And finally the much anticipated 4.5 firmware of PlayStation 4/4 Pro has arrived, with some very neat features: extended storage, custom themes. It’s a big improvement for PS4 users, well, almost: the firmware comes with a big problem for ones who are using wifi: the download speed is now terrible, and even worse, the lag in game is making the games unplayable. Before 4.5, I had no problem joining matches on Uncharted 4, and playing Titanfall was very smooth – ping is never more than 100ms. After 4.5, I can’t hardly join a match on Uncharted 4 (errors in connections), and the lag in Titanfall spikes to more than 2000ms, making the game totally unplayable. Test Internet Connection shows that I have a a few hundred Kbps upload and download, when the wifi connection is supposed to be 130Mbps (PS4 ony has 2.4Ghz wifi 802.11 b/g/n, only PS4 Pro has 5Ghz wifi), and my internet connection is 250/100Mbps, so that must be a big problem somewhere.
It seems it’s a common issues across users, and after a lot frustrations from community, Sony said that they will “look into it”. Hopefully they will release a fix for it, but it would not happen anytime soon, and during that time online games will continue to be painful. There is already a workaround available: change the signal of the wifi router from 802.11 b/g/n to only 802.11 b/g. This works for some, but obviously not for me, the connection hardly improves, if any.
I’m desperate for some online matches – so I have to fix the issue in one way, or another, but using wired LAN is out of option – as the router is in a different room, and they are like 10m away – wiring will be surely a hell. Buying PS4 Pro is on my wishlist, but I have no budget right now, also it’s not guaranteed that 5Ghz wifi will solve problem – 5Ghz wifi has better throughput, but it also has shorter range. The only option I can do now is to move my PS4 from inside the TV stand to on top of it – so it’ll be more “direct” to the router – one less layer of wood (approx. 2 cm thick).
To my surprises, it worked very well. As you can see from the test screen – the connection speed has greatly improved, to 10Mbps/5Mbps. It’s no where near perfect, but it is a big improvement. Tried with Uncharted 4, no problem joining matches, and the game is as smooth as ever.
It seems that in 4.50 firmware, Sony might, intentionally or accidentally, drop the power of the wifi signal. This result in a drop in of speed over the distance, and the more obstacles you have, the worse situations get. This also explains why switching to 802.11 b/g works for some, as 802.11 b/g have higher power signal (thus it can be carried further/over more obstacles). In my case the increase of power signal could not penetrate the wood, hence no improvement. Only getting rid of the obstacle works.
So if you are using 4.5 firmware, there are some of your options:
- Use wired LAN instead of wifi – as the Ethernet will carry the signal far without loss or noise.
- Change your router signal to 802.11 b/g, with luck you can solve the problem, but at the cost of other devices connecting to your router will have more limited speed (802.11 b/g has the limitation of 54Mbps)
- Try to remove as many obstacles between the router and your PS4. Note that not all obstacles have same resistance to wifi signal – it depends on the thickness and the material of them – so try and remove the impactful obstacle.
Now it’s time to back to having fun with online matches!