wireless router SLOW
December 9, 2009 12:07 PM   Subscribe

I just put in a new router (cisco wireless n broadband router wrt160N) and it is totally fast when the ethernet cable is plugged into my computer. When I try to use it wirelessly, it works but is VERY slow. any ideas? thanks!!!!!
posted by cg2 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
* Can you quantify either speed, say by transferring a file of known size and noting the speed?

* In both cases are you transferring files between 2 computers on your network, or browsing the web, or what?

* What "class" of wireless does the router and whatever you're connecting to it with support? There's A, B, G and N in order of increasing speed. Most of these are probably faster than what you'd get from an ISP so if you're just browsing the web it doesn't matter *too* much. But if you're connecting 2 computers on your network, then it'll make a huge difference.
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:12 PM on December 9, 2009

Well, for one, a wireless connection will always be slower than a lined-in connection.
posted by kthxbi at 12:13 PM on December 9, 2009

Also, this may seem silly but are you sure you're connecting to YOUR broadband router via wireless and not a neighbors? Did you give it a distinctive name?
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:13 PM on December 9, 2009

(aka if you were expecting to get a wireless router and connect at just as fast a speed as when using an ethernet cable, good luck)
posted by kthxbi at 12:14 PM on December 9, 2009

Did you enable data encryption? This will add overhead and can impact throughput.
posted by VanCityChica at 12:19 PM on December 9, 2009

Response by poster: By slow I mean that it take the google page (with just a search box) about 2 seconds to load. I am sure that it is my network.

How do I enable data encryption? on the router?

Thanks for the advice!
posted by cg2 at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2009

As others have said if you're not using "n" type wireless on the device you are connecting to the router via wireless with you will not see any of the performance gains associated with this new router. Also, if you're going to the internet the main bottleneck will still be your DSL/Cable modem connection. On the internal network your wireless connection will still be at the best transfer rate only 10% as fast as your wired ethernet connection if you are using gigabit ethernet on your access device. If your are using an "older" laptop the chances are you only have an 802.11b\g wireless card and this will be significantly slower. FYI, I have the same router and on my desktop with a 802.11g wireless bridge I get mediocre performance at best. However with my new laptop that has an 802.11n card installed it is blazing fast.
posted by white_devil at 12:26 PM on December 9, 2009

make sure your connecting to that new router with an 802.11 network card
posted by majortom1981 at 12:37 PM on December 9, 2009

Make sure the wireless card in your computer is using 802.11n and disable support for any other protocol types (a/b/g) in your router. A lot of times the wireless card and the router will "negotiate" a connection using one of the slower options.
posted by word_virus at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2009

Have a look on the router settings and see whether you can switch channel. I had terrible trouble with my (802.11g) router when I first got it - wired, it was fine, but it couldn't even maintain a wireless connection for more than 30 seconds, let alone do anything with it. One email to tech support later, I tried changing channels (I think it was on channel 1 to begin with and I switched to 11...worth experimenting a bit), and instantly it was fine. Probably the neighbours were using the same channel as me, or something like that - easy enough to check, anyway!
posted by ZsigE at 2:47 PM on December 9, 2009

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