Ethernet is slower than WiFi?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jeonat, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Jeonat macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2006
    United Kingdom

    I'm having problems with transfer speeds on my network and wondered if anyone could help?

    Basically, my iMac connects to a D-Link wireless router, which also has connected to it my NAS drive. Copying files to the NAS drive is nice and fast, but reading data back there are problems.

    If I connect the iMac to the router using Ethernet then, when copying files from the NAS drive to Macintosh HD, the speed is less than 1MB/sec, whereas on AirPort it is several times faster. Surely Ethernet should be faster? I can't figure out what can be wrong.

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    Thanks :)
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Ethernet should be at least marginally faster.

    There must be a weak link in the line somewhere....
  3. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Ethernet is A LOT faster.

    The current 802.11g standard only gives 54mbps, which is shared by all the computers in the wireless network, and worse still, it is half duplex.

    Ethernet gives 100mbps to each computer full duplex! Depending on your home network that is a lot faster.
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    What model of wireless router do you have?

    Ethernet should be much faster. The highest standard can obtain speeds of 1000 Mb/s.
  5. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Any reasonably modern wireless router that has multiple Ethernet ports should have a 100 Megabit switch built in, meaning each port should get that speed. If you have four computers, and 'a' and 'b' are talking as a pair, and 'c' and 'd' are talking as a pair, you should get full speed between each pair. This means (after overhead,) you should be able to do about 10 MegaBYTES per second.

    802.11g, with a perfect connection, has a 'transmission rate' of 54 Mbps, which amounts to an actual throughput rate of about 30-35 Mbps. That's a little less than 4 Megabytes per second. (And as iW00t mentioned, this is shared among all wireless computers/devices.)

    Obviously, Ethernet should be faster. And most certainly faster than 1 MB/s. One possibility is that you are only connecting at 10 Megabit speeds, which could signal a bad Ethernet cable. If you are only connecting at 10 Megabit speeds, that becomes 1 MB/s.

    Another possibility is that you are connecting via BOTH the Ethernet and Wireless, and that can really confuse a network stack. When testing over Ethernet, disable AirPort altogether, just to be safe.
  6. PYR0M310N macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    your not connecting through any sort of ethernet hub are you, as the ones they have at college slow it down so much
  7. Jeonat thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2006
    United Kingdom
    I have tried a bit more diagnosing the problem, but still no further to an answer.

    My Macbook, connected via. Ethernet has the same problem and exactly the same symptoms.

    Have tried a different switch port and Ethernet cable for both the computer and the NAS drive.

    I can copy at much higher speeds between Macbook and iMac if both connected via cable.

    The router is a D-Link G604T wireless router with 4 port 10/100 switch.

    I am guessing the problem is the NAS drive but my tweaking has so far failed to do any good. It is a Buffalo Linkstation Pro 500Gb drive.

    J. :)
  8. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
  9. maradnus macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2007
    Same here

    I have a macpro With plenty ram and a new Linksis router WRT54GS.

    So I just started to play World of WarCraft and was on wifi for a while but when my mates came over I got a lagg of 20-60 seconds... So I got my cable in knowing that it will stop the lag and be a much smoother ride over all.
    Not the case at all, on several speed tests I get 18m dl on wifi and 512k on dl on cable.. now if im right I would say that wrong very wrong..
    SO I changed the cable to a near new belkin gigabit cable and get the same story even if im the only one on my network....

    I have reinstalled leopard 10.5.6 and get the same results from speed tests..
    Its the same in Tiger 10.4.11...

    Im lost now Its been too long and I have run out of steam now and if it stayl like this ill have to stop playing the game (suppose its now the worse that could happen) but this issue is a trifle silly..

    The other thing is if im on wifi I have to live with it craping out cos of where my mac is ( i get 2-3 bars of signal mostly)..

    The funny thing is when leopard was on 10.5.0 I got a better results but i need 10.5.5 to run my sound card. lol

    So any suggestions will be great cos im at the end of my tether....
  10. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    It sounds like the OP's switch is going bad. I'd recommend purchasing a different switch.

    The gigabit switch is a good idea, especially if both machines can handle those speeds. If either of the devices will only go as high as 100Mb, then there's no need to have a gigabit switch.
  11. GilGrissom macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2005
    This is strange.

    I would echo the suggestions of others and say make sure you're not running Wi-Fi AND Ethernet at the same time. If you plug your Ethernet cable in then turn your Wi-Fi off.

    1. If the OP has managed to get good (and correct) transfer speeds between two computers on the same switch but not between the NAS it would suggest the NAS and not the switch, but then again the internal switching between LAN and WLAN could be faulty on the switch as well as its ability to handle the NAS correctly. If the OP has a completely different switch to hand to try that would help diagnosis.

    2. Things to try would be:
    a) make sure switch firmware is up to date.
    b) make sure NAS firmware is up to date.
    c) make sure NAS and switch are set to full 100mpbs duplex, or auto mode should do it.

    3. Firewall settings may also differ between the two connection methods which may cause restrictions and slow downs when least expecting it, both on the Mac and router ends.

    4. Are the computers getting assigned different IP addresses by the router when connecting via wireless and ethernet, which may be outside of a port-forwarding range otherwise used for file transfer or online gameplay through a firewall that worked over Wireless??

    Not having personal experience with these routers I can't say anything for sure, I have full Cisco (none of the Linksys stuff), Netgear and Sagem (hate the Sagem!) routers mainly and have never experienced this problem.

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