increasing wireless speed on router

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needapc

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I have TL-WR941ND router and it advertises 300Mbps wireless transfer rate, it says that in router settings also.
http://www.tp-link.com/products/productDetails.asp?pmodel=TL-WR941ND

Here's my problem: I plug my computer via ethernet cable directly to the modem and I'm getting speeds of 20-30Mbps depending on time of day. (I use http://www.speedtest.net/ for speed tests.) Then, I unplug the ethernet and browse the internet via wifi from the router and the speed is cut in half or sometimes one-third. (There are no other computer or wireless devices online at the time.) Is there anyway I could keep the original speed? Some way to change it from the router settings??

Extra info: There are actually two routers between my computer and the modem. I tested the internet speed from the first router and it remains just as fast as the speed with direct connection to the modem. It's the second router that's the problem. We have a first router (from our phone company) because it allows us to plug a phone line (we use internet phone) into it, but the first router doesn't have wifi.

I was wondering if someone could help me speed up my connection through the second router.
 

TerryNet

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What is your speed by ethernet connected to the wireless router?

What is the brand and model of your wireless adapter?

On the router what wireless mode (e.g., n or b/g/n, etc.) and Channel Width (20 MHz or 20/40 MHz) are you using?

Please attach a screen shot of the Networks page of the Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector.
 

needapc

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The speed on the ethernet, wifi, and direct connection fluctuates quite a lot now, so I'll wait until another time (maybe in a less busy time) to post the speed.

My wireless adapter is (this is copied and pasted from About This Mac):
Software Versions:
Menu Extra: 6.2.1 (621.1)
configd plug-in: 6.2.3 (623.1)
System Profiler: 6.0 (600.9)
Network Preference: 6.2.1 (621.1)
AirPort Utility: 5.5.1 (551.19)
IO80211 Family: 3.1.2 (312)
Interfaces:
en1:
Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x8D)
Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.10.131.36.1)
Locale: FCC
Country Code: US
Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n
Supported Channels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165
Wake On Wireless: Supported
Status: Off


On router, wireless mode: 11bgn mixed.
Channel Width: it says "Automatic", (it has a choice between 20Mhz and 40Mhz)
 

needapc

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I can't download Xirrus WiFi Inspector, it's an .exe file. I need .dmg for OS X.
 

TerryNet

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Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n
OK; wanted to make sure you had an N adapter.

On router, wireless mode: 11bgn mixed.
When you test try N only (if that is an option).

Sorry, didn't realize you had a MAC. You could use the Xirrus Widget, but that also requires the Yahoo! Widget infrastructure. With the Xirrus output we are looking for other networks that may be interfering with yours, causing a slower speed.
 

needapc

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OK; wanted to make sure you had an N adapter.
When you test try N only (if that is an option).
On wireless settings, if I select "11n only," I get the following message: "Current encryption is WEP, which 11n only mode can not support. If you select ok, the security setting will be lost, continue?" You can choose OK or Cancel. I chose cancel because I didn't want to lose my security settings. Also, I can only use WEP encryption because my parents are using this wireless device (some crappy internet TV box where they can watch foreign TV shows) that only allows for WEP encryption. So I don't have much choice. It's either WEP or none.

I just downloaded the Xirrus widget. Which screenshot are you looking for?

Also, I live in a condo apartment and there are tons of networks from neighbours all around. I didn't know that could slow down my network. (there are at least 20 networks that show up under airport)

(If I use no encryption plus MAC filtering would that be enough to keep unwanted computers off my network??)
 

TerryNet

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MAC Address filtering takes a few seconds to spoof and WEP takes a few minutes to crack, so neither is exactly secure. The good news is that relatively few people know how to crack either one. Even in that crowded environment you could probably safely run unencrypted for the 5 or 10 minutes it would take to see if N-only makes any difference.

If the Xirrus widget is like the gadget on Windows it will only show 3 or 4 networks w/o scrolling. We really want to see a screen shot of all the networks together, but probably two showing yours and the strongest half dozen will suffice.

There are two reasons to look at this. First is to see if there is possible or probable interference. You've already answered this in the affirmative. The second is to see if we can determine another channel or two that may give better results.
 

needapc

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So I switched to the 11n on the router settings, here are the results:

router wifi:
13.91mbps
13.48
12.49

direct to modem:
19.76mbps
20.19
23.27

I tested it 3 times on each. I will post the Xirrus Widget screenshots next.

Also, I tested the ethernet on the router vs. direct to modem:

ethernet:
23.29mbps
23.31
24.04

direct to modem:
24.02mbps
25.84
19.77

There roughly doesn't seem to be that much of a difference.
 

needapc

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TerryNet

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You've got such a strong signal there that it's a little surprising if the other networks are interfering. Your signal is so strong that you may be too close. Best to keep the computer at least 5 or 6 feet from the wireless router unless you know that it's OK to have it closer.

Any network that is showing green in the RSSI column could cause some interference, which could cause packets to be resent, which results in slower effective speed. Since (2nd screen shot) there are fairly strong networks on channels 1, 6 and 11 there is no optimal channel for you. You could set the Chanel Width to 20 MHz, which will then use just a single channel, and try various channels to see if any make a significant difference. Attached is a chart showing how any 2 channels whose numbers differ by less than 5 can potentially interfere with each other. N uses the same channels as B and G.

It's possible that there is an issue with your wireless adapter. It may be instructive to try another adapter (which could be a friend's laptop) to see if Wi-Fi speeds are any different.
 

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needapc

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Well, to do the speed test, I had to go immediately from ethernet cable (connected to the modem) to wifi. My ethernet cable is not that long so I kept my computer pretty close to the modem. The modem, router and other router are kept in the same place. Normally, I don't use my laptop that close to the router.

I have to test it on another computer at another time. Will post details later.
 

needapc

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I just tried with another computer (another wireless adapter), it's about the same as mine. They are down to 2.44Mbps and 2.72. The internet connection we ordered and paid for is supposed to be 10Mbps.

I just tested it direct to modem, it's 28.74Mbps, so A LOT of data is lost. I always suspect that our network is hacked, but so far I'm not detecting any unusual activity on the network. There's been tons of weird stuff happening on my own computer that I will have to start a thread about.
 

TerryNet

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Have you told us yet the speed you get with an ethernet connection to the wireless router?
 

needapc

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I posted it here: (when I tested the speed earlier), unless you want me to test the speed again with the ethernet cable

So I switched to the 11n on the router settings, here are the results:

router wifi:
13.91mbps
13.48
12.49

direct to modem:
19.76mbps
20.19
23.27

I tested it 3 times on each. I will post the Xirrus Widget screenshots next.

Also, I tested the ethernet on the router vs. direct to modem:

ethernet:
23.29mbps
23.31
24.04

direct to modem:
24.02mbps
25.84
19.77

There roughly doesn't seem to be that much of a difference.
 

TerryNet

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Thanks, I had missed it when reviewing a little earlier. Just wanted to make sure it was a wireless, not a general router, issue.

It could be a defect in the router's wireless, but I don't know how you would check that other than going somewhere that has internet access but few, if any, other wireless networks.
 
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