Wireless download limitations

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by podwich, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. podwich

    podwich

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    Here's a problem I have with my computer over wireless: it seems individual downloads are limited. I have an 8 Mbps DSL connection being fed into a Linksys WRT55AG router. From there I access it either by a wired connection into my desktop or via wireless on my laptop. I use 802.11a on my laptop (IBM T43).

    Here's the weird thing-via wired connection on either computer I get the full 8 megabit bandwidth. On wireless, I get individual downloads around 1.5 Mbps or so. It's not the wireless connection either as I can max out to 8 Mbps by doing simultaneous download (say 5 or 6 downloads at once). Each goes to around 1.5 Mbps. So, whether I'm downloading 1 thing or 6 things they transfer at the same speed by wireless (and full speed via wired).

    I've checked my router settings and I don't have quality of service or anything enabled that I can see would impact individual downloads. The receiving signal strength on my computer is typically 100%.

    Any ideas why my individual downloads are being limited? Thanks!
     
  2. prism

    prism more ammo

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    does your laptop wireless utilize USB ?
     

  3. podwich

    podwich

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    No. It's built-in.
     
  4. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    I have a Linksys 10/100 Cable/DSL router and it is premo?

    That being said the WRT55AG router has a very poor track record!

    "Linksys WRT55AG Wireless A+G broadband router is 4.0 out of 10. "

    http://reviews.cnet.com/Linksys_WRT55AG_Wireless_A_G_broadband_router/4852-3319_7-21131921.html

    http://www.mysimon.com/9035-11605_8-20744577.html


    Check the wireless network settings to be sure the connection isn't limited by default. 802.11a supports bandwidth up to 54 Mbps?

    http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/wireless80211/a/aa80211standard.htm

     
  5. podwich

    podwich

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    Blitzer- the odd thing is that I can get my full bandwidth by downloading multiple files at once. It seems only individual files are bandwidth-limited and only over wireless. I can't find a setting on my router that's doing it either.
     
  6. Round Pounder

    Round Pounder

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    Every download is a separate TCP socket between your machine and the file store. TCP is self-governing and is designed to detect and react to perceived "congestion" in the network. In the WiFi arena, you are far more likely to have mangled packets (or segments, to be precise) due to RF interference. TCP will not know anything about that WiFi leg in the circuit. It will assume that any data lost as a result of RF interference is actually network congestion and throttle back its throughput. This is normal and expected behavior in a "stock" TCP implementation. If you know what you're doing, you can hack your Windows registry to "fine tune" your TCP/IP stack. It does require some skill and knowledge, with regard to both TCP and the Windows registry. There are many applications on the market out there which claim to do this for you. Since I'm a network engineer by trade, I've never needed anything like this, so I can't recommend anything in particular.

    I can say that I often use the download and upload speed test on wwww.pcpitstop.com and they advertise something like what I've described. Again, no endorsement there, just a point in one direction...

    edit: This isn't the only possibily, but seems the most likely to me, based on the info given. If I were sitting at your machine with a protocol analyzer application running, I might find something altogether different within a matter of minutes. So take it for what it's worth...