I have a Netgear Router which connects to my Cisco router. I have a gigabit switch which connects to my servers in my Garage..

I am currently connecting with wifi adapter on my desktop (in my room) with the netgear router. They all communicate, but speed is very slow. I want to connect the Desktop with my Gigabit switch, which is in my garage.

I can't use LAN cable for that. All my data files and videos are on drives attached to those servers. How can I wirelessly connect to the switch so that my speed will become fast?

  • Could the slow speed be due to interference or signal strength? You might want to look into a signal booster or change up the freq which the router broadcast (i can remember the name of the setting). Also each wireless router is not the same even if they are marked with wireless n. Side note i had a Cisco 1200 wireless and i retired it. Was terrible. One guys opinion there. – Jason McD Apr 16 '14 at 4:04

Yes, the fastest 802.11ac equipment on the market today allow PHY rates up to 1300mbps. With standard frame aggregation, they can just barely hit 80% efficiency, for TCP throughput of 1.04 Gbps, which is better than gigabit Ethernet's maximum TCP-over-IPv4 throughput of 941 Mbps (with standard sized 1500 Byte frames).

I've actually seen two 2013 retina MacBook Pros (which support the 1300Mbps flavor of 802.11ac) do 1.02Gbps of IPerf TCP throughput over Wi-Fi when one was acting as the AP.

When bridging from 1300Mbps AC to gigabit Ethernet through a typical consumer AP, you'll be limited to gigabit Ethernet's 941Mbps of throughput, but typically also have a little higher latency and a little less efficient frame aggregation, so you'll probably only see a little over 800Mbps of TCP throughput even in ideal conditions. But that's still pretty close to gigabit speeds.

Whether or not you can maintain the 1300Mbps PHY rate in your particular RF conditions (through the garage wall, etc.) is another matter, but 802.11ac gives you a fighting chance of having gigabit-like wireless performance.

You're not going to be able to get these speeds with an 802.11ac USB dongle, because those dongles usually only do the 867Mbps (2 spatial stream) flavor of 802.11ac, and a lot of them only use USB 2.0 for some inexplicable reason, limiting them to well under 480Mbps.

But if you put a 3-spatial-stream 802.11ac PCIe card in your desktop, like the ASUS PCE-AC66, and put a 3-spatial-stream 802.11ac router in your garage, like the ASUS RT-AC66U, and you position them well, pick a clean 80MHz-wide channel, and tune your TCP window size well, you have a fighting chance of getting 500-800 Mbps of TCP throughput between your desktop and your servers in your garage.

  • Great post, @Spiff. Since a few years have passed since this original answer, I'm curious if you have any additional information on how consumers can achieve 1 gigabit speeds on home/consumer-grade hardware. Have there been any stand-out developments to make this process easier/more reliable? – Prefix Dec 26 '17 at 14:38
  • @Prefix Getting a full 942 Mbps of TCP/IPv4 throughput (which is the max that Gigabit Ethernet is capable of with standard-sized frames) via wireless is probably possible with 802.11ad (60GHz, WiGig) at close range, or with 4 Spatial Stream 802.11ac on a clean channel and at close range (of course both your client and AP must support 4 Spatial Stream 802.11ac, which is hard to find in a laptop, so you'd have to use a 4x4:4 desktop card. – Spiff Dec 26 '17 at 20:07

This answer is, according to some posters, obsolete for most modern WiFi deployments. See the answer of @Spiff instead (or too: most advanced wireless devices are not allways, and in any were, easy to find. If you don't have access to 802.11ac devices, this one below is still your answer).

As for today (April 2014): you can not, at least in a practical manner.

The best you can get comes from Wireless 802.11N capable access points (or routers), with a theorical maximum of 300Mbps (a bit less than 1/3 of your desired Gigabit).
But... bad news: in the practical field, they do never achieve that theorical speed. Most they get is around 50Mbps (or, translated, 6 MBytes per second) in the best-scenario case, scenario that you will probably not have at home due to walls or, even worst, floors.

Example of wireless speed comparison for modern 802.11N WiFi here.

I think it is theorically possible to buy multiple 802.11N access point (or wireless cards) and deploy some balance load, also known as dividing the transfer between multiple network paths (look at the first image with the 4 Network load balancing hosts in the middle of the network on this tech paper from Microsoft; it is designed for cable networks, but the example is equal for wireless).
But think a bit about it: as long as you request for Gigabit speed, 1.000Mbps/50Mbps == 20 wireless lines transfering radio data (lets hope there will be no interferences between them). Is it worth the price to buy all that stuff?

And, as @Slartibartfast refers below, you will have to add the complexity of configurations involved.

  • With N non-overlapping, unused wireless channels, you can get the sum of the bandwidths of each wireless channel by purchasing s x N wireless adapters (N for each endpoint) and tuning them, and then bonding them. This approach is what is known as: hard. – Slartibartfast Apr 16 '14 at 3:06
  • @Slartibartfast, is that an special capability of the 802.11N wireless devices? If yes, are they easily configurable for that? I have not dealed much with them. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Apr 16 '14 at 3:10
  • @Slartibartfast, I have edited my answer to ad some info about it: it is still an average of 20 x 802.11N devices. On each side, so they will sum 40 devices. I will suppose an estimate cost of 50$ each. It sums 2000$ total. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Apr 16 '14 at 3:12
  • 2
    This answer was true 7 years ago in 2007 when 802.11n first came out, but it started to become wrong in 2009 when 3-spatial-stream (450Mbps) N gear started coming out, and it's way wrong since mid 2013 when mainstream/stable 3-spatial-stream 802.11ac gear (1300Mbps max PHY rate) hit the market. 802.11ac is mainstream now. Every Mac model introduced in 2013 has 1300 or 867Mbps 802.11ac built-in. Laptops and desktops and ultrabooks (MacBook Airs) alike. Every major retail Wi-Fi AP vendor has 1300Mbps APs out. – Spiff Apr 16 '14 at 6:57
  • 1
    @Spiff, I must admit that I was not aware of the availability of such 802.11ac WiFi models. They are not very usual on shops as for now (for writing my answer I did a bit of online research on some major distributor, and didn't find them), but it is true they exist and they are not even too expensive (there seems to be some models for about 150$). Maybe the original poster should give them a try, instead of losing all hopes after reading my answer. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Apr 16 '14 at 14:20

More information would help provide a better answer, however there are a few things you can possibly do depending on the distance -

  1. 802.11ac is a newer standard then 802.11n and the equipment is available off-the-shelf - it runs in the 5 gig band and can handle faster speeds then 802.11n. (This hardware is not cheap, but its affordable). 802.11ac has better range and speed then 802.11n. You won't get it, but speeds of up to 1 gigabit are possible on 802.11ac

  2. If WIFi interference is a problem you may be able to use Ethernet over Power. New Powerline adaptors have theoretical speeds of up to 500 Mbps using the Powerline 500 AV standard.

  3. Its non trivial, but if you have the knowhow you should be able to "channel bond" a powerline + 802.11ac connection and I would not be surprised if you get close to Gigabit speeds - using off-the-shelf hardware available to consumers !!!


There is expensive all in one solution Ubiquity AirFiber With true 1.4Gbps+ data throughput

  • Hah. There's also free space optics (laser link), options, which could work. – Tom O'Connor Apr 16 '14 at 6:35
  • Yeah, except that its 24 gigahertz band. Last I looked that requires a license which no doubt will be more expensive then gutting the appropriate bits of the property to put in ethernet or fibre. – davidgo Apr 16 '14 at 6:59
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    Dude, that is so clearly NOT an indoor product. I'd hate to see the SAR warnings for standing in front of one of those. – Spiff Apr 16 '14 at 7:01

As long as this thread seems to be evolving into a (n interesting one) debate about technical details and scientifical opinions concerning state-of-the-art nearly-supreme wireless networking technologies, I would like to give a more simple (yet useful for googlers, I hope) answer for end-users seeking for a practical solution to its WiFi low-speed at home issue.

I have deployed multiple wireless systems during years, and I must resume that speakingconcerning to easy-to-install systems (an access point or router to plug and forget), in my tests, when the technology offered:

11Mbps      --real speed was--> 2.5Mbps
22Mbps      --real speed was--> 5Mbps
54Mbps      --real speed was--> 10Mbps
72Mbps      --real speed was--> 20Mbps

And these results were for best conditions with no channel overlapping (most modern routers auto-select channel correctly to avoid this) and near (same room) from the antena device. With this history, we can not be sure that speed results will be different with most modern 802.11ac.

So, my simple answer is:

  • If you want to buy something, plug it, and configure a few things with no much job to do (just wireless network name, maybe channel, and no much more) as many people wishes, the Gigabit speed wireless network is, in the given conditions, not reachable.
  • However, if you are ready to spend time (hours at least), but not necessarily much money, fighting with whatever defies you, other answers, like the @Spiff one, are for you.

Remember: computer-scientists, as any other engineers, are happy solving problems, so we use to underestimate the headache that the end-user is capable of allow in "configuring the odd thing".

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