Wireless broadband speed issues

By Pring3 ·
Hi all, I've just upgraded to Virgin Media's 20mb broadband, it runs fine on my one pc which is connected to the router at about 18-20mb but my other pc which is connected wireless only runs at about 8mb. I have Scientific Atlanta DPX100 connected to my wireless router which my first pc is connected too by ethernet. The router is:

On my wireless pc I am using this wireless usb adapter:

Any ideas on why it would be running so slow?


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All Answers

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Wireless isn't as fast as Ethernet, that's why ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Wireless broadband speed ...

Your wireless notebook is running slower.

Your internet access may be rated at 20MB but that is only the maximum it is capable of. Your main PC's ethernet connection is a lot faster connecting to your router than the wireless method is.

You cannot connect wirelessly faster than the wireless speed of 54Mbps, unless you have 802.11n configuration.

Also, you have to take into account that the wireless signal and the ethernet connection are, by definition, sharing the internet access between them.

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So True <NT>

by rob mekel In reply to Wireless isn't as fast as ...
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by Churdoo In reply to Wireless broadband speed ...

I personally think that the speed claims of wireless connections are akin to the ole 56k modems of seemingly a long time ago.

Wireless is great for casual browsing from the comfort of your living room couch or the guest users in your conference room checking their email, but for real production work, you simply can't get the speeds from wireless that you can from copper, and even though logically one would think that a 54mbps wireless connction should more than handle your 20mb ISP connection, the reality is that it doesn't, and the numbers that you're quoting do not surprise me.

If you wanted a more concrete answer, you'll have to wait for one of the hardware peeps to answer, but I'll bet that if you temporarily drag a long patch cable across the floor for testing, that this second computer will realize the full speed of the connection, isolating the problem to the wireless.

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The WiFi USB devices are worse than useless

by OH Smeg In reply to Wireless broadband speed ...

For anything but Casual use. They are limited to lower than USB Speeds and the Signal Propagation of these is treble.

By using a USB WiFi Adapter you have the worst of everything available. Sure it works but only just and as a result you see much slower speeds that you may otherwise realize. What you are describing here is the best you can hope to achieve with this type of technology and is something that others would be ecstatic with. Personally I'm surprised you are even seeing these speeds of Data Transfer.

I would expect that you are using a Testing utility and it is estimating the best possible Speeds of Data Transfer and you do not realize these speeds in reality. It may be possible to get a better signal to the second computer by using a USB Extension Lead to move the USB WiFi Device to a better position where the signal is stronger but other than they there is nothing you can do to improve things.

Wired Network speeds are typically 100 MBS, 802.11g speeds are typically 54 MBS and the maximum USB Speed that you can achieve is USB2 at 480 MBS but it will typically be 12 MBS for anything but continuous Data Transfer.

Of course if you have USB1 connectors on the remote computer the Data Transfer speeds will be considerably slower as USB1 is slower than USB2.


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by Pring3 In reply to The WiFi USB devices are ...

Thank you all for the information, so would you suggest getting a PCI wireless card or just stick with my USB adapter?

Thanks Simon

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This is really up to you on this one

by OH Smeg In reply to Wireless

USB WiFi Adapters are at best unreliable and generally slow so if you where to need this all the time I would suggest moving to a proper Plug In WiFi Card if you need to connect by Wireless. It will still be slower than a copper connection but it should be an improvement as the Card has access to the Bus of the computer not just a USB interface.

If you need to transfer a lot of data between the 2 computers and this is a common occurrence it would be best to have a wired connection between the 2 computers but if you are happy with what you have now it will work though I would try the USB Wireless Device on a short 1 meter USB Extension Lead which will allow you to move the USB Dongle around for the best Signal Strength. Just remember that Wireless Communication is a two way street with data going to the Computer and Data from the computer going tot he WiFi Access Point so the slowest part will be any data sent tot he WiFi Access point from the USB Device. This has to check for dropped Packets and other errors so there is a constant exchange of Data when transferring Files. If you are browsing you actually pass more data to the Router than you receive from it so you need to remember this.


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Wireless = Wireless

by rob mekel In reply to Wireless

won't get much quicker by switching from USB to PCI or anything else for that matter.



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If you can

by Jacky Howe In reply to Wireless broadband speed ...

why don't you install an Ethernet Card in the PC or connect one PC via USB and the other via Ethernet. This is an extract from the following article that mentions using a hub.

Q. Can I run more than one device on the
A. Yes?a single WebSTAR cable modem will support
up to 31 Ethernet devices utilizing a user-supplied
Ethernet hub, that you can purchase at your local PC or
office supply retailer. Another user at your location can
simultaneously connect to the USB port on the cable
modem. Contact your cable service provider for further

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Found this on another site

by Bizzo In reply to Wireless broadband speed ...

Found this thread about wireless:

Here's the bit might find interesting:
"here is the deal , your transfer rates will only increase to the point where you connection between your wifi card and router reach there max level , that being connected at 54M once the connection reaches it max connection speed then no amount of signal strength above that is going to make the transfer speed any quicker . The fact that wifi is half duplex means the connection in reality is 22.5M

transfer speeds across a 54M connected wifi are usually seen between 700k - 1.5M ( in real life conditions )

wireless N connected devices connect at 300M so data transfers over wireless N are around 8M - 10M ( in real life conditions )

where as lan based transfers over ethernet

10/100M based card can connect at 100M and transfer 2M - 4M ( real life )

gigabit ethenet cards connect at 1.0 gig ( or 1000M ) and can transfer at 40M to 70M ( real life )

once you get to these speeds other factors come into it including hard drive speeds and transfer read / write time etc

so in real life terms you are a bit on the slow side but only just , perhaps you need some wireless N gear if you want more speed"

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Broadband speed test

by kanaga12 In reply to Wireless broadband speed ...

I found the site for checking the broadband speed.It's nice.

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