Strange problem: Fast internet, slow LAN (both on WiFi)

Hello everyone,

Need help with this strange problem with my WiFi connection.

I have a notebook running Vista Basic Home. The internet connection (browsing and downloading) is fast, but it's really slow when I transfer files between it and my Western Digital MyNet 900C router with built-in 1 TB hard drive. I'm connecting to the network using Wireless N 150Mbps.

For example, with my internet connection, Speedtest.net reports 30-50Mbps on a 50Mbps cable package, and I just downloaded a file from Microsoft at 3.5MB/s. This is well within expectations, and the results are consistent. On the the other hand, within the local network, LAN Speed Test Lite reports a transfer speed of just 6-8mbps when I copy a file from my notebook to my router. When I actually copy a file, I get a transfer speed of 450-500KB/s! I also can't watch video files on the router drive because it's too slow.

Strangely, there are times when LAN Speed Test reports a test speed of 30-50Mbps, which would be normal. I have no idea what I did (or didn't do) to get what I would consider to be a normal LAN Wireless N speed.

I've done all these tests when I was sure I was the only one using the network (no devices running in the background), as well as in Windows Safe Mode.

I also did the test with an ethernet cable (ie. wired connection) and the results were similar. So it can't be the inherent limitation of WiFi.

My wife's Win 7 notebook works fine (both internet and LAN speeds are normal) so it must be a particular setting on my notebook.

Any idea what's up?

Thanks!
12 answers Last reply
More about strange problem fast internet slow lan wifi
  1. Your data transfer will run at the 150mbp speed between rouet and pc and hard drive. This halves if someone else is on the wifi at the same time. Try a faster router - N300 or N600.
  2. Have you tried copying files on your wife's machine also? Wifi file transfer speeds are notoriously slow. I can copy to my server via LAN @ 40mbit/sec (limited by my parity drive on my RAID) and if I copy via wifi on my laptop it's 1mbit/sec...

    That's just wifi it blows for transfer speeds, it's fine for vanilla web browsing and streaming YouTube or something but that's it.
  3. Thanks i7Baby for your reply.

    The N900C is WD's top router which has better specs than the N300 and N600.

    I ran the tests when I was sure I was the only one using the network at the time. In any case, it doesn't make sense (to my mind at least) that I can get 50mpbs with my internet connection on Speedtest.net, and just 1mbps with LAN Test a minute later. It seems to me that there's a setting that's affecting local network transfers, but not those on the internet?
  4. Speedtest.net is not measuring the speed to your laptop, it's measuring the speed to your router and displaying the results in a web browser on your laptop. That's very different, file transfer speeds via wifi are slow.
  5. Poprin said:
    Have you tried copying files on your wife's machine also? Wifi file transfer speeds are notoriously slow. I can copy to my server via LAN @ 40mbit/sec (limited by my parity drive on my RAID) and if I copy via wifi on my laptop it's 1mbit/sec...

    That's just wifi it blows for transfer speeds, it's fine for vanilla web browsing and streaming YouTube or something but that's it.


    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, I've transferred files using my wife's computer to the router drive before and the speed's been in the megabyte per second range. I've also watched videos on the router drive with her notebook and they streamed OK. With my own, it just doesn't work. We're both on the same Wireless N 150mps protocol, though the adapters are of different brands, and the notebooks are essentially side by side in the study with the same signal strength.

    I think what puzzles me is how I can get a download speed of 3.5MB/s from microsoft.com when I can barely manage 450KB/s when I copy a file to the router drive. Also, that LAN Speed Test occasionally reports a transfer speed for 30Mpbs-50Mpbs suggests that faster speeds are possible. I just haven't figured out under what exact circumstances I achieve those speeds under, though.
  6. ultimax said:
    Poprin said:
    Have you tried copying files on your wife's machine also? Wifi file transfer speeds are notoriously slow. I can copy to my server via LAN @ 40mbit/sec (limited by my parity drive on my RAID) and if I copy via wifi on my laptop it's 1mbit/sec...

    That's just wifi it blows for transfer speeds, it's fine for vanilla web browsing and streaming YouTube or something but that's it.


    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, I've transferred files using my wife's computer to the router drive before and the speed's been in the megabyte per second range. I've also watched videos on the router drive with her notebook and they streamed OK. With my own, it just doesn't work. We're both on the same Wireless N 150mps protocol, though the adapters are of different brands, and the notebooks are essentially side by side in the study with the same signal strength.

    I think what puzzles me is how I can get a download speed of 3.5MB/s from microsoft.com when I can barely manage 450KB/s when I copy a file to the router drive. Also, that LAN Speed Test occasionally reports a transfer speed for 30Mpbs-50Mpbs suggests that faster speeds are possible. I just haven't figured out under what exact circumstances I achieve those speeds under, though.




    Ok... Sorry. So basically even by wifi standards this is slow. Well there can be very significant differences between network cards, wired and wireless. You can try checking the power settings on your machine, you should be able to change the wifi setting to max performance as it maybe throttling your connection right back in an attempt to save power. This would cause intermittent problems as it tried to dynamically adjust performance based on usage.
  7. I just did the test with a wired connection (ie. through a cable) and the results were the same as WiFi.

    So it has to be a setting in Vista which is limiting LAN transfer speeds.
  8. Thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately that's not it. :(

    I just tested the connection with a wired connection and the results were identical to WiFi - fast internet, slow LAN. So it has to be something other than the adapters, a network setting of some sort that is limiting LAN, but not internet, speed.


    Poprin said:
    Have you tried
    Ok... Sorry. So basically even by wifi standards this is slow. Well there can be very significant differences between network cards, wired and wireless. You can try checking the power settings on your machine, you should be able to change the wifi setting to max performance as it maybe throttling your connection right back in an attempt to save power. This would cause intermittent problems as it tried to dynamically adjust performance based on usage.

  9. ultimax said:
    Thanks i7Baby for your reply.

    The N900C is WD's top router which has better specs than the N300 and N600.

    I ran the tests when I was sure I was the only one using the network at the time. In any case, it doesn't make sense (to my mind at least) that I can get 50mpbs with my internet connection on Speedtest.net, and just 1mbps with LAN Test a minute later. It seems to me that there's a setting that's affecting local network transfers, but not those on the internet?



    The you've got a slow wifi card.
  10. Thanks for the link. Gave it a go but it didn't help unfortunately.

    Been googling but so solutions yet. Very strange ...


    Poprin said:
  11. Try Windows 7, 8 or 8.1?
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