Question Bad wifi card?

Apr 12, 2021
I've been experiencing issues with my laptop's performance on the internet so I decided to test my download speed next to my wife's Macbook. Her download speed was 102mbps while mine was 18mbps. Side by side, on the same network. Is this issue a poor wifi card that needs to be upgraded or could it be something else?

Thank you!!


Are both connecting to 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz? While Macbooks have supported both for a long time. 5Ghz support only became common in more recent Windows laptops. While in the past many, especially cheaper ones, only supported 2.4Ghz. It could just be interference on 2.4 or 5 Ghz.

Your laptop may have a poor antenna layout. So, it doesn't receive as strong a signal. Try the test next to the router. If the results are much closer. It's just a crap design.

Do you have multiple access points, extenders, Mesh system with the same SSID? If you do. Place both laptops near the router. Then turn the WiFi on and off on both. To make sure they are connected to the strongest signal. Then do your test.

Unlike cellphones. WiFi won't jump to the strongest signal. If awake and moved around. WiFi devices will stay connected to a weak signal until it loses the signal. Only then will it jump to the strongest signal unless you cycle the WiFi manually (off/on), restart or put it to sleep. Except phones which don't sleep. So, they need the signal cycled or rebooted.

Check your task manager while running the speed test. I assume you are using a speed test site. Check CPU usage with all tasks visible. Just to make sure it isn't some artificial limit. Such as your anti-virus eating up the CPU while scanning web activity. If it's a slow laptop even a speedtest website can be bottlenecked by your CPU. The surest absolute speed test is between networked devices. If one is connected by Gigabit Ethernet and all devices are using an SSD. You can transfer a large video file back and forth and measure the view the transfer speed. This is very low CPU usage.

You can try resetting your network adapters. If I recall correctly your computer will forget all saved networks too.
  • Open the Control Panel
  • Switch View by to Large Icons
  • Open Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings
  • Right click any adapters and choose Disable
  • Close back to Control Panel
  • Open Device Manager
  • Expand Network Adapters
  • Right click and Uninstall all adapters, Don't checkmark the box to delete drivers
  • Open the Command Prompt as an Administrator (right click when opening, search for command prompt in the search box of your task bar)
  • Input the following commands to reset TCP/IP without quotes
  • "netsh winsock reset"
  • "netsh int ip reset"
  • "ipconfig /release"
  • "ipconfig /renew"
  • "ipconfig /flushdns"
  • Then restart your computer.
Your adapters should reinstall automatically now. Then you may reconnect to your network.

Upgrading internally is difficult on a laptop, compared to a desktop. Unless you use an external adapter. Internally you have to know the slot used for the card, number of antenna leads, if upgrade is even possible and if it needs to support Bluetooth too.
Reactions: Cj-tech