Question Why is the Wi-Fi speed of my desktop PC so slow compared to my laptop?

Nov 7, 2020
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I got a new PC recently, but I needed to use a 300mbps USB Wi-Fi adapter. And this is where the problem starts. Whenever I download files, especially on Steam, the download speed is so slow. For a few seconds it can download at 2 - 3 MB/s but then it drops to below 1 MB/s, and it seems to stay there. So it takes much longer to download files. In other words, the download speed of my desktop PC is incredibly inconsistent. My laptop doesn't have the issue of having inconsistent download speed, because it stays on 2 - 3 MB/s (and at times even beyond) for an extended period of time.

I don't know the exact details, but my router is 2.4GHz and my desktop and laptop are at around the same distance from my router. What is going on? Do I need a faster adapter?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I got a new PC recently, but I needed to use a 300mbps USB Wi-Fi adapter. And this is where the problem starts. Whenever I download files, especially on Steam, the download speed is so slow. For a few seconds it can download at 2 - 3 MB/s but then it drops to below 1 MB/s, and it seems to stay there. So it takes much longer to download files. In other words, the download speed of my desktop PC is incredibly inconsistent. My laptop doesn't have the issue of having inconsistent download speed, because it stays on 2 - 3 MB/s (and at times even beyond) for an extended period of time.

I don't know the exact details, but my router is 2.4GHz and my desktop and laptop are at around the same distance from my router. What is going on? Do I need a faster adapter?
First reason is that most "300mbps USB Wi-Fi adapter" are crap. They have tiny antennas. That means they receive and transmit tiny signals. Laptop antennas are in the lid of the laptop and and are nice and big. That is why it works better.
Post a link to the USB adapter you are using.
 
Nov 7, 2020
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gggplaya

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If this is for a desktop computer, I would buy an ASUS router and put it into MEDIA BRIDGE MODE. It'll make use of multiple antenna's in MIMO and give the best possible speeds for wifi thanks to higher quality transceiver circuitry and decent size antenna's. Then just attach an ethernet cable from the 4port switch on the back of the router to the desktop computer. This is how I did it in my last apartment and it's a significantly better way to go over any USB adapter: https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1043884/ You'll also be able to connect ethernet to other internet enabled devices like TV's and streaming boxes, xbox etc...

This is the cheapest Asus router that does Media Bridge Mode: https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-RT-ACRH12-Gigabit-Streaming-Parental/dp/B0845P5H7T

Why use Media Bridge instead of Repeater mode? Media bridge uses all of the available antenna's to connect to the main router, giving the best possible bandwidth. (This assumes the main router matches the number of antenna's). Repeater mode uses 1-2 antenna's for wireless backhaul, then uses the other antenna's for repeating, so you may not have the most possible bandwidth.
 
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Nov 7, 2020
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It would be better. For Ireland how about this -- https://www.amazon.co.uk/1200Mbps-Adapter-300Mbps-867Mbps-Wireless/dp/B084STFHS1
Same product through Amazon UK.
The Wi-Fi adapter came today, and after I set things up using the stand, it became SO much faster! I loaded up Steam to test the download speed and I started seeing consistent speeds of 10+ MB/s, with the peak being close to 20MB/s! I was shocked to see it work so well after the abysmal speeds of my previous Wi-Fi adapter. So thanks.

However, I do have to point out that, every once in a while, the download speed starts to drop rapidly, even to speeds below 500KB/s. Do you know why that might be the case?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
However, I do have to point out that, every once in a while, the download speed starts to drop rapidly, even to speeds below 500KB/s. Do you know why that might be the case?
That is a generic enough problem, that there is not enough info. You will have to do more troubleshooting. You will have to see if it happens from multiple remote sites. You will have to see if it happens with a wired connection. You would have to see what other WIFI signals could be interfering. YOU will have to do more detective work. WIFI problems are site specific.
 

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