Question Xfinity Wifi + Windows 11 speeds awful compared to every other device

kthomas9685

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I recently relocated to a house I'm renting where I can't hardwire ethernet anymore. I also got a new ISP, moving from AT&T gigabit to Comcast's 1200mbps service. I'm upstairs and the gateway/modem is downstairs, though it's not super far away and my iPhone consistently gets >300mbps speed
But it's not only the speed that is the problem, ever since I hooked up my PC Windows 11 barely wants to connect to this Wifi at all. I get connected, secured, no internet, or sometimes it will say connected but webpages just won't load. The only way I got them to work was by changing the wifi mode to 802.11 a/n in Windows. The "Auto" option never got me any websites, or any other mode. This solution gave me awful mbps.
I tried a million things from suggestions online, to no avail, culminating in me
  1. Doing a complete fresh install of Windows 11 and
  2. buying a Netgear Nighthawk AC1900.
The nighthawk had the same issue until I also switched it's wireless mode to 802.11 a/n. With this, I can manage to ALMOST reach 200mbps, but still with random drops and problems with webpages loading every once in awhile. I've also obviously reset the gateway every which way, changed the network name and password etc. I've seen others online say they can manage to get up to 700/800mbps over wifi with the AC1900.
I understand that almost 200mbps is fairly respectable over wifi, but I have to imagine there is an issue here preventing the potential for more, and also giving me these random drops. I couldn't even fresh install windows properly because it wouldn't connect to the internet with default settings which definitely makes me think something is amiss. Every other device has no problem with this wifi. Boy do I miss my ethernet. Help would be greatly appreciated!

Oh also realized this morning, my work computer, sitting right next to my gaming PC, is getting over 350mbps (windows 10)
 

kthomas9685

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what the wifi module on this windows 11?
Sorry, what are you asking exactly? I'm not super techy, I've learned enough to keep my games running smoothly over the past few years lol. What do you mean by wifi module?

As far as drivers go, I don't think it's a driver issue. Because I've tried three different Wifi cards/sources. Whichever one is built into my mobo z390, the realtek one, an external tp-link antenna, and the nighthawk AC1900. All with their own drivers, all of which needed their wifi modes to be changed to 802.11 a/n to get a webpage to load at all.
 
Lot of people like to brag about how big there d*** is you can never really trust those guys.

You will never get 800-900 using 802.11ac. The 1900 numbers are also marketing lie. They are doing stuff like added 2.4 and 5 radio speeds together even though pc not actually use both radios at the same time. They also add transmit speed and receive speed together. This would be like calling a ethernet cable 2gbit BUT ethernet can actually do that wifi is only half duplex.

300-350 is about the best you can expect. Some people get less depending on their house and how many neighbors they have interering.

It is not likely it is window causing the issue. 1/2 the connection is the wifi nic in your machine. It could be a limitation on that. Desktop machine block huge amounts of wifi signal since the antennas are so close to a large metal box.

If you really want to eliminate windows get a USB stick and load linux on it. Most linux installs have drivers for most wifi chipset preinstalled. These images run the the USB so it will not damage your windows install. Most have chrome loaded so you can run normal speedtest.

The only way you can think to get 900mbps is to get wifi6e but both the router and the pc must support it. They of course have numbers like 4gbit but most people are still getting way under 1gbit and you need to be fairly close.
 

kthomas9685

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Lot of people like to brag about how big there d*** is you can never really trust those guys.

You will never get 800-900 using 802.11ac. The 1900 numbers are also marketing lie. They are doing stuff like added 2.4 and 5 radio speeds together even though pc not actually use both radios at the same time. They also add transmit speed and receive speed together. This would be like calling a ethernet cable 2gbit BUT ethernet can actually do that wifi is only half duplex.

300-350 is about the best you can expect. Some people get less depending on their house and how many neighbors they have interering.

It is not likely it is window causing the issue. 1/2 the connection is the wifi nic in your machine. It could be a limitation on that. Desktop machine block huge amounts of wifi signal since the antennas are so close to a large metal box.

If you really want to eliminate windows get a USB stick and load linux on it. Most linux installs have drivers for most wifi chipset preinstalled. These images run the the USB so it will not damage your windows install. Most have chrome loaded so you can run normal speedtest.

The only way you can think to get 900mbps is to get wifi6e but both the router and the pc must support it. They of course have numbers like 4gbit but most people are still getting way under 1gbit and you need to be fairly close.
I gotcha. Well, putting that aside, any idea why none of my wifi sources would connect with Windows 11's default settings? Until I changed the wireless mode? And even then, the default realtek adapter in my pc was getting like 10mbps. And the house I just moved from this was never a problem. So something is funky between Windows 11 and Xfinity for sure. Even after all that tinkering my >$3k gaming pc is getting slower speed with the netgear nighthawk than my rinky dink work computer sitting right next to it
 
Who knows what garbage microsoft has hidden in windows lately.

In general windows has not control over the transmission speed. At most you could set the encoding in the driver.

Generally the wifi chipset negotitate with the router for the fastest speed. The wifi chipset is basically a small cpu and all this function is done completely independently of the OS and even the main cpu.
Pretty much you load the same program/driver into the wifi chipset no matter which OS you use.

Your work machine is likely a laptop and they have much better antenna placement than a desktop.
 

kthomas9685

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I could be misunderstanding, but when you say the wifi chipset you're referring to the internal wifi that is on my motherboard? Because I'm not using that at all now, because it was absolutely horrid speeds. I am now using this big honkin external Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 wifi USB adapter that has it's own driver. And the fact that this thing is getting less speed than whatever wifi card is in my work's HP desktop seems crazy.

Or, are you saying that no matter what wifi adapter i'm using (this Netgear thing, the default realtek wifi etc) they are all negotiating with a separate component that is my computer's wifi chipset? Pardon my ignorance, trying to grasp the concept
 
That is one of the better USB wifi devices.

The test is pretty simple hook the device to your work computer and see if it also gets poor results.

What you also might try is find a way to use a ethernet cable to see if you also get slow results on that. Windows itself will not limit the speed but there are many other bloatware programs that get on machine that can. So called "gaming" network accelerators tend to be the worst offender and need to be uninstalled.
 
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kthomas9685

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Oh boy. My work computer is getting 150mbps with the Nighthawk wifi adapter. With it's default wifi it gets 350mbps. What in the what is going on

Hard wired i'm getting 1000mbps

On my gaming pc:
Default wifi - 10mbps (this was getting >350mbps at my last house with AT&T gigabit)
TP Link AC600 wifi adapter - 80mbps
Netgear nighthawk wifi adapter - 200mbps

And again, none of these work unless I change the wifi mode in windows settings to 802.11 a/n. This is a complete fresh install of Windows 11. I'm thinking of just reverting to Windows 10 at this point, I don't know.

Or ya know, say screw it and pay someone to hardwire the house lol. Worry about fixing holes later since I'm renting. The variable that has changed the most here besides a bit more distance from the modem/router is going from AT&T to Comcast. So, I'm thinking it's some kind of Windows 11/Comcast specific problem.
 

Ralston18

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Suggestion:

Try using a known working USB extension cable to permit moving the TP Link AC600 wifi adapter up and away from the host computer.

Move the adapter about some allowing time between moves. Determine if a shift in physical locations improves wireless speed.
 

kthomas9685

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Move the adapter about some allowing time between moves. Determine if a shift in physical locations improves wireless speed.
No difference trying that. BUT. I think i'm getting closer to an answer here.....So...The Nighthawk comes with it's own software "Netgear Genie" and at the bottom right of it it's telling me the speed it's receiving, 450mbps.

When I go to the Windows 11 Network connection > Properties > Configure > Advanced > Wireless Mode and switch it to Auto, or 802.11 ac, or 802.11 a/n/c, the Netgear software starts saying it's getting up to 1300mbps.

The problem is, NO websites will load at all, in any browser, unless the wireless mode is set at 802.11 a/n.

So I guess my question has now become, why can't I use 802.11 ac or a/n/c currently, because it seems like if I could, that may fix my problem.
Also I just looked in the Xfinity XFi's gateway settings, and the wireless mode is set to 802.11 a/n/ac/ax and grayed out and not change-able. So that seems right...so maybe it's Windows? Maybe? bleh
 
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Those number are not actually speeds they are data encoding rates....

What 450 means is you are likely running on the 2.4 radio using 40mhz channels and 3x3 mimo. Your signal is also very good because you can get 64-qam encoding. Note this could be either 802.11n or 802.11ac because 802.11ac includes all the 802.11n encodings.

There are way to many Xfi models to be sure what yours support "AX" means it is newer and supports wifi6.

When you force it to 1300 that mean it must use the 5g radio band. Even if it can't connect at 1300 it should connect at a slower speed. To get 1300 the router would need 4 antenna.

Not sure it almost acts like there is something defective using the 5g radio in the nighthawk. What is very strange is there is only 1 radio chip unlike a router and it switches between 2.4 and 5 so you would think both would be affected. Does your XFi let you put in different SSID for 2.4 and 5. Maybe you could leave the setting at default on the nighthawk but tell it to connect to the SSID that only is running 5g. Maybe there is some negotiation issue when you hard set it to 1300.

This is very bizarre behavor the USB device name is actually netgear A7000. It is one of the top rated USB wifi nics.
 

kthomas9685

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I comprehended some of that lol. Here's the thing though, when I have the windows wireless mode setting on 802.11 a/n (the only mode that works properly), it actually DOES say i'm on 5ghz network. And I set it up in the XFi gateway to have them be separate connections, so I can choose to connect to 2.4ghz or 5ghz. And I'm connected to 5ghz. This is according to Windows when i open the properties Network & internet > Wi-Fi > MyNetwork. The info says Wifi 4 (802.11n), Network band: 5Ghz, Link speed 54/450 (mbps).

I don't even know about Wifi 6, at this point i'm just trying to make Wifi 5 work. I THINK the desired result in those properties is to see Wifi 5 (802.11ac) and have it work properly. But like I said, if I go into the adapter properties and switch it to ANY mode other than 802.11 a/n, it doesn't work. I can get webpage to load maybe once, but generally it just won't load anything and give me a default gateway error.

Oh also, I don't think it's a problem with the A7000. Considering the other two wifi adapters I've tried do the exact same thing.
 
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So here is the big nasty table that shows what those numbers mean.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQXoEYLGWrR1aGyGaTXOOaDQSPLfeC4rv70KRFuRP6eZ5fL-Ku_YI6DgS6zZMNyIhQpQmnKQ1O7abij/pubhtml?gid=1367372895&single=true

The orange ones are the 802.11n ones.

To get the speeds you are getting means you are only using 40mhz bands on the 5g radio. What is strange is the other equipment you have almost has to be using 80mhz bands. I would look at your work pc in the status and see what number it gets.

At best this is a driver thing windows itself does not have wifi settings.....at least I don't think it does who know what they patched into win11.
 

kthomas9685

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Yeah you are correct, my work computer is doing Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) 5ghz which is exactly what I'm trying to get on my gaming pc. I think with all this info I have deduced it's a Windows 11 issue, and not anything with the Xfinity or any of the adapters. Though I would think I could find other people on forums, somewhere, with the same problem but I can't seem to find that either. Maybe with your info about it only using 40mhz bands I can do some more googling around and find something...
 

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