Forum Thread

Slower wifi speeds with brand new PCI card?

Forty0zFreedom 201 26 July 15, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I just bought a TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 [tp-link.com] PCIe card to replace a USB TL-WN722n [tp-link.com]. I expected higher speeds for a more expensive product that goes right into a PCIe slot (and has 3 antennas) . . Yet somehow I'm getting about 11-16mbps at Speedtest vs about 20mpbs on the old USB adapter.

The USB adapter advertises 150mpbs and the PCIe advertises 450mpbs.

How is this possible? I've installed different drivers and no luck. I should mention my router is an old wireless G Linksys.

Is it just the nature of a PCIe card to be slower than a USB adapter, and are both being bottlenecked by my old router? Also, what kind of speeds are achievable with a good setup (router, adapter).

Thanks

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#2
What router do you have? If the router's capabilities don't match the adapter, then you will only reach speeds of the slowest device between the two.

Perhaps the PCIe card's antenna's aren't getting a very good signal down near the floor hidden behind the case; where was the USB adapter plugged in? How does the reported signal strength compare?

Speedtest results can vary...
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#3
Quote from dhc014 View Post :
What router do you have? If the router's capabilities don't match the adapter, then you will only reach speeds of the slowest device between the two.

Perhaps the PCIe card's antenna's aren't getting a very good signal down near the floor hidden behind the case; where was the USB adapter plugged in? How does the reported signal strength compare?

Speedtest results can vary...
I tested multiple times to be sure, and after everything its just clear that the PCI card is slower. I actually put the USB adapter behind the case in the same place (next to me on top of the desk) and it was still getting 20mbps vs 10-16mpbs.

This is my router: http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/lbc/wrt54g2
[cisco.com]
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#4
I can't explain why the PCIe adapter is slower, but I can say that there's no reason for you to be spending so much for that adapter when you only have a G router. Neither adapter will connect at speeds over 54Mbps (802.11g speeds) until you update your router.
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#5
Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
I just bought a TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 [tp-link.com] PCIe card to replace a USB TL-WN722n [tp-link.com]. I expected higher speeds for a more expensive product that goes right into a PCIe slot (and has 3 antennas) . . Yet somehow I'm getting about 11-16mbps at Speedtest vs about 20mpbs on the old USB adapter.

The USB adapter advertises 150mpbs and the PCIe advertises 450mpbs.

How is this possible? I've installed different drivers and no luck. I should mention my router is an old wireless G Linksys.

Is it just the nature of a PCIe card to be slower than a USB adapter, and are both being bottlenecked by my old router? Also, what kind of speeds are achievable with a good setup (router, adapter).

Thanks
Why would you test your network speed by using speedtest and complain it's less than the max. speed of your wifi adapter? One is internet speed which is limited by your router or ISP contract and one is limited by the switch(or router if it's built-in) while the other end is on the same LAN. One of the possible reason why the new adapter is slower than the old one could be due to driver, the time of testing (especially if you use cable Internet), or wireless signal strength (the pcie card's antenna has weaker signal than the USB antenna). If you are just looking for an upgrade for Internet, you can pay more per month to ISP to change into a bigger pipe to the Internet. You don't really have to think about the adapter until the Internet speed (and the router's capability) reaches 150mbps.

The wireless signal quality and strength determine the overall network speed, and since this network speed is slower than USB2 or PCIe x1 (99% of the time), it really doesn't matter which interface you use. You won't saturate them unless the controllers are also shared by some other same type of connections. I'd think about the connection between the adapter and the router (wireless signal) instead of the adapter to the computer.

According to spec., TL-WDN4800 comes with 3x2dBi and TL-WN722N comes with 1x 4dBi antenna. That explains why the wireless signal on TL-WN722N is stronger, regardless the location.

The network speed is always determined by its slowest link.
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Last edited by teetee1 July 15, 2012 at 08:38 PM
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Quote from teetee1 View Post :
Why would you test your network speed by using speedtest and complain it's less than the max. speed of your wifi adapter? One is internet speed which is limited by your router or ISP contract and one is limited by the switch(or router if it's built-in) while the other end is on the same LAN. One of the possible reason why the new adapter is slower than the old one could be due to driver, the time of testing (especially if you use cable Internet), or wireless signal strength (the pcie card's antenna has weaker signal than the USB antenna). If you are just looking for an upgrade for Internet, you can pay more per month to ISP to change into a bigger pipe to the Internet. You don't really have to think about the adapter until the Internet speed (and the router's capability) reaches 150mbps.

The wireless signal quality and strength determine the overall network speed, and since this network speed is slower than USB2 or PCIe x1 (99% of the time), it really doesn't matter which interface you use. You won't saturate them unless the controllers are also shared by some other same type of connections. I'd think about the connection between the adapter and the router (wireless signal) instead of the adapter to the computer.

According to spec., TL-WDN4800 comes with 3x2dBi and TL-WN722N comes with 1x 4dBi antenna. That explains why the wireless signal on TL-WN722N is stronger, regardless the location.

The network speed is always determined by its slowest link.
Networking isn't exactly my strong suit, but its making more sense now. I know I'm not gonna get speeds that my ISP/router can't deliver, but my concern is that regardless, the PCI card is slow(er) than the USB device.

The antennas being worse makes sense, and is really disappointing. Why they wouldn't include better antennas is amazing to me. Is there a way to get better antennas on this thing?
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Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
Networking isn't exactly my strong suit, but its making more sense now. I know I'm not gonna get speeds that my ISP/router can't deliver, but my concern is that regardless, the PCI card is slow(er) than the USB device.

The antennas being worse makes sense, and is really disappointing. Why they wouldn't include better antennas is amazing to me. Is there a way to get better antennas on this thing?

The spec. says the antenna connector type is RP-SMA. Perhaps search ebay with keywords like "RP-SMA antenna 18dbi" will give you some answers. Though I would check and make sure the connector type is the exact fit since by experience that it's uncommon for ebay sellers to screw up the connector type description (there are several different types and may look the same to them!)
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Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
Networking isn't exactly my strong suit, but its making more sense now. I know I'm not gonna get speeds that my ISP/router can't deliver, but my concern is that regardless, the PCI card is slow(er) than the USB device.

The antennas being worse makes sense, and is really disappointing. Why they wouldn't include better antennas is amazing to me. Is there a way to get better antennas on this thing?
Do you even notice a difference in speed when you're just using the computer normally?

Stop pouring money into adapter upgrades; get a better router. With a two (300Mbps) or three-stream (450Mbps) 802.11n router, the PCIe card would probably have an advantage over the single stream (150Mbps) USB adapter.
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Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
Networking isn't exactly my strong suit, but its making more sense now. I know I'm not gonna get speeds that my ISP/router can't deliver, but my concern is that regardless, the PCI card is slow(er) than the USB device.

The antennas being worse makes sense, and is really disappointing. Why they wouldn't include better antennas is amazing to me. Is there a way to get better antennas on this thing?
To do a real test you should transfer data over the LAN, NOT the WAN. That will narrow down an exact speed gap.

You can get larger antennas but be forewarned, larger is not always better!!! The size of the antenna should be directly proportional to the wavelength of the signal. I'm sure an Electrical Engineer could explain it better, but those cheapo ebay antennas might or might not be a size multiple of the wavelength.
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Quote from teetee1 View Post :
The spec. says the antenna connector type is RP-SMA. Perhaps search ebay with keywords like "RP-SMA antenna 18dbi" will give you some answers. Though I would check and make sure the connector type is the exact fit since by experience that it's uncommon for ebay sellers to screw up the connector type description (there are several different types and may look the same to them!)
That's what I was thinking. I found this one on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Booste...ma+antenna

My only concern is if 1 is enough, and I read somewhere that too high of a dBi can create a security risk. Any idea if that's true?

Quote from dhc014 View Post :
Do you even notice a difference in speed when you're just using the computer normally?

Stop pouring money into adapter upgrades; get a better router. With a two (300Mbps) or three-stream (450Mbps) 802.11n router, the PCIe card would probably have an advantage over the single stream (150Mbps) USB adapter.
I definitely notice a difference; that's what led me to testing it. A good router is the next step but I'd like to at least get optimal range if its a cheap fix with the antenna I posted above.

Quote from brbubba View Post :
To do a real test you should transfer data over the LAN, NOT the WAN. That will narrow down an exact speed gap.

You can get larger antennas but be forewarned, larger is not always better!!! The size of the antenna should be directly proportional to the wavelength of the signal. I'm sure an Electrical Engineer could explain it better, but those cheapo ebay antennas might or might not be a size multiple of the wavelength.
How does this one look? http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Booste...ma+antenna
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#11
Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
That's what I was thinking. I found this one on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Booste...ma+antenna

My only concern is if 1 is enough, and I read somewhere that too high of a dBi can create a security risk. Any idea if that's true?
It's only true if you use no encryption or encryption that is easy to break.
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Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
How does this one look? http://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Booste...ma+antenna
9 dBi seems ok, but the reviews are pretty bad. I would see if you can find something cheaper on ebay, just don't expect any miracles here.
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Well I went with the antenna on Amazon, and speed seems to have decreased. I really just can't begin to understand why this would be happening. I'm getting about 8mbps as opposed to 20+ with the USB adapter. I think this is my first and last hurrah with PCIe wireless adapters. Antennas don't seem to even do anything, which makes me wonder if I'm even attaching them right.

Can anyone recommend a good USB adapter that would take advantage of a Wireless N router?
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Quote from Forty0zFreedom View Post :
Can anyone recommend a good USB adapter that would take advantage of a Wireless N router?
Don't you have a G router?
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Quote from dhc014 View Post :
Don't you have a G router?
Not after this weekend
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