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802.11g has been out forever and a day, n is the "new" standard but its still dog slow for some work (running application from the NAS for one). The wimax stuff out there is for your internet connection, not your local network...

My situation - I have a nice new 10TB NAS thats got a nice 1000base-t connection to my LAN. I can transfer files nice and speedy (almost like the NAS was a local disk) to my desktop thats connected to the 1000base-t LAN. I can run application stored on the NAS without a noticeable delay. My issue is with my laptop thats got a 802.11n connection... is slow and generally cruddy.

Watching movies is fine, but trying to transfer a couple gig can take 30-40 min. Running an application from the NAS is sluggish at best...

Where is my 1000base-t wireless connection to my laptop? Baring the existence of 1000base-t wireless, whats the next new thing after n - everyone is talking wimax but that not for local lans, that for wireless broadband interent?

Update - My hardware

I'm running on a 2009/Unibody MacBook Pro. My router is an Apple Timecapsule and I'm in a 2 room condo so distance isn't an issue. Its 30-40 min. to copy 100-200 Gigabytes. I'm using AFP as the protocol. A clean channel pair may be hard to find (in a city area). Running iStumbler I see 40 other networks most in using about 1/2 g and 1.2 n. I'm the only one listed on a channel above 100.

My MBP says I'm on channel 157, RSSI -77, Transmit Rate 14, MCS Index is either 0 or 1 using WPA2.

My Timecapsule is set to Multicast Rate High, Transmit Power 100%, WPA Timeout 1 hour, Use wide channels, Use Interference robustness. There are 3 clients connected my MBP, my PS3 and my iPhone. my MBP is connected to the n network and the other 2 are connected to the g networks (timecapsule lists 2 separate networks, 1 for each)

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Up around 20GHz or so. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 28 '11 at 2:33
@Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams: Who sells that one :) – Justin808 Apr 28 '11 at 19:45
Hold your horses; we've only barely broken 10GHz so far. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 28 '11 at 20:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There isn't. There is no wireless technology used for networking now that can even compare to an ethernet LAN connection.

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Well, taking both speed and distance into account, no. Each can be achieved, but not both together. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 28 '11 at 2:39
Well, theoretically the top speed of wireless N is 600MB/s. The top speed of ethernet is 10GB/s. (Actually, 100GB/s technology exists, but it's not common) – ephilip Apr 28 '11 at 2:42
@wphilip - Given the lacking of LAN speed wireless... whats out there? whats the next new wireless tech (for LANs; not broadband)? – Justin808 Apr 28 '11 at 3:30
Baseband is going to becoming a niche technology; wireless connections will become broadband (which is not "WAN", what you actually meant). – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 28 '11 at 3:33 words could not describe the preformance you get out of these AP's. We now have them everywhere in our company... about as fast as you are going to get over wireless. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Apr 28 '11 at 17:24

I've seen modern 450 megabit/s 802.11n (3 spacial streams, MCS 23, 40MHz-wide channels, short guard interval, LDPC) get 350250 megabit/s of TCP throughput within the same room (~5 meters), on a clean channel pair, with sub-3ms latency. So that's about a thirdquarter of what you'd get from 1000BASE-T.

It's not hard to get Fast Ethernet-like throughput even on yesteryear's 802.11n gear such as the old 300 megabit/s stuff that came out in 2007. 150 megabit/s TCP throughput is possible.

If takes you 30-40 minutes to copy 2 GibiBytes of data from your NAS, then you're only getting 7-10 megabit/s, which is sad even by 2002-era 802.11a standards. You need to troubleshoot your network.

Move it to a clean channel pair and start paying attention to your MCS index and data rate. Maybe you need an AP closer to where you use your laptop.

You might also have TCP tuning problems on your NAS or your laptop. What file service protocol are you using? SMB? NFS? AFP? What TCP window sizes are your connection endpoints using?

Update based on Justin808's update with details

Only Apple's latest "Thunderbolt" MacBook Pro's that were just released in February 2011 are capable of 450 megabit/s (3 spacial streams) operation, so your 2009 model tops out at 300 megabit/s signaling. So in ideal conditions, you could see 150 megabits/sec TCP throughput. You're right that that's not anything like the 950+ megabits/sec TCP throughput you could see over 1000BASE-T, but it's faster than the previous generation of Ethernet.

If you bought your Time Capsule at the very end of 2009 or later, you might have a 450 megabit/s capable Time Capsule, but you would need to upgrade your MacBook Pro to get those speeds.

I think you need to double check exactly how long it really takes you to download large files of exactly which sizes over wireless, because 100-200 GibiBytes in 30-40 minutes would be 358-954 megabit/s throughput, which is far beyond the physical capabilities of your 2009 MacBook Pro's wireless card. Maybe you had left your Ethernet cable plugged in and you were actually doing that copy over 1000BASE-T? 954 megabit/s is great TCP throughput for 1000BASE-T without jumbo frames.

What is the make and model of your NAS? You said it was 10TB but a Time Capsule is only 2TB unless you've plugged in several external USB hard drives to it, and USB 2.0 Hi-Speed is only nominally 480 megabit/s; in actuality you'll never get more than about 250 megabit/s sustained reads from a hard drive connected via USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, so if your Time Capsule with a bunch of external drives is your "10TB NAS that's got a nice 1000BASE-T connection", you're fooling yourself. So I'm guessing you've got some other NAS box. I've never seen a good AFP implementation in an embedded NAS box other than Apple AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules, so I'm curious.

Signal strength (RSSI) of -77 dBm is poor. It's below the "roaming threshold" of most wireless clients; that is, at signal strengths that low, your client is actively looking for other APs to roam to, so it's periodically going off-channel to scan for other APs to join. I can't account for why you'd see an RSSI this low in a 2-room condo, unless your walls are made of something seriously RF-blocking. But if you're seeing tons of neighors' networks, it's probably not your walls. I suppose it's possible that there's something wrong with your antennas in your Time Capsule or MacBook Pro, like maybe an antenna connector became disconnected in transit. Try setting your MacBook Pro right next to your Time Capsule. You should see an RSSI in the -30's or better (less negative; closer to zero). If you don't at least see something in the -40's when you're within 1 meter of the AP, then it's time to make an appointment at the Genius Bar.

Your MCS of 0 or 1 and transmit rate of 14 megabit/s is consistent with an RSSI of -77. Of course this is all utterly inconsistent with your claim of 100-200 GibiByte files downloaded in 30-40 minutes, unless I did my arithmetic wrong.

I'd turn off Interference Robustness if I were you. Features like that generally sacrifice range for throughput in the face of interference, and with RSSI -77, it seems like you don't have any range to spare.

By the way, when you talked about the "n network" vs. the "g network", I'm assuming you set up your Time Capsule to use different network names for the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz network. I don't like calling the frequency bands by 802.11 amendment letters like a/b/g/n, because 802.11n works in both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band, so which of those is "the N band"? Also, the "b band" is the same band as the "g band". So it's a bit more clear to refer to the bands as "2.4GHz" and "5GHz".

When it comes to maximizing your throughput at range, make sure you've enabled both A and N on the 5GHz radio, and feel free to do B/G/N or G/N on the 2.4GHz radio. Sometimes the legacy A, G, and even B rates can get better throughput at range than forcing your laptop to stick to N-style signaling. Also, somewhere around an RSSI of -65 dBm or less (remember less == more negative, like -66, -67...-95), you'll usually get better throughput in the 2.4GHz band than in the 5GHz band. Of course that might be mitigated by the airtime taken up by your PS3 and your iPhone, so YMMV.

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+1 Getting decent N speeds requires actually buying a decent N router and configuring it properly. It's not impossible. It's just not as easy as plugging the thing in and expecting it to work out of the box. There are some pretty weak N adapters that come with low end laptops these days as well. – Ryan Bolger Apr 28 '11 at 5:57
I've listed out my hardware and clarified the file size. – Justin808 Apr 28 '11 at 17:22
@Justin808 Okay, I've updated as well. – Spiff Apr 29 '11 at 7:23

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