Question Internet Speed Conundrum

Sep 23, 2020
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Ello all!

Will TRY to be short. :)

Switched from 300 Mbps speeds with our isp to 600 Mbps speeds around three months ago. Around three weeks later, tested speed and we were getting ONLY anywhere from 30 Mbps to 49 Mbps!!!

Since then, we've connected three new routers/modems which they sent us (we've always rented equipment from them and our reason for doing so would be a different topic), had two technicians come out, and we've spoken to countless agents. A couple of the Agents said we have "leakage" somewhere on the line. First technician just came and went with no feedback. Second technician assured us it was the router and told us how our isp just refurbishes old ones over and over (we knew this, but didn't care as long as they worked and we got the speeds we paid for), and that he recommended we buy one.

SO - we finally did. We took the "plunge" and bought a Netgear Nighthawk AX5400. Guess what? Just connected it, and SAME THING. 54ish Mbps!

Called isp and they're sending out another technician, but tired of running around with these people. Everyone is SUPER nice, BUT no one resolves the issue.

Any hints on what may be happening?

-----------------------------------------------

Further details:

  • We've always connected wirelessly and always got speeds we paid for, or slightly higher.
  • 50ish wireless speed is only on this ASUS.
  • On other laptops we're getting close to 200 Mbps (wireless) - but still, nowhere near 600.
  • If I connect through an Ethernet cable, I get 720ish speeds on this ASUS.
What the heck might the issue be, please?
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Sorry, forgot to add:

Laptop with only 50ish Mbps is an ASUS ROG G751JM


One of the other laptops (getting around 200ish Mbps) is a
MSI GT70 20C/20D


Drivers are all updated according to a driver updater I use.

Any help is appreciated.
 
That is mostly because no wireless connection will do much more than 300mbps.

You connecting via ethernet and getting the speed pretty much shows there is no issue with the internet or the pc

Part of the problem the end device does not support the high data encoding methods. For example to get the very fastest speeds the end device would need 4 antenna to run 4x4 mimo. That is extremely rare in a end device. Most things like cell phones only have 1 or 2 antenna.

Your swapping to the AX5400 and it making no difference is a perfect example. That is a wifi6 router. If you do not have a wifi6 network card in your device it will drop back and use 802.11ac (ie wifi5). Because it is running the same data encoding as the old router it should get speed numbers about the same.

Key factor here is the marketing guy are telling you lies......well they assume like most people you don't read any fine print. You will never get 600mbps on any wifi even if you sit the device on top of the router. If you get close to 300mbps you are doing pretty good. Many people do not get that much because their house absorbs so much radio signal.

Now if you are only getting 54mbps it can be caused by many factors. Almost all are related to how much signals the router and end devices think they can negotiate.

There is almost nothing you can change on wifi.

First make sure your have different SSID on the 2.4 and 5 radios. The 2.4g will generally have a stronger signal and devices will connect to that even though it has much less bandwidth than the 5g radio. You want to force it to connect to the 5g radio.

After that there are really only few things you can change. You can try to change the channel on the router to avoid neighbors wifi. On 2.4g you pretty much can choose the bottom or top. There are 11 channels on most routers but the modern protocols use blocks of 8 (ie 40mhz). On 5g it is a similar issue there is a lower block in the 40 range and a upper one in the 150 range. This one uses 4 20mhz blocks for a total of 80mhz.
So you pretty much have 2 options. Make sure you force it to use 80 if your router has that option. Some router will drop back to 40mhz or even 20mhz channels if they detect neighbors.

My best guess would be your device is running on the 2.4 radio and used to connect on the 5g radio. You will be very lucky to get 75-90 mbps on the 2.4 radio unless you sit on top of the router.
 
Reactions: OhGod
Sep 23, 2020
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That is mostly because no wireless connection will do much more than 300mbps.
Thank you, but we've been on the 600 Mbps speed plan before and used to get close to that (wirelessly, ~570ish), and on their equipment. We scaled back down to 150 Mbps though, because our bill kept taking big leaps forward for that kind of speed. We then moved back up to 300 and eventually the 600, only because they had promotional packages. Also, we were on the 600 Mbps plan around three years ago, so I'd have expected it to be better or somehow, faster now :). As you can see, it's not.

The Elevation Team JUST phoned and said they changed the tech visit to an "Outside Rewire", so hopefully that will resolve it. Wish us luck!
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Now if you are only getting 54mbps it can be caused by many factors. Almost all are related to how much signals the router and end devices think they can negotiate.

There is almost nothing you can change on wifi.

First make sure your have different SSID on the 2.4 and 5 radios. The 2.4g will generally have a stronger signal and devices will connect to that even though it has much less bandwidth than the 5g radio. You want to force it to connect to the 5g radio.

After that there are really only few things you can change. You can try to change the channel on the router to avoid neighbors wifi. On 2.4g you pretty much can choose the bottom or top. There are 11 channels on most routers but the modern protocols use blocks of 8 (ie 40mhz). On 5g it is a similar issue there is a lower block in the 40 range and a upper one in the 150 range. This one uses 4 20mhz blocks for a total of 80mhz.
So you pretty much have 2 options. Make sure you force it to use 80 if your router has that option. Some router will drop back to 40mhz or even 20mhz channels if they detect neighbors.

My best guess would be your device is running on the 2.4 radio and used to connect on the 5g radio. You will be very lucky to get 75-90 mbps on the 2.4 radio unless you sit on top of the router.
Apologies that I was so short on my previous reply, and had concentrated on only the first portion of your response. I had just gotten off of the phone with the 'Elevation Team' and in reading, it did not seem applicable due to the fact that we've received close to these speeds previously.

That said, I genuinely appreciate the detail you provided with everything and will try some of your suggestions. As a matter of fact, I used to have it split between the 2.4 and the 5Ghz (mostly because I like using funny WiFi names and this provided me the ability to have two instead of one - haha), but SO MANY PEOPLE told us that splitting them up is not recommended and that it was best to let your system decide. I read up on it and the general consensus was to not split them up, so I joined them again.

... WOW - You know what? Mind Blown/light-bulb flashes. Actually heading off to change it right now, and will update. If I recall correctly, the problem started right around the time I re-joined them!!
 
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Sep 23, 2020
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My best guess would be your device is running on the 2.4 radio and used to connect on the 5g radio. You will be very lucky to get 75-90 mbps on the 2.4 radio unless you sit on top of the router.
You were CORRECT, sir!

I split them up again and my system is only recognizing the 2.4Ghz one.

Phoned ASUS, and they had me reset the network and update the driver, but no luck. Still doesn't see the 5Ghz one. ASUS Rep said to try and contact MS as it may be some setting or other.

So, thank you, and if you do not mind, once resolved, I'll probably be back to pick your brain in regard to the protocals and which to choose from the drop-downs I see in my router settings.
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Can any device in your network connect to the 5Ghz wifi network? Smartphone, PC, etc...
Hi Col!

Yes. They all do, except for this one.

Microsoft had me use the Media Creation Tool to re-install/update, while keeping my files and apps, but that did not work either. I'm baffled.

Right now I have it connected via Ethernet again, and all-in-all I guess I can live with that, except for the fact that I can no longer cast from it. :)
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Manually set you 5Ghz to channel 42. It could be a channel number problem.
Hi Kane!

Thanks for the response. How would I do this, please? Via the router settings?

In the router settings, under 5Ghz, I see channels:
Auto, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 144, 149, 153, 157 and 161.

I changed it to 52 just to see if anything happened and immediately, I heard my BiL who is staying with us yell out: "Noooo - what happened to the internet?" :joycat::joycat::joycat:
 
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Sep 23, 2020
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This laptop uses an older Killer network adapter. Those were known to have some issues. This could be related to that (like the 5Ghz transceiver not working properly).
Yes, exactly! It uses the Qualcomm Atheros Killer adapter. ASUS had me download and install: v. KillerWifiSuite_1.1.43.1280, but late last night, still trying to get it to work, I uninstalled it and reverted back to v. AR9485 which I know for certain worked previously. That it is known to have issues, blows.

I also tried playing around with the router channels to see if it affected the speed on the other systems, but since I kept disconnecting my husband and BiL who apparently have started some sort of fantasy league of some kind, thought best to shelve that for the evening. :D

Thank you for all the help, info., patience. "Tom's" is a wonderful place because of all of you who help and share your knowledge! I've never left your sister site, or now, here, and not walked away learning something.
 
What country do you live in....don't really need a answer. Almost no router will let you set any channels 52-148. Especially channels 116-132, this is where most weather radar functions and even weak signals from wifi will reduce the radar ability.

It is surprising the router has those settings.

In any case I suspect the problem is the end device may not support those channels. Most devices only support channels 36-48 and 149-164. Many routers to use 80mhz channels have you set 42 and 155. These number represent the middle of those blocks.

In most countries there are laws that restrict use of other channels. Some countries you can not use the 149-164 range. The ones in between are suppose to only be used by the router when it can detect other signals such as weather radar and immediately stop using them if it detects it. This is why you can not manually set them in most routers and also why most devices will not function on them.
 
Sep 23, 2020
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What country do you live in....don't really need a answer. Almost no router will let you set any channels 52-148. Especially channels 116-132, this is where most weather radar functions and even weak signals from wifi will reduce the radar ability.

It is surprising the router has those settings.

In any case I suspect the problem is the end device may not support those channels. Most devices only support channels 36-48 and 149-164. Many routers to use 80mhz channels have you set 42 and 155. These number represent the middle of those blocks.

In most countries there are laws that restrict use of other channels. Some countries you can not use the 149-164 range. The ones in between are suppose to only be used by the router when it can detect other signals such as weather radar and immediately stop using them if it detects it. This is why you can not manually set them in most routers and also why most devices will not function on them.
Hi Bill!!

We're in the good ol' U.S. of Ass-Whoopin' Goodness. Someone ought to tell my router that it took a wrong turn somewhere.

Seriously though, that's very interesting. (I never knew anything about these channels until yesterday).

And it really does have all those channels, and for some reason they start out at 4-digit increments then skip 5 from 144 to 149. In fact ... there's no way to take a picture of all of them together because the screen just gives me a choice of three at a time while scrolling, but will attach images of the higher ones:





And again, I'm clueless in regard to these, so if I may ... what channel should I set each (the 5G and the 2.5 G) to, please, as we do not seem to have a 42 or 155.

Many thanks for the reply.
 
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COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Is the router's firmware fully up to date? This is just a good practice to ensure the security of the device.

Seems the real issue is with the laptop's wifi adapter. Do you know if it has ever successfully connected to a 5Ghz network?
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Not sure some routers are rather strange in how they do this some want the bottom channel and other want the middle., It will actually use a group of 4 of those channel numbers.

I would try 153 if it will take that
Thank you very much, Bill.

Connected well on 153 for the 5G. Wireless on MSI is ~230 Mbps and wired on ASUS ~750. Interestingly, testing on an old ACER which takes like 5 minutes to boot up and even longer to do anything else (only slightly exaggerating) it got almost 325 out of the gate.


So confused as to everything in regard to overall speed now. Could still swear we've always (previously) had close to what our given plan at the time designated/designates, wirelessly, but more and more your opening reply seems to be on the money.
 
Sep 23, 2020
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Is the router's firmware fully up to date? This is just a good practice to ensure the security of the device.

Seems the real issue is with the laptop's wifi adapter. Do you know if it has ever successfully connected to a 5Ghz network?
Ello Col!

PRETTY sure.

If you'd have asked me before today, I'd have said 100%, but with all this, I'm a little confused now. My reply will be YES, with just a little doubt creeping in.

Long read:
  • YES, because although this was not my main system until about a month ago (see posts regarding my lovely Lenovo on Tom's Laptop Forum ;)), I would have certainly noticed the speed issue.
  • Yes, because I can vividly recall both "funny" network names, and connecting to them, and doing so on the Batman-themed theme I had on it before my Lenovo died and I made this one my main.
  • Mostly, yes, because before ASUS and I reset the network it SAW the 5Ghz, just would not connect to it.- Now it won't even see it.
  • Less so, yes, because neighbors are friends of ours and after reset, I no longer see their network either.
  • Yes, because after your post regarding the Qualcomm adapter, I read up on it, and others seem to have experienced the same.
In short ... I mostly think so.

Router firmware is up to date.

Cable man is here. Will update.
 
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Sep 23, 2020
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Hello again.

Wanted to close this out by again saying thank you to everyone who replied. Speed issues are resolved for the most part.

Techs had to come out a couple of more times since last update because the main "box" is in a neighbor's yard who keeps his gate locked and they couldn't get to it. They apparently rewired and changed the 'couplings' on our outside line, and one of them said that there was some wear on the line leading into the box.

One of the last agents I spoke to at our ISP, waived our equipment rental fees (not sure for how long), and so I repackaged the Netgear Nighthawk - hoping we can return it - and reverted to the new router we were sent by them, which apparently, is an Arris Technicolor XB7 - with no loss of new speeds:

ASUS Wired - 726; no change, really
ASUS Wireless - 55.39; not a huge change, but a slight one
MSI Wireless - 412.12; not a bad change
Hubby's MSI Wireless - 446 (CRAZY! Had not tested before, so can't gauge change)
Hubby's work HP Wireless - 377.46; BIG change
ACER Wireless - 329.36 no change, really

As you can see, the ASUS still lacks, wireless, but it IS a fault in the adapter. Contacted Microsoft again and agent downloaded a bunch of different drivers and none worked, as in none were recognized to upgrade to. Basically, I am STUCK on Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 version, which contrary to what I shared previously about it being the one I remember using to connect to the 5Ghz network, is one I think that was installed OVER the one I had previously, that allowed me to connect. Now, I cannot find that older one, and all I find in regard to it across the internet, are people with the same issue. Microsoft suggested I update my BIOS because it is a 2017 version, and that I contact Qualcomm and ask about an updated driver. For now, my ASUS ONLY sees 2.4 Ghz networks. (I downloaded Fing, just to be sure).

All-in-all, can live with these speeds for the rate we are now paying, especially without the equipment rental fee for whatever period that may be, and with the ASUS connecting via an ethernet cable. (First world problems :))

Appreciate you all!
 

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