Images slow to load over Wi-Fi on your Android device? Try this.

Poor tech installation = problems.

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I recently noticed my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900V running Android 4.4.4) was really slow at downloading images on Instagram, Trivia Crack, etc., but only when connected to my ASUS RT-N66U home router. It was very snappy at doing the same on 4G and on Wi-Fi outside of my home. Phone speed test results using my router were excellent: 101 Mb/s up, 10.25 Mb/s down, 21 ms latency, 0% packet loss. Wireless link speed was 300 Mbps. No other wireless client in my home had this issue.

The following fix attempts did nothing to help:

  • Clearing the Android system cache.
  • Clearing Google Play Services data.
  • Router factory settings reset.
  • Toggling router DNS between ISP and OpenDNS.
  • Enabling/disabling QoS on router.
  • Enabling/disabling DoS prevention on router.
  • Renaming SSID.
  • Forgetting SSIDs in Android and reconnecting.
  • Restoring the S5’s hosts file.
  • Fiddling with almost every other router setting imaginable.

This lead me to Google “Instagram slow to download pics over Wi-Fi,” whereupon I discovered this thread. One of the recommended solutions there was to create a guest Wi-Fi network and use that instead. I did so and found that it fixed the image download problem, which meant that the fault was neither with my router nor my phone, but with a device on my regular LAN.

I subscribe to Mediacom triple play service that includes TiVo whole home DVR and VoIP phone service. The TiVo DVR and Mini units are connected to the LAN via an Actiontec ECB2500C MoCA Network Adapter as described here. The VoIP uses an ISP-supplied Cisco DPC3208 VoIP cable modem the Mediacom installer had connected to one of my gigabit switches. Note that the Cisco is separate and distinct from my own Motorola SURFboard SB6120 DOCSIS 3.0 modem that is my true internet gateway.

I started disconnecting devices from the LAN and checking the S5 after each one. Upon disconnecting the VoIP modem from the LAN, I saw a slight improvement. Upon disconnecting the MoCA adapter, the problem went away entirely.

Unfortunately, disconnecting the Actiontec KOed the TiVo service’s internet connection. After connecting the adapter to 1 of my switches instead didn’t work, I put it back where it was. I left the VoIP modem disconnected from my LAN since I could live without VoIP – I use my cellphone for calls anyway – but absolutely needed TiVo to work. Eventually I wound up with nearly everything on my network powered down: the adapter as well as all TiVo devices, PCs, switches, game consoles, and TVs.

I then powered up the devices in the following order: MoCA adapter, cable modem, router, VoIP modem (without reconnecting it to the LAN), TiVo head unit, Tivo Minis (in sequence), and then PCs. That fixed the problem completely.

I suspect the problem was the VoIP modem presented itself as an internet gateway to some apps on my S5, causing them to try – and fail – to use it to download media.

If you’re having the same problem, do the following:

  1. Power down literally all the networking equipment you have, including MoCA adapters, modems, switches, cable/satellite boxes, etc.
  2. If your VoIP modem is separate from the modem your router is connected to, ensure it is NOT connected to your LAN
  3. Power everything back up in the order I specified above.

Author: jdrch

ISTJ, Rice Owl, UF Gator, mechanical engineer. STEM, sports, music, movies, humor. Account mine only & unaffiliated.

3 thoughts on “Images slow to load over Wi-Fi on your Android device? Try this.”

  1. Interesting. I’ve been experiencing the same problem on 3 android devices at my house. I don’t have a voip phone or tivo. But I do have directv which I believe runs moca to the mini units (ethernet to the main unit). Also have one router and two wireless access points. None of the androids work well when connected to the access points but all other clients do and the androids all work well on other wireless connections outside my home. Thanks for the idea. I was about to reprogram my entire network but I’ll disconnecting some of the other clients first to troubleshoot. Such a weird phenomenon.

    Like

    1. So I tried like you suggested. Disconnected all devices and rebooted the router. then I started reconnecting clients one by one, starting first with my android devices and last with the directv unit. It seems to have Half worked (if that makes sense). So my androids now get good network speed but at first but after a few minutes the sluggishness resumes and I have to toggle my wifi radio on/off and refresh my connection to get things speedy again. I’m really scratching my heavier this… Thanks anyway for the help!

      Like

  2. So I tried like you suggested. Disconnected all devices and rebooted the router. then I started reconnecting clients one by one, starting first with my android devices and last with the directv unit. It seems to have Half worked (if that makes sense). So my androids now get good network speed but at first but after a few minutes the sluggishness resumes and I have to toggle my wifi radio on/off and refresh my connection to get things speedy again. I’m really scratching my heavier this… Thanks anyway for the help!

    Like

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