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1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

tomsliwowski
Apprentice

1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

So I've had the Orbi system for 3 days now and it's worked well for wireless clients but I was wondering if I'm doing something wrong in regards to placement or configuration.

 

My setup is the following: Orbi router in the basement connected directly to a FiOS ONT with a Windows 2016 Server and a Zigbee bridge connected to LAN ports 1 and 2. Orbi Sattelite on the other side of the house on the ground floor with LAN port 1 connected to a Windows 10 Pro desktop. I have about 16 other wireless clients like a few Windows laptops, a Linux laptop, some Android phones and Amazon FireTV devices.

 

The WiFi seeems to be working great and when I check the connection stats it shows that the backhaul is running at 1733Mbps. The hardwired server and desktop have 1Gbps links so in theory the backhaul should saturate the links (or at least come close to). When copying a large file from the server to the desktop I'm only getting about 30-40MBps which translates to 240-320Mbps. When the setup was hardwired on my R7000 router I was getting 100-110MBps which is 800-880Mbps. What could be the reason for such a huge disparity? I would expect the throughput to be much better than what I'm currently getting considering what the system tells me is available.

Model: Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi System (RBK50)
Message 1 of 8
rhester72
Virtuoso

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

1733 is max theoretical, not real world.  Reality is about half that under ideal conditions, less depending on the distance and obstructions between the router and satellite.

 

Rodney

Message 2 of 8
tomsliwowski
Apprentice

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

I know that 1733 was the theoretical max but I thought the days of WiFi overhead taking up half the available bandwidth died with 802.11g. I recall getting a LOT closer to max on 802.11n and definitelly close to the 866Mbps on 802.11ac.

Message 3 of 8
st_shaw
Master

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?


@tomsliwowski wrote:

I know that 1733 was the theoretical max but I thought the days of WiFi overhead taking up half the available bandwidth died with 802.11g. I recall getting a LOT closer to max on 802.11n and definitelly close to the 866Mbps on 802.11ac.


WiFi still has lots of overhead, so 50-60% of the link speed is all you will get.  I measure 575 Mbs throughput over my Orbi backhaul using iperf3.

Message 4 of 8
fbraz50
Apprentice

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

Your speeds sound about right. Wireless is still a finicky thing all numbers are theoretical in ideal conditions. 50-60% is overhead feels about right.

Here is a good article explaining why it's still kind of terrible and is still worse then 1gbps wire speed.
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/03/802-eleventy-what-a-deep-dive-into-why-wi-fi-...
Message 5 of 8
tomsliwowski
Apprentice

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

@rhester72@fbraz50 and @st_shaw thanks for the replies. So the starting point should be 50% or so of 1733 which is 866.5 or two of the 4 available 5GHz backhaul channels. Loosing another 20% for something like a wall would get me to about 693Mbps which is still double the rate that I'm actually getting.

 

In your opinions, what would be the best way to maximize the speed available? Should I try to relocate the router? (not super easy but maybe I can move it 2 feet to the left where it'll be closer to the Satellite) Should I disable MU-MIMO and Implicit Beamforming? This isn't a deal breaker for the system since it's been working well so far but I would like to maximize the performance especially to my main workstation.

Message 6 of 8
st_shaw
Master

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

@tomsliwowski That 50-60% throughput is the maximum and requires the two wireless devices to be very close to each other.  I've never seen anyone report more Orbi backhaul throughput than about 575 Mbps, so I'm not sure how fast you can get it to go.  The 5GHz signals don't travel far and are attenuated by walls. Practical use of the Orbi requires the satellite to be separated from the router, probably one or more walls in between,  so you shouldn't expect to get the 50-60% throughput with the satellite in a realistic location.

 

To optimize the connection, I would:

1. Download iperf3 on two machines (laptop or desktop is OK).

2. Connect both machines to one GigE switch and establish that you can get ~940 Mbps througput on a wired connection.

3. Wire one machine to the Orbi router and wire the other to the the Orbi satellite.

4. Test throughput with the Satellite in different locations and see what works best. You could start in the same room with no obstructions to see what the maximum speed is.

 

If you have any sources of 5 GHz interference they could lower your throughput.  Using Sonos drops mine down to 500 Mbps.

Message 7 of 8
fbraz50
Apprentice

Re: 1700Mpbs backhaul much slower than 1000Mbps wire?

@st_shawGood test to set a baseline there. You can also download a channel analyzer for your Android phone to see who else is on 2.4ghz and 5ghz channels around you, for iOS you can do this with Apple's Airport Utilty. I don't have any airport devices but I still use the app to scan for wireless signals round me when testing. I have tried many different wireless solutions and the most I've been able to get to my local storage at home is around 30-40 MB/s, the Orbi system hovers around 30 MB/s most of the time it can drop below that at times though. This is about 1/2 of the wired speed I can get to the same storage unit on 1 Gb/s Ethernet connection.

 

@tomsliwowskiYou also have to keep in mind that wireless is shared medium. Unlike standard LAN Switches that can dedicate 1 Gb/s to a single port, that 1733 Mb/s from that backhaul is shared amongst all your devices. It will lose speed/throughput to each device that is using that backhaul. On top of that if you have neighbors or other wireless devices running in the 5ghz range it can cause some levels of interference, you have to share the airwaves that are available with any device that runs at the same frequency. This is especially true if your neightbors have WifI systems on similar or overlaping channels. Hell, a human body in between your base and satellite will add some attenuation to your signal which in turn will slow that connection down.

 

The bottom line is that WiFi is still no replacement for a dedicated wired connection. You are sacraficing speed for convinience

Message 8 of 8
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