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Getting different speeds on different computers...

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Getting different speeds on different computers...

Have a strange phenomenon with the download speeds on each of my computers at home.

With my desktop I get 5600kbps down, 370kbps down when I do a speed test on speedtest.net

But with two of my laptops the max download speed I can get is 4600kbps and same upload at 370kbps.

All test done one after the other, and done multiple times.

Why am I getting limited speeds on my laptops?

All computers are connected via wireless, although desktop is connected via Belkin Pre-N (108Mbps), and laptops are via g (54Mbps) Intel Centerino Wireless.
(Router is a Belkin Pre-N)

But! When I connect the laptop using LAN cable, I get 5600kbps, the top speed which I should be getting, same as the desktop.

Any advice, are there some settings for the laptops or intel wireless cards which need to be set.

Any help would be great.

Thanks
4 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Getting different speeds on different computers...

Hi,

There could be a few reasons, first question is what speed does each PC connect to the wireless router? From my own experience my Mac only ever connects wireless at 4 or 8Mbps because the signal has to go through 2 walls and ceiling, so something like that may have an influence on the top speed especially if it only connects at 8 or 11Mbps as the wireless overheads and/or encryption will use some of the bandwidth.

It could also be an MTU problem, although I'm not sure why that would have an effect wirelessly but not wirelessly.
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Getting different speeds on different computers...

I used to have a similar issue, PC has always been fine via a 108Mbps WLAN adapter.

One of my old laptops had a built in 11Mbps WLAN card, and download speeds were always much slower than the PC. I tested my laptop with both the Belkin 108Mbps WLAN adapter, and a Netgear 108Mbps WLAN adapter: Both showed much better speed test results.
My new laptop has a 54Mbps built in card, and returns results similar to my PC.

Reading up a bit, part of the issue could be the power saving aspects of the wireless network card. Obviously Centrino chips are designed for laptops, and one of the big wins is their power saving ability.

Try changing the wireless power up to full to see if it makes a difference. (I think by default if you plug your laptop in to the mains, it puts wireless into full power mode - so it may be easier to try this first)

This link (Intel Site) gives details of how the problem can effect the type of built in card I have.
It could be worth trying similar things for yours (I couldn't find support for the Centrino in as much detail as this on the Intel site.)

I suppose that even if USB devices have similar options for power saving, they will be switched off by default, since the USB device manufacturers priority is providing the fastest connection possible. Flip side, laptop manufacturers want your battery life to last as long as possible, so they include power saving, and turn it on by default.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Getting different speeds on different computers...

Quote

All computers are connected via wireless, although desktop is connected via Belkin Pre-N (108Mbps), and laptops are via g (54Mbps) Intel Centerino Wireless.
(Router is a Belkin Pre-N)


Do check all things mentioned by Mr T, there are likely problems.

Also ... Mixing of 'wireless speeds' is not recommended.

Can you set the wireless router to 11g only (54Mb), and make sure the machines indicate they are conected in 11g mode and then check what happens with speedtests.

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
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Getting different speeds on different computers...

It's down to the centrino chipset. I had the same problem some time ago with my sony laptop. If i plug in an external wireless usb device, the speedtest results shoot up. Nothing you can do i'm affraid yes best to dissable power saving and make sure burst mode is active., but thats it. Use a pcmcia or usb wireless card if you want faster results. Sorry.