What speeds you get out of your WiFi? WiFi speed optimization. Please help

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by sram, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. sram

    sram [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hi to all, how is it going?

    This might be simple to some, but I'm puzzled and I want it to be sorted out. It is not causing me a problem, but I want to be optimum. It is regarding my wifi inside my little house. I have an internet connection speed of 500 Mbps via fiber. All my wired boxes achieve the top speed when testing with speedtest which is to be expected since I'm using 1Gbps network connection. However, with wifi the story is little different. I know wireless will never be as reliable as wired but hear me out, I think I can do better. I bought the Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO, which is considered one of the best access points out there. It can do 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wifi. According to specs, 2.4 should be able to do 600 Mbps, and 5 GHz should be able to do 1300 Mbps. This means both bands should have no problem delivering all my internet speed (at least theoretically). When I do an internet speed test while connected via the 2.4 GHz (I use iphones, laptops, other android phones) and I'm very close to the AP, I will get about 80 Mbps! With 5 GHz I get 340 Mbps. The speed will degrade as I go further from the AP. These numbers are fine for what I do with my wifi devices but I'd like to know what exactly is wrong. Now, if I go and check the network connection speed using my laptop, it will show me something close to the theoretical value depending on distance of course. Check the below image for example:
    HJNUpPa.jpg

    This is while i'm connected via the 5GHz band. It shows that my network connection speed is 866 Mbps, which is --as you can easily tell--remarkably higher than my internet speed of 500 Mbps. So, why don't I get all my internet throughput via this ~866 Mbps network link??? You may say that this 866 Mbps reported by windows is NOT accurate but I actually tested it. I copied extremely large files from my network attached storage and got about 70 MB/s which is not exactly 866 Mbps but close enough. So, what do you think is wrong? Is this value of the network speed reported by windows any reliable?

    What also doesn't make sense at all is the speed I get for 2.4 GHz while really really close to the AP. It should be definitely higher than 80 Mbps because I'm really close to the access point and 2.4 GHz should be able to do 600 Mbps or 450 Mbps theoretically. I don't want to achieve the theoretical numbers but something close to them at least. I'm not even close!

    Maybe I need to test again, but this sums up my story. Please give me your comments and remarks. Thanks.
     
  2. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    The "up to" assumes you have a device that has multiple antenna WiFi, and the spectrum is clear to be able to use multistreaming (MIMO).

    802.11n I believe can use up to 4 antenna/streams simultaneously to increase speed - assuming your devices all have 4 antennas to utilize. 802.11AC I think can support up to 8.

    Anyway, the first thing to do if you have suspect WiFi issues is to make sure your on a clear channel - channel congestion is usually the biggest culprit - especially the "all of a sudden it's worse" problems, meaning you probably just had a neighbor plop down on your channel, or get a new microwave oven, or a new baby monitor, or something.
     
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  3. sram

    sram [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wait a sec, you mean the devices I use should multiple antennas? The AP supports MIMO and it should have at least four antennas ( I remember reading that). But, for my laptop-for example-to reach optimum speed I should use more than one antenna??? The laptop I used is Dell XPS 13 latest model and it had 802.11ac WiFi adapter. Does that mean it will have multiple antennas internally or I should --somehow--add some more externally??
     
  4. FNtastic

    FNtastic [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sometimes not only multiple antennas. Sometimes additional capabilities in the firmware/software of the particular wifi card you're using too. Only some know how to communicate efficiently enough to achieve the highest speeds.

    Your best bet is to do some searching around on Amazon for a USB dongle with an antenna (or 4) that others state can reach the speeds you're looking for. Very unlikely that anything built-in is going to get it, as you've already figured out yourself.

    Edit: if it's still new, it might be worth leveraging Dell support for some assistance with your disappointment in the performance of your expensive laptop
     
  5. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Yup. If your internal WiFi only has one antenna - your only ever going to get 1 stream's worth of speed out of it.

    Upgrading would mean adding a second external adapter that has more antenna - I don't know of any adapters off the top of my head that just allow you to add antenna (although i know quite a few that let you upgrade the existing antenna).
     
  6. mjz_5

    mjz_5 2[H]4U

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    I have a dellXPS 13. I find the wifi and Bluetooth in it is shit. I have intel wifi as well.

    My iPad gives me faster speeds

    Even my $30 Bluetooth headphones work better on my iPad/iPhone/Mac than the Xps. On my apple devices I can go to another room and still have audio. Not on my XPS.

    Point is. Dell cheaped out on my stupid $2k laptop
     
  7. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well at least with Dell laptops you can usually swap the wi-fi chip out for a different one.
     
  8. mjz_5

    mjz_5 2[H]4U

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    It’s a high end model. Not sure if that’s a windows limitation or the dell XPS is shit. I gotta try it a desktop computer
     
  9. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Usual route is - unscrew base plate, locate wi-fi chip, unplug antenna leads, unscrew chip. Insert new chip, attach antenna leads, replace baseplate. Power on and go from there.
     
  10. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    The AP's stated maximum isn't necessarily single client maximum as others have stated, if your client can't use all the available streams. Also, if your client device can't do 80mhz channels on 5g then it won't get maximum throughput.

    Using 80mhz bandwidth on 5ghz rf means there's only one available channel so interference becomes a concern.

    Wireless is half duplex, if anything is using your wifi while your laptop is trying it will affect throughput.

    Broadcasting your SSID takes time off of your available broadcast time (3-4% lost just for broadcasting your SSID)

    If your wireless shares lan with wired, then when those wired devices transmit broadcast traffic, it will be transmitted by the AP, which also affects your available RF broadcast time for your data.

    The data rate listed on AP's and in Windows is a radio signaling rate, not a data rate. That means that you can transmit X amount of radio bits. Data frames have to be resent all the time, there is built in error checking and overhead on each frame, all reducing your actual data throughput.

    Also, being too close to the AP can actually hurt your performance because you will be 'swamping' the receivers.

    70MB/s on wifi is pretty good IMO. Especially on a tp-link :p
     
  11. sram

    sram [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the very informative post. Yes i'm using 80 MHz bandwidth for my 5 GHz wifi. This UniFI allows it. It is not a tp-link. Again, it is the Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO. I just happened to be connected to one of my tp-link's when I took that screenshot. It is the same numbers. Anyways, things make more sense now after what you explained.