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How do I get my new USB wireless adapter to download at its maximum capacity?

Posted on 2017-03-31
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Last Modified: 2017-04-19
I just bought a new Edimax EW-7833UAC USB wireless adapter and successfully configured it for my mid-2009 MacBook Pro. The reason I bought it is because the built-in wireless card inside my Mac is old and thus cannot use the AC speeds that my new 1Gbps modem is capable of. All my old Mac had come up with is 120 Mbps downloads.

When I connected the Edimax wireless adapter to my Mac, I was expecting it to reach download speeds much faster than 120 Mbps. It was advertised to be able to handle up to 1300 Mbps, but why does it only come up with 130 Mbps with my 5GHz band? Do I need to do additional tweaks on my computer to get at least 450 Mbps downloads? I'm running El Capitan.
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Question by:Anton Tajanlangit
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16 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Natty Greg
ID: 42074383
That is all your'e going to get, there are a few things they do not tell you about the posted speed is that you need new mother board and chip-set pcie to run on-board wireless, transmit power, plus tweaking the settings of the card itself, different manufactures do things differently so unless you're using say hp computer, with hp wireless card, hp router, hp switch achieving those speeds are near impossible - frequency congestion - but on the wired side you will get that or come close.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Ramin
ID: 42074596
Check if your modem is set to 802.11AC protocol 5 GHz.
Also try it with 802.11 N protocol 2.4 GHz.
make sure your internal WIFI adapter is disable.
check it on another USB port.
check it on another system with USB3.
call your ISP and ask them what is the maximum speed rate that you can gain on your router.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 42074781
Limitations vary from the speed of the bus of your Mac's motherboard to the type of USB port to the speed of the network. And this assumes there is no hub of any sort. Does your MacBook have USB 3 ports?
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Author Comment

by:Anton Tajanlangit
ID: 42074826
No, masnrock, My MacBook Pro 2009 has only USB 2 ports. Is it possible to upgrade just the ports in a MacBook Pro?
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 42074833
It wouldn't be... You would literally be replacing the motherboard, and that would not be worth your while assuming it fits in your Mac properly.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Ramin
ID: 42074836
Check your router speed, are you sure it gives you more speed on other devices like a cellphone, with current settings ?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Ramin
ID: 42074839
install OOkla speed test on your cellphone and test the router speed.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:davidanders
ID: 42074881
The Edimax EW-7833UAC USB 3  plugged into a USB2 port will not perform at USB3 speeds.
Apple did not use USB3 ports until 2012 models.
An ethernet cable will perform better.
The specs for any Mac can be found at   https://everymac.com
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Author Comment

by:Anton Tajanlangit
ID: 42074913
davidanders I tried an ethernet cable and it gave the same speeds too. Not happy...

Tests to my modem show more than 1Gbps download speed. It's just that I can't access that speed with what I've got, even with that USB wireless adapter or ethernet.

Should I resign myself to the fact that that's all my MacBook Pro can do?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:davidanders
ID: 42074930
Modem has ethernet ports or is there a router between Modem and computers?   Exact setup info is useful.
You provides your Internet access?  Other computers show better results?
MacBook Pro mid 2009
Connectivity includes AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a Firewire "800" port, two USB 2.0 ports
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Author Comment

by:Anton Tajanlangit
ID: 42074938
Oh, does it have gigabit ethernet? Then why is it just showing 120 Mbps download when I connect my laptop straight to the router by cable? Does "gigabit ethernet" mean that it supports 1Gbps download speeds?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Natty Greg
ID: 42075002
Yes it supports gigabit Ethernet but you must subscribed to gigabit internet from your ISP to see that speed from your modem
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Author Comment

by:Anton Tajanlangit
ID: 42075010
I'm subscribed to gigabit ethernet.

Gigabit.jpg
This is a screenshot of the speed test direct from my modem.
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LVL 29

Accepted Solution

by:
masnrock earned 250 total points
ID: 42086487
What kind of router are you using? No matter what your answer is, the USB 2.0 ports are going to prevent you from ever reaching the speeds you want to achieve. You'd have to replace the Macbook Pro.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Ramin
Ramin earned 125 total points
ID: 42086521
You must be able to transfer data via USB 2.0 up-to 480 Mbps (60 MBps), if you cannot reach that speed,  it can be the OS drivers problem. maybe a fresh Reinstall of OS can solve the problem.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7038808?start=0&tstart=0
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:serialband
serialband earned 125 total points
ID: 42086630
Other USB devices on the same HUB or will be multiplexed and will become even slower.  Even when it's the only device, you will never really see 480 Mbps as a sustained throughput.  That's only for short bursts, as USB checks for other devices.  Back during the days of Firewire 400, they ran tests on sustained throughput and Firewire performed better and will actually get closer to 400 Mbps than USB 2.
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