1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Internet speeds and WiFi router

Discussion in 'Networking' started by cyberpac9, Feb 24, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    I currently have a standard internet plan which offers speeds of 15Mbps. I can get a plan offering up to 50Mbps. I'm wondering, are these speeds realistic, is it worth getting the bigger plan?

    In addition to that, I'm looking at getting a new WiFi router. If I am upgrading my plan, is there a router I should consider that would take advantage of those speeds?

    We have a few devices connected wirelessly: 2 phones, 2 tablets, 3 laptops, 3 tvs streaming
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,609
    First Name:
    Terry
    Yes. My (Mediacom) ISP is having trouble in my area delivering the promised 15 Mbps, but many cable companies are providing 50 or even 100 Mbps.

    Sorry, but if I ever knew your household's internet use I have forgotten it. If you are frequently needing more than 15 Mbps download speed then an upgrade may be worth it to you. It would not be worth it for me, as I seldom need more than about 4 Mbps (for a High Definition baseball game or movie).

    For ethernet, any router should do. For wireless any 802.11n or 802.11ac should do. If you have more than about three wireless devices making moderate to heavy use of the network then probably 'ac' is worth the extra cost.
     
  3. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    I'm with TWC, unfortunately. I have no idea if they're having trouble delivering said speeds. I may try it and see how it lives up to advertised speeds.

    We sometimes have two TVs streaming, youtube on a tablet and a laptop connected to work via vpn using webex regularly. There are different levels, with 50Mbps being the highest in the area. I might try one in between. We have had a time or two where youtube (for my son) buffers constantly because we are streaming to other devices.

    I would have expected an 'n' router, but with all these devices you think an 'ac' device might be better. I have an 'n' router now, but having issues with dropped connections.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,609
    First Name:
    Terry
    Have you checked for possible wireless interference from another Wi-Fi network? If not and you have a wireless PC with Windows and with the problem ...

    Please attach a screen shot of the Networks page (don't collapse the Radar, Connection or Signal History) of the Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector. If you need help with a screen shot see TSG Posting a Screenshot. FWIW to take screen shots with Windows Vista or latter I prefer to use the built-in Snipping Tool.
     
  5. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    6,271
    If you want to get a baseline of what your able to get from your Internet circuit, I would pull the router and wire in directly to the modem to do a speed test. This will eliminate any variables such as wireless interference, your router, or someone on your home network accessing the Internet.

    With regards to if the speeds are realistic, yes they are up to a point. For residential service, it's always best effort for the ISP. They're not going to guarantee the performance of the line nor provide any specific SLA (service level agreements) around what constitutes a breach of the service contract. For this type of guarantee, you'll have to step up to a business class service with the requisite increase in monthly charges. Also whether a particular speed tier is worth it or not depends on how you use your Internet circuit. For me, I have Comcast. I have their 50 Mbps down service. I didn't get this because I need 50 down. Why I got it was due to the upload speeds which no one really focuses on. Because you're not only pulling data from the Internet, you're sending data up to it too. For the type of usage I have, upload speeds are more critical than download speeds as I host a ton of different services on my home network I access over the Internet. The Comcast 50 down service provides 10 Mbps up. Their next tier down at 25 Mbps only does 2 Mbps up. Verizon FIOS has been pointing out this asymmetric network speed in their "Half Fast" Internet campaign.

    On the topic of routers, a common mistake many people think is because a particular router has a 100 Mbps or 1 Gig interface it must be forwarding traffic at that speed. This is farther from the truth. The performance of a particular router is dependent on the type of traffic being routed, the number of sessions being supported, and the type/number of services running on the router/firewall. I have yet to see any manufacturer publish actual performance data on their SOHO products. On the SMB side of the house, you do see some published performance specs. Take Netgear for example, there is no mention about how their SOHO routers perform but they do publish some information on their ProSafe SMB line. Not many review sites actually do a proper full blown performance test of SOHO routers. The closest is the site...smallnetbuilder.com where they use IXIA's ixcharriot. But I still have issues with their testing methodology. While they use a proper performance measuring tool, they don't do it properly. Their performance results are only doing a pure layer 3 route test. They turn off the SPI firewall and if applicable the NAT functions. While NAT shouldn't present much if any load on a router, the SPI sure will. This is why my SonicWall has different performance stats reported by the manufacturer. If I just run it as a DPI firewall, it'll do x speed. If I turn on the IPS/IDS function, it'll go slower and do x speed. If I turn on the UTM function, it will go even slower and do x speed. But most SOHO routers should be able to handle the speeds of the mainstream Internet plans.

    Regarding your question about ac or not ac, it depends on your usage and whether you want to do a little future proofing. If you do a lot of internal file sharing of large files for example, then it would be advantageous to go ac. One clear advantage with going ac is that it operates strictly on the 5 GHz band. So you won't have as much issue with neighboring RF interference. In addition with ac, you have more channel selections to get your network away from neighboring network operating on 5 GHz. You can't say that for 2.4 GHz where you're limited to channels 1, 6, and 11 for non overlapping channels. The good thing about ac is the devices which support it are backwards compatible to n.
     
  6. TonyB25

    TonyB25 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1969
    Messages:
    2,540
    To use 802.11ac, all your devices have to support it.
     
  7. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    I have attached a screenshot. Let me know if that helps.

    How to tell if the laptops, tablets, Rokus, phones support it?
     

    Attached Files:

  8. metallica5456

    metallica5456 Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    10,333
    First Name:
    Andrew
    All wireless adapters are backwards compatible to work with "AC" the only downside to having an "AC" router and not an "AC" adapter is you wont benefit from the extra range and speeds alloted by the "AC" signal
     
  9. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    Right, I assumed that, as I assumed TonyB25 understood that as well. I guess I should rephrase my question and ask how to tell if my devices could benefit from an AC router.
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,609
    First Name:
    Terry
    Channel 1 is your worst possible choice with those three other strong signals! Use channel 6.
     
  11. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    Changed to channel 6. :) Thanks
     
  12. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    79,609
    First Name:
    Terry
    You're welcome. Let us know if that seems to solve the issue.
     
  13. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    Thanks TerryNet. One last thing, I was wondering how I can tell if my devices could benefit from an AC router?
     
  14. Jski70

    Jski70

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    I have the same provider as you, TWC. I spend the extra money to upgrade my signal to their "ultimate" and it is well worth the price. My signal speed has greatly increased. I notice the difference on everything I have connected to the internet in my house. Problem I have is with the Wi-Fi signal. anything wireless lags with gaming or streaming. They don't give you a modem that can handle a demanding home network. I cannot stream videos on my wireless DVR from DirecTV and smart TVs lag big time with it too. I know my signal strength is great its just the router cant handle it. I don't know if they'll give you a better router but I am definitely in the market to buy my own to hook up to this. I just posted a question to have any suggestions on routers that can handle a demanding home network.
     
  15. cyberpac9

    cyberpac9 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    334
    On channel 6 my laptops could not connect. Once I switched back to channel 1, all is well.
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/1143708

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice