Why is my WiFi faster than my Ethernet?

Created by Fripplebubby on March 15, 2012, 7:02 p.m.
  • I have two computers in my house currently, one laptop and one desktop. The desktop is connected via ethernet to my wireless router, and the laptop is connected via WiFi (wireless N). I consistently record speeds of ~1mbps on the desktop during more or less optimal times, and anywhere from ~2.5mbps to 5mbps on the laptop during the same times. They're both connected to the same Speedtest.net server, and the ping on the desktop is considerably lower than that of the laptop.

    Why could this be? Virus, perhaps? I've tried switching Ethernet cords and ports on the router to no avail, though I have no way of switching the Ethernet port on the motherboard. Any help is, as always, duly appreciated.

  • Depending on the age of your desktop or network card/port it could be that's your bottleneck.

  • @Fish_Face_McGee: Could be. This is my lan adapter, it's 10BASE-T and I haven't had problems with it before. I know I've had faster speeds than this in the past.

  • @Fripplebubby: you mean 100base not 10base? if you have a 10base-t lan adapter at present you may as well be using a typewriter.

  • @CrippleCaptain: No, it's 10base. 10/100mbps. I forced it into 100mbps full duplex and no improvement.

    EDIT: Maybe? I'm trying to find where I saw that now.

  • @Fripplebubby: ok.... but the maximum speed of a 10Base-T lan connection is 10mbps (1.25MBps) thats why I am saying its seems unlikely your lan card is only 10BASE-T it must be 100Base-TX

  • @CrippleCaptain: Understood. I guess there's no logical way it could be 10base, but for some reason I came to the conclusion that it was.

  • @CrippleCaptain: Found where I saw that! Here is the specifications page for my motherboard, and under the "network" heading, the Lan adapter has it's transmission standard specified as "10base-T ethernet".

  • @Fripplebubby: good god hp dropped the ball on that sec sheet, in any case the datasheet for that Ethernet port lists it as being 100base-TX (obviously anything 100base-TX is also 10Base-T as it backwards comaptible like wireless n and wireless g and b)

  • @CrippleCaptain: So, do you think it might be that the adapter itself is biting the dust? Should I just replace it with something like this?

  • @Fripplebubby: well what id like to know is what speeds does the laptop get when its plugged in via ethernet instead of wireless

  • @CrippleCaptain: Good question! TBD.

    Oho! Speeds are slow again, back down to ~1Mbps!

  • Hmm, after disabling my router firewall I'm getting faster speeds, but still a bit below that of the laptop. This could be a temporary fluke.

  • Check your router's QoS settings, perhaps you are giving WiFi connected devices higher priority?

  • @WolfOfOne: Nope.

    Also, connection speed seems to have more or less evened out, for some reason. So, problem solved? I'm still not sure why that was happening.

  • I've had this issue that the original poster had, it was really frustrating. Never resolved it either.

  • As an update to this, I'm now just using a wireless router configured as a wireless card mere feet from the actual router connected via ethernet to my PC, and the speed is better as expected. The path of the Internet is: Receiver on my roof --> Wireless router --> other wireless router --> ethernet cord --> PC. I still don't know why this is happening, but it is.

  • Weird 0_o Maybe the router's built in switch is the bottleneck.

    Just a side note though, 802.11n is spec'd for ~144Mbps and ~300Mbps in HT mode (40Mhz Channels). I would expect similar or better performance from this comapred to a 10/100 ethernet connection.

  • Curious.. did you change the ethernet cord when you tried that new set up?

  • @householdutensils: I guarantee that my internet isn't fast enough to exceed 100mbps. If it were, I wouldn't be complaining (as much).

    @Toxeia: I have switched ethernet cords, and that's not it. I can get faster speeds through the same ethernet cord using a second wireless router to bridge the signal.

  • @Fripplebubby: derp! For some reason I had it in my head that you were getting those speeds locally :S Ahem, move along <_<