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Author Topic: speeds over wifi  (Read 656 times)

grumpy old man

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speeds over wifi
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:55:37 PM »

I have a desktop and laptop.  The desktop connects to the web using an ethernet cable and laptop via wifi dongle.

I am experiencing lower connection speeds on the wifi, is this normal?

I first noticed this yesterday when I checked speed and found it was down to 2.5 Mbps instead of the usual of around 35 Mbps.  Speed was OK early today bit has now drooped to 25 Mbps, desktop is currently at 33 Mbps.

I connect to router via a Realtek 11N USB wrireless lan utility which accesses at 5g, laptop only supports 2.4g.  Router is a Billion 8800.

Any suggestions?




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Re: speeds over wifi
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 09:19:37 PM »

yes it's very normal if you have a poor wifi connection/network, which it sounds like you do.


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Re: speeds over wifi
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 07:45:04 AM »

If your laptop only speaks 2.4GHz presumably meaning via its built-in wireless networking hardware? Then you can change that. One way is to plug in a better network interface device into the laptop which is fast and speaks 5GHz if that’s what you need. 5GHz can have faster channels which use wider frequency ranges, eating up more of the frequency spectrum, hence faster. But most important of all 5GHz tends to be very clean and free from interference from neighbours because there are are so many channels to choose from, provided you pick the right channel, or just let your wireless access point or all-in-one wireless router choose a clear channel automatically (’dynamic frequency or channel something-or-other seclection’, it’s typically called). The other way to sort the machine out is to plug an Ethernet cable into it and if you can’t run an Ethernet cable all the way to where you need to get to, you can get a wireless access point and ,it’s if them can be configured into ‘client mode’ where they just copy everything to and from the wireless lan to your Ethernet cable, so acting as a wired-to-wireless converter.

USB network adaptors can be fairly rubbish because USB, particularly USB 2.0 isn’t fast enough to handle modern wireless networks at their higher speeds, so may be the bottleneck.

If you are only seeing 2.5 Mbps over wireless then you have really bad reception due to weak signal, or a lot of interference, maybe from neighbours. If you are on 2.4GHz, there are only three real channels available (or four, if clever) and you should only use channel numbers 1, 6 and 11 and makes sure none of your kit uses other odd channel numbers, as say using channel 3 or 4 will stuff up both 1 and 6 for you, on 2.4GHz. The numbering is misleading as they all overlap several adjacent numbers. If you have neighbours, they may be evil, using the wrong channel numbers, thus messing up two of the possible channels by parking in between two of the aforementioned numbers, straddling them, or even doing the bad thing twice and messing up all three of the standard channel numbers.

With care, the right kit and organised neighbours or no neighbours it is possible to use four channels successfully on 2.4GHz. If your kit can use channel 13, you can use squeeze four channels in at 1, 5, 9 and 13 simultaneously and the very slight compromise due to a tiny degree of overlap is far outweighed by the 33% improvement if you actually are thrashing all four channels simultaneously, but unless you have enough devices all going at the same time, there is no point. It is a way of getting more space available for you and your neighbour though, if you do coordinate and agree on the four-channel 1/5/9/13 plan and only use those numbers, maybe two each. Best to take 5+13 yourself and your neighbour 5+9 say, alternating ones. But you need to not also have yet more neighbours in earshot.

It all gets too difficult in the extremely overcrowded 3 (or tricky 4) effective channel 2.4GHz world and it is so much better to simply get everything onto 5GHz where you have umpteen channels to choose from, enough to allow you to be surrounded by neighbours on all sides, provided that no one is incrediby stupid and greed and eats up potentially eight channels all in one extra-wide super aggregated channel, which some devices are now doing unfortunately. Using pairs of channels, 2 times 20MHz wide channels = 1 40 MHz 5GHz channel is routine, and sensible but some people glue together four or even more channels to make hugely wide 5GHz single channels now.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 05:14:34 PM by Weaver »

grumpy old man

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Re: speeds over wifi
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 10:34:49 AM »

Thank you for your replies and detailed explanation.

Having spoken with my ISP there is problem with a hot vlan at my exchange which is causing speeds to drop, I am experiencing the slow speeds on my desktop as well (hadn't checked this when starting thread).  BT are aware of the issue and they are due to by end of the month. 

Will just have to wait until then.