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Wireless internet speed very slow compared to wired speed

Posted on 2009-05-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a 5mb connection with Charter Communications, when I'm plugged into the Linksys WRT54G2 and run a speed test (speedtest.net) I get the full 5mb.  When I run the test over wireless I get speeds that range from .5-1mb which pretty much sucks.  I've loaded the DD-WRT firmware on the router thinking that would improve performance but it doesn't look like it has done much.  Ive set my MTU speed to 1300 (I found a link on dslreports.com that walked you through determining your optimal MTU speed using ping -f -l but I don't remember the link) and also packet bursting on the router.  I've also switched to channel 7 and turned off security.  This has helped pick up the speed to a little over 1mb but still not fast enough to stream hulu.com.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:Fveng
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Sniper98G earned 450 total points
ID: 24321319
Well first off; as a decent citizen you should not be using channel 7.This mean that you will be creating interference on both channels 6 and11 for your neighbors. The non interfering channels of the 2.4 GHzspectrum are 1, 6 and 11. You should always be using one of those(whatever one is least congested.) Witch leads to the next point arethere any sources of interference around? Interference can be causedby many things: other APs on the same channel, 2.4GHz wireless phones, Microwave ovens (theprimary user of the spectrum) and strong electrical sources near theAP; any interference will have a huge detrimental effect on yoursignal quality. Next how far from your AP are you when you are gettingthese speeds. The 54Mbps speed spec'd in 802.11G is only under idealconditions, as in no objects between you and the AP a distance of onlyabout 30 feet. Finally you could look at signal absorption; any largegrounded metal objects around or do you have a steal framed structure?They will suck the signal right away from you as they shunt it to ground.
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Author Comment

by:Fveng
ID: 24321696
I switched over to channel 1 and did a site survey on the router and I'm the only AP in range on that channel.

The router was located in the laundry room near a breaker box, washer/dryer and furnace.  I moved it up to another room with nothing electical or any large metal objects.  The only thing electrical would be a clock radio and lamp at the other corner of the room.

I did speedtests sitting 1 foot away from the router and I was getting speeds avg. 2.5mb.  I then moved to another room around 30+ feet away and I was getting the same speeds with a low connection (signal quality around 30%).

No large metal objects.

This seems to be an improvement but I'm still getting around half of the speeds I am paying for.  I know with wireless you lose some speed but 50% seems like an awefull lot.
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Author Comment

by:Fveng
ID: 24321747
well I tried what this guy did (http://forums.speedguide.net/showthread.php?t=201716) scroll to the bottom.  I set my transmission fixed rate at 12mb and my speed boosted to 4.5 avg on speedtest.net.  Thats a huge bump.  I'm going to keep it there for a while and see if that takes care of the issue issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 24334206
You are limited by your wireless lan speed & computers wireless device.
Older ones: 11MB/s
Then came: 54MB/s
Now theres: 300MB/s
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Assisted Solution

by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 50 total points
ID: 24334333
Is your computer low spec. / old?
If internal wireless device you are limited by its speed.
If PCI card wireless device you are limited by your PCI device.
If USB wireless device 1.1 is slow 2.0 fast
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Author Comment

by:Fveng
ID: 24335242
After a few days with the 12mb setting on the router I'm still getting 4.5mb down speeds on both wireless machines I have.  1 is a laptop that has an internal wireless card and also a pcmcia card.  Both are fairly old...maybe 6 years.  I mainly use it for web browsing and downloading large files over night.  I have another pc with a wireless pci card, this machine is about 4 yrs old and the card is a d-link (sorry don't remember the model #).  All cards are wireless G cards, I don't do much machine to machine file transfers so I don't really care about the internal network speed just as long as I'm maximizing my bandwidth.  I'll probably need to upgrade my equipment sometime as it is probably due, but this should work for now.
Thanks for your help.
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