Slow wireless, even after upgrade


I just upgraded from Charter's 3mb/sec plan to the 5mb/sec plan, but I'm having some trouble. I can direct connect to the modem and get a

4.6 mb/s speed, but I'm getting very different speeds with my wireless connections. My Mac laptop with a Wireless G card can pull around 3.8 mb/s. While my desktop (PC), which is sitting right next to the Mac, and uses a wireless G USB, only gets around 1.5 mb/s. I tried my other desktop in the room across the hall, which uses wireless B, and it, too, gets about 1.5 mb/s. Strangely, I was getting 1.5 mb/s or so on both the wireless G and the Wireless B desktops BEFORE I upgraded to higher d/l rate plan through Charter.

My router, a Linksys WRT54G V4, is completely updated. I have it set to send a mixed signal out, but even when I set it to only transmit Wireless G (which renders one of my desktops useless), the wireless g desktop still only gets 1.5 mb/s (Read: No change in speed). I even tried changing the transmit rate on the router, setting it to "54mbps" from "auto." Same deal.

I don't understand why the Mac has no problems in the speed tests, but the desktop, sitting 6 inches from it, also with a Wireless G card, can't pull in more than 1.5 mbps. What am I doing wrong? The way I see it, it can't be the modem, since I can direct connect. And it can't be the router, since the Mac gets 3.8 mb/s. That leaves the wireless network cards, which are both up-to-date.

Anyway, I hope someone can shed some light on the subject...

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Don't mix-and-match wireless standards. Use either G or B, not mixed.

Make sure you don't have other wifi networks overlapping on your channel.

What brand cards are you using in all of them?

And what are you using to determine the speed?

Reply to
Bill Kearney

Try setting all the devices to use B, and see if that helps. Also, try to use a different channel, and enable MAC filtering to ensure that no one else is connecting to your wireless.

Are you using WEP or WPA? There is some overhead associated with encryption, but it shouldnt be causing that much difference in speed.

If you disable all the other devices, and only connect one wireless device does your speed improve?

Try to remove as many external factors as possible to troubleshoot this connection.


Reply to

"Stockmoose16" hath wroth:

What model desktop? What maker and model USB device?

What other desktop? What maker and model wireless 802.11b device?

Hint: Try to buy auto parts without specifying the maker, model, year, engine, etc. Numbers are a good thing.

Stock Linksys firmware or one of the alternative firmware versions?

Incidentally, I just wasted some time with a friend who insisted that his firmware was updated to the latest version. When I finally pried the revision number out of him, I found that it nowhere near the latest. Numbers please.

You'll get a substantial reduction in maximum theoretical speed when mixing 802.11b and 802.11g. See table at: |

formatting link
it should not be as slow as 1.5Mbits/sec.

Try temporarily turning off 802.11b compatibility. Yeah, I know your

802.11b laptop will be comatose. I just want to see if it has an effect.

Oh, it happens. Have you tried the speed test to the PC laptop using a wired ethernet connection instead of wireless. A machine full of spyware and worms will be REALLY slow.

I'm glad you asked. Disorganized troubleshooting and too many assumptions. We know the WRT54G works because the Mac demonstrates that it functions. We know almost nothing about the two PC's and their client radios. It takes two to tango and I'm fairly sure it's a client radio or PC computah problem. The easiest way to prove it is to try connecting to a different wireless router. Since the 802.11b is apparently a desktop, that will require borrowing a different wireless router. If it does the same thing, then try a different wireless device. That wouldn't be a bad idea as the 802.11b devices will slow down your speeds anyway.

What I can't see is why BOTH your wireless desktops are getting slow download speeds. Try the speed test with a wired connection. That might mean dragging them to some place near the router, or borrowing a long CAT5 cable. If it's still slow, then there's something wrong with BOTH computahs. If you get normal spedds on both machines, then there's something wrong with the respective client radios or drivers.

It's unlikely to have BOTH wireless desktops simultaneously exhibit essentially the same problem. So, a 3rd PC client is needed to determine if this is the case. Borrow a wireless PC laptop and try the speed test again. If that works, then both your PC computahs are having a bad day. If it also goes slow, then I don't have a clue what's broken.

True. It also can't be the CAT5 cable between the modem and the WRT54G v4 because it works on the Mac.

I would expect a slightly faster download from a 5MBit/sec cable connection. Charter Cable is showing about 4.5MBits/sec on the DSLReports speed tests:

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is still wrong with the Mac or possibly whatever speed test you're using.

"Assumption. The mother of all screwups."

Let there be light. Hmmmm.... nothing happened.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Are there othere devices (like a USB harddrive) stealing USB bandwidth? If it is only USB 1.1 you only have 12mb/s of bandwidth to hsare with all the devices on that root hub. If you have other USB devices, try unplugging them and retest. If that solves your problem you want to stay away from USB wireless adapters.

Reply to
Bryant Smith

***Homemade PC. Intel 3 ghz processor. 512 mb ram. Has no problem getting 4.6mb/sec when hard wired to modem. USB Device: Microsoft MN-510 (wireless B) \\

What other desktop? What maker and model wireless 802.11b device?

Homemade PC. Netgear USB-G

***Updated to most recent firmware off the Linksys site. V 4.30.5
**I switched it to Wireless B only, still get about 1.5 mb/s average. I even got a laptop with a D-link wireless B PCMCIA card, and literally sat it next to the router, and got top speeds of about 2mb/s.
***Yes, I hard-wired my desktop with the MN-510 directly to the cable modem and got 4+GB/s
***One more thing: I used Frontier's speed test (and a couple of others) and I get very different readings on each one. Frontier lets you pick where the site is test site is located. When I do a speed test in the Cali area, I get ~3.5mb/s (I live in CA). As I start to move toward the East Coast test sites, I top out at 1.5mb/s. Is this normal?
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