Wireless N transfer speed slow - checked all the obvious stuff

Discussion in 'Networking' started by hoorah, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    I recently setup a media center computer in our bedroom to go with the one we have in our living room. When I did, I found I was unable to stream HD recordings via the USB wireless N adapter I just purchased for it. I've checked all the obvious stuff - directly copying the file, I get 2.75mbytes/second (22mbps).

    Over wires, the file plays fine. Couldn't tell you the exact transfer speed (didnt check when it was wired) but typical network transfers are around 10-12 mbytes/sec from my HTPC and 7-10 mbytes/sec from my Dlink NAS.

    I have 2 laptops (mine/wife). Both have wireless N, both can play the files with no prob. Again, couldn't tell you a direct transfer speed, but definitely higher than 3megs/sec. I can check when I get home from work but I doubt it will matter. Its not the router.

    Router is set to N only. On the computer in question, windows shows 5 bars signal and a connection rate of 104mbps.

    USB 1.1 caps out at 12mbps, and its faster than that, so USB2 is definitely working. The wifi adapter is an ASUS (dont remember the model) USB N adapter I just bought on newegg.

    So basically, I've narrowed it down to the wifi adapter, but it says its getting a connection rate thats plenty fast, yet the transfers are slow. Any place I should start looking?
     
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  3. RadiclDreamer

    RadiclDreamer Diamond Member

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    Have you tried changing channel? Eliminating interferance sources such as microwaves, baby monitors, wireless security systems? What about other devices on your network, do they also have slow speeds?
     
  4. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    No, the other devices aren't slow. I posted it in the text but I guess it got lost in there.

    Desktops (wired) - usually around 7-12 mbytes/sec
    Laptops (wireless N) - plenty fast, plays HD content with no stutter. Will test speed tonight but confident its 5mbytes/sec +

    Most recent test my laptop was in the same room at HTPC2.
     
  5. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    Also, no I haven't tried changing the channel, but there are no sources of wifi interference other than neighbors wifis which arent all that close (I typically see 1-2 bars from them). Also, my laptops connect fine with plenty of speed, so highly doubt interference.
     
  6. drebo

    drebo Diamond Member

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    USB wireless adapters are horrible and have piss-poor antennas. Get a better wireless adapter and you'll get better performance.
     
  7. AstroGuardian

    AstroGuardian Senior member

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    You might set the wireless router to auto so it can compensate for some probable noise in order to boost data throughput. It might lower the connection speed but increase data throughput.
     
  8. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    Where the hell do you keep coming up with all this misinformation?
     
  9. RadiclDreamer

    RadiclDreamer Diamond Member

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    The intarwebs duh!
     
  10. RadiclDreamer

    RadiclDreamer Diamond Member

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    I missed that, but as a poster above said, my experience with usb adapters is piss poor performance. I cant gurantee that this holds true for every model out there, but they definitely are not as high of performers as internal cards.
     
  11. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    Interesting. I wish I had known that before I bought it. I figured it was 6 of one 1/2 dozen of the other when I bought it, but I guess that was based on older wifi cards.

    Heres the one I bought on newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...scrollFullInfo

    plenty of people report getting decent performance out of it. I realize USB stuff might not perform as well, but 22mbps is 20% of the speed it connects at (104mbps) and like 7% of the speed its capable of. That leads me to believe its not the hardware, but I'm not the expert on this.

    I think I'm going to try to disable the internal wireless on my laptop and give it a try there. That way, I can isolate the Computer from the Wifi card as far as a culprit, and I can also move the laptop around the house and see if location improves performance.

    It was only $20 and I wanted a backup anyway. If I can't get this working, I'm going to have to crawl through the attic and drop a hard line :(
     
  12. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    Wireless is a poor choice for streaming HD video. People think if it connects at 100 Mbit then it should be as fast as wired, but that isn't close to the case. You can take what your associated as and subtract 60% or more for actual thruput.
     
  13. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    Gotcha. I suspected it would be adequate based on my laptops ability to easily handle it. Oh well, live and learn. I'll do some testing and if need be run a wire.

    .....really dont want to though :(
     
  14. ViviTheMage

    ViviTheMage Lifer

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    I tried a LOT of ways to get my HTPC to play HD streams on my 360 ... wireless N dedicated router for the 360, moving the router around, etc.

    I just went Ethernet over power, and get 100mbps~ +, streams as good as my 360 hooked up directly to the GB switch.
     
  15. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    Interesting method, good to know. Appreciate the input.

    Black Friday is around the corner, and we've been considering a new TV for the bedroom for awhile. If we find something really nice, we've been talking about hanging it on the wall in our bedroom. If we do that, I'll run the cat5 at the same time. If not, I'll look into the powerline networking at that time. Of course, if I can get the wireless to work, even better! I'm not counting on it though.
     
  16. ViviTheMage

    ViviTheMage Lifer

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    Yeah, I was surprised how well they worked...and how solidly it can hold the speeds.

    Wireless just isn't reliable for anything hardcore, like HD streaming.

    this is the one I bought :

    NETGEAR Powerline AV+ 200 Adapter Kit XAVB2501
     
    #15 ViviTheMage, Oct 29, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  17. AstroGuardian

    AstroGuardian Senior member

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    Misinformation? Back in the 54mbps days we used to lower the speed to 22mbps and obtain stable wifi with not a single dropped packed at 500 meters with 18db bidirectional antennas which didn't work at 54mbps. I know exactly what i am talking about.
     
  18. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    Then you're aware that every single frame can be sent at a different data rate based on retries and signal to noise ratio. You accomplished nothing by hard setting the data rate.
     
  19. AstroGuardian

    AstroGuardian Senior member

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    Yes, except for lowering the noise.
     
  20. hoorah

    hoorah Senior member

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    It seems to be the wifi adapter (or a combination of the wifi adapter and my router). I plugged it into my laptop and got the same performance all over the house, including next to the router.

    Its odd, because several people on the newegg reviews report much higher performance. My router, on the other hand (Dlink DIR-615) generally got pretty poor reviews as far as the wireless features were concerned. Interesting.

    Oh well.
     
  21. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    What?!? What hardware are you using? Are the units on the same electrical circuit, and how new is your wiring?

    Personally I consider powerline networking more reliable and often faster than wireless, but I've never been able to achieve 100 Mbps with the "200 Mbps" level hardware.

    I used the 200 Mbps Powerline HD equipment. It's not the same as 200 Mbps Powerline AV, but reviews have it at the same speeds as Powerline AV, or sometimes a bit faster. It says it's connected at say 200 Mbps or 100+, but real-life throughput has never been even close, even on the same circuit in the same room.

    Fine for streaming 10 Mbps MKV most of the time, but I wouldn't want to try to stream 40 Mbps video.

    There is "Gigabit" powerline networking stuff out there, but apparently it's not so much of an improvement.

    BTW, my house is now wired for Gigabit Ethernet, with multiple 802.11g access points throughout the house, for laptop access. I've been considering adding some 802.11n 5 GHz units for my 802.11n hardware, but I get the impression that it's not going to improve things as much as I'd want. IOW, I might get double the speed as 802.11g if I'm lucky. Is that correct? If so, I'd just stick with my current setup, and for the times I want serious file downloads, I'll just plug into Gigabit for that 2 GB file transfer.
     
  22. Destiny

    Destiny Platinum Member

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    Must have these settings to maximize Wireless-N Through puts:

    1. Use WPA2 encryption ONLY
    2. Set Channel width to 40MHz (Some routers have auto only so you can't manually do it)... doing this will prevent Wifi A,B,G devices from connecting.. With Cisco Linksys Wireless-N routers you can get this... I know with the Netgear WNDR3700 it is auto and you cannot mannual set 40MHz channel width.
    3. If you can't do the above, disable your wifi A,B,G devices from connecting or using wifi so only wifi-n devices are connected to your router.

    If you have any wifi A,B,G devices connected to your wireless-N router it will only operate on 20MHz channel width and your throughputs may not exceed 25Mbps (from my experience) and it will not operate at Wifi-N speeds.

    I was able to get 40Mbps to 60Mbps throughputs on a CISCO Linksys E3000 and NETGEAR WNDR3700.