Wi-Fi issues with Surface Pro 7/Surface Laptop 3 [Workaround]

[German]Users of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 models complain about problems with the WLAN part. After waking up from its energy-saving state, the WLAN speed suddenly drops to 10%.


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Users of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 models complain about issues with the WLAN adapter. A user writes on Microsoft Answers on October 30, 2019:

Slow wifi after Instant On wake up

Hello,

I just acquired a Surface Laptop 3 13.5” and I noticed that wifi becomes (way) slower after waking up from sleep mode. A speed test shows a decrease in the order of 90% (from 100 Mbps to 10 Mbps).

I am not alone (a couple of posts on reddit deal with this issue) and I think it affects all the new Surface devices with Intel Wifi 6. Is Microsoft aware of this issue? Because it makes Instant On feature completely useless if it costs 90% of wifi speed.

Note that I don’t have issue with Ethernet.

When the device wakes up, the WLAN speed drops from 100 MBit to 10 Mbit. The user is not alone, as the topic is also discussed at Reddit. Barb Bowman has, in response to a tweet, provided a list of the places found in this tweet.

The attempt to quickly install an Intel driver might go wrong. Recently, in my blog post Caution with Surface Pro 7 Wi-Fi driver, I pointed out that Microsoft uses a specially modified driver for the Intel AX201 WLAN adapter. If you install an Intel driver, you may not get the previous Microsoft WLAN driver installed.

At reddit a user describes the cause of this speed drop: The new Intel AX201 adapter has 2×2 MIMO (twice the number of antennas for 2 times the WLAN speed if the router supports it). If the Surface device goes into standby mode, the Dynamic SMPS feature deactivates one antenna and the other antenna goes into low power mode. The error, however, is that after waking the device from standby mode, the second antenna is no longer activated and the other antenna remains in low power mode. This results in greatly reduced speeds and higher latency. The user describes two workarounds to avoid this:


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  1. Go to the hardware manager -> network adapter -> Intel AX201 -> Advanced -> MIMO power save mode -> Change “Auto SMPS” to “No SMPS”. While this resulted in the bug occurring less frequently, only changing the setting to “Static SMPS” (-> disabling MIMO) eliminated the problem entirely for me.

  2. (Optional) Go to the Windows Settings App -> System -> Power & Sleep -> When my PC is asleep and on battery power, disconnect from network -> Change “Never” to “Always”

In the first workaround, Auto SMPS is disabled for the WLAN adapter, turning off the power saving. This results in higher power consumption, but prevents the speed drop. The second workaround is from the Settings page, where the network connection settings are adjusted.


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5 Responses to Wi-Fi issues with Surface Pro 7/Surface Laptop 3 [Workaround]

  1. Omar Solaija says:

    Thank you for posting this suggestion. It helped for a while, but now even with these settings, the speeds get crawling slow after waking from sleep. Has anyone found a more permanent solution? This is such an infuriating flaw for an otherwise brilliant device!!!

  2. Edo Gelbard says:

    If you are a surface pro 7 user and your wifi drops intermittently, have tried to resolve this with Microsoft multiple times to no avail, up to and including replacing your device, and have lost hope on what to do next, please contact me. I am attempting to gather fellow Microsoft customers who were harmed by Microsoft’s neglect for its customers regarding this issue and their refusal to provide a refund or respect our lost time, instead opting to, at best, replace the device with other dysfunctional devices after hours of useless troubleshooting. Further, they hide the issue from future customers, despite its prevalence and complete failure to resolve the issue for any of its customers, six months after the issue first appeared. Their neglect and failure to act fairly towards their loyal customers has led me to this moment.

    I am not an attorney, but will pursue securing one shortly. Meanwhile, to my lay knowledge, it is important we gather all interested parties so that we can try to pursue a class action, and each write an affidavit (basically just your honest recollection of things that have happened up to now regarding this and the cost/toll this issue has had on you). If interested, please contact edogelbard@gmail.com

    Cheers.

    Edo Gelbard

  3. Marlene says:

    Anything new on this? Purchased a new Surface Book 3 (not cheap) and wi-fi is slow. So disappointing….cannot even open netflix or stan. The rest of the household don’t have any problems. I have better connection using my no name brand android tablet.
    Workaround doesn’t work for me either.

    • guenni says:

      I don’t have new news – and here I don’t have something of these Surface crap either.

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