WiFi letdown, despite hi speed connection

  jono2000 20:41 17 Oct 2007

My shiny new Virgin Media cable modem produces a respectable 19mbps when plugged directly into my Laptop, according to speedtest sites on the web.

As soon as I plug it in wired via network cable to my Netgear MIMO router (the one with the irritating flashing blue dome) I immediately get it reduced to 14mbps, turn on key encryption and that goes down to around 12-13 mbps. Possibly this Pre-N hardware has been superseded.

But wait for it.... if i go wireless (which is the main point of the router, i was led to believe) the speed crashes to 3 or 4 mbps. Thats in the same room, around 7ft from the router, albeit the laptop is only fitted with 54mbps g built in wirelss card. But still 54mbps seems to be plenty of headroom?

Given these real world figures, and the fact that virgin cable actually seems to be running at around 20mbps which is rather good, which wireless hardware routers\wireless cards are quickest? Would I get a significant speed boost by moving to a pre-n wireless card? Somewhere back up to my "raw" cable modem speed of 19mbps?

One last point: there are "several" other secured wifi zones accessible to the laptop and a cordless phone in the room. Should I be using something like Apples AirPort extreme so I can access the 5mhz band?

Real world experience seems to count in these questions as every manufacturer seems to be telling me I'll get 54mbps, or more from this kit, when palpably I'm getting a derisory 3 or 4mpbs....

  Ashrich 22:01 17 Oct 2007

Quoted speed and actual transfer speed will never be the same , the manufacturers theoretical speed is absolute optimum in perfect conditions without any overheads at all . As you have found out , there are always exaggerations with all manufacturers of any kit , look at SATA and IDE hard disks , quoted at 100 , 133 , 150 and 300 ( 1, 1.33 , 1.50 , 3.0 GB/s ) none of those would come anywhere near those transfer rates , they are all hypothetical . To get the best out of your Virgin cable you may well be better off with something like the acknowledged best of the " Draft N " routers , the D-Link DIR 655 ,although you'd need the makers matched PC Card or USB adpater to take advantage of the speed on offer , which may be part of the problem you have at the moment , router chipset and wireless device not " balanced " , 108mb/s router ( Atheros ) and built in wireless card ( probably not Atheros , or at least not 108mb/s capable ).


  mgmcc 07:45 18 Oct 2007

What speed do you get if you connect to the router by ethernet cable and *DISABLE* its wireless capability, so that neighbouring WiFi networks cannot see it as an "Available Wireless Network" and other wireless devices cannot interfere with its signal?

Connecting the router shouldn't in itself cause a loss of speed because its WAN and LAN ports run at 100Mbps, but something interfering with its wireless port might impact on the download speed experienced via the LAN port.

  jono2000 13:20 18 Oct 2007

quoted 54mbps - actual 3mbps.

when given a proven 19mbps cable input.

thats a substantial downgrade.

if my wifi experience was 12 or 13 mpbs i'd take the drop on the chin, however an actual speed of around 15% of the proven input speed suggests a problem somewhere in the chain, or the environment.

D-Link DIR 655 achknowledged best - at what processing TCP packets from the cable modem, or distance from router, or speed between computers?

who has a link to a really good comparison review?

  jono2000 13:21 18 Oct 2007

i don't mean to sound like an ingrate...

  Dipso 14:52 18 Oct 2007

I'd try tweaking your network adapters using click here Install the program, set the slider to your connection speed and choose your ethernet adapter from the drop down list, then hit Optimal settings. Repeat for your wireless card.

  ambra4 15:52 18 Oct 2007

Take a read as, most people confuse the connect speed of the wireless card to a wireless system as the download speed

There is a difference between connect speed and download speed

click here

  jono2000 21:06 19 Oct 2007


there will be a difference between the connect speed, the speed of the network and the "download" speed of data from the internet.

my issue is that a 19mbps feed is being converted into 3 or 4 mbps via supposedly high speed wireless equipment.

i'm quite willing to believe the network speed between wireless laptops and printers is higher.

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