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Improving LAN speed (via WiFi)

by MikeAanders / February 19, 2013 4:34 AM PST

I'm trying to improve my LAN speed (WiFi connection) (note this is nothing to do with my internet connection). All PCs on LAN & router are capable of 802.11b, g & n. The router is set to 802.11g (although it can be set to n or a combination of all 3). This should theoretically achieve 54Mbps up and down (in practice apparently expect 25Mbps). According to Totusoft's LAN speed test (described at):
and also speed when shown in Windows (7) when transferring files between 2 PCs on the network I achieve around 10Mbps. This affects viewing of HD material when streamed from 1 PC to another (can get jerkiness). Why am I getting such a low speed and what can I tweak to improve it? I assume that if router is set at 802.11g, then individual PCs will recognise this and switch to the correct speed (if not how can I get them to do this?). Signal strength is excellent on all PCs.
Obviously I can use Ethernet but I don't want to be tripping over cables.

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All Answers

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Try setting the router to wireless-N
by wpgwpg / February 19, 2013 4:46 AM PST

Wireless-N is supposed to be a good bit faster than G, so why not try setting the router to N? I understand that when the router spends time switching between B,G, & N, it can slow things down. Also what are the distances between the router and the clients? The closer they are, the faster the transfer rate.

Good luck.

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by pgc3 / February 19, 2013 5:08 AM PST

So your issue is with WLAN, your hardwire hook up is acceptable? If you are going to run Gigabit (N) 10/100/1000, all hardware( modem, router nic cards) need to be N (gigabit) compliant, including likely going from CAT5 to CAT6 cable(s) for potential improvement hardwired. Wireless issues such as buffering...staggering are generally created by bandwidth draw/variation created many times by local area usage, depending on server and location. There could also be issues related to onboard hardware differences/variations between systems.

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The problem
by Jimmy Greystone / February 19, 2013 11:29 PM PST

The problem is that until 11n, wifi was half-duplex, meaning it could only send OR receive data at any given time. Plus those theoretical speeds don't take into account overhead from protocols and what not, it's just the max total data, not the max total USEFUL data. With 11n they started introducing MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) which lets you do both send and receive operations at the same time using different antennas.

Beyond that, wireless is very poorly suited to streaming video. It can be done, but it's not a good idea. Too many things can interfere with a wireless signal. Almost every country has a rule where wireless devices have to accept all incoming signals, even if those signals might be harmful. So basically something as simple as an improperly shielded microwave can screw up your wireless signal.

If you're looking to stream video files, you want to go wired. Anything else is going to be too unreliable. Especially if we're talking HD material, which typically means 720p or 1080i/p. That means you're talking about needing to sustain anywhere from about 3-20MB/s (and do make sure to read up on how network speeds are measured in megaBITS per second, not megaBYTES) which is a lot to ask for a wireless connection.

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Mimo etc.
by pgc3 / February 19, 2013 11:40 PM PST
In reply to: The problem

Thank you Jimmy, you hit that one right on the head...streaming wirelessly is just not reliable too many potential variables, especially as you said with HD. Hardwire hook ups are typically far less troublesome...

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Bits & Bytes
by MikeAanders / February 20, 2013 4:32 AM PST
In reply to: The problem

Oh, but I do understand there are 8 bits in a byte! That is why I'm surprised you quote "3-20MB/s" and not "3-20Mb/s" (ie. small "b" for bits). Your 3-20MBytes/sec is a phenomenal speed!

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