I have Netgear WNR1000 150N, Macbook Pro 13" with Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0, Network connection 60mbps

When I connect through the cable I easily get around 60mbps. When I go through the WiFi it's capable to get only 32mbps at tops. Any ideas why is that? Is that my router limitation or maybe my WiFi card? If it is routers fault what router would you suggest. Best router would be with usb port for external hard drive.

Forgot to add screenshot with connection details: enter image description here

Szybkość transmisji == Transmission speed

3 Answers 3


It's your router. The Netgear WNR1000 150N is a 1x1:1 (non-MIMO), 2.4GHz-only AP. It's basically "N in name only". The only reason it can claim 150mbps is when it's configured to use wide (40MHz wide instead of 20MHz) channels in the 2.4GHz band. Unfortunately, the 2.4GHz band is too crowded for devices to use wide channels effectively. They overlap too much with other networks, and squeeze out other users like Bluetooth.

Your MacBook Pro, on the other hand, does at least 2x2:2 MIMO in either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, making it capable of up to 300 mbps operation. If you have the Spring 2011 (Thunderbolt) model or later, it even does 3x3:3 in either band, for 450mbps operation. Note that Apple products wisely adopt "good neighbor" policies in 2.4GHz, limiting themselves to standard 20MHz-wide channels. But because all N-capable Macs are 2x2:2 or 3x3:3, they can do 144.4 or 216.7 mbps on standard (narrow) 20MHz channels in 2.4GHz, if the AP is also at least 2x2:2 MIMO, like all "real" 802.11n gear is, and always has been since the Draft-N stuff in late 2006.

But since you've got an AP limited to single-stream 2.4GHz operation, and a client that employs a "good neighbor" policy in 2.4GHz to limit itself to standard 20MHz channels, the best signaling rate you can get is 72.2mbps. Take away 802.11's typical overhead of 50%, and adjust for real-world imperfect RF conditions, and your 32mbps throughput sounds about right. Actually, it sounds great. I'd be very pleased with that rate given those constraints.

A good Wi-Fi home gateway router in 2012 ought to be simultaneous dual-band and do 3x3:3 in both bands (some vendors call this "N900" or "900N" or "450N + 450N"). Apple's mid-2011 revision of the AirPort Extreme is a good choice, as is the Linksys E4200 and the Netgear WNDR4500.

  • realy good explanation. I have MacBookPro7,1. What about MacbookPro4,1 version (last not unibody 15,4" mbp). Is it capable to do "real" 2x2:2 n ? Mar 22, 2012 at 17:29
  • Also do you know any cheaper routers that would be do 2x2:2 "real" n? I must admit that all AirPort Extrem, Linksys and Netgear are realy expensive for polish guy Mar 22, 2012 at 17:34
  • Maybe Airport Express Base Station will be enough? Mar 22, 2012 at 17:37
  • Netgear WNR3500L Mar 22, 2012 at 17:48
  • @KamilKlimek All N-capable Macs (all Macs since c. 2007 with a Core 2 Duo or better), as well as all N-capable AirPort Extremes/Expresses/Time Capsules have done "real" 2x2:2 or better N. The AirPort Express is currently showing its age as it is not simultaneous dual-band, so you'll have to choose between supporting 2.4GHz-only devices like iPhones, or allowing the wider channels and better throughputs of using 5GHz. Also, its USB port is only for printer sharing, not hard drive sharing. You need an AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule for that.
    – Spiff
    Mar 22, 2012 at 17:56

With WiFi you will never get real world speeds (or throughput) near to the advertised speeds of the device. When you read on the box "up to 150Mbps" this is not talking about throughput, but rather connection speed.

The connection speed is how fast the data can be transmitted and received between two devices, however there are a number of factors that separate this speed from what normal users would consider their throughput. Ultimately, if you get throughput that is 30-40% of the best connection speed, you are doing really well, but I would expect in most cases that this would be lower.

Leave it at that if you want, but if you are interested, here are a few of the reasons throughput will never match connection speed (there are others, but this can be a very involved conversation).

First, WiFi utilizes a shared medium. Since they work by sending a radio signal into the air, only one device on the same frequency in the same area can talk at any given point in time or they will interfere with each other.

While not a perfect example, think of this as driving in your car on a long trip and listening to FM radio. If you get to a point where you pick up signal from two radio stations using the same frequency, they start to interfere with each other. This may create static, the sound cutting out, etc.

Since most network traffic is a two way communication, even with only two devices in an area (router/accesspoint and one station), this will have a impact on throughput. 802.11 devices are programmed to share the RF, so more devices means the impact is greater. This can include other nearby WiFi networks as well.

Second, you will typically not get the highest connection speed at all times. As you move further from the router/access point and the signal strength decreases, the connection speed will reduce. Even if you disable the older 802.11 technologies, the lowest connection speed for 802.11n is 6.5Mbps.

Third, there is "management" overhead for wireless. An example is the probe and beacon frames which make it possible for your device to "see" what wireless networks are available. The list also includes 802.11 associations, authentications, acknowledgements, protection mechanisms, and so on.

While typically these won't make up a lot of traffic, one study sponsored by Ofcom (Great Britain's equivalent to the US's FCC), showed that in some urban areas the majority of traffic in the air was made up of management traffic. A bit technical, but if you are interested, you can find it here: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/technology-research/wfiutilisation.pdf

Don't read too much into this study, as there are a number of factors one needs to consider outside of the data they capture. For instance, capturing traffic from one access point in a faraday cage with no client devices would result in 100% of the traffic being management.

I can go on, but hopefully that illustrates some of the factors to consider.


Depend how you meter your connection, but 32Mb/s for WiFi is a good value.
Your WiFi card is limited to 802.11g, so no more than 54Mb/s ideally. So 32Mb/s is okay, really.

If you want more speed, try another WiFi channel (on the router, the WiFi card will adjust), but you won't have a huge gain.

  • The 43xx line has plenty of N models in it, and Apple has always used the N models. His card is not limited to G.
    – Spiff
    Mar 22, 2012 at 17:16
  • As I said 32mbps WiFi is realy not good as I'm paying for 60mbps connection. So no, it is not realy good for me as I get half of what I pay for. I have an idea... Give me $100 and I'll give you $50 back... Internet transactions are trust limited, so getting back $50 from $100 is okay, really... Mar 22, 2012 at 17:23
  • The fact you pay for a 60Mb/s connection have nothing to do with your internal network speed. As said in my answer, and in the other on top, your WiFi won't fit. Period. Mar 22, 2012 at 20:18
  • My question was what is limiting my speed and not "is it good speed". Your answer isn't helpfull at all. I would even say that your answer gives me informations I already had when asking question. Mar 23, 2012 at 15:33

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