What speed *should* my wifi be?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by michaelrp, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. michaelrp macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2011
    On our wifi network, we have a MBP 17", an iPad (first gen), and a wii. That's it. We're currently using an old, cheap router.

    When the MBP is directly plugged into the router via ethernet, online speed tests show that it gets (approximately) the speed our ISP promised: ~15 Mbps download, ~3 Mbps upload.

    When you unplug the MBP and use it on the wifi network, speed tests show dramatically slower results. I suspect that in addition to being old, the router is somehow broken.

    If we were to replace the router (most likely with airport extreme base station), would anyone know approximately what speed levels I should expect when running on wifi? My understanding is that it's still somewhat slower than when directly connected, but I'm just wondering how much slower?

    Thank you for any information/insights. :)
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Try www.smallnetbuilder.com to get an idea of how fast a particular router is. WiFi is convenient but wired is faster especially Gigabit.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The AEBS can sustain around 15 MB/s via a wireless LAN if you use an 802.11 N network.
    That is 120 Mbps, which is more than enough for your internet connection.
    With my iMac and MBP all using an N network spread by the AEBS (2009) edition, and an internet connection with 1.2 MB/s download speed, I am as fast with the wireless LAN as I would be with Ethernet (wired LAN).

    Btw, just click on the AirPort / WiFi icon in the Menu Bar while holding down the OPTION / Alt key and see, what the Transmit Rate and PHY Mode is.
  4. michaelrp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2011
    simsaladimbamba, thank you for that information. That's exactly what I was looking for.

    blueroom, thanks for sharing that site. Should be useful as I go router shopping here in a bit... :)
  5. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    My "ancient" AEBS "g" network consistently downloads between 10-15mbps, so you can expect even faster downloads with a newer "n" AEBS.

    Attached Files:

  6. Ant.honey macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    New York City
    Just for a little more reference, I use the latest Airport Extreme (5ghz) and I can tell a difference when using wireless vs ethernet direct connection, but it's very slight. You would be well served by an N capable router.

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