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What do I need to get better Wifi speed?


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#1 Fahim S.

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:58

My wifi speed isn't as fast as I think it should be. I have an up to 76Mbps down and 19Mbps up internet package with my ISP.

My network broadly looks like this:
ISP Modem -> Homeplug A -> Homeplug B -> ESXi Host pNIC1 -> vSwitch 1 -> pfSense VM -> vSwitch 2 -> ESXi Host pNIC2 -> Gigabit Switch -> Router as AP

No matter if it is a VM on vSwitch 2 or my laptop plugged into the Gigabit Switch or the Router being used an Access Point, I get no discernable loss of speed.

However, when connecting my laptop to the same Access Point over wireless n (20 MHz) the speed drops by more than half (about 25Mbps down and about 10Mbps up).

The Access Point has three Wifi settings (b/g/n 20MHz as it is now, b/g 20MHz and n 40MHz) Choosing any of the other options makes it slower still. I have my signal on channel 11 as it is the one that is the least congested, InSSIDer gives it a link score of 81. As far as I can tell, the Access Point can only do 2.4GHz as is true of my laptop which has a Centrino Wireless-N 1000 half height mini-PCIe card. The Access Point is a BT HomeHub 3 Revision A ISP Router which is now being repurposed as a Access Point (static IP, no DHCP etc.)

Any idea of what to try? I am not averse to spending some money to resolve this - router or computer side.
Happy to (try to) answer any other questions that anyone may have.


#2 scaramonga

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:01

First thing I did was ditch the HomeHub crap (2 & 3) when I got Infinity, never looked back ;)



#3 ShockD

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:50

Increasing the frequency range is supposed in theory to give you better speed. For some people it works for others - it doesn't.

 

You could always try a larger antenna or even a newer router. The Wi-Fi receiver is also a factor. Some just catch the waves better.

 

Apart from that I don't think there's much that can be done.



#4 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:17

Increasing the frequency range is supposed in theory to give you better speed. For some people it works for others - it doesn't.
 
You could always try a larger antenna or even a newer router. The Wi-Fi receiver is also a factor. Some just catch the waves better.
 
Apart from that I don't think there's much that can be done.

What do you mean by the Wi-Fi receiver? Is that the card in my laptop?

First thing I did was ditch the HomeHub crap (2 & 3) when I got Infinity, never looked back ;)

Can I ask what you replaced it with? It really is a POS. What improvement did you get?

#5 ShockD

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:47

What do you mean by the Wi-Fi receiver? Is that the card in my laptop?

Yes, the wireless internet card. At the same spot one laptop can connect to a network and have 2-3 bars signal strength while another laptop may not even discover the network.



#6 ashpowell

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:04

First thing I did was ditch the HomeHub crap (2 & 3) when I got Infinity, never looked back ;)

 

Exactly what I did, with the homehub i literally got half the speed I did with a standard netgear router (one given by plusnet fibre before I had infinity)



#7 scaramonga

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 21:58

Can I ask what you replaced it with? It really is a POS. What improvement did you get?

 

Sure.  Got myself an ASUS RT-N56U back then (2 years ago), been using it ever since.  WiFi is excellent on both bands, and have it connected to numerous devices, without (touch wood) any problems. :)  Using custom firmware also :)



#8 +BudMan

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:57

so lets take the internet out of the equation..  So what speeds to you get via wifi from your nas for example. iperf testing would help too.

 

Simple test just a file copy from your nas via wifi works too -- robocopy works great because it gives us detailed exact info on the speed.

 

I am currently out of town so hard to give examples - but when I get back home I have access to multiple laptops, and devices and even wireless on my desktop to compare with.  I have a tp-link dual band 2.4 and 5 ghz running dd-wrt as AP that can use for testing on my network for speeds.  I do know that it one laptop has shown 300mpbs as the connection speed on both 2.4 and 5ghz that we can use for comparison...

 

And I run esxi with my router on it - your running pfsense I believe as well.. so I think we can do a pretty close apple to apple comparison on speeds for sure.. Other than my internet is way slower than yours :(  I would love to have those internet connection speeds -- but Im on a 25/5 currently..  But lets see what you get local that we should be able to compare really close.

 

I agree if your on N there should be no reason why you should be seeing only 25 down from internet.. if your seeing more than that local.. So lets verify what you can do locally - then we can figure out why your not seeing that from your wan connection



#9 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:47

I did test this myself yesterday.  Although I used a simple Windows file copy from my 7 year old single bay QNAP which has a 1Gbps connection.  The file I used was an ISO of Fedora.  The NAS itself has a 7 year old 7200rpm (at least I think so) 1TB Samsung disc in it.  The target was in both cases the laptop with the Centrino Wireless-N 1000 in it.  I guess it's also worth mentioning that the laptop also has an SSD in it (Kingston SSDNow 96GB) so as to take that out of the equation.

 

I got 3.5MB/s on WiFi, which Google tells me is 28Mbps - this appears to be about the same as what I get for Internet.

I got 28MB/s on a wired connection directly to the switch, which Google translates to 244Mbps - not great but broadly in line with what the test results were here back in the day that the NAS was considered relatively high performance  :rofl:

 

The above makes me really think it is the connection between computer and access point.  I'm at work right now, but will give RoboCopy a go later.



#10 The_Decryptor

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:59

You said channel 11 was the least congested, just how congested is the airspace around your house?

#11 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:43

Attached is a screen shot from inSSIDer, my network is selected.

I moved my network to channel 6, speed remains the same.

 

This screenshot is from a different laptop (my work machine) which has a Centrino Adavnced-N 6205.  This one is 2.4GHz+5GHz capable and has a 2x2 antenna configuration.

 

 

Attached Images

  • inSSIDer.png


#12 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:01

Just by way of a quick update, now that I've disconnected my work laptop from VPN (I worked from home), I can try the same file copy operation with this machine.

I get about 4MB/s (32mbps) here.

 

Edit, from RoboCopy

 

Work laptop:

Wireless: 3761756 Bytes/sec

Wired: 21738578 Bytes/sec



#13 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 17:53

Personal laptop:
Wireless: 4104698 Bytes/sec (31.31 Mbps)
Wired: 21840766 Bytes/sec (166.63 Mbps)

#14 +BudMan

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 22:53

Wired doesn't really tell us much other than its not a limit of the hard drive or wire during the wireless test.

 

Do a wired test connected to your AP lan ports?  I would assume that is what you were testing when said connected to switch (switch of AP)

 

Let me fire up my wifes laptop and do a wireless robocopy.  BBL with the results.

 

But clearly you can rule out your router to the internet, etc .since in your seeing the same speeds not talking through to the internet.



#15 srbeen

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 23:28

I got around 13-17MB/s with my CentrinoN 6230 (BT and 3 band) off my netgear 4500 @ 5GHz. In theory this is a 450Mbps connection. 5GHz is faster but has a reduced range. Same wifi adapter with a Linksys 310N @2.4Ghz caps around 7MB/s, which in theory maxes at 150Mbps connection. Everything affects speeds.. distance to router, system speed, interference, router type, antenna style, atmospheric conditions, file transfer protocol (FTP/AFP/CIFS/NFS) As a general rule, a 450Mbps connection is max 56MB/s up & down, so 28MB/s either direction in optimal conditions. Anywhere between 40-75% of each direction is expected in practice. (11-21MB/s) If you want better, try getting an active signal booster/high gain antenna for the router & laptop. 3dB is double the power. dBi is isotropic, meaning gain obtained from a focused antenna rather than an omnidirectional antenna which broadcasts in 360 degrees.