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Internet speed - via wireless router (slow) vs. via modem (fast)

By jstluise ยท 9 replies
Oct 31, 2010
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  1. I just bought a new modem to replace the one I am renting from Comcast (Motorola SB6120: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16825122009). I have been using an Encore (EHH-WI-G) 802.11g 54Mbps router.

    I got everything hooked up last night and I noticed that when I was hooked up directly to the modem (ethernet), my internet was super fast. When I hooked up the wireless router and accessed the internet through it, my speed was noticeably slower. I used speedtest.net to see what my speeds were like:

    Wired to modem: download 50+ Mbps (I don't know how in the world it read this high...I'm not even paying for these speeds from Comcast)

    Wireless through router: download only around 5 Mbps

    Can someone explain this to me? Is there a setting on my router that is restricting the speed in some way?
  2. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 449   +36

    Have you tried downloading files in both wireless & wired what speed did u get in both modes.
  3. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Yes I did, I forgot to mention that. I downloaded the same file off a website.

    Wireless through router ~150 kb/s
    Wired through modem ~750 kb/s

    Those are rough numbers from what I remember, but you can see there is a big difference!

    I would think since my router is capable up to 54 Mbps downstream, as well as my wireless adapter on my computer, I would still be able to see close to the same speeds that I saw on my modem and my ethernet (the modem is capable up to 160 Mbps downstream). But I am pretty much clueless on any networking stuff...

    Also, I did these tests on two different laptops (wired and wireless) with the same results...thinking it may be a computer issue.

    Thanks for the reply
  4. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 449   +36

    Have you checked which DNS server you are linked to probably its different in router & the modem you can check it in network connection properties.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,896   +1,530

    Simple; connecting to the modem with a cable runs at the ISP bandwidth while
    802.11g 54Mbps connections are by definition limited to 54Mbps - -
    clearly all connections operate under the Weakest Link in the Chain rule (in this case, you can go faster than the slowes connection)
  6. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    That does make sense, and that is what I initially thought. But it seems like a significant difference between my 100Mbps limit on my ethernet and the 54Mbps limit on my router/wireless adapter. Just from downloading one file I see my speeds are 5x slower with wireless.

    I would expect at most a 2x reduction in speed by going from wired (100Mbps) to wireless (54Mbps)...and in this situation I would have to be running at full capacity on the 100Mbps.

    I will check the DNS server later today.

  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,896   +1,530

    That is fruitless; The DNS is only used to translate a URL into an IP address for the website. The download does not depend upon that one time lookup.
  8. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 449   +36

    Well I am not an expert once i got like 30kbps at downloads while my friend with same ISP provider got 200 kbps then he asked me to change the DNS address then my speed went up to like 160 kbps that's why i posted about it.I don't know much about anything else.But still the speed difference does not make much sense.
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Let's see ..

    Example: I pay for 30MB down and 10MB up Which when I test the LAN to WAN it's about 33MB down and 7-8MB up. Okay. Prior to all this internet throttling I was getting 47MB down. I had contacted someone who knew something at my Cable/Internet provided. The way he had explain it was that they were testing and didn't really care about how much download speed you were getting. But now they offer 50MB down at a price so they do care and only allow what your paying to be access.

    LAN to WAN to LAN these speeds vary in measurements. What you really need to do is measure the LAN to WAN speed through the modem and by-pass the wireless router and see what you get?
  10. jstluise

    jstluise TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Sorry for the late reply. The problem I am working on is at my parents house, so I am not there every day.

    Anyways, could someone link me to some information on how to measure my LAN to WAN speed? I searched around and couldn't find anything...

    I was curious about my internet speed at school, so I ran the same kind of tests using speedtest.net. On wireless, I got around 9-10 Mbps. Wired I get right around 20 Mbps. Does wireless really cut down on speed this much? My router here is a link sys wrt54g.

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