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2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

mccolo
Aspirant

2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

Hi everyone, just picked up an R7000 today. Not sure I'm having the best time with it Smiley Sad

I'm using a Late 2013 MacBook Pro—5 GHz 802.11ac performance from this guy is amazing. However, when I'm connected to the 2.4 GHz network, the transmit rate as reported by Mac OS X is never higher than 145, even with my computer and router next to eachother. This is when the router is first plugged in, with default settings. I've tried the following things:



    Is my computer just...terrible...? Any thoughts? I'd really rather not return this thing if I've missed something obvious. Thanks all!
Message 1 of 14
s52m3
Aspirant

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

I don't know what the theoretical cap is for 2.4GHz wireless-N but this router with DD-WRT I get 150mbps on several devices.
Message 2 of 14
fordem
Mentor

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

s52m3 wrote:
I don't know what the theoretical cap is for 2.4GHz wireless-N but this router with DD-WRT I get 150mbps on several devices.


If the router has a setting for upto 600 mbps on 2.4 it would suggest that the theoretical cap is at least 600 mbps (it's actually 540 mbps, so the upto 600 has been rounded up) however I am not certain if there is hardware in current production capable of achieving that throughput.

I feel it's about time wireless equipment manufacturers recognize that the technology has reached a point where the average user lacks the knowledge and experience to install the newer equipment, and conversely, the users needs to recognize his/her limitations, and decide to either call in a professional - or - make the investment in time to learn how the products work.

Wireless-n achieves it's increased throughput using three methods, improved modulation, double bandwidth channels & multiple spatially separated streams - a maximum of four streams are allowed, I have yet to see consumer equipment supporting more than three - which would give a theoretical limit of 450 mbps.

Unless your equipment (both ends - router/access point AND client adapter) fully supports these methods, your throughput is going to be limited - that 150 mbps connection speed "cap" could be either two single bandwidth streams or one double bandwidth stream or- you're probably being limited either by the environment (too many 2.4 GHz networks in the area will limit you to single bandwidth streams for co-existence) or the hardware (how many streams are supported) many laptops do not have the space to accommodate multiple antennas with the separation needed for spatially separated streams to work.

There are ways to tweak your installation to maximize throughput, but, since many of the tweaks are dependent on the installation environment, each installation must be approached and analyzed as a unique situation - if you're not willing to invest in the time & equipment to do it - seek professional help.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 3 of 14
Retired_Member
Not applicable

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

I get 300 using 2.4 @ 600 with intel AC 7260
Message 4 of 14
s52m3
Aspirant

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

All I know is that I get up to 500mbps over wireless AC, and that's why I bought this damn thing.
Message 5 of 14
fordem
Mentor

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

searay wrote:
I get 300 using 2.4 @ 600 with intel AC 7260


I guess Searay has just confirmed the limit factor is not the router, it's either the client or the environment.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 6 of 14
fordem
Mentor

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

s52m3 wrote:
All I know is that I get up to 500mbps over wireless AC, and that's why I bought this damn thing.


Which is neither here nor there since the issue raised by the original poster is limited throughput on 2.4 GHz - but - since you bring it up, is that a connect speed of 500 mbps or actual measured throughput?

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 7 of 14
s52m3
Aspirant

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

fordem wrote:
Which is neither here nor there since the issue raised by the original poster is limited throughput on 2.4 GHz - but - since you bring it up, is that a connect speed of 500 mbps or actual measured throughput?


It neither here nor there. I do believe I get 300mbps connection speed with my work laptop over 2.4GHz, I'd have to test. I know my Nexus 5 only connects at 150mbps over 2.4GHz. Bottom line there is no limitation on the router, it's the client that dictates the max speed.

As far as 5GHz I get ~50MB/s download in the same room as the router. In general it's anywhere between 300-400mbps when connecting with a laptop one level below the router. In any case it's fantastic for my needs.
Message 8 of 14
RogerSC
Virtuoso

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

My guess on this one is that the Apple laptop in question has a single wireless stream on 2.4GHz. band. That would limit it to about 145Mbps on 2.4GHz. band, no matter what you do on the router. If that's the case, then use it on 5GHz. and enjoy the throughput there. That's what I would do *smile*.

If there were 2 streams on 2.4GHz., you'd get about 300Mbps, and 3 streams would get you about 450Mbps. Sounds like only one 1 stream on 2.4GHz. on the laptop, then. Not too unusual.
Message 9 of 14
mccolo
Aspirant

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

Hi again everyone, thanks for posting so much and discussing this in great detail.

I'd like to say that I fully recognize the difference between actual and theoretical throughput on these routers—I promise I'm not an "average" user who sees "Up to 600 Mbps" on the box and assumes I'll see actual 600 on my LAN over wireless. I setup my R7000 intending to do a direct comparison between it and my fifth generation AirPort Extreme from 2011. With that router I'm able to see 2.4 speeds of ~300 on average (reported by OS, not actual measured). When the R7000 wasn't coming close to that, I was of course concerned. I obviously don't want a worse product.

To the user who mentioned seeing ~150 with DD-WRT—I pondered flashing it to see if it would help—but I decided I really wanted to stick to the stock firmware at first. And I've decided too that I don't think it's the fault of my laptop having a single wireless stream, because the logic board in my MacBook Pro should have an onboard Broadcom BCM94360CSAX, which as far as I know supports multiple antennas?

That all said, given my lack of success (with taking posts from this thread into consideration), I've opted to return the R7000 and test the Archer C7 and see if I have any better luck. If I don't, perhaps I'll return to the R7000 as I really loved its AC performance and USB 3 port!
Message 10 of 14
fordem
Mentor

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

mccolo wrote:
I setup my R7000 intending to do a direct comparison between it and my fifth generation AirPort Extreme from 2011. With that router I'm able to see 2.4 speeds of ~300 on average (reported by OS, not actual measured). When the R7000 wasn't coming close to that, I was of course concerned. I obviously don't want a worse product.


I just want to reiterate here, the environment also has a part to play in this.

Whilst being able to achieve a 300 mbps connect rate with the AirPort Extreme does indicate that the MacBook can achieve higher connect rates than 150 (and thus is not the limiting factor), just as an example, if that test was done at a previous point in time and then the R7000 introduced into the environment for test purposes, the presence of the Airport in close proximity could potentially force the R7000 to single bandwidth streams, halving the throughput.

Unscientific comparisons (meaning comparisons done without specific steps to isolate/eliminate the variables) can & will produce varying results - I can remember when my WiFi was literally the only one visible in my neighborhood, I just counted ten (in a residential neighborhood, with separate homes) - if you're in an apartment complex, you're looking at a significantly higher count with significantly higher probability for interference and forced co-existence.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 11 of 14
RogerSC
Virtuoso

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

fordem wrote:
I just want to reiterate here, the environment also has a part to play in this.

Whilst being able to achieve a 300 mbps connect rate with the AirPort Extreme does indicate that the MacBook can achieve higher connect rates than 150 (and thus is not the limiting factor), just as an example, if that test was done at a previous point in time and then the R7000 introduced into the environment for test purposes, the presence of the Airport in close proximity could potentially force the R7000 to single bandwidth streams, halving the throughput.


100% agree with the above. Also the point about the router seeing interfering wireless networks in your area causing it to opt for stability of connection and minimizing interference to your neighbors ("good neighbor" wireless router policy) rather than the highest connection rate possible. And actual measured throughput is much more significant than connection rate, in any case.

For me, the bottom line is that I use 5GHz. whenever possible since 2.4GHz. is such a mess here. And the bandwidth that I have available on 5GHz. is really more than I currently need, while the bandwidth that I can get on 2.4GHz. isn't. So I really don't care a lot about 2.4GHz. bandwidth, as long as that band works for wireless clients that don't support 5GHz.
Message 12 of 14
fordem
Mentor

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

RogerSC wrote:

For me, the bottom line is that I use 5GHz. whenever possible since 2.4GHz. is such a mess here. And the bandwidth that I have available on 5GHz. is really more than I currently need, while the bandwidth that I can get on 2.4GHz. isn't. So I really don't care a lot about 2.4GHz. bandwidth, as long as that band works for wireless clients that don't support 5GHz.


The only problem with this approach is that 5GHz suffers from attenuation so, as you move away from the router (especially into a different room), signal strength decreases rapidly and with it, SNR & connect speed.

It is this attenuation that gives allows it to be less affected by interference from adjacent networks, so it is both a blessing and a curse.

Like I say - the technology has reached a point where the user needs to decide, do I invest the time to learn about this, or do I invest the money to have it properly done.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.
Message 13 of 14
RogerSC
Virtuoso

Re: 2.4 GHz network never exceeds 145 Mbps rate

fordem wrote:
The only problem with this approach is that 5GHz suffers from attenuation so, as you move away from the router (especially into a different room), signal strength decreases rapidly and with it, SNR & connect speed.

It is this attenuation that gives allows it to be less affected by interference from adjacent networks, so it is both a blessing and a curse.


Yes on both points. However, in the last couple of years, the high-end routers have come a long way with 5GHz. signal strength, both tx and rx. I get whole house coverage now with the R7000 on 5GHz. Also had that with the Asus RT-N66U, but not before that. My use of 5GHz.is limited more by legacy clients that don't support it than range at this point. Not too many of them left here, though *smile*.

If I couldn't cover my house with 5GHz. using just a wireless router, I'd go to a 5GHz. AP before using 2.4GHz. for media streaming, etc.
Message 14 of 14
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