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Wireless Home network performance issues

Posted on 2006-06-20
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
I have a wireless router at home.  Its a D-Link I think a 524.  Wireless g.

I get broadband internet from my cable company - they have a website which allows me to do speed tests.

http://speedtest.wi.charter.net

I'm paying for 3 Megabit download speed.  When I have a computer "Hard wired" to my router I get approximately 3 Megabit download speeds.

When I have a computer connected via wireless my download speed tests drop down to 300 K or so.
It varies.

The connection strength to my router always reports as being "very good" or "excellent" with full bars.  However, my download speed is still poor from the internet.

This is odd because a wireless G connection should give you approximately 24 Megabit transfer speeds (much higher than the 3 megabit speed I want for my wireless internet downloads)

I realize that if you have a microwave or other interference that this would be a factor.  But I don't think this is the case here.  my microwave doesn't run 24 hours a day and I always get poor download speeds.

My goal here is to get faster download speeds wirelessly -

Do you think that purchasing a new wireless router - say, a LinkSys brand one would make a difference?

Any other reason you can see that I might have slow internet speeds?

Are there any good diagnostic tests I can perform here?

Thanks!
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Question by:aflat362
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by:aflat362
ID: 16946179
http://speedtest.wi.charter.com/   is the correct address.
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Scotty_cisco earned 75 total points
ID: 16946232
Actually what your seeing is fairly common.  I have a Linksys that is a WRT54G and I have seen very poor performance with this equipment.  Even from the switch ports, I pay for the gold teir with comcast which is 8.8 Meg down and 768 up when I am wirelessly connected max down I can get is 3 meg when I am lucky.  I have even tried FTP and SCP from hosts on the local lan with the same results.

I did see an improvement when I disabled all encryption and all options on the wireless access-point basicly making it a wireless hub.  I would not recomend this unless you have another way of protecting your lan and wireless connection as it will open you up to hackers.

I use a IPCOP firewall for this and seems to work great and I know it is the access-point as I can connect a PC to another port on the IPCOP FW and get 8.4Mb down all day but if I plug it into the router / switch I get 3 maybe if I am lucky.

I do know that you get what you pay for and the more expensive the access-points the better I have seen them perform.

Thanks
Scott
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by:aflat362
ID: 16946265
Thanks for the comment -

anybody know of any really great performing wireless access points or routers?
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by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 16946299
I actually have seen the apple airports work pretty good; course so do the cisco's it depends on price.  I have also used intel access points with good success.  When you are trying to do more than just provide wireless access with a device you are going to take performace hit.

Thanks
Scott
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by:2hype
ID: 16947001
Have you tried changing channels on your wireless AP?  Any 2.4 Ghz phones that might be causing interference.
Do you have access to another wireless AP you could test out.  You should be able to get high speeds that 300 K.
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by:2hype
ID: 16947021
<<, You should be able to get high speeds that 300 K.>>> Should read

You should be able to get higher speeds than 300K.  I have the exact same router at home and get  1800 Kb/s download speed.
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by:aflat362
ID: 16947438
Have you tried changing channels on your wireless AP? >>

Nope  I'll give it a shot though - I'll try seeing if I can switch chanels.

>>Any 2.4 Ghz phones that might be causing interference.

I don't have any cordless phones - just cell phones.
I don't have another AP I could test out.

****

>>When you are trying to do more than just provide wireless access with a device you are going to take performace hit

So what would be the optimal configuration then?

I usually will have 3 computers on my network - all will probably connect wirelessly.
Would that be a situation to use a router and a separate access point or something?

Has anyone tried the new "N" wireless routers?
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by:2hype
2hype earned 50 total points
ID: 16947685
I have not tried the new Wireless "N" routers yet.  There are a couple out there.  The "N" wireless standards are not quite complete yet so im waiting until then before trying one out.

You could also download netstumbler - http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/  - You can run it on your laptop.  It will detect other Access Points in range and tell you what channels they are using.

Was your channel set to Auto?  Auto usually finds the best channel to use.
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by:aflat362
ID: 16948106
Assuming I were to buy a separate router and wireless access point - does the WAP simply plug into a regular (non-wan) port on the router?

My only wireless experience I have is setting up an integrated router / wireless like my DI-524
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by:2hype
ID: 16948170
you wont gain anything buy purchasing a router and a wireless access point.  But yes you would just plug the Wireless AP into a non-wan port.  You would disable DHCP on the Wireless Access Point as well.

If there is something conflicting with the Dlink Wireless router.  The wireless Access point will probally have the same problem.
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by:aflat362
ID: 16951036
Now I'm thinking of just wiring my house with ethernet.  wireless = too slow.
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by:aflat362
ID: 17187817
Just FYI

I bought a new Linksys wireless router - the wireless G one that has a USB port for hosting files on my network.

Anyway - its about the same speed.  I'm going to cut some holes in my walls and install a wired network.
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