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Router effecting ISP speed?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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May 31, 2006 3:44:59 AM

I'm basically clueless about networking/routers but recently I went from using a wired Linksys setup to a cheap wireless Zyxel 802.11g 54mbps router. I'm using it in conjunction with D-link 802.11g 54mbps usb adapters. Anyway, just to test it out, I have the wireless connection running on a computer right next to the router so the signal strength is "excellent." Running a speed test connected directly to the router with a cable I get roughly a 3.5-4Mbps dl rate. When I unplug the cable and go with the wireless usb adapter setup my speeds drop to roughly 2Mbps.

From everything I've read it sounds like my webpage surfing and internet download speeds should pretty much be dependent on my ISP unless I'm getting a bad signal, which I'm not. I uploaded the latest firmware for the router but that didn't change anything. Or is this just one of the sacrifices you make for going with wireless? I thought the speed loss was referring to network transfers between your computers in a wired vs wireless setting. Or could this be a hardware problem, because admittedly I did pretty much buy the cheapest setup possible.
May 31, 2006 8:45:43 PM

Here's more information: My ISP is roadrunner cable that is capable of 5mbps dl/380 kbps uload. Running the Speakeasy Speedtest I get 4.5-5mbps dl / 355kbps upload on the wired connection to the router. Then testing witih the computer on the wireless connection with an excellent signal and 54mbps network speed my download drops to about 1.5-1.7mbps but the upload stays the same. I've been googling stuff all day but the only answer I reallly found was updating the firmware, which didn't do anything for me. The rest of the threads I find are usually unanswered or the person settles for buying another router. I guess I could always get a new router but I think this is a fixable problem.
May 31, 2006 8:58:08 PM

Is you D-link usb 11g connected to a USB 1.1 or v2 port?

Wireless speeds will allways be slower than wired. Even though they say 54mbps, that is total bandwidth. 27 in and out - over head. As you add users its get slower because it is being sharing between the users.

Make sure you have setup WPA to keep unwanted users out.

Your numbers indicate that you may have a USB 1.1 which is close to 10 mbps nic card.

What kind of service do have? DSL, cable, FIO all have different speeds.

Have you compaired your readings to your Linksys router?
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May 31, 2006 9:39:12 PM

When people refer to wireless being slower I always thought that pertained to network transfers, computer to computer data rates(100mbps wired/54mbps wireless) I have the usb adapter plugged into a 2.0 usb slot. I read a lot of posts, like you said, about 54mbps not being a realistic number(more like half those speeds when transfering) but my network speeds aren't the problem. My 5mbps roadrunner cable connection is running at 1.7mbps on the wireless. This is doing internet downloads and speed tests not my network transfer speeds. I thought your isp is still the limiting factor when it comes to your actual internet speeds then your router determines the sharing of files across your network. Also, if anyone has a reliable internet speed test link, I'd appreciate it. Specifically though, it's my internet speeds that are not running up to par, not the network speeds, but it works fine if I just plug in with a wire.

The linksys router doesn't have wireless but if I plug into it I get the same internet download speeds as if I were to plug into the Zyxel router. So I've pretty much narrowed it down to the wireless being the cause of the slowdown. Or is wireless supposed to slow down my internet speeds also?
May 31, 2006 10:08:54 PM

My wireless is about the same, only get 1.6 Meg/sec on file transfer to NAS box. My wired is 12 meg/sec. Using a Netgear FVS338 router with a USR5450AP and matching USR5410 PCMCI card.

It's the price we pay for convence. Everything is slower with wireless.

I have mine set for large packets (125mbps), G Only, 256bit WPA. Most site I down load from max out at 200kbps. Bandwidth control. A few of the sites are over 800kbps.

I have Comcast 5m/384k service.
June 1, 2006 3:24:27 AM

Well, after playing around with stuff all day, I think I found the solution for my problem. I went to dslreports.com and was messing with their tools to see if maybe they had an answer to my problem. I ran the tweak test and it showed that when I connected through the wireless that my Tcp recieve window was way too low. It was at I think 17000 and they recommended to put it at 50000 to 120000. I connected through the wires and found that my Tcp window while running through that was at 62780. So, I setup the wireless again and bumped the tcp recieve window from 17000 to 62780 using a tool they have on their website. I think that did the trick. My speed test downloads show about 4.5mbps to 5mbps which is what I get while connected through wires.

I tried it on both my computers running wireless and it's all good now. I couldn't explain to you technically why this fix worked but it did for me. From the wording I assume it basically meant my internet download speed was being choked but the reason for my upload staying relatively the same is because this only dealt with "recieving" data. Anyway, for anyone with this sort of problem, check out dsltools.com for various tests that could help find your problem.
July 8, 2006 9:52:21 PM

Wireless technology unfortunately has not come along enough to the point where wireless connections won't be considered a serious bottleneck. Wired technology has been around long enough to the point where it has become nearly seamless in its networking capabilities.

Wireless on the other hand is still working on harnessing everything it is given. The way wireless transmits/receives data is what I consider to be the current problem. Adding WEP security functions only causes this to become worse having to send out more information for each data transfer. Unforunately shy of changing your SSID and hoping no one will connect to it having a completely open system is dangerous and resource consuming.

Until technology permits data to be transferred WiFi as simply as wired is we won't be seeing nearly the equal speeds of wired connectivity.
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