Can Wireless G routers slow down a 15Mbps internet speed?
Posted on 2009-02-21
Ok, I just got off the phone with Linksys tech support and I am not believing what they said. Here's the back story:
I just upgraded my cable internet connection to a speed of 15Mbps download / 2Mbps upload (a.k.a. 15x2) with what they called power boost to insure that I get and maintain those actual speeds. I hooked my modem directly to my computer with a CAT6 cable and tested the speeds on three different speed test benchmark websites. All three of them put me at an average speed of 16.8Mbps x 1.9Mbps. The next step was to hook the modem to my Linksys router (WRT54G2) and hook the router to my computer. I did just that and ran the speed tests again with the same results. Overjoyed at this fact I brought all three laptops that are in my house into the room (all with a "G" internal wireless card) to test them on the wireless part of the router. My results were confusing.
I ran multiple speed tests on all three benchmark websites on all three laptops and I consistently got the same results: 4.5Mbps x 1.9 Mbps. Thinking that it must be a setting that I've overlooked, I toyed with the settings on the wireless portion of the router interface to no avail. This prompted the phone call to Linksys tech suport. I was speaking to a female that sounded like she was reading from a list of troubleshooting steps, all of which I had done already, but I indulged her. When none of her troubleshooting worked and she had gone back and forth to her "technical advisor" I was eventually handed off to her supervisor who promptly told me that the speeds that I was experiencing were, in fact, normal. This made no sense to me at all. He kept saying that the network speed will be cut in half when you switch to wireless "G" and that I should upgrade to a wireless "N" in order to maintain optimal speeds. I told him that I understand that wireless "G" was basically half of a normal wired network (assuming 100Mbps speeds) but that it shouldn't cut my internet speeds by two thirds. He insisted that it will do just that and that I should get the "N" router. Seeing this going nowhere, I conceded his point and ended the phone conversation.
I have no other wireless devices in the area nor do I have any electrical devices that could cause interference.
Is this guy correct? Could a wireless "G" device really degrade my internet connection by that much?