which does seem to have significantly reduced the amount of interference I was experiencing; however, it seems to have significantly reduced the speed of WIFI when UD-3000 is unplugged too. The speed is now only around 2X slower.

It seems my internet, when UD-3000 is plugged in, is somewhat faster now, but I am still somewhat unsatisfied.

It was set to channel 1, so I set it to channel 11. Should I play with the channels to see if another channel leads to a higher reduction in interference?


#4

Hi Matt,

Thanks for getting back! I apologize…when I re-read my post with regard to the warranty I realized I wasn’t clear. Even though you are outside of the 30 day policy, we will of course offer you a full refund on the dock should we not be able to help mitigate the interference issue. We never want a customer stuck with a product they are unhappy with.

I’m sorry moving things around only brought slight improvements. I am not an RF engineer but understand enough to know that troubleshooting specific setups can be very difficult and can involve many variables.

Changing the channel is a great place to start, and I am glad it was able to affect a decent improvement. Each channel represents a slightly different frequency, and what we are trying to do is ‘move’ the Wi-Fi traffic as far away from the frequency of the USB 3.0 connection. Here is a list of the channels and the frequencies in the 2.4GHz band if you are curious:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_…

I would experiment with different channels to see if the performance can be improved further. If it can’t be mitigated to the point were you are happy with the performance, please shoot us an email at support@plugable.com with ‘Ticket 91726’ in the subject line and we can get your refund processed.

Thank you for giving us a chance to help!

Bob
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support


#5

Hi Matt,

I just wanted to check back in to see if you were able to get better results with changing to different channels.

Let us know the results if you have time,

Thank you

Bob


#6