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Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

JPN
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Registered: ‎19-12-2013

Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

My steam powered laptop (around 12yrs old) is giving me around 4Mb/s up and down on wireless, and 70+ if I use a cable connection to the router.  My son's laptop (WinCool is showing an impressive 30+Mb/s on wifi.  I guess either my laptop card is not up to much, or possibly XP is not optimised for wifi?  I'm not that fussed about the wireless speed - it does the job fine - but wondered if anyone knew of any XP settings that might help the WiFi perk up a bit?
12 REPLIES
Dan_the_Van
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Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

A wireless interface for a PC that old is very likely to only support IEEE 802.11b, maximum speed would therefore be up to 11 Mbits. So the speed you are getting is not that bad.
Dan.
Superuser
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Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Have you increased RWIN on that old laptop? The default setting is more suitable for dial-up and too small even for ADSL broadband, let alone fibre.
David
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Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Quote from: JPN
My steam powered laptop (around 12yrs old) is giving me around 4Mb/s up and down on wireless

There will likely be so many bottlenecks in a system like that that it's probably not even worth trying to improve, except as noted, checking that RWIN is suitably large.
FWIW I can get as good speed (wireless or wired) out of a half-decent XP system (laptop or desktop) as I can any modern one on my 20mbps ADSL line. But that requires a good-quality wireless-n device.
Not sure I could push 80mbps FTTC to the limits though, even using a Gigabit wired LAN connection.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

I seem to remember looking at the figures after a mate had rewired his house for gigabit, and I'm sure we worked out that the file transfer we were running was actually being limited by the HDD's SATA interface rather than the network bandwidth available. It was a while ago though so I could be wrong.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎20-10-2012

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Here's my speed for USB/wifi link from a 14 year old XP Pro box!
Down 32.23 Mb/s; Up 18.38 Mb/s; Latency 19 ms
Geoff,
York.
JPN
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Registered: ‎19-12-2013

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Thanks all for those helpful replies.
Dandroid - I'd be delighted with 11Mb/s!
Thanks to those that mentioned RWIN - that was what was at the back of my mind as a setting I'd looked at years ago when setting up the original network.  I've changed the value as suggested in the various tools referenced here. Not sure what the original value was, but it's not made any difference (or a very marginal one) so I guess I'll leave it at that. 
thanks again.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Quote from: JPN
Dandroid - I'd be delighted with 11Mb/s!

11Mb/s is the wireless bandwidth of 802.11b, actual throughput will be just a fraction of that (for all sorts of good technical reasons) and you need to be very lucky to get anywhere near 50%, hence the comment that 4Mb/s is probably pretty good.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

An old 11b device will probably be slowing down the wifi for other wireless devices on your network, and possibly also for any other networks within range on the same channel.
JPN
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Registered: ‎19-12-2013

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Quite so ejs, but everything is relative, and if the other laptop is getting 30+Mb/s it's not exactly hard done by. 
I've dug up the spec, and it is an 802.11b component, so I'll count myself lucky to be getting nearly 5Mb/s at the last check, and be happy with that.
Thank's all for the advice, most appreciated.
Community Veteran
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Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

Quote from: JPN
I've dug up the spec
Why, XP will tell you the connection speed and type?  Huh
JPN
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Registered: ‎19-12-2013

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

XP will tell me what it's connected at, but not necessarily what the hardware is capable of.  I keep belarc profiles of all my machines, so it only took a couple of seconds to look it up.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎20-10-2012

Re: Any tips for tweaking XP for wifi?

I use a USB connected wifi 'n' device bought off eBay for less than £3 delivered!  Cheesy
Geoff,
York.