I have a 2.5Mbit/s Internet connection that I want to share between two laptops located in separate rooms. The first laptop is connected to the Internet with a LAN cable through the cable modem but doesn't have a working Wi-Fi adapter. The second computer has a working Wi-Fi adapter but is not currently connected.

I want to connect a wireless router to the cable modem then connect the router and first laptop with the LAN cable, and connect the second laptop to the wireless router through Wi-Fi.

How will this impact my Internet speed, response times and ping when both laptops are actively using the connection?


Response time and ping will not decrease at all unless one of them is using the bandwidth heavily (file transfers typically). Without any QoS, one of the two could consume all the bandwidth and degrade network performance for both. However, during normal usage there should be no noticable difference.

If QoS becomes necessary, a cheap router with DD-WRT or Tomato installed would be an easy fix.

EDIT: Here are some possible scenarios the OP has asked for:

  • Accessing different websites simultaneously: should see no impact.
  • POP3 and downloading mails at the same time: little impact unless the mails are huge. Both clients downloading 20x 40mb mails - yes, they'll both go slower. Both clients downloading 20x 20kb mails - no.
  • Donloading a file + surfing - yes, unless an FTP program with rate limiting is used to prevent the file download from using all bandwidth. OR, QoS is used at the router. This is where QOS would be valuable, because you could prioritize large downloads below web surfing and guarantee the surfer is not impacted.
  • Bittorrent + surfing - same as file downloading, except all Bittorrent clients have rate limiters built in.

Bottom line is if you want both parties to do things without being aware of the other, and doing "polite" things like limiting their rates, use QoS.

  • What if in case both laptops access different websites at the same time continuously? Or using POP3 email accounts and downloading mails at the same time? Or one laptops downloads large file and another laptop surfs internet? Or one laptop is using BitTorrent client and another one is surfing internet? – Boris_yo Apr 30 '11 at 5:39
  • @Boris_yo: updated the post with those scenarios. – BigChief Apr 30 '11 at 13:07
  • You know when i used Emule several years ago and it was running, the response times were very slow, pings also and it was impossible to talk on Skype. I have not tried running BitTorrent and using Skype at the same time, but do you think QoS would help me to set priorities between P2P and VOIP? I have Edimax that i bought 2 years ago and 3Com that i bought 5 years ago. Does that mean i will have to overwrite their firmware in order to use firmware with QoS in links you gave above? Well i do not want to use non-official firmwares for my routers. – Boris_yo Apr 30 '11 at 23:18
  • Without QoS, you can improve response times and provide bandwidth to other applications via limiting rates to say 70% of the total pipe. However, QoS is really what you need to ensure that VOIP / web packets jump to the front of the line ahead of P2P packets. I do not know about the features of the firmware for those routers. If you are unwilling to use non-official firmwares, you'll probably have to purchase a new router which supports it in the offical firmware, such as this. – BigChief May 1 '11 at 3:55
  • BitTorrent traffic can put substantial load onto the router - usually much more than HTTP downloads at the rate. Some routers will will get overwhelmed with that workload and become a bottleneck for all internet traffic. – Klaws Oct 3 '18 at 7:39

They will divide the bandwidth but usually the impact will not be very high unless both are downloading big files.

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