ASUS RT-N66U connection slow

I'm working on a laptop with slow wireless connectivity.
The router is an ASUS RT-N66U with both 2.4GHz and 5GHZ bands.  
2.4GHz is the band being used on the laptop.
The wireless interface on the laptop is: Broadcom 802.11n.
Windows 8.1.

Ethernet connections show 45Mbps download speed from speakeasy.
This one on wireless is around 4Mbps to 8Mbps.  Sometimes it seems just too slow and I don't understand why it would be this way anyway.
And this is in the home office with a strong wireless signal.

Away from the office, it appears they have frequent dropouts but I'm not 100% sure that this is a wireless issue vs. their VPN.  More likely wireless but.....
Any suggestions?
LVL 27
Fred MarshallPrincipalAsked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
what results do you get from speedtest.net on and off of the vpn
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
CNet's review said older versions of the firmware were buggy.  Have you installed the latest firmware?
https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RTN66U/
BTW; the firmware link says you will have to factory reset the router and then set it up again afterwards.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
David Johnson:  So far I'm working on the office wireless speed.  I don't have access to the VPN situation right now.

DavisMcCarn:  I downloaded the latest non-Beta version not for Japan only as:
ASUS RT-N66U Firmware version 3.0.0.4.378.4850
But I didn't see the caveat re factory reset.
If I factory reset then I'm going to have to worry over whether I can manage it over a wireless link initially at least or I will lose connectivity altogether.
I'm doing this remotely and do have a machine with a wireless interface (as well as an Ethernet interface) available that I can access.  So, I can continue to be connected via Ethernet and use the wireless for managing the ASUS (which fortunately is NOT the gateway).
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
I tried the wireless on another computer and got 54Mbps.  So, I figure that's pretty good!

The computer in trouble is a laptop.  The user connects to a monitor via HDMI cable.  
Removing the monitor caused the speed to go up to around 25Mbps.
So, I figure it's the monitor/cable.
We're going to get a well-shielded cable and see what happens.

In the mean time, why would one computer get 54 and another get 25 from the same router?
This was in close proximity to the router for both....
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Are you using the laptop's built-in wireless or a plug in USB adapter?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Built in wireless adapter.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Good; the antennas on the built in wireless adapters tend to be far, far better than those in most USB wifi adapters.

Wifi; though, is subject to a myriad of possible problems including interference from other 2.4Ghz devices (phones, nearby wifi routers, etc), RF blocking (thick walls, metal, TV or LCD screens(?)), and is often fixable by moving the router or PC to reduce the blockage or by changing the wifi channel if it is interference.

It is also a straight, line-of-sight, path.  I once had a woman rearrange her kitchen, not realizing that she had made a perfect block when she moved her cookie sheets!

Is that monitor, perchance, between the laptop and the router?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
DavisMcCarn: Well, we've gone past most of all those considerations.

Now I'm curious why one computer shows 54Mbps and another (laptop) 25Mbps; both in close proximity to the router.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
If it isn't interference or blockage, what are the makes and models of both wireless adapters (and the same for the laptops would be helpful, too.)?
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Fred MarshallPrincipalAuthor Commented:
The interface that works well is on a desktop Dell Wireless 1705 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz).
More to come on the laptop that's not working well.
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