Wireless network speed much slower than wired?

  coolteach 18:24 18 Jul 2006

I have an (up to) 8mb broadband connection which runs smoothly at just under 6mb on both my desktop and laptop through my Belkin wireless router when either is connected using network cables. However, when I connect using the laptop wirelessly via the belkin USB adaptor, the speed is continually reported as only 2mb, even immediately next to the router with full signal strength. I have started to play around with the wireless channel but is hasn't made a difference so far. Is there anything else I should be checking?


  ade.h 18:28 18 Jul 2006

The LAN connection speed or the internet traffic speed? I assume the former, unless you have some extra 3rd party software that can distinguish the two. If you are monitoring the former speed by looking at the balloon pop-up from your WLAN icon, then that is a ridiculoulsy low speed. It is after all, the handshake speed rather than the sustained speed, so should be roughly between 36 and 54Mbits per sec. My network always handshakes at the maximum 54Mbits.

  coolteach 20:26 18 Jul 2006

Thanks for the reply. Sorry, it was not a particularly clear posting as it was done in frustration! I must learn to use capitals where necessary!

The WLAN on the laptop reckons to connect at the full 54Mbps. However, when testing the Broadband connection speed wirelessly using a range of online speed testers, it reports 2Mb per second download speed rather than the wired download speed of around 6Mb per second. The upload speed incidently is consistent whether wired or wireless. Is this normal wireless behaviour. If the WLAN is connected at 54Mbps, surely the wireless broadband should be able to go as fast wireless as wired shouldn't it?

  ade.h 20:40 18 Jul 2006

It should have no effect, as even a modest sustained wireless transfer rate of, say, 20Mbits would be more than fast enough.

I would suggest a little test. Gather some files of a certain size and quantity - some MP3/WMA files totalling, for sake of arguement, 20MBytes. Upload them from the wireless client to the wired client and time it to work out the average sustained rate. This will be a fairly low figure - because of the large uninterrupted quantity of files - so will give you a worst case figure. If it makes at least 6Mbits per sec, then there is something amiss in the router. If it makes 2Mbits or less, then you just have a slow wireless link.

  coolteach 21:18 18 Jul 2006

Thanks for your advice so far ade.h and the idea to do the test. Really appreciated. I transferred 21.2 Mbytes from wired to wireless in 74 secs = 0.28 Mbytes/sec and 21.2 Mbytes from wireless to wired in 50 sec = 0.424 Mbytes/sec. How do I convert these figures to Mbits though?

  ade.h 21:23 18 Jul 2006

Multiplying by eight will give a ball park figure.

  coolteach 21:45 18 Jul 2006

Thanks once again!

OK, so wired to wireless is 2.2Mbits/sec. Wireless to wires is 3.4 Mbits/sec. So, does anyone have any ideas what might be making the wireless link this slow, dispite the 54Mbps connection? The router is an F5D7632v1 whilst the USB wireless adaptor is an F5D7050v4.

  ade.h 21:54 18 Jul 2006

I've no idea, other than possibly a fault in the router, though I think that's unlikely. I use a Belkin at home with an 8Mbit connection that works about as fast as yours. No problems at all. Not that it's any consolation!

  coolteach 21:59 18 Jul 2006

Thanks for your advice ade.h I'll pester Belkin support for a bit - although I don't hold out much hope!

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