I have a 100Mbps internet connection at home. When I connect my laptop direct to internet ethernet port, I get around 90-95Mbps download speed on speedtest. When I place a wireless router(Belkin N Wireless router) between and connect to its wireless network, run speed test, I get around 20-25 Mbps, even if I stand right on top of wireless router.

I get same speedtest results on all wireless devices(smartphones, tablets) around 20-25Mbps. So my question is it normal to have slower speed on wireless network than wired network? I was expecting atleast 50Mbps on wireless devices. I have tried another wireless router with same results. Does buying an AC router will help?


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    Maybe your laptop doesn't support N. I would expect to see around 30Mbps with your setup, assuming 20MHz channel width and both ends supporting 802.11n reasonably. – David Schwartz Nov 15 '18 at 21:02

Wireless speeds depend a lot on the type being used. If you are on an AC Router lets say an AC1750 connection and your wireless adapter is also an AC type then you would get your 100Mbps connection speed.

Check what wireless adapter your laptop has, if it supports AC then yes get an AC router and properly set it up. Just as a note: Comcast typically sets up wireless access points wrong. You'll want to look up the proper way to set up the router you get to achieve max throughput.

I have 5 AC Routers (4 act as access points) they all use the same SSID and naming is the same across all B-G-A connections. I also have all my routers wired to Ethernet for max throughput. I get very good performance anywhere in my 1900sq foot home. Typically I get around 250Mbps to half a Gigabit a second speeds using AC1750 class devices on both device and access point.

If your laptop is older and only supports G then you would have to upgrade your laptop.

  • I ended up getting a AC1300 router. The speed is much better, getting around 80-90Mbps. – Dandy Nov 18 '18 at 5:32

Yes, it's very normal to have slower wireless than wired speed. There are circumstances where a home network's wired bandwidth and responsiveness is reduced, but for the most part, plugging in is faster and more reliable.

Buying an AC router will help, if the end user device also uses AC, and the wireless channel isn't congested, and the distance is short, and there are no other problems. Please be aware that 802.11ax (called WiFi 6) is coming out in 2019. https://www.wi-fi.org/news-events/newsroom/wi-fi-alliance-introduces-wi-fi-6

Please be aware that network bandwidth is limited by the slowest segment of the trip. Imagine a big server a hundred miles away. It will try to use all available bandwidth to send you a file, and has fast fiber optic links most of the way. The "last mile", the part handled by your ISP, is usually the slowest segment of the trip. Yours is limited to 100Mbps. Having faster wireless equipment locally helps with perceived speed, but the bandwidth from outside will never be any more than the slowest part of the trip.

  • Given what he said, it may also just be a case of a really crappy wireless router. Unless it's a 1x1 configuration and the hardware is poor, 802.11n should be doing far better than 25Mbps. – Austin Hemmelgarn Nov 15 '18 at 19:44
  • Agreed, except that we shouldn't assume that all end user devices are operating at 802.11n , but may be on an older standard. We also shouldn't assume the spectrum is clear (Bluetooth, other wifi devices, bad microwaves), or that the end user devices have multiple antennae. – Christopher Hostage Nov 15 '18 at 20:21

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