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Solved: Why is my PC wireless 10Mbs while my laptop gets 20Mbs

Discussion in 'Networking' started by striate, Nov 4, 2011.

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  1. striate

    striate Thread Starter

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    I've bought three wireless adaptors for my blinding fast new desktop but Speedtest.net shows the max bandwidth for download is ~10Mbs while my work laptop right next to it gets over 20Mb every time. My wife's Macs both also get over 20Mbs so there's something screwey about this new PC.

    Some details:
    OS: WIndows 7 x64 (Same as laptop)
    Ram: 16Gb
    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K @3.4 GHz
    Windows Experience index of 6.6 which is really good across the board

    The wireless cards are all new 802.11g and the latest is rated at "54 Mbp" (Ralink RT61) and the other two are D-Link DWA Xtreme cards.

    Oh, and I get all 5 bars so the signal strength is great. The speedtest hits 10Mbs and simply caps out at that speed. It's like it's got a governer on it.
     
  2. dlsayremn

    dlsayremn

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    Only thing I can think of offhand is the setting for wireless mode may be defaulting to "b".
    Device Manager, Network Adapters, right click the wireless adapter and select Properties at the bottom of the list.
    Click the Advanced tab, select Wireless Mode in the property list. Check the Value box for Mode. Should be b/g or g. If b, click the arrowhead next to value. Should give you a list b, b/g, maybe g.
    Select b/g or g. Click OK, Click OK.
     
  3. striate

    striate Thread Starter

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    Good suggestion but sadly - while my zippy laptop has a Mode setting like this, all my PC wireless adaptors have no such selection options. Hopefully that means they're b/g by default (since they're all advertised as g compat) but who knows.
     
  4. highspeed

    highspeed

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    What is your actual bandwidth you signed up for from your ISP in terms of download and upload speed.
    Check it well striate,it should have options to set the card to either a b only or b/g mode.
     
  5. striate

    striate Thread Starter

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    I have guaranteed 20Mbs to my carrier and, as I said, all my other machines run >20Mbs so that's not the problem. Happy to recheck the settings, but every card offers differnt settins and these weren't there.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Are these USB or PCI cards?

    Is the antenna (for whichever you are using) in a "good" location--not stuck in a corner or hidden from the router by the PC?

    Why three; you're not trying to use all at once, right?

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

    striate Thread Starter

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    I have 3:
    - D-Link DWA-160 Xtreme N-Dual Ban USB Adaptor (USB)
    - D-Link DWA-556 Xtreme N PCIe Desktop Adaptor (PCI)
    - Ralink RT61 Turbo Wireless LAN Card (PCI)

    The last one of these has an external antenna attached to the card via a cable. When the antenna is on my desk, the signal strength is maxed out (according to both Xirrus and the status bar).

    I do try these one at a time (not all at once) and not surprisingly the last one with the Rakink is by far the best on Speedtest given I can get the best antenna position with it.

    I couldn't figure out how to get that screnshot you asked for with the Snipping Tool (the network popout would pop back when I tried to snap it) and I've forgotten the Ctrl-Alt-Foo sequence for screen caps. Be glad to give you info off it.

    BUT... For no obvious reason my machine suddenly decided to pop up to 20Mbs!!! AArgh! Could it be that even when I 'disable' these other net cards they somehow sabotage the new card somehow and by constantly switching them I've finally got them to stop that? How odd.

    Anyway, thanks for all the help guys! If there are no other comments, I'll sign off as 'solved'
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Not sure, but if you are disabling the unused wireless connections in Network Connections there may still be some interference among them. If you are disabling them in Device Manager I would not expect any trouble.

    It sounds like you may have grabbed the Xirrus Gadget instead of the Inspector. If so, the Gadget is fine for your personal use to keep an eye on the wireless environment, but the Inspector shows more information when you need others to look for possible issues.

    Glad we could help you scare the thing into working. :)

    You can mark this solved using the [​IMG] button at the upper left of the page.
     
  9. striate

    striate Thread Starter

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    Hi guys

    Well, for one brief shining moment I had a 20Mbs PC, but only briefly. Even after physically uninstalling the two D-Link devices, I'm still stuck in 10Mbs or less land.

    Btw: attached is that Inspector screen shot. Any other suggestions out there?
     

    Attached Files:

  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    In that wireless environment I doubt that you are getting interference from another network, but to make absolutely sure you could try channels 3, 2 and 1 to get farther away from the Leboski network's channel.

    Outside chance of interference from another device, such as a 2.4 GHz cordless phone or baby monitor. It looks like you have at least one neighbor sufficiently close that the device could be there.

    But, you say, "my work laptop right next to it gets over 20Mb every time." Different adapters/antennas seem to have different tolerances for interference. Sometimes dealing with Wi-Fi doesn't feel very scientific. :( I remember one thread where a guy could not get a decent connection on his desktop with a USB wireless adapter. Xirrus showed a good strong signal. In desperation he tried an old "garbage' one. Xirrus showed an OK signal, but not nearly as strong. Worked perfectly! Go figure.

    I just realized that your screen shot doesn't show the Signal history. It should be so steady that you have to look closely to see that it is not a perfectly straight line.
     
  11. striate

    striate Thread Starter

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    Yep - I think you're on to something there. While I'm real happy with the signal strength I'm getting from the new remote antenna card, I see zero (well very little) improvement in the b/w. Your suggestion made me (the irrepresible tinkerer) decide to log into the wireless router and shamelessly twiddle settings (I can hear you all grinding your teeth now).

    My first goal was to try and lock doen the Mode (b, g, n) which made no difference so I set it back to auto. Then I tried to muck with the channel settings and did see a meaningful swing: when I chose a channel far away from my neighbors' settins the b/w did jump significantly (say from 8 to 16 Mbs)! And when I put it back on auto it stuck on a nice setting.

    Not that this solves my problem - these channels are moving around on eveyone's part - but it does seem to confirm your suspicion that it's the interaction of my neighbors' networks that's whacking me (and, btw, my wife who gets b/w all over the map and ofien none at all).

    I can't shoot my neighbors (can I?) so I think the only recourse we have is to every now and then 'kick' the router to make it move to another channel.

    So, once again, I guess I'm 'Solved' unless another of you has more good insights. You've all been most helpful!
     
  12. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If you have a house steel siding is pretty effective at damping Wi-Fi signals (my neighbor has it, so I know :) ). More importantly there may be locations in your house where the neighbor's signals are not so strong.

    In an apartment or condo there's probably little you can do other than to keep an eye on the channels used and change yours.
     
  13. onsite

    onsite

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    the overhead for the wireless takes half the bandwidth
     
  14. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    The photo is even more irrelevant than your post, onsite. Overhead and half duplex explains why, for example, actual data throughput on 802.11g (54 Mbps nominal) is never more than about 26 or 27 Mbps. It does not even begin to explain why 20 Mbps internet access is reduced to 10.
     
  15. striate

    striate Thread Starter

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    BTW - I'm leaving this issue as 'solved' basically because I found that the router and receiver card were the key issues with the close proximity of my neighbor's Apple router. Ultimately I ended up changing both to the latest and greatest Netgear (N600 hub and an unbelievably wimpy looking USB nmodel 3100) which popped me reliably to 30MB every time. Thanks everyone (and Netgear)!
     
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