Wireless download speed much lower than ethernet.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by PaulFXH, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #1
    I'm using a 1-y-o MacBook (2.16 GHz, 802.11 n).
    With an ethernet cable plugged in my Internets speeds on the Mac are typically:

    Download: 6400 kbps
    Upload: 500 kbps

    But with wireless, the download speed drops dramatically, giving typically:

    Download: 3200 kbps
    Upload: 480 kbps

    Note that I made these measurements with the router (Netopia 3347 nwg) about 2 feet from the MacBook.

    Should I be doing better than this on wireless?
     
  2. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    That's probably a G router which has slower wireless speeds.

    You can either get a N router such as Apple's, or do wired.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, the Netopia 3347nwg is a 802.11g router.
    However, this is the router that my ISP supplied. So, if I'm paying for 6400 kbps from the ISP, it seems a little strange that the router they supplied can't manage that speed on wireless connections.:confused:
     
  4. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    G offers up to 54 Mbps (6.75 MB/s). It has nothing to do with the speed of the wireless since he is only on what appears to be a 6 Mbps connection (up to around 768 KB/s).

    How many users are connected to your wireless when you do your tests? How consistent are the results? Did you switch to wireless right after trying it on the cable or was there an hour or so inbetween? Speeds vary on cable - especially during peak times where you will get below your maximum speed. Hence why ISP's advertise their speed as "..up to 6 Mbps" not a constant 6.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Forest Grove, OR
    #5
    Yeah, your wireless should be matching your wired speeds with those speeds for sure. G or N, shouldn't matter. But like someone else said, are there other concurrent wireless users and are you doing the tests back to back?

    Try http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ with a wired and wireless connection back to back for a better test.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #6
    Answers to yr questions:
    1. One other wireless user on this router
    2. The wireless d/l speeds I gave were "typical" values I got over a range of tests. Some were done back-to-back with wired test and some after a log period of wireless only. Wireless speeds are quite variable between 1800 kbps and 3650 kbps although lower values are rare.
    3. Actually, what my ISP advertises is a maximum of 7782 kbps d/l and 672 kbps u/l. The figures I gave were typical values. But in reality, they don't vary a whole lot in my experience.

    Actually, the figures I quoted are ALL based on the speakeasy test.
     
  7. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #7
    If you never reach your maximum speed after tests at different times of the day, sounds like the router is misconfigured. As another test however, try doing it on the other computer that is using the wireless internet.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #8
    The other computer is a Dell E520 desktop with a Belkin USB Network adapter (802.11 g). The is situated in another room beside the one where the wireless router is and the Belkin receiver is about 20 feet from the router antenna.
    Typical speeds (speakeasy test ) are:
    d/l 2400-3150 kbps
    u/l 390-485 kbps
     
  9. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #9
    Have you done a wireless test when you have been the sole wireless user?
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Forest Grove, OR
    #10
    I don't know if this will help, but you could try changing wireless channels. Maybe you are bumping into a cordless phone conflict of some kind.
     
  11. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #11
    Do you know the REAL speed of G is nowhere near the maximum theoretical speed?

    Reason: interference.
     
  12. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #12
    Read what I said: up to 54Mbps. I never said it was constant at that level. But on a 6Mbps on a network that is capable of of going up to 54Mbps I highly doubt that the wireless router can't handle the speed of the connection.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #13
    Well, I have now and this made no discernible difference to the download speed -- still falls within the same range which is more or less half the wired download speed.

    Had been using the default channel 7 so I tried both channel 1 and channel 13. Channel 13 was basically the same as channel 7 but channel 1 was maybe marginally higher with a few values getting close to 4000 kbps.
    However, nothing to get very excited about as it's still way off what I can get on the wired connection.
     
  14. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #14
    Tell me if this is too difficult to understand

    Wired > Therotical Wireless max speed > real wireless speed

    Thus Wireless download speed much lower than ethernet = TRUE
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #15
    So you think that a 54Mbps network is going to cause your internet speed to drop to 3Mbps?

    I'm on a 10Mbps connection, and on a G network, and I download at my maximum speed. Heck, my mate has a 20Mbps connection and he downloads at the max rate on off peak times on a G network.

    I know it will never reach 54Mbps, but it won't go below 10Mbps when only two users are on!

    Another thing to try: press OPTION+AirPort Icon and see what the transmit rate is.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #16
    54

    @Consultant
    While your contention that
    seems to be true for me right now, when I was on a 2Mbps connection a while ago, d/l rates were basically the SAME for both wired and wireless connections.
     
  17. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #17
    So you are transmitting at 54Mbps.

    Strange you are only able to achieve half of your potential speed. Must be something not set up correctly with the router.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #18
    Maybe it's time for me to have a word with my ISP although discussions wth them in the past have been less than totally fruitful.
    BTW, I use WEP encryption which I have seen blamed for reducing wireless d/l speed in some cases. I can't imagine this can be true as otherwise nobody would use it.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #19
    WEP isn't praised also because it isn't secure at all, easily hackable compared to WPA/WPA2.

    I'd change your wireless security to WPA2 anyway.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #20
    Well, I spoke to my ISP today and they, besides asserting that they could only guarantee speeds for a wired connection, suggested interference from cordless phones, microwave ovens and quite a few other household items as possible reasons for my low wireless d/l speed..
    Then I remembered that I actually had a new, unused router that the ISP had sent me 6-9 months ago to rectify a problem that turned out to be non-existant.
    So, I unpacked and installed the new router (Netopia 2247NWG) and set up wireless connections on three of our computers.
    And guess what?? I can now get download and upload speeds that are not just close to, but essentially identical to, those I get on the wired connection. And this is with the microwave plugged in, the cordless phone in use and all of our TVs with phone connections to the satellite signal supplier.
    Still can't say why the first router (Netopia 3347NWG) gave a problem with this or whether it was a hardware or a firmware problem but will admit that I'm not really that concerned anymore.
    Thanks to everybody for worrying about this with me.:)
     
  21. macrumors G3

    Kilamite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #21
    Good to hear you have sorted it with your new router.

    It'll have either been dodgy hardware or something in the wireless setup that wasn't configured right.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #22
    Just out of curiosity, I had a look at what may have been mis-configured in the old router to cause it to limit the available wireless d/l speed.
    So, I looked at what was configurable in the wireless area on the new router. Actually, not too much; just default channel, choice of encryption keys
    and the operating modes (802.11 b+g, b only or g only).
    On the new router, I cycled through each of the operating mode options, but with each of them I got the same high wireless d/l speed.
    Therefore seems that a hardware issue is the most likely cause.
     

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