Why is my wireless internet speed so slow?

Posted on 2008-10-18
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
My wireless router uses 802.11g protocol
My adapter uses 802.11g as well

I connect no problem. In fact, I am right next to the router.

My CABLE internet connection is 6 Mbit/s when I am using an internet cable (not wireless)

Theoretically the 802.11g protocol should give me provide a speed of 54Mbit/s. Realistically, though, I have read that is should provide a speed of at least 25Mbit/s.

So why is my wireless connection still at a crawl?

Speed test of wireless is 2000 kb/s (download) and 700 kb/s (upoad)

Question by:vanauden
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 22749676
Red the below post and it is quite useful for your issue,
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 22749681
1.Is it possible for you to try with a cable so we can see if it's just the WiFi acting up.  I would also test with zone alarm disabled or uninstalled

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 22750349

Pick 2 or 3 places from the list at different distances from you. Record the results (I suggest copy & paste from the text box that opens after each test, to notepad).

Then go to
and see what it recommends for tweaks.

From the page, use TCP Optimizer to make changes, only to the Wireless Interface (under Network Adapter selection, choose your wireless card from the picklist). Before you change anything, use File->Backup current settings, then if tweaking the settings doesn't help, you can use File->Restore and have all of the original settings back. But I bet tweaking the RWIN value to what they recommend will help significantly.
Change just one setting at a time, reboot between changes, then re-run the speed tests from the same sites you used originally (that way you're comparing apples to apples every time).
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Author Comment

ID: 22750627
I ran a speed test using a cable (cat 5) and it came up as 6 Mbit/s.

I don`t think the problem is the router or the internet connection from the ISP... when I am using WIRED internet it is fast as all hell.

It is only when I use Wireless that it slows dow to a crawl: 2 Mbit/s download With Wireless.

There is no point in trying to modify the TCP settings (RWIN etc.) because the speet when I am connected through wired internet is fine. It is only wireless that is the problem.

Im gonna try downloading newer drivers.

Author Comment

ID: 22750701
This is my wireless card:
Atheros AR5007EG Wireless Network Adapter driver
I went to :
And downloaded and installed the driver below:

Developer: Atheros
Version: 2.14.2
Filename: Atheros_7kcna5ww.exe
Size: 2.06 Mb
OS: Windows XP,Windows NT SP4,Windows NT SP1,Windows 3.11,Windows NT,Windows 98,Windows 2000 SP2,Windows 2000 SP3,Windows 2000 SP1,Windows ME
License: freeware

Direct download link: 

Now I get 6.5 Mbit/s download!!

Wow, what a speed increase!

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Darr247 earned 500 total points
ID: 22751058
> There is no point in trying to modify the TCP settings (RWIN etc.) because the speet when
> I am connected through wired internet is fine. It is only wireless that is the problem.

Each interface has its own TCP/IP settings, that's why I mentioned selecting the correct the adapter in the picklist. You wouldn't really want the same parameters on a gigabit ethernet card as on a 802.11b wireless card, for example.

The latest Atheros AR5007 drivers for XP/2000 is, btw.

As you can see at

Author Comment

ID: 22758040
Hi Darr247

Thank you for the updated driver link. That is appreciated. For that alone I would give you the points.

However, I decided to check my registry for the TCP tweaks you were talking about in your original post. I had done this when I was working with windows 98 several years ago, and it had increased speed significantly. (I had win 98 for a long time ;)

Now I am using XP. Of course, with XP the default settings were much better, but as you said, they could be improved. I carried out the speed tweaks that proposed and I did get a marginal speed increase. I'll take it :)

Download speed tests I conducted:

Using the factory default drivers for the Atheros adapter: 2000 kbps or 2 Mbit/s
After the driver update: 6000 kbps or 6 Mbit/s
After the registry tweaks you proposed: 6500 kbps or 6.5 Mbit/s

Me like :)

Thanks for your patience Darr247. You get the points :)

Author Comment

ID: 22763378
Well, this is an update later in the day. The internet slowed way down again when I came back from a visit to a friend in another city. On my own wireless network, the slowness had returned.

I decided to restore the backup of my TCP changes using the tool. As a result of the restore to original TCP settings, I now get a speed of 6000 kbps in wireless and 6500 kbps in wired.

As a result, I would suggest to anyone who wants to increase their connection speed to FIRST and foremost update their Ethernet adapter driver. That is what really fixed the issue for me.


LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 22763705
Thanks for the update... still, from the symptoms the slowdown could be on your feed.

With 6Mbps+ of bandwidth that sounds like a cable company connection. If you check the contract/terms of service, you might find they only guarantee 6Mbps (if even that), and anytime you measure more than that it's at a time of low use when lots of other people being offline allows your connection to be faster than they even guarantee.

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