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Slow throughput

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  • Connectivity
  • Routers
  • Wireless Networking
Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 20, 2006 11:28:08 AM

My cable modem speed recently got increased from 4 mb/s to 10 mb/s download. I wanted to check my wireless throughput to make sure I was getting what I paid for. I had an 11 mb router (Linksys) and was only getting about 1.5 mb/s from online speedtests. I bought a Linksys WRT54G. It has boosted my online speedtest results to about 2.2 mb/s. When I connect to the router with a cable I can get as high as 9.8 mb/s from the same online speedtests and always get at least 7 mb/s so I know it's not the internet connection. I've tried different channels, 1 seems to have no other networks on it, but 6 seems to work the best. I have excellent signal as I only live in an apartment and the furthest I get from the router is about 30 feet. I have some higher gain antennaes from RadioShack that I've tried, seems to be about the same. I have WPA2 enabled and router set to G-only. The slow speed is with only one computer on the network.

How can I increase my throughput?

I'm not looking for the 20 mb/s throughput that others have seen. I just want to use my internet speed.

Thanks for any help.

More about : slow throughput

November 20, 2006 1:39:15 PM

First, for usable wireless bandwidth, a good rule of thumb is to divide by 3.

The overhead of the protocol cuts your bandwidth more than in half, leaving you roughly 25Mbps with 11g. Add to that any local issues, such as nearby interference (ranging from cordless phones to neighbors' wireless networks), the overhead of WPA security, and you're probably at around 15-18 Mbps. Considerably slower than your wired connection.

Have you run a test with security disabled?
November 20, 2006 4:25:25 PM

It is the same speed without encryption.
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November 20, 2006 5:17:55 PM

Quote:
...I have excellent signal as I only live in an apartment and the furthest I get from the router is about 30 feet....


Here are some test results from a review on the Tom's Network site:

WRT54GC Throughput (wireless)
Sitting right beside the product 23.71 Mbps
About 10 feet away with a clear line of sight 23.45 Mbps
About 10 feet away, through 1 interior wall 16.27 Mbps
About 15 feet away, through 1 interior wall and a wood frame floor 12.08 Mbps
About 15 feet away, through 2 interior walls and a wood frame floor 6.57 Mbps
About 20 feet away through 1 interior wall and down a flight of steps 20.64 Mbps
20 feet away, through 4 interior walls and a wood frame floor 23.66 Mbps
About 35 feet away, through 2 interior walls, 1 exterior wall, and a floor 4.17 Mbps

Note the wide variability; also note the throughput is not always distance related, and that one of the best measurements was made through 4 walls and a door.

Have you tested in various places in your apartment, including sitting right next to the router?

Also do note that the internet "speed tests" are also highly variable. You need to run the test several times to get a kind of average. It will vary widely, even just a few minutes apart. At least that is my experience.
November 20, 2006 5:35:50 PM

Yes, I've tried right next to the router. It was only slightly better. Like .2-.4 Mb/s better. I've run the test bunches of times at different times of day to try to control for variances.

Should I exchange the router for anoter brand that gives a little better throughput? I guess I'm open to buying a MIMO if it would help (allthough I'd rather not spend more than $100), but my laptop has an internal Centrino a/b/g card.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
November 20, 2006 5:44:44 PM

Do you know someone with another laptop to try to rule out your computer's wireless adapter as the culprit?

If another computer has the same or similar throughput, you know to look at the router. If the other computer has better throughput, you know to look at the built-in wireless. Some can be pretty bad.

If it is not too late, try exchanging the router.

If you have to buy something to try, I'd suggest you buy a USB-based wireless adapter from a store that will allow returns for full refund (assuming your laptop has a USB 2.0 port... if all it has is USB 1.1, that will not run any faster than 802.11b.) Test it with the external adapter and see if things improve. This test should be easier and cheaper than buying a new router.
November 20, 2006 6:17:19 PM

My other laptop gets about the same speed. It has a PC Card g card. By the way I tested the speed with just one computer running at a time to be consistent.

I just bought the router on the 18th, so I can exchange it if I need to.

Should I get a different brand?

I got the linksys because it used the same larger antennaes from my previous router.
November 20, 2006 6:54:03 PM

Oh, my computer is detecting 4 other wireless networks. Two of them are on channel 6 and two are on channel 11. I should put my network on channel 1, correct? Are the other networks slowing me down?
November 20, 2006 7:02:43 PM

Quote:
Oh, my computer is detecting 4 other wireless networks. Two of them are on channel 6 and two are on channel 11. I should put my network on channel 1, correct? Are the other networks slowing me down?
Correct... in general use the channel with no interference, or if that is not possible, with the weakest signals on it already.

And, yes, that could definitely be slowing you down.
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