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Terrible Wireless Connection

2916 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Troy_Jollimore
I recently got a new laptop and the wireless connection is TERRIBLE! I used one of those internet speed testers and the laptop is reporting a 0.39 mbps download rate and a 5.27 mbps upload rate.

I tried disabling Windows Firewall, no change. I updated the driver for the wireless card, I saw a tiny increase..but only to 0.50 mbps. As far as I know, all other drivers on the laptop have been updated.

I tried a wired connection on the laptop, worked like a charm, so I know it's not the internet. I had a Linksys Compact Wireless-G USB adapter laying around so I plugged that in, disabled the internal wireless card for the laptop, and the speed jumped up to 27.52 mbps, so I believe I narrowed the problem down to the Network Card that came with the laptop.

The Network Card for the laptop is an Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter. I was wondering if there is a specific setting I need to change within the laptop to make the original card work better? I just don't want to have to waste my USB Network Adapter on a laptop that should already be WiFi enabled!

I'm still somewhat new to all this computer be a little easy with all the computer lingo. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Welcome to TSF,

You may try changing the settings of your Atheros adapter from Mixed/Auto Mode to N then test the connection. You may also try the B/G, see is it better.

From your wireless computer pls. install and run Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector.
Click on the 'Show Networks' to display all wireless networks on the xirrus icon on your desktop of if you have one running in a corner. Tap the Printscreen key on your keyboard, open up Paint then choose Edit from the Menu and select Paste, then SAVE it. Upload and attached it here, click on Go Advanced and locate Manage Attachments Tab and attached the file.
How would I change that setting? I looked around a bit in control panel and got to the settings for network adapters, but didn't see anywhere I could change that setting.

Installing the WiFi Inspector now...I'll have that attachment you asked for shortly.
You mentioned the wireless cards that you're using. What make and model of wireless router/modem/access point do you have?
I think this is the picture you wanted...I hope it is, haha.


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The router is a Linksys Wireless-N Broadband Router and the model number is WRT160N

The modem is a Motorola Surfboard model number SB6120.
You may change the Wireless Mode setting from the Router also, locate the Wireless page or tab.
Okay so I changed the router settings to just 'N' and saw no speed up or drop. I then changed it to just 'G' and got speeds of 19.57 mbps! Now...that's a lot better than 0.5 mbps...but this card is saying its' speed should be capable of 65 mbps. And isn't that even way slow for an 'N' capable router with a supposedly 'N' capable wireless card?

I'm happy my download speeds won't be 15kbs anymore..but I'm definitely not satisfied because my USB G card still runs at 30 mbps. Are there any other settings within the router I should tinker with?

I'm just straight confused at what's going on now, haha. But I'm seeing progress so that's all that matters! Thanks for taking the time to help. I really appreciate it.
You won't get a full bandwidth using a wireless connection. Your speedtest may also vary.
I'm happy my download speeds won't be 15kbs anymore..but I'm definitely not satisfied because my USB G card still runs at 30 mbps. Are there any other settings within the router I should tinker with?
You may downgrade your WPA2 security to WPA and see if that helps. Note, that WPA2 is more secured than WPA. Also, you may do another test by changing the security to WEP, you might get a better speed, but that will lead you to unsecured network.
I would probably look at the PC for issues, check for updated drivers and such.

The reason is that the router is transmitting properly if the other computer is receiving the full connection through wireless. It's likely something on the computer is not working right. Either the drivers, or the program that is connecting the wireless. Are you using a third party program to connect or are you using windows?

I haven't looked up the router yet, but if your router is duel band, try changing the frequency that the N is running on. If it's on 2.4GHz, change it to 5.0GHz, or vise versa.
The Drivers are all up to date as far as I'm concerned. Just updated the BIOS along with getting the latest driver for the wireless card.

I believe this wireless card doesn't broadcast at 5.0GHz. I looked at that setting and the option was blanked out. And I also read some people had the same results. Oh, and I'm using Windows to connect to the network.

So far, I've found that setting my router to 'G Only" gives it speeds of near 20mbps. I also found out last night that setting the router to 'Mixed' but going into the properties on the network card and changing the security from AES to TKIP gave it near the same 20mbps speeds. So is this just a case of my network card not being able to handle all the security?

Again guys, thanks for the insight. 20mbps may not be fast, but it's enough for decent internet browsing and anything further is just icing on the cake =)
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You don't change the frequency of 'N'. It's at 2.4GHz, like 'G' and 'B'. It's just that most also transmit at 'A', which is 5GHz. Besides, 'N' only works it's magic if it's in an environment like a maze, so there are lots of signal reflections. In the same room, speeds will be similar to 'G'.

You're running into one of three things. Either the router is defective, or maybe just needs a firmware change to wake up it's 'N' mode, or the drivers for your Atheros 'N' card aren't playing well with the router. As 'universal' as things are, it's still a best practice to use the same brand adapter as the wireless router, and I don't believe the 'N' standard has even been fully ratified yet. Everything is just 'N' compatible. You could also have a defective internal card, but you'd need another notebook and/or router to test those theories.

20mbps may not be fast, but it's enough for decent internet browsing
Maybe I'm getting old, but *browsing* at 1Mbps is more than fast enough for me. Heck, even downloading isn't that bad. I'd hate to see it at 20x that rate! ;)
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