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I'm running linux mint (ubuntu 16.04 under the hood) on an MSI laptop. My wireless networking is not working well.

To illustrate the problem, I connect to the wireless network from my laptop and perform a speedtest.net test, results:

enter image description here

Now I connect my android phone to the same network and turn off cellular data (it's connected to the same wifi network) and I USB tether my phone to my computer, so the computer now uses the phone's wifi on the same network. Results:

enter image description here

I've been mucking with the ath10k drivers, trying to re-install things from github ath10k firmware. But I really don't know what I'm doing, I'm trying to follow random tidbits of advice from here or there.

What are the likely causes of such an issue? Should I be concerned about firmware versions? Driver versions?

As best I can tell I'm using this firmware: /lib/firmware/ath10k/QCA6174/hw2.1/firmware-5.bin, mind you I don't know whether that's good/bad/indifferent. I did notice that there's a hw3.0 folder there.

Primary question:

I'm looking for some troubleshooting steps here. What versions is the "latest", what should I tackle? What should I expect to see in terms of drivers, firmware, etc?

lshw -c network:

  *-network
       description: Wireless interface
       product: QCA6174 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
       vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:05:00.0
       logical name: wlp5s0
       version: 20
       serial: b0:10:41:bc:b6:99
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath10k_pci driverversion=4.4.0-64-generic firmware=SW_RM.1.1.1-00157-QCARMSWPZ-1 ip=169.233.209.100 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abgn
       resources: irq:31 memory:f6800000-f69fffff
  • iw wlp5s0 station dump will tell current transfer rates and signal strengths. There's many possible reasons, from hardware/antennas/bad place for antennas to bugs in the driver (esp. for newer chipsets like this). Also, I'm not even sure if 802.11ac support works at all in current drivers, have a look at iw phy0 info. – dirkt Apr 18 '17 at 7:41
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Try disabling wifi power management with

sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 3/wifi.powersave = 2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf

Reboot

The ath10k chips perform poorly with power management enabled

  • I should have noted that I tried that, it's disabled, I'll update the question. Great answer though, it's the first thing to try. – David Parks Apr 18 '17 at 20:54

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