slow international connection on wireless

July 20, 2011 at 03:35:25
Specs: Windows XP SP3
i have a 4Mbps DSL internet connection with 3 PCs connected through a router. 2 are connected wirelessly and the other is wired via an ethernet cable.

i noticed that when downloading a file from an international server, the transfer rate on the wireless PCs is 2-3 times slower than on the wired PC. the wireless PC would get about 150-200kb/s, whereas the wired PC can max out to 450kb/s on a single download.

however when i download from a local or nearby server instead, the transfer rate on the wireless and wired PCs are the same and can both reach up to 450kb/s per download.

i don't understand why the wireless connection is slower to international servers compared to the wired PC. don't they all go through the same router? or am i missing something?

my wireless signal is at 54Mbps with "excellent" strength. i also tested the ping results from both the wireless and wired PCs to international servers and they are pretty much the same. there doesn't seem to be any extra latency.

- all PCs are running windows XP SP3
- the modem/router is a D-Link 2640B

hope somebody is able to help or explain what's happening. this problem has been driving me crazy for weeks. thanks!

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July 20, 2011 at 10:01:10
International Server? Where are you, and where is this "international server?"

As to specifically why the download speeds are half on wireless vs. wired , well, depending on what WiFi 802.11 spec you're using (802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n) - wireless connections are generally slower than wired connections due to various reasons like interference & obstructions of the WiFi signal, WiFi overhead (OFDM, DSSS) and wireless encryption. I'm assuming you have WiFi encryption enabled as well like WPA2 AES? With the WiFi encryption, the signal needs to be coded & decoded at the endpoints in the data transfer, which will slow the whole process down. Your WiFi connection is 54 Mbps/802.11g, which is about half as fast as a normal 100 Mbps wired connection right off the bat. But that 54 Mbps is only on your WiFi LAN – over your wireless in its optimized state. Its 100 Mbps on your wired Ethernet – wired PCs and router.

Then your 54 Mbps WiFi or 100 Mbps wired LAN speeds get bottlenecked down to a rather slow 4 Mbps DSL connection. Add in your 3 PCs fighting for bandwidth as they go out to the Internet and look for updates for OSes , AV updates, Adobe Reader & Flash player updates, Media players, iTunes, GoogleUpdater, JAVA, etc service running in the background.

Then out there on the Internet there are all sorts of network traffic issues over your ISP’s network and the Internet Nodes and finally down to onto the network of the “server” that you are downloading from. Then add in possible server issues ON the server itself; add in multiple users trying to get data off that server at the same time and all the users online at the same time...there’s a lot going on in the background.

MOOOOooove! OH and you're welcome!

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July 20, 2011 at 18:24:17
hi. thanks for the reply. i understand that wired connections are more stable and capable of much faster speeds than wireless. however, i don't think that entirely explains my situation in this case. as mentioned, i can consistently download a single file at max speed > 450kb/s from local or nearby servers on my wireless connection. it is only when i connect to international servers that the speed drops to about 150-200kb/s per download. furthermore, if i download 2-3 files (or more) at the same time from international servers, i can still reach a total speed of > 450kb/s ie. each download is limited to about 150-200kb/s, but total speed reaches > 450kb/s. my wireless signal is at 54Mbps with "excellent" strength.

i am located in Malaysia. by local or nearby servers i mean Malaysia or any nearby country such as Singapore, Thailand, or even Korea. i get very good to maximum speed on these servers.

by international servers, i mean servers hosted in places like Europe or US.

note that on my wired connection, it doesn't matter what server i'm connecting to, i can always get >450kb/s downloading a single file. so i also don't think it's my ISP that is the culprit here.

appreciate your feedback and help! :)

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July 22, 2011 at 21:46:31
Ok, I see what you mean now.

Well I did an unofficial test here (RR cable user in the States); I downloaded 50 Mb file from Redmond Washington on 100 Mbps NIC and a 54 Mbps WiFi card separately. My download times were very similar for each one. The download speeds were only slightly better on the 100 Mbps NIC.

Then I tried a 50 Mb download from Singapore on each network adapter separately again and the download times were the same as well.

Hmm, interesting issue altern8.

MOOOOooove! OH and you're welcome!

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