Question Only getting 10Mbps with onboard ethernet adapter (should be 1Gbps).

Aug 21, 2020
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My ethernet adapter will only give me 10Mbps networking speed, on a newly installed cat-6 network cable between my utility room and office.

Here is my case:

I have moved into a new house and have had an ethernet cable installed from the utility room to my office. When I connect my PC through this cable, I only achieve ~10Mbps.

  • Windows 10, ASUS X99-PRO, Socket 2011-3 motherboard, updated Intel driver (12.18.9.23, dated 20.04.2020)
  • My router is (2x) Asus RT-AX92U
  • I have previously had high speeds on this computer (250Mbps/25Mbps, which was the cap in my old house)
  • My connection speed is 300Mbps/300Mbps. This is confirmed by using a long cat5 cable (same as I used in my old house, where I achieved 250Mbps/25Mbps) from the router to the PC.
  • The Intel PROSet Adapter Configuration Utility reports that the speed of the connection is "10,00 Mbps Full Duplex" (if I use my old cable directly between the router and the PC, it says "1Gbps Full Duplex".
  • The same utility tool is able to perform some tests on the adapter/connection, but not all tests are available. See below for test result output.
  • I get ~10Mbps regardless of what cable I use, I have tried multiple different ones, borth cat5e and cat6. The exception is the mentioned long cat5 cable, which gives me "100Mbps Full Duplex" and ~100Mbps download speed (much lower upload speed for some reason) through the installed cabled (and also gives me 300/300 directly connected between the PC and the router).
  • The installed cable is terminated with a RJ45 wall-mounted plate/port on one side and a RJ45 plug on the other (which is connected to my router).
  • I have tried multiple ports in the router, without any improvement (including the same port hat yields 300/300 when connected directly to the PC).
Now, based on the above it would be easy to conclude there is something wrong with the wiring I had just installed by certified electricians. However:
  • When I use a USB ethernet adapter I have available, I get almost 100Mbps (I believe the adapter only supports up to 100Mbps speed). This result is the same whether I connect my desktop PC or my laptop through this adapter.
  • I have also tried several new cables, and all give 10Mbps except my 15 year old long cat5 cable, which gives me 100Mbps.
The electricians have checked the connection several times, at both ends of the installed cable (and also re-terminated in both ends). Unfortunately they did not have a measuring tool available.

What could the reason be for not achieving a faster network than 10Mbps when my onboard ethernet adapter is used, via the installed cable/plugs? What is the variable here that I am not aware of? What solutions and further troubleshooting steps are available to me? The electricians are coming back in a couple of days to finish some other work, so if I can identify any specific issues with the work they have done, I can have them redo it. However, as long as I am able to max out the 100Mbps adapter through the same installed cable, it seems unlikely that they will acknowledge that there are any errors with their installation.

Intel PROSet Adapter Configuration Utility test result output:
Cable Test Results [21.08.2020 14.23.42] :
Cable Length Status : Passed
Cable Length: 255 meters**
Cable polarity Status : Passed
Cable polarity normal.
Local Receiver Status : Passed
Passed
Remote Receiver Status : Passed
Passed
Cable Quality Status : Failed
This test is not supported by this device.
Cable Integrity Status : Failed
This test is not supported by this device.
**) The reported length is incorrect - it should be about 10-15 meters.

edit: I failed to see that the Intel PROSet Adapter Configuration Utility had 2 more tests available.

Connection Test
Connection Test Results [21.08.2020 15.02.05] :
Connection Status : Passed
Successfully pinged Gateway address x.x.x.x
Cable Link Status : Failed
Link speed: 10Mbps. The link partner is not capable of higher speeds.
Hardware Tests
Hardware Test Results [21.08.2020 15.02.20] :
Register Status: Passed
EEPROM Status: Passed
FIFO Status: Passed
Interrupt Status: Passed
Loopback Test(s): Passed
The second tests in the Connection Test suite is of course relevant, but the big questions remain; why and how to fix...
 
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It almost has to be the cable.

You should get gigabit speeds. Both 100m and 10m only use 2 pair. This implies that either the blue or brown pair is bad...assuming standard colors. When a connection only works at 10mbit it means there is some issue with one of the other pairs also. It only takes the wire being slightly out of spec for it drop to 10m.

First check the cable and make sure they installed actual cat5e or cat6 cable. It should be marked on the side. Most cable that says eia/tia on it is valid. What you are looking for is the wire size of 22-24 most has a number 23 on it. You also want to see if it is pure copper. Many times there are the letters CU on the cable. What you need to avoid is CCA which is copper clad aluminum.

Fake cable causes all the types of problems you are seeing. You have to be very careful now days to not get fake cable. I would bet the majority of what is sold on amazon is fake. At least amazon cracked down and made them admit it is CCA cable and not pure copper. Still lots of people do not know the CCA cable means the cable will not reliably work.

I would replace both ends with keystone jacks it is pretty easy to remove and reterminate wires. You can do them 1 at a time which is easier for a new person than trying to crimp on all 8 perfectly in a rj45 plug.
 
Aug 21, 2020
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Thanks for the reply. I will do some research and testing on the different cables I have over the weekend, both regarding labelling and which speed I am getting with different configurations (setting up the PC in the utility room with let me swap the different cables in and out regardless of length, and also let me quickly add/remove mesh nodes and switches in the network).

I do believe the plugs are of that type, I will take a picture and upload at the same time.

I am also wondering if maybe those AiMesh routers/nodes from Asus limits the speed to 100Mbps? That seem to be the maximum speed I am achieving through them, regardless where in the house I am, and whether I use ethernet, 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless (before I got them, I was using the router from my provider, which gave me speeds well into the 200+Mbps range on the 5GHz wireless, but I lacked coverage in my office and it does not support port forwarding or any other advanced feature).
 
...I had just installed by certified electricians.
This is the problem. These monkeys think they know networking because they can wire phone lines. We had to have our wiring ran twice on my parents house and I still have almost 10 runs that only operate at 100Mbps--and this was 20+ years ago. It's really sad to say it, but these 'installers' haven't gotten any better as I still see terrible experiences by almost anyone that used a contractor to do this work that isn't a corporate structured wiring only contractor.

So you're probably in the same boat as my parent's place--good wire, terrible or incorrect termination. You'll need to redo the termination and it will probably work fine.
 
Aug 21, 2020
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I have done some tests this weekend, and ruled out that the issue is any of my existing infrastructure (modem/router from ISP in bridge mode, 2 Asus RT-AX92U , Netgear 8 port Switch and various cat5e/cat6 cables. I have tested with my desktop PCs now, and found that one of them does not even want to connect directly through the new wall sockets, while the other gives 100Mbps network (and ~94/~94Mbps dl/ul speeds). Any configuration without the installed cables gives me full ~300/300Mbps dl/ul speed. This has been verified with 2 separate computers, and also the fact that my mesh node gives me up to 100Mbps speed when connected with the cable (to the main router/node), while it gives me full speed (~300Mbps) when communicating with the main router/node wirelessly.

These are the plugs that have been used to terminate:


The cables are labelled "CONNSCOPE CS34Z3 4/24 CAT6 U/UTP IEC 332-3 MADE IN IRELAND WEBTRAK(TM) BI0701A-2P025" (or something close to this).

The electricians are coming over again to finish some work tomorrow, I will raise the issue with them again then (although I have my doubts they will be able to improve anything, as they already gave it their best and even redid the plugs several times already).

Please don't ask me what I have paid them to do this....
 
Low voltage cable is actually a specialty. You do not actually have to hold electrical licenses in some areas to do it. Others you need a special add on license basically to show you have had training. The vast majority of building code/ license stuff is for safety so not all areas have requirements for low voltage cables.

Although "most" electricians can do both installing data cable needs very expensive equipment to do it correctly. They should have fluke meters than will actually run a report and certify each drop. Many electricians do not do enough of it to justify the expense.
 
I have done some tests this weekend, and ruled out that the issue is any of my existing infrastructure (modem/router from ISP in bridge mode, 2 Asus RT-AX92U , Netgear 8 port Switch and various cat5e/cat6 cables. I have tested with my desktop PCs now, and found that one of them does not even want to connect directly through the new wall sockets, while the other gives 100Mbps network (and ~94/~94Mbps dl/ul speeds). Any configuration without the installed cables gives me full ~300/300Mbps dl/ul speed. This has been verified with 2 separate computers, and also the fact that my mesh node gives me up to 100Mbps speed when connected with the cable (to the main router/node), while it gives me full speed (~300Mbps) when communicating with the main router/node wirelessly.

These are the plugs that have been used to terminate:


The cables are labelled "CONNSCOPE CS34Z3 4/24 CAT6 U/UTP IEC 332-3 MADE IN IRELAND WEBTRAK(TM) BI0701A-2P025" (or something close to this).

The electricians are coming over again to finish some work tomorrow, I will raise the issue with them again then (although I have my doubts they will be able to improve anything, as they already gave it their best and even redid the plugs several times already).

Please don't ask me what I have paid them to do this....
Just looking at those cables lets me know how much these guys don't know about what they're doing--no cable is ever supposed to have the individual wires exposed at the point where the cable goes into the rj45--just look at the picture of the pre-made cables versus what these guys have done--it's atrocious.

And as you've found out, it doesn't work either. Those cables are incorrect and honestly if they're coming straight from the wall like that, that's another no-no. There should have been keystones attached to them and they should have been terminated as wall jacks. Then you can just use some normal patch cables to connect them to your equipment.

I am very curious how much you paid for these runs, material and labor, if you don't mind sharing.
 

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