Only getting 40mb speeds (wireless) on a 100mb connection

May 31, 2014 at 05:31:11
Specs: Windows 7
I upgraded from 20mb to 100mb a couple of days ago. When using an ethernet cable I can get speeds up to 100mb but with wireless the speed is only around 40mb! I have also tested wireless on another laptop and that too is showing speeds of around 40mb. My ISP sent an engineer round to my house yesterday and he said, as the wired connection shows good speeds, he could do nothing for me with regards to the wireless speeds and I have to sort the problem myself!

Does anyone have any suggestions how to fix this?

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May 31, 2014 at 06:18:15
I take it you mean 20 Mbs and 100 Mbs. Mb are a measure of quantity. Mbs are a measure of bandwidth. That is the number of bits transmitted per second

Having said that, you are never going to get anything like the same bandwidth over wireless as you do with a wired connection, the laws of physics wont allow it. There is no definitive figure and the numbers will vary enormously depending on your individual circumstances.

However you don't say what kind of wireless hardware you have. 40 mbs is excellent for 802.11g. About average for 802.11n. A lot depends on how far away you are from the wireless router and what is in between and what local interference you might have.

In short, wireless is not and never will be a hi-tec alternative to a wired connection. It is a hi-tec solution for the need for mobility and nothing else.


message edited by StuartS

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May 31, 2014 at 10:49:33
Yes I meant Mbs sorry.

My network adapter is 802.11n - does this mean I need to change my network adapter to be able to make full use of the 100 Mbs broadband? Or is there something else I can try first to increase the speed?

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May 31, 2014 at 12:15:19
802.11n is the best you are going to get so changing the adaptor will not make a lot of difference. It is your wireless router that makes the difference that is assuming you do have an 802.11n capable router.

Try moving the router, either closer to the device or just moving a few feet can often make a difference.


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May 31, 2014 at 14:53:31
Consider using a PowerLine adapters if portability isn't an issue - they are not very expensive. These use the domestic power as a connecting cable. You fit one at the router and one at each device. Mine achieve just about the same speeds as a direct connection.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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June 1, 2014 at 07:51:42
My laptop is placed right next to my router so distance isn't an issue.

So if I understand this right - its impossible to get a connection over 40mbps through wireless?

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June 1, 2014 at 08:40:38
Although I believe that wireless can never better direct cable (or PowerLine) am a tad surprised that it doesn't almost do the same if it is right next to the router.

I can only imagine that this is either a limitation of the router or the wireless in the other computers. Not sure whether it will help us but let is know the router make and model number plus the same for any other devices that are part of this issue.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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June 1, 2014 at 08:54:34
I'm with Virgin Media in the UK and they sent me out a brand new 'Super Hub 2' when I upgraded to 100mb so I know that isn't the issue. One of the Virgin engineers came to my house a couple of days ago and told me that everything is fine on their end and the problem must be with my laptop.

My network adapter is a 'Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter' - I starting to think this may be my problem but StuartS seems to think changing the adapter wont make a difference!

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June 1, 2014 at 08:57:05
How are you determining the connection speed?

Open up your "Wireless Network Connection Status" window and tell us what is shown for the speed and signal quality.

Download and install the Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector app and see what it shows for your signal and compare it with any other wi-fi signal that it finds.

What channel are you broadcasting on? Are there other signals that Xirrus finds close to you that are broadcasting on the same channel?

Do you have QoS enabled on the wireless interface?

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June 1, 2014 at 09:22:31
How are you determining the connection speed?

Open up your "Wireless Network Connection Status" window and tell us what is shown for the speed and signal quality.

Speed says 72.0Mbps - should this not be 100Mbps? Signal quality is fine.

Not overly sure what I'm looking for on Xirrus so here's a screen grab...

Not sure what QoS is... where can I find the setting?

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June 1, 2014 at 10:33:46
You have 2 connections and speeds to consider. 1) The connection between your laptop and the wireless AP. 2) The connection between your modem/router and ISP.

The 72.0Mbps is between the laptop and AP. That value will never reach the 100Mb max that you expect. My connection to my AP is 65Mbs, which is fine for me because it's still much faster than my 3Mbs Internet connection. One of these days I'll break down and upgrade to a faster connection.

The 40Mbs you mentioned is between your laptop and which includes the latency of your AP connection a number of hops between your router, ISP and

The key thing I see on your Xirrus screen shot is that you're using channel 1. That's part of the reason for the slower speed. Change to channel 11 which broadcasts at a higher frequency. If your laptop and AP are 5G compatible, then use it instead of the 2.4G that you're currently using.

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June 1, 2014 at 11:20:40
I've tried on a number of different channels but unfortunately no improvement.

My laptop/network adapter is not compatible with 5G so that's not an option. I've been advised on another forum to buy a wireless USB adapter so I think I'm going to give that a try unless you have any more suggestions?

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June 1, 2014 at 13:58:12
I had to cut my last comment short because I late for church.

Your signal strength is -62 which is not very good especially considering that your prior comment said you were right next to the router. At that distance it should be in the low -20s.

Mine fluctuates between -22 to -28 when I'm that close and when I take my laptop outside about 75' and 2 walls in-between my signal drops to about -65.

Are any of those other AP's yours and configured in your laptop? If so, then you could be experiencing a situation where your laptop switching between those AP's and that would account for a slower connection.

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June 1, 2014 at 14:13:57
Sorry when I took the screen shot I was outside in the garden so wasn't close to router/hub... normally I am right next to it!

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June 2, 2014 at 07:11:09
First off, you're never going to get 100% of the rated bandwidth. Due to overhead, you can reasonably expect around 80-85% of the total on a wired network connection. So with a rated 100Mbps connection, you can expect about 85Mbps. Add on the inherent issues with lag and latency one encounters with wireless and 72 Mbps is about what I'd expect to see for this.

So in my estimation, you're getting pretty much what you can expect. You say the wired connection works just fine and that tells me your wireless is also working fine.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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June 2, 2014 at 07:25:06
I'm not getting speeds of 72 Mbps - I would settle for that!.... I'm getting around 40 Mbps.

72 Mbps is what it said yesterday in the 'Wireless Network Connection Status' box when I check the status of the connection... today it is saying 58.5 Mbps!

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June 3, 2014 at 14:06:27
Not to be critical but...

"The key thing I see on your Xirrus screen shot is that you're using channel 1. That's part of the reason for the slower speed"

That's not correct. 1,6 and 11 are non overlapping and equal. There is no bandwidth limitation based on channel. Only concern is not to overlap channel wise with a neighbor.

" Mbs are a measure of bandwidth."
Its Mbps as in megabits per second

Getting off my soap box, Curt R is right that wifi has far more overhead though you should see better rates. But this depends on your router and wifi adapter. Not all "N's" are created equal.

Unfortunately I see no mention of router make and model. That would have been helpful.

The lowest end of N is 54 Mbps up to 600 Mbps [never seen that myself]. Looking like between the router and adapter its defaulting to the lower band.

First suggestion is make sure your wifi adapter has the latest drivers loaded
Second suggestion, if your router supports it, is to set your wifi speeds to the highest they go. 300 Mbps is what my 2.4/5Ghz wifi is set to.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's

message edited by wanderer

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