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Does the router in my system effect my speed test


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I am somewhat educated about computers, however netwoks both ineterst and confuse me. I have cableone as ISP and am paying a bit extra for speeds "up to" 60 Mbps. I have NEVER had a test come back daster than 28 Mbps and typically see results between 18 and 22, My position with Cableone is that this is unacceptable whilst they repeatedly use the phrase "up to." I realize that expecting results of @ 60 Mbps is not realistice, but think my results are bs.


I just purchased my own Motorola SB 6141 and have a Belkin F5D 8235-4 which to my chagrin is a N standard but not dual channel. I have an X box one, and 360 hooke to a wired connection as well as an old XP desktop. Wireless is a Toshibe Win 8.1 laptop, an old RCA N standard streaming box to tv, and couple of android telephones.


I am trying to educate myself as to these issues prior to any further arguments with Cableone as aithout further knowledge I am at huge disadvantage lol.  I purchased the cable modem to save $$ but as important to me is speeding up and making system as effeicient as possible


Is the 18 - 22 test reults okay, or is that slow ?


Any basic tips as to setup of equipment for me ?.


Does the speed of my router effect the speed tests, i.e. if i upgraded to a dueal channel N, or better yet an AC router, would my numbers go up.  I am interested in upgrading router.


Thanks for any help or feed back. I have looked ALL over the internet and this is by far the best site AND testing I have found by FAR.



Download :: 26.9 Mbps 3.4 MB/s

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First thing you should do... hook your modem directly to your best computer.  In this case your Toshiba win 8.1 laptop. Hopefully your laptop still has ethernet.


Unplug the power from the modem for about 10 seconds and plug it back in.  This will cause the modem to get the mac address of the computer instead of the router... if you just swap the ethernet cable over to your computer it won't work.


Test again.  These results should represent your absolute best possible speed because you're taking the router out of the equation.  Less in the way to go wrong.


Let us know what you find.  In December you hit 53 Mbps...




...so you may have more speed in there.  Maybe poor router placement could be to blame for slower speeds.  After connecting directly to the modem directly connect to the router with ethernet and see what the best speeds are off the router, taking wifi out of the equation.  Basically work down the line, eliminating and then adding back variables and if adding something back causes the speed to drop... you have your culprit.

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Thank you for that tip !  Gives me a good way to decipher "best" speed. My router is not in the best place for sure, some sorta weird dead spot. Currently router is set to auto channel selection; I am suspicious that my dead spot is engendered by interference from a strong signal in apartment above me. I have tried to set my channel manually, however apparently dude upstairs is doing the same, or more likely his router is on auto as well because his channel seems to bounce around defeating my manual sets lol.


Unfortunately there are only 2 cable outlets in my 1000 sq foot or so apartment. Currently router is in my man cave where it can also be hooked by Ethernet to my old desktop, x box 1 and x box 360. Were I to move salient router to the other cable connection basically everything would have to be on wireless, WHICH IT SEEMS WOULD DECREASE SPEED ON THOSE THREE DEVICES ?. I am strongly considering either a range extender for current router, or just going all out and getting an AC router, ANY INPUT APPRECIATED.

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I currently have my router set to allow it to "auto" pick what channel to run on. Ostensibly this should allow it to be on whatever channel has the least amount of interference. However it seems some channels, for instance 10, run slower than others. Any thoughts on whether I am better off picking a channel manually or leaving it set to auto ?????

Download :: 35 Mbps 4.4 MB/s  arrow-up-doubleM.png Upload :: 2.1 Mbps


Hmmmmm .... So I manually set router to what appears to be clearest channel, one of the best results yet ......

Channel 5, extension channel 9. Whatever extension channel means since this is an n router single channel. Thought it was a dual when I bought it ...oopsies.

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Personally... I always manually select.  ...always have fast speed with tons of interference from other devices and networks near by.


All are taken in my office 75 ft from router.


Wired Cat-5e



Wireless 802.11 AC (channel 160)


(lol, exactly the same)


Wireless 802.11 N (channel 9)



This isn't always typical.  Sometimes AC performs better, other times to get the best performance I find myself manually selecting the 2.4GHz (b/g/n) band instead of 5 GHz (a/ac/n).  So AC isn't always best.  The 5 GHz band seems to be more finicky.  Right now though, in this test across my house through distance and walls... it's on par with Cat5e.


Repeat with the office door closed, which has windows on it. .....


802.11 N



802.11 AC



Some windows (especially double pane and solar insulated) will destroy wifi.  Not much of a difference in this case.


The results are predictably repeatable.  Meaning you can retest immediately and predict a speed within 5%+- of the previous... AC performs nearly 30% faster every time in this scenario.


You need to make sure that your connection isn't fluctuating itself before you try to tune your wifi.  If the connection itself is unstable it will be impossible to know when the wifi is slow or the connection itself is slow.  Test directly to the computer, wired, without the router if possible and make sure that you have predictable results first.  Then you can reach for those baselines in your wifi tuning.


If I had a slower connection, it too would perform better... and I would expect about the same percentage increase.


... and now }}CLICK{{ back to Cat5e.  Always wire it if you can.

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I have grown VERY suspicious of fluctuations in my connection. Last night couldn't get over 5 Mbps ...today at 30 Mbps, which is well over typical results. I have 60 Mbps service. I am going to drag cableone out here AGAIN and make them track it down. Typically they claim it is due to have a splitter in cable line ....which I am tired of hearing. Removing them doesn't seem to make any real difference. It seems that I should get consistent readings in high 30s at least given my connection speed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are utilities, such as iperf, that you can use to check the network performance between two computers. You could use that to diagnose your WLAN speed from your laptop to your other machine. This would remove the unknown and unpredictable variations in your WAN connection speed. I use iperf extensively, but there are plenty of others available in Windows land.

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  • 1 month later...

@fulcrum37,  I had http://www.surfboard.com/products/sbg6580/which is the SBG6580.  It worked great but I wanted MoCA.  So i switched to http://www.surfboard.com/products/sbg6782-ac/ SBG6782-AC.  My speeds have improved but fluctuate.  I really like the MoCA 1.1 access point.  I plan to hook up a cable box using MoCA in my office without having to deal with COAX wires going through walls.  One of the main reasons why I purchased this modem.  Does it make my internet faster?  Yes, I've noticed it on "A" moving a lot faster.  Unfortunately, the speeds on this website show me very very low from my 50Mbps Blast! service I get from Comcast.  The modem you have chosen is not bad.  

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I would add a few points to this case which has mostly been explained by other members already.

The peak throughput of a router is definitely finite and quite small relative to a desktop computer. It is a separate from the throughput and power of the wireless radio interface. I was able to find that this router has a 384 MHz CPU in the latest documented revision, and has been tested to deliver 60-80 Mbit over wireless. Wired performance, surprisingly, wasn't tested, but is at least 130 Mbit. Many people nowadays consider router to be synonymous to an access point, which is not at all the case.

I think the most bandwidth hungry devices should always be connected by a cable if at all possible. Several wired devices connected to a network switch can all transmit and receive at the same time. Only one device can transmit over wifi at any given time, similarly to how it was with Ethernet hubs, which are now obsolete.

The "extension channel" allows the radio to use more bandwidth with stations (laptops, computers) that support the mode. A regular channel is 20 MHz wide, and supports at most 55-60 Mbit of throughput under "N". With a chanel extended to 40 MHz, a throughput of about 110-120 Mbit can be reached. (gross air rate 300 Mbps what is getting quoted on packaging to make the device sound more impressive). The entire spectrum allocated to wifi is 80 MHz wide, and can fit 3-4 access points with 20 MHz channels with minimal interference between them, but only 2 using extension channels.

I always use manual channel selection. Most consumer routers do not allow full control over the channel in the 5 GHz band due to legally required "radar detect" function. They may hop to a different channel automatically. Professional devices do not have that restiction, but user is required to enable "radar detect" by law. There are certain applications that allow to scan the wifi spectrum and create a graph of other signals and interference. They're built into good routers, from Ubiquiti/UBNT and Mikrotik. In the 2.4 GHz there aren't that many channel choices. Staying on channels 1 or 11 is usually the smartest option to avoid users of chanel 6 and microwave ovens.

Channel 13 could be a good choice if all your computer support it. Since that channel is not allowed in the U.S., some wifi radios have it disabled. In order to enable it on my Atheros card, I had to download the driver that comes with CommView for WiFi and change the country code on the card. My first attempt locked up the system...

For bandwith testing purposes I like to use the free FileZilla FTP Server. I have installed it on all my Windows computers to do file transfers, which also conveniently allows me to perform speed tests between any pair of computers. I can choose to send 1 file or do a few simultaneous file transfers. Paired with FileZilla (client) the program can saturate any connection. Other clients may have lower performance, and Windows SMB/Network Neighborhood is usually slower and more difficult to troubleshoot and tweak. (You can't swap out to a different version of SMB client/server without reinstalling Windows.)

I found this good article explaining wi-fi settings like channels and transmit power. They are not specific to DD-WRT.


About spectrum outside the unlicensed band and wifi devices that support using it:


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