Question Sudden Problem with Upload Speed over 5GHz WIFI

Oct 28, 2022
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For 6 months I have ran my desktop PC using my CenturyLink 5GHz WIFI channel with zero issues. Super fast download and upload speeds (400mbps+/100mbps+ respectively) but in the last few days the channel isn't working well at all. While internet download speed testers still show 350mbps+, my upload speed has dropped to 0.01mbps on multiple speed testers. My 2.4GHz WIFI channel still works , but the slower speeds won't due for video conferencing/work/enjoyment/etc..
I rebooted the router. No change. I reset the router. No change. I even changed the password and booted all other devices off the channel with just my PC using it. No change.

I went into the admin site and changed the Channel from "Auto" to 48. No change. What I did see next, however, was when I switch the Bandwidth from 80MHz to 40MHz, the next speed test I ran returned an Upload Speed of 97mbps. I excitedly ran a second speed test and the Upload Speed was back down to 0.01mbps. I then found that each time I switched the Bandwidth from 40MHz to 80MHz (in both directions) I could get one speed test that showed a high upload speed before returning to 0.01mbps.

  • I haven't had any changes in the last few days that would impact anything with the internet
  • Drivers are up to date
  • My ISP didn't see any issues in the area
  • All other devices in my small household bring back perfectly fine Upload Speeds (Laptop in same room/elsewhere, Mobile Phones, etc...)
  • I've cleared all my caches
Specs
CPU - Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-10600K CPU @ 4.10GHz 4.10 GHz
Motherboard - MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI ATX Gaming Motherboard (10th Gen Intel Core, LGA 1200 Socket, DDR4, CF, Dual M.2 Slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Wi-Fi 6, DP/HDMI
Memory / RAM - 4.0GB DDR4 @ 3600MHz
iGPU/Discrete GPU - EVGA GeForce RTZ 3080 Ti XC3 Ultra Gaming
SSD - Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe Internal SSD, up to 2000MB/s - CT1000P1SSD8
Operating System (OS) - Windows 10 Pro version 22H2
Monitor - Samsung LC49RG90SSNXZA 49-Inch CRG9 Curved Gaming Monitor, Black, QHD, 120Hz

Any thoughts on what could be causing this?
 
Key here is other device run fine.

What this in general means is the router is having a issue hear the data transmission from your PC. Many times it is that your neighbor got new wifi devices and is now using the same radio channels. All radio channels are massively overcrowded anyway. The wider the bandwidth (ie 80 vs 40) the more chance you have to get interference. Most times you have some other devices impacted also but because it only takes tiny difference in where the device is located in a room it does not mean a lot when one device works and the other does not since the antenna for example are not exactly in the same position in the room.

What you do is check the obvious. Make sure that the antenna are still tightly attached. A desktop machine has lots of metal case to block signal and turning it just slightly may improve the connection. You can also get the latest drivers from the chipset maker, in your case intel ax201. Microsoft may have been "helpful?" and updated the drivers with generic ones. The problem you describe though tends to be a hardware issue rather than a driver issue but drivers are easy to try.

After this you start to suspect that the wifi is defective. I guess the good news is wifi replacement boards are fairly inexpensive. From what I read your motherboard uses a m.2 slot for wifi rather than a soldered in chip so it should be easy to replace. You can also use PCIE cards since you have extra slots.

You could buy a direct replacement but wifi6e devices cost almost exactly the same. Normally I say to buy the ax210 device but your motherboard is one of those strange ones that supports what is called CNvio. This means you can put a AX211 card in. I am pretty sure it will also run the ax210 and those are more common.
In theory the ones that have the CNvio support should be cheaper because they have less parts but for the general consumer they seem to be more expensive, maybe it is only manufactures that can save.
 
Oct 28, 2022
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This: "Drivers are up to date".

Is that based on the drivers version/date or an actual reinstall of the drivers when the problems began?

I.e., manually downloaded, reinstalled, and reconfigured.
Great question. I went into Device Manager and selected my Network Adapters, opened the "Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX201 160MHz" properties and asked it to check for updates. It told me my latest driver was the best one/already installed. I did this for all the items under the "Network Adapter" title and received the same answer. Other than that, I have never updated or attempted to update the drivers myself.

Does that answer your question?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Yes. That answers my question.

However the skeptic/cynic in me tends to go DIY just to be sure.

DIY meaning I do my own driver downloads directly from the applicable manufacturer's website. Then reinstall and reconfigure the drivers myself so I can have some sense of what all happens. No third party tools or installers.

Make some notes regarding the current driver installation.

Then a DIY install. Are the versions identical?

If so and if there are not any other apparent differences then very likely that there is some other problem occurring per Post #2 (@bill001g).

In which case I would use (to start with) Task Manager and Resource Monitor to observe system performance. Using both tools but only one tool at a time.
 
Oct 28, 2022
3
0
10
0
Key here is other device run fine.

What this in general means is the router is having a issue hear the data transmission from your PC. Many times it is that your neighbor got new wifi devices and is now using the same radio channels. All radio channels are massively overcrowded anyway. The wider the bandwidth (ie 80 vs 40) the more chance you have to get interference. Most times you have some other devices impacted also but because it only takes tiny difference in where the device is located in a room it does not mean a lot when one device works and the other does not since the antenna for example are not exactly in the same position in the room.

What you do is check the obvious. Make sure that the antenna are still tightly attached. A desktop machine has lots of metal case to block signal and turning it just slightly may improve the connection. You can also get the latest drivers from the chipset maker, in your case intel ax201. Microsoft may have been "helpful?" and updated the drivers with generic ones. The problem you describe though tends to be a hardware issue rather than a driver issue but drivers are easy to try.

After this you start to suspect that the wifi is defective. I guess the good news is wifi replacement boards are fairly inexpensive. From what I read your motherboard uses a m.2 slot for wifi rather than a soldered in chip so it should be easy to replace. You can also use PCIE cards since you have extra slots.

You could buy a direct replacement but wifi6e devices cost almost exactly the same. Normally I say to buy the ax210 device but your motherboard is one of those strange ones that supports what is called CNvio. This means you can put a AX211 card in. I am pretty sure it will also run the ax210 and those are more common.
In theory the ones that have the CNvio support should be cheaper because they have less parts but for the general consumer they seem to be more expensive, maybe it is only manufactures that can save.
Thank you for the detailed answer!
I went ahead and ordered the AX210 since I couldn't find the AX211 anywhere for desktops. It comes in Thursday, I'll report back after I install the new card.
I also removed and reattached my WiFi card antennae, then ran another Speed Test. Oddly enough, the first few seconds of the test showed Upload Speeds of 40mbps but quickly dropped back down to 0.01mbps where it then stayed put. Not sure if that offers any more clarity, but thought I'd mention it
 
Not sure is there is any advantage to the ax211 it seems that part of the newer chipset requires support for this even on the machine that do not have or need wifi. I guess they put bloatware in cpu chips now days also.

I got your motherboard confused with another. Yours appears to use a soldered in chip others have m.2 connections so you must use a PCIE card.
 

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