New gigabit fiber internet, new router, slow wifi download but fast upload?

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Update: tl;dr: Don't trust Speedtest.net for wireless throughput testing.

Hey all! I'll preface this with I've been searching the forums and the internet for help with this but haven't found much that was pertinent.

I just moved to a new apartment where gigabit fiber is available. I jumped at the chance to get it for cheap, and due to some odd VLAN port mapping requirements I bought a new router capable of doing it. I purchased the ASUS GT-AC5300 since I've always kind of liked the arachnid look, and a few people I know have other ASUS routers (RT-AC5300 and others) and praise them.

I've gotten everything setup and things have been great. All my wired systems are getting 900+Mbit up and down and wifi signal strength is excellent everywhere in my apartment - I've just noticed a concerning trend with speedtests over wireless.


All my speedtests are to the local ISP server, and wired devices show there is no throughput issue here, pictured above.

Wireless, however, is being a bit odd - Every device I have tested (multiple smartphones, multiple laptops) has shown a consistent limit to download throughput (around 225 Mbit), while uploads are great (400-600+Mbit).


Laptop

Phone

I've tried messing with every setting that exists on both the router and on each device to no avail. All the devices have the appropriate 867Mbit link speed during testing, and these speeds are very consistent across several tests on all devices tested.

I've run some network profiling with the built-in software on the router, and the area is quite messy with other networks:



Is this just a case of interference from all the neighboring networks causing slower downloads? If so, why would it not affect the upload speeds?

Also, both of the 5 G networks pictured above perform nearly identically (within margin of error) despite a difference in strong network signals in the network scanning. If it was interference, wouldn't they perform differently depending on how many networks are overlapping?

Edit: Blocked out SSID names.
 
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sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
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I don't have gigabit but I have fios 100mb down, sometimes a bit more but I too notice my upload speed is often 110-120mb compared to my download speed. I'm using a nighthawk DST router. I believe fiber advertises uploads more than download speed.

Your results look similar to mine obviously not the same speed but I notice a way higher upload than download speed all the time.

Have you tried a static IP?
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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I don't have gigabit but I have fios 100mb down, sometimes a bit more but I too notice my upload speed is often 110-120mb compared to my download speed. I'm using a nighthawk DST router. I believe fiber advertises uploads more than download speed.

Your results look similar to mine obviously not the same speed but I notice a way higher upload than download speed all the time.

Have you tried a static IP?
I just assigned a static IP to my laptop's wifi, and while I saw a marginal bump in both download and upload, the ratio appears to be the same.



At some point I started to think maybe it was just a limitation of the wireless radios, or wireless in general, but I can find reports from various current generation smartphone owners of seeing 400-500 Mbit/s up and down over wireless.

At the same time, I personally know two other people who are in the same boat where downloads are limited to ~200Mbit/s for some odd reason. There was even someone I found online that switched their entire network setup in an attempt to fix an issue similar to this with no success.

It just seems very odd that there could be such a differential between the two throughputs.
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
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Yea I think this may be normal for us unless other users can chime in. I'm often surprised to see my upload speed shoot up like 50-60mb more than the max download.

I may have to drop the speed next year as this was the promotional rate for one year, unless Verizon can do the same thing Comcast did for years when I would call to cancel and they would keep me on the same plan.

You are correct though even my wireless speeds in the house are the same, upload is always way higher.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Yea I think this may be normal for us unless other users can chime in. I'm often surprised to see my upload speed shoot up like 50-60mb more than the max download.

I may have to drop the speed next year as this was the promotional rate for one year, unless Verizon can do the same thing Comcast did for years when I would call to cancel and they would keep me on the same plan.

You are correct though even my wireless speeds in the house are the same, upload is always way higher.
It would be a little disappointing if it turned out it was just normal for this kind of thing.

That being said, I don't have any wireless devices that can connect at higher than a 867Mbit link speed, so I don't know if higher throughput devices might get better results with download rate.

Edit: I lied, I remembered my motherboard has an integrated WIFI nic. It connects at a 1.3Gbps link speed, but still suffers the same issue.



Is this maybe some kind of wireless radio issue caused by the router? The router sure seems like the only common link in the chain.

Edit: I just disabled the wifi radios and bridged my old Airport Extreme in to see if it has any better results with wifi download and guess what? It performed exactly the same. What is going on? How are people getting 400-500+ mbit downloads on phones and laptops?
 
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PliotronX

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
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Could you set up one of the wired devices as an FTP server or use iperf to test wlan to lan speed?
 

Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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Could you set up one of the wired devices as an FTP server or use iperf to test wlan to lan speed?
Good idea! I ran some tests both directions on my phone, laptop, and desktop with wireless card:
Laptop: 335-350 down, 365 up
Phone: 260 down, 380 up
Desktop wlan: 350 down, 350 up

It seems much more realistic, however the phone still expresses the odd differential. It's a bit less worrisome that it's the only device that iperf shows doing it.

Edit: I ran a battery of other speedtests besides speedtest.net and I am seeing a pattern: 300-400 down, 300-400 up. There must be something wrong with speedtest.net results causing it to look like it does in my OP.... ?
 
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PliotronX

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Oct 17, 1999
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Is any kind of filtration or QoS enabled on the Asus? Sorry just shooting in the dark :D I wonder if Asus has a firmware request or something. You might try contacting them to see if they have an as of yet released firmware.
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
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Here are my results with a Note8 and a Ubiquiti AC-AP Lite from about 10 feet.
This is using 5ghz 80MHz Ch 120.

 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Is any kind of filtration or QoS enabled on the Asus? Sorry just shooting in the dark :D I wonder if Asus has a firmware request or something. You might try contacting them to see if they have an as of yet released firmware.
All filtering and QoS related featured are disabled.

Here are my results with a Note8 and a Ubiquiti AC-AP Lite from about 10 feet.
This is using 5ghz 80MHz Ch 120.
I've heard some good things about Ubiquiti stuff. I'm honestly really confused, because I can't tell if I'm dealing with:

Too much surrounding network interference
An overhyped, underperforming router
Devices that just aren't good at wireless transfer
Some ancient voodoo magic
 

XavierMace

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Apr 20, 2013
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I've heard some good things about Ubiquiti stuff. I'm honestly really confused, because I can't tell if I'm dealing with:

Too much surrounding network interference
An overhyped, underperforming router
Devices that just aren't good at wireless transfer
Some ancient voodoo magic
It's not a one or the other thing. :)

Quoted wireless speeds are always a best case scenario and best case scenario keeps getting more and more unlikely both due to the frequencies being used and the overall over-saturation in most urban areas. You've definitely got congestion issues as is to be expected in an apartment. 5Ghz can be great in a house because you've generally got enough distance/walls that you aren't going to get too much interference from your neighbors. But your house itself may have too many walls to get good coverage everywhere. Where as with 2.5Ghz, you're probably going to pick up a dozen different networks. In an apartment however, you're going to have no problem picking up other people's 5Ghz networks too. That said, in regards to your specific data.

Run the analysis from a client device not the router as the router isn't giving you accurate data for your own network. It also seems to be giving you conflicting information as the results are quite a bit different between the graph and the table. Admitted WiFi is constantly fluctuating, but it still seems off. There's free WiFi analyzers for both Windows and Android devices. I assume iOS too, but I haven't tried any. This will also allow you to see how quickly 5Ghz signal strength drops off due to range. Personally these days, I'd consider anything over 200Mbps on WiFi in normal real world usage to be solid results.

At the risk of being soap-boxy, I find Asus products to be wildly overhyped in general. They aren't bad products, but they aren't magic either. The same goes for the trend of just slapping on more antenna's. Personally for the price of that specific model, I'd rather pick up a solid wired router (IE Ubiquiti Edge Router) and a mesh WiFi kit. Admittedly Mesh in an apartment is limited usefulness but you could get your current speeds from a drastically cheaper router.

With all that said, I do find the fact that your upload speeds are consistently double your download speeds to be odd given you don't see the same behavior wired which means the issue is on your side of the network. As you already discovered, speed testing in general is kinda a mixed bag as downstream routers are doing more and more shaping/QoSing. For example on my wired system right now I got 180Mbps down off Speedtest.net which is crap, but 890Mbps off Fast.com which is what I was expecting to see. I'd want to run the test with a different router and see what it's results look like.

Lastly, yes, some devices just have crappy wireless cards/antenna's.
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
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Another data point from this morning.

Really I think it's just wifi being wifi, and you're possibly running into local wireless spectrum interference and potentially your router not being great at providing download bandwidth in general compared to upload.



 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Asus has recommended I revert to the previous firmware (it came with the latest installed). Ill be giving that a try when I have time.

It's not a one or the other thing. :)

Quoted wireless speeds are always a best case scenario and best case scenario keeps getting more and more unlikely both due to the frequencies being used and the overall over-saturation in most urban areas. You've definitely got congestion issues as is to be expected in an apartment. 5Ghz can be great in a house because you've generally got enough distance/walls that you aren't going to get too much interference from your neighbors. But your house itself may have too many walls to get good coverage everywhere. Where as with 2.5Ghz, you're probably going to pick up a dozen different networks. In an apartment however, you're going to have no problem picking up other people's 5Ghz networks too. That said, in regards to your specific data.

Run the analysis from a client device not the router as the router isn't giving you accurate data for your own network. It also seems to be giving you conflicting information as the results are quite a bit different between the graph and the table. Admitted WiFi is constantly fluctuating, but it still seems off. There's free WiFi analyzers for both Windows and Android devices. I assume iOS too, but I haven't tried any. This will also allow you to see how quickly 5Ghz signal strength drops off due to range. Personally these days, I'd consider anything over 200Mbps on WiFi in normal real world usage to be solid results.

At the risk of being soap-boxy, I find Asus products to be wildly overhyped in general. They aren't bad products, but they aren't magic either. The same goes for the trend of just slapping on more antenna's. Personally for the price of that specific model, I'd rather pick up a solid wired router (IE Ubiquiti Edge Router) and a mesh WiFi kit. Admittedly Mesh in an apartment is limited usefulness but you could get your current speeds from a drastically cheaper router.

With all that said, I do find the fact that your upload speeds are consistently double your download speeds to be odd given you don't see the same behavior wired which means the issue is on your side of the network. As you already discovered, speed testing in general is kinda a mixed bag as downstream routers are doing more and more shaping/QoSing. For example on my wired system right now I got 180Mbps down off Speedtest.net which is crap, but 890Mbps off Fast.com which is what I was expecting to see. I'd want to run the test with a different router and see what it's results look like.

Lastly, yes, some devices just have crappy wireless cards/antenna's.
I definitely didn't buy the spider thinking it was magic, but for a variety of reasons including that it uses some decent hardware and supports all the latest features.

I have about two weeks to troubleshoot and potentially return it if I just can't make it work out or if I don't want to settle for the price to performance ratio given the slow download speeds.

I had put my 6th gen Airport Extreme back in to test and my speedtest results were nearly identical. I don't have any other routers to test with on hand, but that makes it look a bit like it might be less about the router itself and more about the other conditions. I'll report back with reverted firmware results and device based network analysis.

I started eyeballing a Ubiquiti setup. Are those wireless access points intended to be oriented a specific way? They only picture it upside down on a ceiling but I would have to mount it vertically on a wall.
 
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XavierMace

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Apr 20, 2013
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On a wall is generally less than ideal due to the antenna's radiation pattern. That doesn't necessarily mean it won't work, but ceiling is preferred.
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
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Called Verizon to ask about my bill since the mailed statement had some wrong charges. They gave me gigabit for $15 more and added another discount through 2019 I think. So $89 and I get gigabit access tomorrow. They tried selling me a cable package but I already lost my apartment deposit for the tech drilling holes to my bedroom from the ont box so I could have Ethernet to my pc, so at least now I'll be able to enjoy better speed as I stream nearly anything.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Called Verizon to ask about my bill since the mailed statement had some wrong charges. They gave me gigabit for $15 more and added another discount through 2019 I think. So $89 and I get gigabit access tomorrow. They tried selling me a cable package but I already lost my apartment deposit for the tech drilling holes to my bedroom from the ont box so I could have Ethernet to my pc, so at least now I'll be able to enjoy better speed as I stream nearly anything.
That sucks, my new apartment came with cat6 already run from the wan port to both bedrooms.

I'm buying a different router that supports DFS to see if using uncrowded channels improves my download throughput. The asus spider is probably going to get returned. Who makes a $400 router that wont support DFS?
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
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394
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That sucks, my new apartment came with cat6 already run from the wan port to both bedrooms.

I'm buying a different router that supports DFS to see if using uncrowded channels improves my download throughput. The asus spider is probably going to get returned. Who makes a $400 router that wont support DFS?
I'm using a nighthawk DST router I got on sale at Best buy a few months ago. I don't use the dst adapter but I've tried it and it works pretty well in the living room. That router should support everything if it's a pricey one.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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I'm using a nighthawk DST router I got on sale at Best buy a few months ago. I don't use the dst adapter but I've tried it and it works pretty well in the living room. That router should support everything if it's a pricey one.
I ordered the Nighthawk Gaming Pro (XR500) since it advertises DFS support on all 15 channels, will do the VLAN port mapping my ISP requires, and has the other features I desired from the GT-AC5300.

Here's hoping it's a good router, although it has very good reviews and ratings.
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
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The only thing I'm missing from the normal nighthawk is the third party firmware suport. I do have an Asus nt66r that is running Merlin but that's in the closet now.

I'll update some pics here tomorrow of my speeds once the gigabit is activated.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,205
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Asus is nearly tops for consumer features, and they have their new AiMesh feature in many of their higher-end routers, but Netgear has more in the way of "pro-sumer" features. (Not to count out Ubiquity, which is almost totally pro-sumer.)
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
2,847
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Asus is nearly tops for consumer features, and they have their new AiMesh feature in many of their higher-end routers, but Netgear has more in the way of "pro-sumer" features. (Not to count out Ubiquity, which is almost totally pro-sumer.)
I was strongly considering going Ubiquiti but I can't get what I want out of it without spending a ton of dough, and the added complexity due to the piecemeal nature is a turn-off. I went ASUS because I figured if I bought their flagship router I would get everything, but that's clearly not the case with the lack of DFS and how unpolished and buggy the interface and firmware is proving to be.

I'm looking forward to seeing dumaOS on the netgear XR500. The router covers all the features I need, and all the features I want short of 10G ethernet. I can't really have that from any brand without great cost right now, so it turns into a moot point.

I should know Sunday if switching to DFS channels clears up my Wi-Fi download rate issue.
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
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394
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I think my service isn't active yet. I'm getting like 102 down and 935 upload. This is plugged in directly from the ont Ethernet cable to my pc lan port.

Connecting the Ethernet to the Netgear 7300 I get the same speeds. Why would my upload go so high? When I was on the 100mb line speed it was at an upload speed of max 150mb and download around 102mb.
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
14,535
426
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I think my service isn't active yet. I'm getting like 102 down and 935 upload. This is plugged in directly from the ont Ethernet cable to my pc lan port.

Connecting the Ethernet to the Netgear 7300 I get the same speeds. Why would my upload go so high? When I was on the 100mb line speed it was at an upload speed of max 150mb and download around 102mb.
This happens with a lot of customers when upgrading to gigabit, if it's not automatically sorted itself by midday give the tech support line a call, they should be able to fix the provisioning.
 

sze5003

Lifer
Aug 18, 2012
13,792
394
126
This happens with a lot of customers when upgrading to gigabit, if it's not automatically sorted itself by midday give the tech support line a call, they should be able to fix the provisioning.
Yea it was working this morning I was getting 940 down and 950 upload. But I ended up doing a factory reset on the nighthawk r7300 and my wireless does not connect at all.

PC that is connected via lan works fine.

Can a factory reset on this router cause it to go bad? Never heard of that.
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
14,535
426
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Yea it was working this morning I was getting 940 down and 950 upload. But I ended up doing a factory reset on the nighthawk r7300 and my wireless does not connect at all.

PC that is connected via lan works fine.

Can a factory reset on this router cause it to go bad? Never heard of that.
No idea bout that router specifically, I use the FiOS G1100 for my primary router, and a Ubiquiti AC-AP Lite for my upstairs wifi.
 

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