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Wireless Speed Always 54 Mbps Regardless of Signal Strength

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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February 4, 2011 4:36:47 PM

Hi, guys!
I have a problem with my wireless connection which always stays at 54 Mbps even though signal strength drops to a low value. There are many lost packets, and sometimes it just disconnects altogether without first dropping to 1 Mbps.
I have an Asus G73JH laptop with an Atheros AR9285 wireless network adapter plus a wireless dongle (Sagem XG-760A) which behaves in exactly the same way.
What is strange is that before I bought the Asus laptop, I had another laptop with an Intel 3945ABG wireless card plus the same wireless dongle, and their speed was not fixed at 54 Mbps with changing signal strength.
Both laptops have had clean Windows 7 Ultimate x64 installs and both were used with the same wireless access point at the same place.
So, I'm wondering if Windows has a registry setting or something of the kind that prevents a wireless card from dropping to a lower speed if the signal strength goes down. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be a driver problem since both Atheros and Sagem devices have the same behavior. It's probably not an access point problem either, since I can replicate the same behavior with several wireless routers.
Does anyone have a suggestion?
Thanks.
February 4, 2011 8:07:20 PM

Routers have an option to fix the transfer speed. It is acting like it is set to 54mbps.
February 4, 2011 8:28:26 PM

Hi, festerovic!
The access point I'm using is a Castelnet CBV 704EW DOCSIS wireless modem. There's no provision to fix the speed as far as I can tell from the configuration page. What is strange is that another computer I have would connect to the same router normally and would have a speed somewhere between 11-36 Mbps depending on the instantaneous signal strength.
So I'm really at a loss. It must be some kind of a driver or win7 issue.
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February 4, 2011 9:17:04 PM

Well, I have noticed that on two of my adapters, one on win7 and one on vista 32 ult. They behave the exact same way, except mine will change after a while to something other than max speed. Perhaps the polling time or the way it is reporting is different than XP (probably what we are both more familiar with.
February 4, 2011 9:55:23 PM

Well, I wouldn't be surprised if different versions of windows gave different results, but in this case my other laptop has exactly the same version of windows, and with the same usb dongle there is no problem. That's what makes it so odd. And as long as the connection is alive, it is 54 Mbps even though it may drop all the packets in the meantime due to the low signal strength...
!