How to improve Orange Livebox wifi performace

My Livebox works fine if I use an ethernet cable, the service is consistent and it does not drop out. Wifi is another matter, frequently my devices can’t connect to it or obtain an ip address and if they do it often drops the signal.

I suppose these routers are low quality, I’ve already had it replaced once to no avail, may be even worse since actually. I’m wondering what can be done to improve the stability of the wifi service.

I’m thinking of adding a secondary better quality router to provide wifi, that should nail it right?

My Livebox is in my kitchen but I often use devices in my sitting room the other side of what was an outside wall. At first I used my laptop with an Ethernet cable in the sitting room but after moving the Livebox closer to the connecting door I have used wifi for everything. I don’t think that quality comes into it.

Sometimes it won’t connect via wifi even if I’m right next to it! :rage:

Crikey @james that sounds just plain wrong! My SFR Neufbox (old type NB6) sends a great WiFi signal out throughout the house and well beyond. I have multiple WiFi devices connected including PC, security cameras, TV, mobiles, pad etc. The WiFi only drops out if there is a general network problem - pretty rare. I can’t imagine SFR use any technology that’s much different to Orange. They must have supplied you with duff liveboxes surely?

I agree with Simon. I’m typing this on my tablet in a different room to the Livebox listening to my Internet radio at the same time. All on wifi, no problems.

I need to go through the process of getting it replaced, an hour on the phone with some techie telling you to do the obvious over and over again…

Frustration beyond belief - best of luck :slight_smile:

i have found in france the power of the routers available are much below those of the uk, if i were you i would just invest in a decent router that can handle 2.4 and 5ghz channels, but more importantly buy it from the UK. expect to pay about £100 in the likes of maplin in the uk, or if you use amazon or ebay for delivery in france, £150, that should get you something that will get the signal through the house and you can just plug it in to one of the rj45 sockets on the back of your providers router.

ps, if you do this remember to switch off the wifi on your providers router, wifi is not secure and if you do not need it, switch it off

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There are some things you could try yourself first.

You could rule out interference by using a WiFi analyser application on your smartphone.
here is one for for Android
I can’t find one for iPhone, but here is one for Mac

WiFi uses channels numbered 1 - 14.
If all your neighbours are using the same as you, it will get a lot of interference.
So changing channel might be an option.
This will be available in the Orange box interface somewhere.

If your router is very close to your the main power lines, there might be interrference.
Place your router high up.
The WiFi waves travel somewhat like sound and are blocked by walls etc.

But it could be that your router is no good.
Good luck


The signal is strong and right now everything is working fine. I deleted the wifi stack on my laptop and that’s better now too. May be a coincidence, I’ll let you know! Thanks for the info :slight_smile:

My Livebox works fine throughout the house even though we have the standard French farmhouse walls.

I have found the signal strength varies but even at minimal level, one bar, I do not have a problem.

My suggestion is talk to the English Language help line of FT as I have found them very helpful.

But my neighbour had a problem with his Livebox when it was delivered and eventually FT agreed it was defective and replaced it.

I am sure you do but just asking so excuse the question, but do you isolate the Livebox during thunderstorms and/or from power surges?

Peter S

I’ve just changed my Android phone to static IP address as it was unable to get a DHCP one from the Livebox, working fine now (for the moment at least!)

In hour big house, thick stone walls, three levels, I have the Livebox Play modem/router on level three, a Netgear router on level two, two wifi repeaters on level one and even a third wifi repeater on level three in our bedroom; plus powerline adapter connection between the two routers.
Bu the way, we are with Sosh now (Orange’s low cost brand), no separate landline subscription and no separate 3 €/month rent for the Livebox. Same service as before, but cheaper!

Various questions , what is average download speed. How far are you from exchange . Re live box they are nothing like as good as Asus for example and create certain blocking criteria compared to more expensive / professional routers.
Yes Orange English helpline helpful but not totally honest about criteria or accurate about local problems , changing channels may help but so much bandwidth dived by distance and usage will only go so far!
Satelite is an option or keep on at Orange and update to good router . Gather as much information as possible and put it back to Orange to suggest best next step .
It is so bad here about - 5mg that I am looking at Europsat or pigeons .


Wifi is not as fast as ethernet.

Wifi signals are affected by stone walls, steel joists, proximity to TV and other equipment (Phil was complaining about lousy wifi on his laptop at his desk, while mine in next room was fine. I moved his laptop two feet left and his signal matched mine. The TV above his laptop was slowing it down dramatically, from 40 to 4.)

If you want to buy additional equipment, get a networked Wireless Access Point (mine is a Linksys and gives dual speed for faster peripherals). Position this where it will have good access and less interference and connect by ethernet to your router if possible. You can then ignore your router’s wifi and depend upon your own, with added advantage that if you know what you are doing you can set your own password for phones, tablets etc. to access wifi, and adjust other settings.

Start off by doing regular Ookla tests (which was how I experimented to improve Phil’s access) and keep screen images of results in case you need to argue with your ISP. This can show if you regularly lose speed at certain times of day (which may mean ISP is capping the service). Does your signal improve if you turn off ALL radio-controlled fans etc, TVs, decoders, phones, tablets? If so you may be sharing channels and getting interference from equipment.

I could go on but it might not all be relevant. Testing as above will tell you what problems you are trying to solve.

Good morning All,
Currently sitting in my parents house in Chichester and getting 40 meg plus download speed. Je rêve!
Back to France later today, returning to on-going Orange router probs. These have been recurring over the two and a half years that we have lived there. In fact we have an engineer arriving Wednesday morning, the fourth in six weeks or so, although he is billed as “level two” by those nice people at the English helpline. We shall see.
We have been getting conflicting advice. Often the line test reveals an external problem, but last time we were told that we had to replace our internal wiring which was apparently the issue. Did so at some expense but the same old problems, periodic dropping out, often for hours on end, recurred after a day or so.
Interestingly, the live box pictured at the start of this blog is, I am told, the third generation model. We were supplied one of these originally and it did not work that well. It was replaced like for like and we still had problems. Consequently, Orange sent us a second generation, white box which worked well for a time. The engineer told us that the white box is better for people who live a distance from the local exchange. This has now been upgraded to a digital signal, so no more ADSL adaptors required. On a recent on site line test we were told that we could get around 8 meg, compared to our meagre 2 meg that we actually get (sometimes). This was later refuted by another “expert engineer”. We too have wifi issues, particularly with the iPhone. The iPad seems much better at receding a signal which seems to indicate that this problem can also be related to the type of device one is trying to connect and possibly the software version installed. I will be trying the channel switch work around, once I can re-find it on the Orange user settings site.

Anyway, our current box, a replacement from about six months ago, now seems to be struggling, so new one being installed, after much pleading with the techies. Fingers crossed! I will let you know what the outcome is.

However, any advice very much welcomed!

I’ve got a very basic Livebox and WiFi works fine throughout the house. When they’re here, son and grandson can connect all their diverse gizmos with no problem (all three of us sometimes connected at the same time!) . Did have a few problems a week or so ago largely due to a problem with Orange’s DNS server (I think that’s what the troubleshooter said!) Then, a couple of days ago, the box software automatically updated and since then, no problems. Have you checked yours is up to date? Of course you have, but I’ll ask anyway! Otherwise, it does sound as though the problem lies with the box.

Hi, James

We also have problems with our Orange wifi box - installed just a few weeks ago. My wife gets good connectivity on her iPad – but neither of us get a signal on our mobile phones (2 x UK iPhones, 1 x

The Orange kit is in the living room (where the previous phone line terminated) so convenient for the TV – but we have 2 Macs and 3 printers in the study.

Our solution was to hardwire (ethernet) the Orange box to a Netgear Powerline (CPL) connector which plugs into a mains socket. The network data then flows around your mains wiring to another CPL plug in the study.

That in turn feeds a Netgear ethernet switch to which the various devices are wired.

CPL is very fast (giganet ethernet, ie as fast as the connecting cable, be sure to use Cat 5e or better still Cat6). And I am told by a techie chum that where we have the hard wired switch you could use a combo wired / wireless unit.
Here’s Amazon’s offer for the CPL:

CPL adaptateurs

And here’s a suitable wired / wireless switch – with the latest high speed AC networking. I used to have the previous model in London and it was excellent

high speed hub



Some time ago I was having Orange nightmares because my then Livebox just couldn’t hack it. It was doing TV over ADSL, phone, DHCP, Wireless, and wired traffic. What tended to happen was that one or other of these services would pack up, but not normally in a visible way. We might discover for example that the phone no longer worked, not knowing how long it had been off. I figured that a good solution would be a new wireless router that I connected to the livebox with a network cable. The new router handled all the wireless traffic and DHCP, and the Livebox stopped crashing. Brilliant!

Since then I bought a new TPLink wireless router to have better performance, and I also have CPL to various systems in the house. My Livebox still needs rebooted from time to time, but it’s rare, and we hardly ever lose the phone or TV services. I believe signal strength is better too.

Regarding network speed, I don’t think fixed networking will really help for web stuff UNLESS you happen to have very poor wireless performance. If you’re getting over 10meg then (in my case) you’re already no longer the slowest part of the chain, so speed isn’t that important unless you happen to be doing some ridiculously network-hungry stuff within the home network.

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Just to update people who followed this topic. Yesterday we took our Windows phone down to the end of our upper field which is approx 200 mtrs away from the house, I looked at the screen and there was a 3 bar signal from my ASUS Router, I opened Microsoft Edge and connected to the internet via the ASUS…that is what I call excellent performance. The ASUS router is connected to the Livebox and we channel all the traffic through a VPN set up on the ASUS.

If anyone is interested the ASUS Router is a Asus RT-N66U Router WiFi N900 Double Bande, ordered through AMAZON.FR

Highly recommended :slight_smile:

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