slow wifi

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Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 5,828

Re: slow wifi

VivienM you are correct.  CarolS51, do you post pictures anywhere for other people to see?  If not, I'll send a private message with an email address so that you can paste that into an email.  Please check the upper right hand corner of this page where the envelope symbol is located and follow the envelope link. 

 

 

Edit:  @CarolS51, message sent.  Please check the envelope symbol at the upper right hand corner

 

Looking back at your first message, your getting 35-48 Mb/s, where the maximum for your wifi card when it runs a single wifi channel at 72.2 Mb/s max.  So, your not very far from the max data rate in that case.  Laptops typically have 2 antennas for wifi cards and therefore the data rate is doubled, usuall with a maximum of 300 Mb/s.  If you look at the graphical display, and see where your wifi channel is currenlty running, 4 channels up from that is where the channel that is used for the secondary transmit / receive channel is located.  The wifi card, along with the modem or router, agree to use the first channel, and the secondary channel if it is not already occupied.  If the secondary channel is occupied or noisy, it it not used, and only the first channel is used, which will limit the maximum data rate to 72 Mb/s.  With both channels running you would see a maximum of 150 Mb/s.

 

Here is the manufacturers page for your wifi card:

 

http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/productsView.aspx?Langid=1&PFid=48&Level=5&Conn=4&ProdID=272

 

Ok, here's the inSSIDer screenshot:  http://www.screencast.com/t/5EIcdhAW

 

If you look at the graphical portion, you can see where your channel happens to be operating at the moment, which is channel 2.  Channel 7 is occupied by the Aliant011 network.  That is the other router or modem that is really preventing your wifi card from using channel 6 to run a secondary channel.  What that image also shows is that you in a very tough wifi environment, and are competing with a number of wifi routers / modems for channel space.  Every channel is occupied, which is shown by the channels shown in red, yellow and grey.  That means that everyone in your area will be running single channels for their devices, which limits the maximum data rates to the devices.  So, I'm afraid that I don't have good news for you in terms of the data rates that you would like to be running via wireless. 

 

Are you in a house, or apartment by chance?  Just wondering.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: slow wifi

oh..ok trying to understand everything you said! lol I appreciate you looking into this for me and explaining everything!!

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 5,828

Re: slow wifi

Ok, please have a look at my remarks above regarding your screenshot. 

 

Just to make sure that I am explaning this clearly.  Your wifi card is only connected to a single antenna wire.  That usually sits in behind the screen.  With that single antenna, the wifi card can run one wifi channel back to the modem, or it can run two wifi channels simultaneously.  So for the single channel, it will run anywhere from channel 1 up to channel 11.  For two channel communications, it runs a base channel, say channel two for example, and then, four channels up, it might use the channel that happens to be at (channel 2 + 4up = ) channel 6.  For every broadcast from the modem to the laptop, and back again, the laptop checks the upper channel 6 and looks for other modems / routers on that channel or background noise.  If the channel is clear, it will use that channel at the same time that channel 2 is used, thereby doubling the data rate.  If the channel is busy or occupied with background noise, it can't be used, and therefore you are locked into a single channel operation, using channel 2 only.  This is all automatic, but to note, you also have to have the modem set to use 20/40 Mhz as the channel width. That is one thing that you should check.  If its already set, then the problem is the fact that the wifi channels are all in use and everyone if fighting for clear channels.

 

When you have a laptop that has a wifi card that uses two antenna, each antenna supports a single data stream between the modem and the laptop.  The end result of using two antenna and two data streams is a doubling of the maximum data rate.  With one antenna such as yours, the maximum theoretical data rate is 150 Mb/s using two wifi channels simultaneously.  With two antenna, the maximum theoretical data rate is 300 Mb/s using two wifi channels simultaneously.  In both cases the wifi card manages the data streams and wifi channels that it can use automatically.

 

Hope that provides a clearer explanation of how the wifi system works. 



Resident Expert
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Posts: 922

Re: slow wifi


CarolS51 wrote:

oh..ok trying to understand everything you said! lol I appreciate you looking into this for me and explaining everything!!


Are you in New Brunswick?



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: slow wifi

I guess that's not very good news! im in a house, so even if i upgraded to the new Rocket Modem its not really going to do much for me?

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: slow wifi

Yes i am @VivienM

Resident Expert
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Posts: 922

Re: slow wifi


CarolS51 wrote:

I guess that's not very good news! im in a house, so even if i upgraded to the new Rocket Modem its not really going to do much for me?


Your problem is the extremely cheap, lousy wifi card in that computer.

 

The new 'Rocket Modem' can do 802.11ac, which... your computer doesn't support. So not going to do you much good.

 

A third-party router might give you a little better performance, but not that much...

 

What brand is the computer?



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: slow wifi

It is a Gateway, nothing fancy

Resident Expert
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Posts: 922

Re: slow wifi


CarolS51 wrote:

It is a Gateway, nothing fancy


A Gateway laptop, or one of those all-in-one things like my mom had?

 

Either way, in theory, if you know people who are very skilled at computer surgery, that wifi card could be upgraded. I am very hesitant to actually recommend that, though...



Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 5,828

Re: slow wifi

If you decided to replace it someday because you want better wifi performance, you would need to look for a laptop that supports 300 Mb/s at a minimum, and now, with the advent of 802.11ac, you can see 1300 Mb/s between the modem / router and the laptop, although I doubt that the advanced modem would actually support that.  You would most likely have to buy and install a good third party router to really support that data rate between the router and the laptop.  VivianM can definitely help in finding a better laptop if you decide to go that route someday.

 

Please have a look at my remarks above regarding single versus dual wifi channel operation.  Hopefully that will provide a clearer explanation.

 

Sorry we don't have better news for you. Smiley Sad



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