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Slow Speeds on a Wireless Home Network
Last Updated: Tue, 03 May 2011 > Related Articles
This article provides information on how to troubleshoot slow speeds on a wireless home network.
Customer is able to get on line, but has slow download speeds. Web pages open slowly, and the customer has a slow transfer rate when downloading a file.
The wireless home router may not be optimized or secured, decreasing the throughput and slowing Internet speeds.
There are four types of wireless networking.
- 802.11b – B is the oldest implementation of wireless, and it only offers a maximum of 11 Mbps connection speed. Wireless B has the least range of the four types. 802.11b operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency range, which makes it susceptible to interference from cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, wireless keyboards and mice, wireless security cameras, and Bluetooth devices.
- 802.11g – G is newer than B, offering up to 54 Mbps throughput and also suffers from the same interference issues as 802.11b. Although the 802.11b devices can be used on a “G” network, the device will only connect at Wireless B speeds.
- 802.11a – A operates in the 5.8 GHz range and offers up to 54 Mbps throughput. It is not affected by the same devices that affect wireless B and G. Normally only wireless phones, some security cameras, other wireless A, and some wireless N routers operate at this frequency.
- 802.11n – N There are two types of Wireless N. One operates in the 2.4 GHz range for up to 150 Mbps throughput and has backward compatibility with Wireless B and G. The other uses both 2.4 and 5.8 GHz combined with up to 300 Mbps throughput and is backwards compatible with Wireless A, B and G.
For the best speed on any connection, an Ethernet connection should be used as it will provide the best connectivity and throughput. On computers without wireless connectivity built in, there are choices available with the easiest being a USB/Wireless Adapter, which can be purchased at your local Cox Service Center.
Wireless connection speeds are affected by a number of things. Distance, walls and obstacles, other devices on the same frequency, type of wireless, and configuration are the most common, and the easiest to address.
- Do you have all the equipment setup properly? Ensure you have network security setup so that no unauthorized or unwanted users can access your computer or network.
- Check your distance. Adjust your router so that it is at least 6 feet away from your computer when operating wireless options. Distance is base on both the router AND the wireless equipment in your computer.
- How many walls and/or floors are in between the router and the wireless device? The denser the obstructions, the shorter the range. Older homes with plaster walls and thicker floors can decrease range more than newer home.
- Check for interference. Cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, wireless keyboards and mice, wireless security cameras, and Bluetooth devices can interfere with wireless connectivity.
- Ensure you are using the correct equipment. If your computer or any other device has only wireless G capability, you will not be able to take advantage of the increased distance and speed offered by a wireless N router. No matter how fast your router is, its speed will be limited by the equipment within your computer or other device.