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A lot slower connection than it should be with wireless adapter

Discussion in 'Networking' started by AhrenBa, Jul 19, 2006.

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  1. AhrenBa

    AhrenBa Thread Starter

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    Hello,
    I have Linksys WRT54G router and a WUSB54G wireless adapter on my Windows 98SE. The signal strength of the signal is 70% so in a sense, the connection transfer rate should be around 39mbps.

    My problem is that I have a 6000kbps cable connection and files download on my XP (wired to router) at around 800-900KB/s. In theory, even if my wireless adapter was only getting a 20% signal, it should still max out my connection and download speed for internet.

    However, I am only downloading files at a max of 200KB/s on my computer with the wireless adapter. The adapter is getting 70% signal, so it should easily max out the connection. To test this, I went to my PC that was wired (XP) and downloaded the same file from the same server and I was getting 850KB/s.

    So something is wrong, because I should easily be getting my connection's worth of download speed plus more on a 70% signal. I should be getting my full internet connection on a 20% signal. I don't think anything is interfering, so can someone help me figure this out? Thanks
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You may have a problem, but you may be expecting too much.

    JohnWill has done some 54Mbps wireless file transfer tests under ideal conditions and gets a result in the mid 20's--say 24-28Mbps actual speed. Your 70% signal is far from ideal.

    Computers running Windows 98SE are usually considerably slower than newer PCs, and may have accumulated a lot of "sludge" if not recently reinstalled.

    Computers running Windows 98SE often have USB 1.1, which has a max. speed of 12Mbps.

    I know you are going to crunch some of those numbers and say you should still be getting more than 200kBps = 1.6Mbps.

    Consider wireless interference from another network or noise. The NetStumbler utility (you can find it easily) may help determine this. You also may want to try the same USB adapter on your XP machine, preferably at the same location, and see what performance it turns in.
     
  3. AhrenBa

    AhrenBa Thread Starter

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    Hmmm... 70% of the 24Mbps is still about 16Mbps (or about 2MB/s). So theoretically I should be ok here also.

    They are actually slower at downloading?? But anyways, I ironically did a restore of Windows 98 today, so that should eliminate this factor.

    Yep, my computer has USB 1.1, but this should still transfer at 1.5MB/s, correct?

    Cool! I have never heard of this program. I will run it and see what happens. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Oh, I realize that what I have been saying above is all just numbers and wireless is not very "steady", but still according to the calculations, it should be at least getting higher than what I am at. Sorry if those responses seem to be a little "straight-to-the-point". I very much appreciate you help. Thanks! :)
     
  4. bearone2

    bearone2 Banned

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    aren't signal strength and transfer speed different.
     
  5. AhrenBa

    AhrenBa Thread Starter

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    Yeah, but I am comparing signal strength at 100% (24mbps like TerryNet mentioned) and then multiplying it by .70 to get the approx transfer speed at 70%.
     
  6. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Thats where you have a problem -

    Signal strength and tansfer speeds are not a 1 for 1 corellation and 70% not mean an incremental speed dip. It can be much more severe than that.

    Other factors to apply - Wireless adapters are only half duplex thus slowing them down further, environment, media type, and MANY other factors relay into it. When you see a 70% number ALL its telling you is the signal is decient but not the best.

    I have seen computers with 80% signal but not be able to make a connectin until you delt with environmental interferance. (Non shielded electrical cable in an old building).

    I wouldn't try to apply linear % mathmatics to mathmatics that deal with waves and does not account for all variables.
     
  7. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    On that note can you tell us more about distances, environment, and other factors that may be at play here?
     
  8. AhrenBa

    AhrenBa Thread Starter

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    Sure, no problem. The room that has the adapter is exactly one floor up and right on top of the room with the router. So, it is about 10-15 feet away, but the signal has to go up through the floor or up the staircase. I do have a 2.4Ghz phone, but I only noticed an effected signal when the phone is turned on. Thanks for the help.
     
  9. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    With the typical antenna on a typical router the weakest signal is along the axis of the antenna. So if you have it "pointed" at the PC, you may get a stronger signal by rotating it 90 degrees.

    To determine for sure whether a 2.4Ghz cordless phone is causing any interference you must unplug the base station and remove the handset's battery.
     
  10. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy

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    Also is there anying in the ceiling such as electrical wiring or anything like that? I really think playing with the antenna direction like suggested by TerryNets the way to go.

    Is this 2 story floor concrete or is it standard wood?
     
  11. AhrenBa

    AhrenBa Thread Starter

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    The floors are separated by just regular wood and insulation. I'll try playing around with the antennas. Thanks. :)
     
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