Forum Thread

How do I test my router/internet connection speed?

blunt_eastwood 459 18 May 3, 2011 at 06:55 PM
I'm currently using a Linksys WRT54G2 to wirelessly connect to the internet in my apartment, where my router is on the first floor and I'm on the second.

I bought the Linksys E2000 refurbished model that was posted recently and finally got it in the mail. Before I set it up I want to test my current speed so that I can measure it against the E2000 and see if it's actually any faster, because I will just return it if it's not.

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#2
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#3
a different router, may improve range or signal strength, allowing for faster pc-to-pc transfers (on your local lan) involving wireless clients... as will the switch to wireless-n (for wireless-n clients), but if the wireless link (with your existing router) was already faster than your internet connection from the isp (and chances are it already is, unless you have an uber-fast internet plan), you'll see no improvement there.
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#4
Quote from 2cheap4retail View Post :
a different router, may improve range or signal strength, allowing for faster pc-to-pc transfers (on your local lan) involving wireless clients... as will the switch to wireless-n (for wireless-n clients), but if the wireless link (with your existing router) was already faster than your internet connection from the isp (and chances are it already is, unless you have an uber-fast internet plan), you'll see no improvement there.
I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Are you saying that despite how fast my modem/internet connection is, it will be bottlenecked by the strength of the signal between my router and computer?

Isn't there a concrete way I can check like the link provided above?

Thanks for the replies by the way.
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#5
Quote from blunt_eastwood View Post :
I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Are you saying that despite how fast my modem/internet connection is, it will be bottlenecked by the strength of the signal between my router and computer?

Isn't there a concrete way I can check like the link provided above?

Thanks for the replies by the way.
You router will not affect your internet speed. You pay for a certain speed right now and if you're getting that speed then there is no need for new equipment. The router simply connects your wireless(ansd wired) devices in your house. Say for example you pay for a 20 Mbps internet line. Wireless G has a connection of 54 Mbps but thats just the connection between your devices. The wireless connection is more than enough to handle the internet speed you pay for. Unless your internet speed is rated higher than your wireless connection, you won't have a need for the new router.
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Quote from blunt_eastwood View Post :
I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Are you saying that despite how fast my modem/internet connection is, it will be bottlenecked by the strength of the signal between my router and computer?
no, the other way around. for most, the (subscribed-to) *internet* speed is the slowest link.

a new 802.11n router (and client adapters, as needed) can improve signal strength /range/coverage (compared to 802.11g) of your wireless network and speed up your local network connections (e.g. copying files from one of your computers to another, where at least one of them is wireless); but will not speed up "the internet" (unless you have uber-fast internet plan that is faster than your 802.11g wireless network speeds)
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#7
Alright, I think I get it. If having an internet connection speed that's faster than your router is rare, why even bother getting an N router in the first place?

Also, is there a way to confirm my speed?
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Quote from blunt_eastwood View Post :
Alright, I think I get it. If having an internet connection speed that's faster than your router is rare, why even bother getting an N router in the first place?

Also, is there a way to confirm my speed?
if you need the extra range 802.11n may provide, or you want faster internal lan throughput (computer to computer on your network), then 802.11n might make sense. 802.11 can also, with the right equipment, operate on the less-crowded 5ghz band (which may help in urban areas with many wireless networks within range)

if your provider has "powerboost" or similar feature, a short speedtest is very inaccurate. a better way for download speeds is to find a good mirror for some large application (e.g. openoffice), game demo or linux distribution -- saturate your download using multiple connections to download the file (e.g. using a download manager, such as downthemall for firefox) and time the download. choose a single file that should take about 2 minutes to download (figure on about 15 megabytes per 1 "meg" of download speed. we use debian network installer or openoffice for 8-15mbit connections).. then calculate your actual speed (let google do the math [google.com] if you're not sure. this is our actual speed on 12mbit down cable)
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#9
Quote from blunt_eastwood View Post :
Alright, I think I get it. If having an internet connection speed that's faster than your router is rare, why even bother getting an N router in the first place?
My Internet is slower than a strong G connection, but I still love my N equipment. It gives me full Internet speed on less than full signal, and it allows me to transfer files and play HD videos across the local network more easily.

As for a specific advantage of 5GHz, which some N equipment supports, I've noticed heavy traffic on 2.4GHz B/G/N can interfere with Bluetooth, but that's not a problem with my 5GHz N equipment.
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#10
I appreciate all of the reponses and I will be sure to rep you all.

One more question: If I were to use the 5Ghz connection, how would I do that? Once I switch the router to 5Ghz, do I just have to be using compatible wireless adapters?
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#11
I believe the E2000 only supports one frequency at a time: 5GHz OR 2.4GHz. Better routers support both simultaneously. If I'm right, then if you want to use 5GHz, then EVERY client must support it. Many phones/tablets/netbooks/low-end laptops/game consoles/USB WiFi adapters/etc are 2.4GHz only, so it's hard to go 5GHz only.

To give 2.4GHz clients access, you'll need to configure E2000 for 2.4GHz operation... or you'll need to keep your old router (configured as a simple wireless AP) for 2.4GHz clients to connect to.
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#12
5GHz tends to have shorter range and not necessarily better throughput so it doesn't make much sense to use it. Especially when the majority of the wireless devices out there still on 2.4GHz only. It's best to get a router with simultaneous dual-band, otherwise, stick with 2.4GHz
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#13
Quote from 2cheap4retail View Post :
a different router, may improve range or signal strength, allowing for faster pc-to-pc transfers (on your local lan) involving wireless clients... as will the switch to wireless-n (for wireless-n clients), but if the wireless link (with your existing router) was already faster than your internet connection from the isp (and chances are it already is, unless you have an uber-fast internet plan), you'll see no improvement there.
This is not necessarily the case. Some people don't get that much G speed and then when you layer encryption on it... well, it's certainly possible the N router could be faster.
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#14
If my internet speed at my PC connected to my router via an ethernet cable is downloading @ 9.7 Mbps and my laptop connecting to the router wirelessly is getting 4.5 Mbps, is my router slowing my laptop down?

Also, can an upgrade of a cable modem increase speed? I understand that if the data is reaching the modem @ 9.7 Mbps than a better modem will not do a thing. Is it possible that the data is reaching the modem @ 20 Mbps and the modem is slowing down the delivery to my machines? I've tested my speed going directly from my modem (skipping the router) and the speed is the same as through the router.
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#15
Replacing your cable modem will not impact your currently subscribed plan with your ISP. Especially if you are on the 10Meg plan. (Say, replacing a car that can go 100Mps with one that can go 200Mph isn't going to change the 65Mph speed limit on the highway)

But if the wired PC has consistently faster speeds then the wireless, then sounds like the wireless could be a problem. Wireless is a shared medium and though there air, so there can be a lot of factors there. Including number of users and interference.

Before you go replacing bits, check what channel your wireless is on...
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/21...ss-signal/
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