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I have a DSL router that has a maximum bandwidth of 10MBit downstream.

  • LAN Clients get full downstream

  • wireless Clients that are capable of 802.11n get full downstream

  • wireless Clients with 802.11b/g (e.g. Thinkpad R500) only get 6.4MBit, though g theoretically allows for 50MBit

Any ideas why?

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I'd try another router, but I suspect (despite not knowing the make and model of the current device, information it'd be useful to include in your post) that it's a limitation of the router, whose radio chipset probably privileges 802.11n throughput at the cost of not being so great with b/g. (I'd also double-check and make sure the b/g capable devices are not connecting via 802.11b; 6.4Mbps is a bit over half the theoretical max for b, and nowhere near what you should be getting with g.) –  Aaron Miller Apr 30 '13 at 21:51
Router is a german Speedport W303 type A, supposedly equvalent to Arcadyan arv7526PW with chipset ralink rt-2860t. I'll perform the checks suggested next time I can get close to the router. –  arney Apr 30 '13 at 21:58
Which OS is on the Thinkpad? Can you boot a live-CD with a different OS and compare? –  ott-- Apr 30 '13 at 22:03
2.4Ghz or 5.0 Ghz 802.11n if its 2.4 that's the reason. –  Ramhound May 1 '13 at 1:14
The router - at time of measurements - was set to broadcast in b,g and n. Why would the frequency of n harm the downstream of g? –  arney May 1 '13 at 10:39

1 Answer 1

I think even if in theory, WiFi is capable to achieve higher speed there are number of factors affect actual speed, for example Interference,Signal propagation, Shared bandwidth,Distance etc.

MSFT has suggested few things that you can do to improve your wireless network speed.

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I might add that I measured while holding the laptop about one foot away from the wireless router... –  arney May 1 '13 at 10:41

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