Wireless 'N' Real World Speed?

Hi everyone,

So I've just replaced my decade old wireless 'G' router and adapters with wireless 'N' router and adapters. The router is TP-Link WDR4300 and the adapter is TP Link 822N. Both of which are rated for 300mbps on 2.4GHZ band, and 450mbps on 5ghz band.

I do a bit of streaming and file transfer from my HPTC (wireless) and with the old 'G' router, I get about 2.2MBps. With the new wireless N router and adapter, I am getting transfer speed of around 5.3MBps (which is roughly 42mbps).

This is no where near the rated speed of 300mbps, or even close to half of the rated speed.

Is this what I should expect real world performance to be at? About 1/7 of rated speed?

Or am I not setting up my wireless network correctly?

Thanks in advance for comments/feedbacks.
10 answers Last reply
More about wireless real world speed
  1. Don't forget that megabits and Megabytes aren't the same units, in fact 300 mbps = only 37.5mb/s so 42 is pretty good...
    The 450mbps on the 5ghz are 56.25 mb/s so in theory you can't pass 56.25+37.5 = 93.75 mb/s and that is without interference and with 100% signal strenght with one single device plugged-in...

    I imagine you have two PC (the HTPC and the one you've downloading the file) that are on wireless so assuming that, the bandwith is splitted between the 2 (one is streaming and the other downloading but the max of all devices is 93.75) so roughly 47 mb/s each and you get 42. You're about the max that wireless can give...

    FYI: 1000 mbps (Gigabit ethernet) is 125mb/s (about a standard HDD sequential read speed)
  2. Thanks. I think I probably didn't state my question clearly.

    The router is rated for 300mbps (that's mega bits per second = 37.5 mega byte per second), right?

    I am transferring a large file from my desktop (wired) to my HTPC (wireless).

    The transfer rate is at 5.3MB/sec (that's mega byte per second), so that equals 42.4mbps (megabit per second).

    So, 42.4 mbps is roughly 1/7 of the rated 300mbps? This is on the 2.4ghz band.

    Please let me know if I did not understand that correctly.
  3. Update:

    So, I downloaded a network bandwidth monitor app (DU Meter) and try to transfer the file again.

    I let the transfer runs for about 10min. I get a max transfer rate of 84mbps, and an average rate of 64.9mbps. It improved a bit, I guess half of the neighborhood went to bed and got off their wifi conections.

    But this is still a far cry from the 300mbps.
  4. Sadly if you're only hitting 65 mbps when it's rated at 300mbps, you have maybe many interference or many devices using this wireless connection... Maybe you're a little too far from the router too (many walls, floor, etc...) For interferences, you can try to check with Inssider, it's a program that check all the wireless in the air that your wireless card detect (and give you the channel, frequencies. strenght, etc...)

    You'll then be able to change the wireless channel to the less interfering one (generally 6 is default for all devices and the more interferring one and 1 or 11 are the less used one and the better for inteference resistance) You also need to make sure that you still have the 300mbps connection and the closest to 100% signal strengh (in the router setting under info or support / wireless tab)

    You can check right now in your router what is the speed and signal you have by like i wrote going to your router settings in your browser and going to Status, Tools, support or settings (depending on the router brand/model) and in the wireless tab you'll see your IP adress with the speed and the signal strengh... If you don't have 100% signal, move antenna as 300mbps will only be reach by 99%+ signal, at 98% you'll have maybe 240, 190, 160, etc... If you can't have 100% it's because your too far away or there's too many obstacle in the way...

    You can try to increase the signal strengh in the wireless options if not set to the max already...
  5. I've already used INSSIDER to check surrounding areas.

    I have 4 other wifi in the neighborhood, all of which is on the 1+5 channel (i guess that's channel 6)?

    My router is set to channel 11 and INSSIDER detected as channel 11+7?

    My wifi on the machine is connected at 100% signal strength.

    I currently have only 2 devices connected to the router. My smartphone and the HTPC machine that I am testing.

  6. Wireless 2.4ghz use 2 channel to reach 300mbps and to not be interferring with itself they space them by 4 channel (1+5 is channel 1 and 11+7 is channel 11)

    Does the speed was at 300mbps or 100% signal but lower speed ??

    My cellphone was causing my router to work in G mode in 20mhz channel width over 40mhz channel width for 300mbps... i suggest that you enable Guest zone (if you have this option) and connect your cellphone on guest with "G" and set Wireless "N" only on the main channel with 40mhz width (that work for me)
  7. Just curious. What speed are you getting with your set up?

    My cellphone is connected to the 5ghz band, N only.
  8. Just got this guide to help getting more of your wireless...

    I'm getting about 35mb/s or around 280mbps from wireless PC to usb HDD on my router (router 100% signal and 300mbps rate with channel 2 "+6")

    And about 3mb/s (24mbps) on my cell phone, same HDD but wireless "G" with around 65% signal strengh and 54mbps rate

    PS: my cellphone don't support 5ghz and i wasn't aware that some do (mine support N but disconnect randomly when i set WPA2 protection so i leave it to G)
  9. You generally won't get close to the "advertised" speed of the router. Even though the router says "300 mbps" output, chances are you will get a fraction of that in normal conditions. Even right next to the router, you might be lucky to get 80-90 mbps on such a router (depending on the device, a smartphone will probably be even slower). To add to the noise, any other routers in the area that are overlapping your channel in the slightest will also cause a loss in bandwidth. As will other devices, electronics, walls, etc. The top rated (highly expensive) wireless N routers generally come nowhere near the "advertised speed." The Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight for example is a dual band 600mbps N router (2.4/5ghz) - the fastest speed it achieved in the same room was about 120mbps (perfect conditions) on the 5Ghz spectrum, and about 50mbps on the 2.4ghz spectrum. In the next room with a wall between, the speeds were cut in half 60mbps for 5ghz, and 20mbps on 2.4ghz. That is one of the highest rated wireless N routers. The new AC routers like the Netgear Nighthawk have seen speeds (on AC only) of 400mbps however, so the speed are improving.
  10. Wireless Ethernet has a ton of overhead. The advertised speeds are called link rate. So lets say your link rate is 300Mbit/s. after you account for wireless overhead and Ethernet overhead, a best case would be you get 60% of that in actual throughput. So now your 300Mbit is really 180Mbit/s. Now another trick they use in marketing is they quote you aggregate bandwidth, not simultaneous throughput. Since wireless connection runs in half duplex mode, you must cut the speed in half when comparing it to a wired connection (which is the standard most people use when talking bandwidth). So now your 180Mbit/s is really 90Mbit/s. That 90Mbit/s of throughput is if you are getting a perfect signal with no interference. If you get less than a perfect signal or there is interference, then you will get less bandwidth. Also all your devices that are wireless share that bandwidth. Thus if you have more than one wireless device going at the same time, then your throughput will be less. For example in my house I run both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless. The link rate on my 2.4Ghz is 150Mbit/s. My actual throughput test at 23Mbit/s. This is because of overhead and competition with my neighbors for channel space. On my 5Ghz my link rate is 300Mbit/s and my actual throughput is 90Mbit/s as I have no competition for a clear channel.
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