Wired connection is slower than wireless?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Ichinisan, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Ichinisan

    Ichinisan Lifer

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    I've talked to 2 different people recently complaining that their wireless connection is faster than their wired connection. Both of them used Motorola modems.

    Normally, I'd assume it's the computer. In one case, however, the user tried the same computer with both wired and wireless connections and found that the wired connection was consistently slow and the wireless connection was consistently fast. For both cases, we used speedtest.net to measure speed. How can I diagnose what's holding it back?


    Case 1: Motorola SBG6580, DOCSIS3, built-in WiFi, 30 mbps

    With the wireless connection, it tested around 30 mbps consistently. With the wired connection, it would max-out at 9.x mbps. We updated firmware on the modem and nothing changed. User didn't seem to mind. :confused:

    Case 2: Motorola SB5101U, DOCSIS2, separate WiFi router, 15 mbps

    Consistent 15 mbps over WiFi. Computer could only test with wired connection. He said it was an old computer, so I wanted to see if the Flash-based speed test was overwhelming the CPU. I had him open the Task Manager "Performance" tab while running the test. The CPU did not max-out. We noticed that the network card was running at 10 mbps link speed (this almost always negotiates 100m+ for most configurations). I walked him through the Device Manager and opened the properties for his network controller. We found that it was set to use 10m instead of auto-negotiate. We set it back to auto and restarted everything. The computer finally tested full-speed once or twice...but usually got poor speeds still.​

    The second case is probably just a problem with the PC. If that link speed setting was changed, a lot of other things might also be changed. I suggested he have someone look at it.

    The first case is more interesting to me because we were able to test wired and wireless connections on the same computer. How would a guru diagnose the cause of this?
     
  2. ch33zw1z

    ch33zw1z Lifer

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    What router are they using?
     
  3. Ichinisan

    Ichinisan Lifer

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    Case 1 has no router (built into the modem). I don't remember the other case because it was over a week ago. From my end (the ISP), it looks like an Asus chipset. Even though Asus does make routers, seeing an Asus MAC usually means there's no router or a router is cloning a MAC from a PC.
     
  4. ch33zw1z

    ch33zw1z Lifer

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    Case 1: ugh, modem/router..

    Case 2: Asus does indeed make routers.
     
  5. bearxor

    bearxor Diamond Member

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    I presume you've tried replacing the network cable.

    The next thing I might do is take a wireless bridge, connect it to the wifi network and plug it in to computers Ethernet port. The computer would be physically using wired, but the data would be transferring over wireless. That should let you narrow it down if its the computer or the router/modem.