Home WiFi gives 30 percent slower connection

By on March 11, 2011, 1:37 PM
Download speeds drop by an average of 30 percent over Wi-Fi, largely due to environmental factors in the home that are out of the control of ISPs. Furthermore, latency increases by 10 to 20 percent with packet loss and jitter negatively affected via Wi-Fi connectivity. Broadband research firm Epitiro presented the data in a new report after sampling over 14,000 subscribers across four countries.

The company set out to quantify the difference in performance between wired and Wi-Fi broadband connectivity, and gain further insight as to why a slower access technology is becoming so popular amongst consumers. Laboratory tests showed that download speeds reduce sharply as signal strength decreases. The impact of subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE) was also investigated to understand the relationship between speeds and potential user satisfaction with common applications.

As speeds got slower, subscribers noticed a difference in the time it takes to download a large file. On the other hand, the data suggested that popular activities such as e-mailing and Web surfing are not noticeably slower when Good to Excellent signal strength is achieved. Video-on-demand, VoIP, and online gaming, however, may be impacted due to higher latency and packet loss over the Wi-Fi connection.

"With sales of wireless devices (laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones) now outstripping desktop computer it is clear that wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity is important to consumers," the report concludes. "It also implies that consumer have practical experience of the limitations with Wi-Fi and accept these for the benefit of mobility. Consequently Epitiro recommends that ISPs and Regulators could benefit from measuring subscriber Quality of Experience in addition to traditional quality of service analysis."





User Comments: 23

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princeton princeton said:

Doesn't seem to for me. I get the same speeds and latency over wifi as over ethernet cables. Lucky lucky.

brianzion brianzion said:

i agree with the reviewer in some aspects. my pci wireless adapter uses mimo technology with 3 antennas my average speed is 120 Mbps i have a 3 story house with the pc on the 2nd floor and wireless n router on ground floor. i would gladly choose wired over wireless if the Ethernet cable could be routed to the 2nd floor room.

bakape said:

Princeton said:

Doesn't seem to for me. I get the same speeds and latency over wifi as over ethernet cables. Lucky lucky.

That just says your ethernet is bad enough, for you not to see a difference. Same here.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

I've noticed this before. Especially when two of us in the house are gaming, one wired, the other wireless. Still seems to low the wired connection down just a tad... though this could be all in my head. haha. I've always preferred wired over wireless whenever possible... I just hate loosing packets, I can never find them again.

yRaz yRaz said:

I just did a speed test over my router on both a wired and wireless connection on my laptop. They were almost identical. I used speedtest.net. I got 19.88/4.23 on wired with 19.79/4.36 over wireless. I have a Linksys WRT320N router and I have a wire run directly into my room. The router is ~60 feet away but I'm using a 100 foot cable. I have a wired connection for my desktop but it doesn't have a wireless card so I can't use it as a control. However, the wired connection on my desktop gave almost identical results as my laptop.

princeton princeton said:

Lol bakape. Your knowledge of wireless is very limited. 50mbps down with 6ms ping in speedtests. It isn't my internet being too slow, it's my router being sufficiently fast.

Guest said:

Not everyone has these issues, thus the article is misleading!

Jibberish18 said:

Is this surprising? Brick walls. Concrete ceilings. Drywall. Other electronics in the 2.4Ghz range. Countless other things such as the quality of your router or wireless adapter/integrated antenna. Another option is Powerline Networking.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

The issue is really that the Wireless Router manufacturers don't think that the average home buyer really needs these speeds. To many of them throttle back where the router chokes. There is a lot of the routers out there that read 1GBPS but really only put out 100MBPS, 200MBPS, 400MBPS. The wireless in those routers are the worst. Need to buy non-blocking ports, full open throughput for both wired and wireless. Then the signal most are not 20dBm but less than that.

Lowest I've seen is 14dBm, 15dBm, 16dBm. Stay way from those wireless routers. I've measured LAN to LAN over GBPS set to 1024mbps file and you would be surprise the throughput on these brands. Over WLAN to WLAN some can't even handle a 300MBPS over 802.11n. Some companies tweak the wireless and wired router out of the box and some don't. Then the MSC = max session connections the higher the number the better your router is when you do heavy downloading an online gaming. Now that HD Streaming of 1080p is very popular you don't want a model that starts to drop connections on you.

MSC max is 64,000 some claim to go as high as 300,000 MSC those are bogus claims. Low can be 100 to 55,000 depends on what you get. On the box it won't say on some. They believe you don't need to know what the router can do or not. I think they should tell you.

More heavy-duty routers need to be made with metal case and a cooling fan. Since the most of them overheat and start to fail on you in less than 2 years.

Guest said:

They fail to mention what routers were used for these tests, whether it was the old, old B, newer G or nerer yet N. With N in my house the range is phenominal, have to turn down the tx power so it doesn't get "seen" 4 houses away or more. Nor did it say how many users were on each router, nor how many routers on each "node" , nor the time of day. this data is needed to really verify this kind of test. Just so everyone understands, I was a firm believer in 'wired', but with N technology, it is not really necessary. I have 20 mbs downld speed and 5mbs up, into a dlink router with new gen N wireless, server direct wired and 5 other computers/laptops wireless, and no slowdown. four of us can play WOW and another watchin streaming movies without problems

Sparks

nismo91 said:

my speedtest.net download result drops from 87Mbps to 28Mbps using WRT120N wired and its wireless. i know, i need a new router.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have noticed for transferring large files I get 1.5x to 2x better speeds going wired as opposed to wireless. Same equipment, same network, just plugged an Ethernet cable into my laptop - even before I used a gigabit switch for my network.

As far as gaming I will see usually much higher (2x to 4x) latency on WoW when trying to play using wireless instead of wired.

So this isn't really surprising news to me. As the article said you don't really notice it just goofing around online, but gaming or moving large files (several gigs) over wifi because much slower.

gobbybobby said:

i might concider plugging my PS23 into my router then, They are almost irght nextto each other, just I use the wireless. This article makes it sound crazy im doing this. I have N graded kit tho, and my Gaming desktop upstairs has excellent signal and I game on it all time pings less than 100 on most Game servers.

It holds a video stream flawlessly even on my rubbish 1.5meg line so I ahve no beef with my wifi, and say I have next to no loss of speed.

sicarii said:

Wifi

Nice work Tipstir,

Its unfortunate that WIFI standards have not changed from the day of birth, nor has bluetooth.

A new technolgoy is needed that can clear through basic household obstacles.

Using household electrical recepticles with shielding for repeaters have been a old idea thats lost its bite.. perhaps we can start there.

Sicarii

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Laboratory tests showed that download speeds reduce sharply as signal strength decreases.

............you really needed a laboratory test for this? It seems like common sense to me, lol.

As speeds got slower, subscribers noticed a difference in the time it takes to download a large file.

...........do people really.......ok, you know what? No. I'm not even gonna bother with this. *rolls eyes*

fpsgamerJR62 said:

A wired connection is always preferred although at times not very practical depending the configuration of your home. For home Wi-Fi, I've noticed that even a closed glass window does reduce the signal strenght even for PCs on the same floor and less than 10 meters away from each other.

Guest said:

I have an Asus 520GC router. Speed loss is awful. I have 40mbit via wired and 25 via wireless.

Really need to buy a new router :)

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

My Wi-Fi connection is actually faster than my fixed connection. The ISP has no clue as to why it is like that, still, I'm not complaining over speed AND mobility :p

Chazz said:

I agree with the others, they should first document the routers and test their speed differences individually instead of assuming all routers are created equal.

princeton princeton said:

matrix86 said:

Laboratory tests showed that download speeds reduce sharply as signal strength decreases.

............you really needed a laboratory test for this? It seems like common sense to me, lol.

As speeds got slower, subscribers noticed a difference in the time it takes to download a large file.

...........do people really.......ok, you know what? No. I'm not even gonna bother with this. *rolls eyes*

Those surprised me about as much as when I heard that the next person to be on the cover of oprah's magazine, was oprah.

Gars Gars said:

for that im still on the wire

wi-fi is a bit freaky

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17132397/wireless.jpg

Lurker101 said:

For me, both wired and wireless are exactly the same

Rasta211 said:

I think wired is faster, more stable and secured.

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