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Networking & Wireless forum


Slow wireless AC speeds

by Darth_Adversor / May 23, 2015 5:45 AM PDT

Hey everybody,

So I'm concerned about file transfers from two client machines to my server. Server is hard-wired via gigabit Ethernet. I'm using a TP-Link Archer C5 router. Initially I went with Intel 7260 AC cards, but then also threw a Broadcom BCM4352 into the mix.

So, initially I was using the Intel cards on both machines. Laptop was inconsistent, with transfer speeds ranging from 15 MB/s all the way up to 45 MB/s. HTPC never went above 20 MB/s, often times lower. Something happened - planets aligned or the barometric pressure was finally just right - and the laptop started running consistently at around 40 MB/s, while the HTPC stayed the same. Enter the Broadcom card.

The Broadcom card was detected in the HTPC and drivers installed fine, but Windows could not find any networks. I put it in the laptop and BAM, transfer speeds are consistently between 50-60 MB/s.

So that leaves the HTPC. I took the original 7260 out and put the one from the laptop in, thinking the first card was defective. Speeds are still way low, hovering between 15-20 MB/s.

My thoughts:

- Regarding the HTPC, with the Broadcom card mysteriously not working and both Intel cards being slow, maybe the mini-PCIE slot is defective and somehow limiting bandwidth?

- My laptop's chassis is mostly plastic, whereas the HTPC is the opposite. Maybe the metal in the computer case is interfering with the signal and an antenna extension cable would help? Currently using this, which allows me to have the antennas placed a few inches from the case:

Beyond those two possibilities, I'm pretty much out of ideas. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Misc. info:

- I've connected my laptop to the router via Ethernet to ensure the problem isn't with my server. File transfers averaged around 90 MB/s.

- I'm on the 5GHz band and connecting via AC, the adapter shows an 866 Mbps connection. I've tried playing around with various channels, tweaking roaming aggressiveness, turning off power management features in Windows, etc. I've tried uninstalling drivers and re-installing, tried the basic Windows driver versus the full-featured PROSet ones, etc.

- I have several devices in my home connected to the 2.4 band, but only the two machines referenced above are connected on the 5GHz band.

- I've performed all of my testing with only one machine connected at a time, and I always perform the tests on both machines from about 10 feet away with a direct line of sight to the router.


Dell Studio 1745 laptop, 1st gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, SSD, Windows 7 Home Prem. 64-bit

HTPC running an MSI AM1I mini-ITX board, Sempron 3850, 8GB RAM, SSD, Windows 7 Home Prem. 64-bit

Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading.

Discussion is locked

All Answers

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All true.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2015 5:55 AM PDT

WiFi is not the best for many reasons. Only in lab conditions do I expect full speeds. The bands it is in is shared and subject to lots of interferences. Anything over 20 is not something I fix.

If you have a server, do not connect it over WiFi. IT folk know this one and it appears you do too.

Speed testing is very hard as you have interference plus Windows might be downloading a gigabyte of updates.
Wired for speed, WiFi for convenience.

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Looks to be what others are reporting.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2015 6:01 AM PDT
In reply to: All true.

I googled your subject and the first hit had this:
"Okay, so I've made some progress. The old Celeron server was due for an overhaul so I upped it to an i3 system with 8GB RAM which also has USB 3 ports. Long story short, I've got both systems on the 5Ghz network and on adapters on USB 3 ports. Transfer speeds FROM the new i3 server are now 18-20MBps and TO the i3 server are 15-17MBps."

You're seeing the same speed as others...

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Thanks, but...
by Darth_Adversor / May 23, 2015 6:19 AM PDT

Thank you for the replies. I realize that wireless is more for convenience than speed, and I also realize that many people report transfer rates of around 20 MB/s. Many people also use cheap 1x1 adapters that are either USB-based, or that come pre-installed in their OEM computers. Windows is not downloading updates on one machine versus the other and both machines are being tested under the same conditions.

I'm not overly concerned with what you seem to think is "typical" or "acceptable" in terms of transfer rates. I'm concerned with the fact that one of my clients transfers 3 times faster than the other. That's the issue here, so if you're unable to comment on that, then perhaps it's better to say nothing...

I'm sorry to be rude, but it also seems rude to completely ignore my issue and instead tell me that "everything is fine."

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Not at all rude.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2015 6:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, but...

There are other factors in speed such as connection (USB 2 or 3), OS and some antivirus stomp on speed.

Your topic is well worn with some thousand other posts asking same. I'd read a few and see if you find any glaring fixes. For me I've found it best to reduce the WiFi client count and keep the distance about 20 feet max.

You're not rude at all. Just typical in both speed and demands.

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Why do I need a subject title for a reply?
by Darth_Adversor / May 23, 2015 7:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Not at all rude.

I realize my post was long, but it contains most of this information already:

1. I'm using mini-PCIE cards on both machines.

2. Both machines are running the same version of Windows.

3. Only these two machines in the house are connected to the 5GHz band, I always test from within 10 feet of the router and with a clear line of sight, and I perform my tests with only one machine connected at a time.

4. Both machines are running identical A/V software (this is the only point I did not originally cover in my post).

5. 50-60 MB/s transfer rates from my laptop are outstanding and anything but typical. If both machines were running at 20 MB/s, your argument would have merit, but that's not the case.

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Then let's take the other road.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2015 7:53 AM PDT

You have a warranty issue to take up with router and other makers. Looking at prior discussions and what I've run into before does not apply to your situation. Go get 'em.

If you look at prior discussions I see folk like you screaming a lot. Some implode or worse.

It's not identical in some way. You proved it but what is it this time?

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Title in reply.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2015 7:54 AM PDT

Just a thing about this forum software. That have been a few that can't stand it. They usually head out to forums like Tomshardware. Maybe you can try to see if anyone will re-open another wifi 802.11ac speed discussion.

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You mad, bro?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 24, 2015 1:59 AM PDT

I see someone's not happy. Not that I had much hope here for happiness. Just look at people posting on this topic and it's not a happy bunch.

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Not mad
by Darth_Adversor / May 24, 2015 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: You mad, bro?

No, I'm not mad. It's just disappointing that you wound up being my first (and likely last) experience with this particular forum. Your initial responses, though unhelpful and mostly ignorant of the information I supplied in my post, were at least rational. Unfortunately, things have degenerated to the point we're at now, with you being a troll, and me foolishly continuing to respond to you.

A user on another forum, where I started an identical thread, contributed some ideas that were actually educated and helpful, so unless anyone else here decides to chime in, this will probably be my last visit.

What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a swimming pool?


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Why not share what you found?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 24, 2015 3:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Not mad

I've yet to find an fix that works all the time. Just as a data point I cloned a drive today and it barely eeked out 100 MBps which is a fraction of the interface speeds.

There are more folk than me on the forums but showing attitude like yours can scare them off.

If you found the magic bullet for this, why not share it?

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That's not what I said
by Darth_Adversor / May 24, 2015 4:24 AM PDT

I didn't say that I found a magic bullet, did I?

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But did you fix it?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 24, 2015 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: That's not what I said

There are lots of areas to discuss but I've yet to find any recurring fix that works. Some folk explode if you share something that has no effect. You appear to be that type (prove me wrong.)

For example I find turning off 802.11b support to be helpful. If I can I turn off 802.11g and stick to WPA2 and not WPA/WPA2. But these tips are in prior discussions. Let's see if you found a fix for your gear.

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oh, a riddle
by James Denison / May 24, 2015 3:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Not mad
"What do you call a man with no arms and no legs in a swimming pool?"

An idiot.
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Okay then...
by Darth_Adversor / May 24, 2015 8:35 AM PDT

You see, Bob, now we're getting somewhere. While these suggestions are not specifically helpful to me (as I've already thought of them myself), these are still reasonable, helpful suggestions of things to try. Your initial remarks, on the other hand, were dismissive and irrelevant to my post. I would never "explode" on someone for simply trying to help.

My router doesn't have the ability to only run in AC mode, only "mixed mode." I've also set the security the WPA2/AES.

And again, the important thing to keep in mind is this: I'm not having trouble with both computers...only one of them.

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PS. Here's a thingy I used long ago.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 24, 2015 9:10 AM PDT

It was when I wanted to save a motherboard from what looked like a failed minipcie slot.

All the above sounds like new gear. Why not make it a problem for the seller?

Also, I get the feeling NO ONE IS SOLVING THIS FOR YOU. Part may be you are too touchy. I don't mind discussing things but you lash out fast.
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No title
by Darth_Adversor / May 24, 2015 1:58 PM PDT

I "lash out" because it's frustrating when I go to lengths to include every pertinent detail I can think of in my original post, and then people don't read it. And then also try to tell me there's nothing wrong, when I know better.

I've got a thread going at another forum that's friendly and cordial, because the posters actually read all of the information in my original post before making comments.

Moving on...

I actually have an adapter just like that on order. It'll be here in 3 weeks because it's apparently coming from China. As for the board, I don't know for sure that it is a defective slot, so I hate to RMA it for nothing. I have a newborn and I'm not overly excited at the prospect of having to tear-down and then rebuild the machine.

In the interim, I've created a new partition on my OS drive for a clean Windows install. Maybe I've just got a corrupt install, so I'll report back on that in a day or so.

You're right, so far nobody is solving this for me. It's not because of my attitude, though (I'm only rude when someone is rude to me first). It's because this is a tricky problem to solve, and most people just don't have the necessary expertise.

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One part I got.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2015 1:11 AM PDT
In reply to: No title

I wrote router code long ago so I know a bit about this area. What I don't have is your bits and pieces to see where it went off the rails.

Here's where some don't get it. Not all cards and routers play well together. You did see it work in one system but not the other so maybe it is some driver issue. The OS, well I've not seen it be an OS issue but today very few differentiate the OS from the drivers and settings.

So no. I can't fix this one. I will share what I've done in the past such as that thingy and swapping cards and routers to get it working. I also wipe out my android phone with the WiFi analyzer to see if the are space is clear of other routers.

WiFi is one odd beast with it dropping speed or packets by moving a foot to the left or right. There are folk out there that can't wrap their heads around why that is.

-> But that's not helping those that demand answers. I'll discuss and share but you want more. That's why I think you need to deal with the makers.

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Much appreciated
by Darth_Adversor / May 25, 2015 4:04 AM PDT
In reply to: One part I got.

I appreciate the advice you've given me. I don't understand why you keep accusing me of demanding answers and "wanting more." I've explained this several times already, so I'm not going to beat a dead horse.

I've confirmed that the card plays well with the router. I've analyzed the local WiFi space with Wi-Fi Inspector. I've tried installing and re-installing drivers ad nauseam. At this point, my feeling is that none of those variables are the culprit(s). I suspect it's either a bad mini-PCIE slot, interference caused by my metal computer case, or some kind of issue with my Windows install. I've got a mini-PCIE adapter and antenna extension cables on order, and I'm working on a fresh install of Windows.

If none of those solutions fix the problem, then I guess I'll RMA the board and see if that helps. Or I could just take the computer out into a field, Office Space style.

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Spell check strikes again.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2015 4:09 AM PDT
In reply to: One part I got.

"are space"? try Air space. And I whip out my phone, no need to wipe it.

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