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Question about internet speed+router

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 28, 2013 4:00:11 PM

I just contacted Comcast last night and upgraded my service from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps. I was on speedtest.net a little over a week ago and my top speed recorded then was 29.7 Mbps. Now after the upgrade, when I go to speedtest.net, the fastest speed I've reached is 34 Mbps wired and only about 16 Mbps wireless.

So I have a couple questions. First and most importantly, why is the connection so slow? I have an Arris TM722G DOCSIS 3.0 modem and a Linksys WRT54GL which is supposed to support speeds up to 54 Mbps.

Second, I was looking to purchase a new router but I'm a little confused. I was looking at the Netgear WNDR3700, in the details it says it supports 300+300 Mbps for up to 600 Mbps. If my internet speeds are limited to 50 Mbps, is there any point in getting a router that supports 300-600 Mbps?
December 28, 2013 4:16:21 PM

First off, internet providers do not guarantee top speed at all times (read the fine print, usually says "up to"). As for why your connection is so slow, (a) is your computer the only device on the network? If not, then the "speed/bandwidth" is divided between however many devices are connected. (if it has wireless, are you sure someone isn't piggy-backing onto your network?) As to whether you should get a router better than your connection speed is capable of? Probably not.
December 28, 2013 5:04:06 PM

animal said:
First off, internet providers do not guarantee top speed at all times (read the fine print, usually says "up to"). As for why your connection is so slow, (a) is your computer the only device on the network? If not, then the "speed/bandwidth" is divided between however many devices are connected. (if it has wireless, are you sure someone isn't piggy-backing onto your network?) As to whether you should get a router better than your connection speed is capable of? Probably not.


Well I understand I might not get up to exactly 50 Mbps, but an increase of barely 5 Mbps when the speed was supposed to be doubled can't be right.
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December 28, 2013 5:54:19 PM

Normally I would say the router is not your problem. In this case that is a very old router. To test if it is slowing you down plug directly into the modem and run speed tests. This will be the absolute best number you can get. You may have to power cycle the modem each time you switch back and forth between the router and the PC. If you do not get the stated rates directly cabled then all you can do is ask the ISP if they can do something. Make sure you are testing not during peak hours the rates they give don't account for having to share with all your neighbors.

If you do get better numbers without the router then a newer router will likely increase at least your wired speed. Wireless is another issue. You are running 802.11g right now. If you replace your router you really don't want to use 802.11g adapters in your PC it will likely not run any faster than the current router. You want to upgrade everything to 802.11n. Of course it won't run 300m or whatever but it will likely be able to run more. 54m is the maximum for 802.11g and that assumes no errors. If you were to run 802.11n at 150m and lose 50% of you bandwidth to errors you would still exceed your internet speed.
December 28, 2013 7:05:39 PM

bill001g said:
Normally I would say the router is not your problem. In this case that is a very old router. To test if it is slowing you down plug directly into the modem and run speed tests. This will be the absolute best number you can get. You may have to power cycle the modem each time you switch back and forth between the router and the PC. If you do not get the stated rates directly cabled then all you can do is ask the ISP if they can do something. Make sure you are testing not during peak hours the rates they give don't account for having to share with all your neighbors.

If you do get better numbers without the router then a newer router will likely increase at least your wired speed. Wireless is another issue. You are running 802.11g right now. If you replace your router you really don't want to use 802.11g adapters in your PC it will likely not run any faster than the current router. You want to upgrade everything to 802.11n. Of course it won't run 300m or whatever but it will likely be able to run more. 54m is the maximum for 802.11g and that assumes no errors. If you were to run 802.11n at 150m and lose 50% of you bandwidth to errors you would still exceed your internet speed.


I just tried wiring the PC directly into the modem and the speed was just about the same. Just out of curiosity, when I click on "Open Network and Sharing Center" it shows the type of connection and when you click on it, it will show the speed. When I'm on my wireless, the speed says 54 Mbps, when wired into the router it says 100 Mbps and when wired directly into the modem it says 1 Gbps. Since taking the router out of the equation didn't really change anything and my NIC apparently supports 1 Gbps, could the modem be the issue?
December 29, 2013 5:09:12 AM

Wireless you have a old router than can only go 54m and only run 100m on the ethernet. The modem has the new gig ports but that really only means it can run over 100m. In theory a cable modem running docsis3 can run over 400m so the devices is most likely constructed to allow for that maximum.

Your issue is still something with the ISP. You only hope is that there is some kind of errors on the connection to your house in the wires that they can fix. Otherwise it is the ISP selling magic numbers that nobody gets. I have seen people get the rated speed on comcast so maybe they can fix your issue
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