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I am experiencing an issue where I have a slow wireless connection speed on my WMP54G Wireless-G PCI adapter.

Using speedtest.net, I can see that I am getting a connection speed of only about 5 Mbps through my wireless network to the internet on my desktop computer using the WMP54G. My 2008 MacBook (AirPort Extreme wireless?) shows speeds around 28Mbps on speedtest.net, from the same location in my house, on the same network (I pay for 25Mbps to the internet). I have repeated the experiment several times and I see roughly the same results.

This leads me to believe that my WMP54G is the bottleneck and is causing me to get a slower connection on the desktop computer. I realize this PCI card is a little bit old, but since it is wireless G it should be capable of up to (about) 54Mbps right? 5Mbps seems really slow.

What other tests can I do to confirm that the WMP54G is the cause of the slow connection speed? And, assuming it is the cause, what can I do to fix it? If I buy a newer (faster) card, can I know in advance that the new card will show a significant speed improvement?

Edit: I guess my question really boils down to this: Is it common for a Wireless-G card to only get 5 Mbps, or does this indicate a problem with the card/driver/etc? Are there any ways to improve performance short of buying a different card?

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1 Answer 1

"What other tests can I do to confirm that the WMP54G is the cause of the slow connection speed?"

To test software: Try a different OS and see how it works. To test hardware: Try a different, known-good adapter.

"If I buy a newer (faster) card, can I know in advance that the new card will show a significant speed improvement?"

Not unless you determine the exact cause of your current problem first.

If you want to avoid hassles/fear of buying a new card blindly, then pick up the computer and take it to a computer shop so they can test a replacement card, and show you it working at >5Mbps, before you buy it from them.

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Trying a different OS is a good idea. I actually already dual-boot Linux on that machine so I will give that a go. Your suggestion to try a different adapter is also a good idea, but I don't have a different adapter to try unless I buy a new one. –  mkasberg May 28 at 19:11
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Taking computer to someplace to test another card invalidates the premise that it's the card that's the culprit. Technically. You'd have to prove you only got 5Mbps at their place too. But they've likely got different router/wireless/upstream/etc. Just saying... –  lornix May 29 at 21:21
    
I tested the card under Ubuntu Linux and got the same result (theoretically eliminating software/driver problems). Based on some things I've read, it sounds like a new wireless n card would perform better than the old wireless g card I have. Is that likely to be the case? –  mkasberg Jun 1 at 3:57

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