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Thread: Network Analysis Help

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    Network Analysis Help

    I've just read the article It takes a Neighborhood to fix Bad Wireless and have downloaded inSSIDer 2.0 to analyze my wireless network. The great news is that out of 8 wireless networks it found, I'm only sharing Channel 11 with only one other router which happens to be the weakest signal.

    Another thing I noticed is that all of the 8 signals are using the 2.4 GHz spectrum leaving the 5 GHz spectrum absolutely empty.

    My wireless router is a Belkin N+ f5d8235-4 v2. In my quest to obtain the best wireless signal possible, would I benefit by replacing my N+ router with a dual band router that's highly rated by SmallNetBuilder?

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    Administrator Scott DeLeeuw's Avatar
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    Before getting too caught up in buying new equipment, go to http://www.totusoft.com and download LAN Speed Test and LST Server. Install LST Server on a desktop and LAN Speed Test on your laptop. Run a couple tests around the house and tell me what kind of speeds you are seeing via wireless.... Also, are you seeing any problems currently or are you just looking to optimize it as best as you can?

    Sharing channel 11 with one SSID is not bad at all, it probably is not hurting your throughput much. 5GHz will have lesser range and weaker penetration through walls, so a lot of times you may see no one. Couple that with a lot of routers that are only 2.4GHz and you have some nice open air there. Some cordless phones do transmit on 5GHz though and be aware it may not have as much range around your house.

    Let's get some speed tests first though and see what kind of throughput we are looking at and we'll go from there.
    Check out the Home Network Articles and tell me what you would like to see!

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    I downloaded both programs but LST Server seems to cost $5 to register. Since I'm really only using it one time, I dont think it's worth $5 right now. But I did run the LAN Speed Test. It showed Writing 358 Mbps and Reading 437 Mbps. Not bad right?

    Thanks for explaining more about the 2.4 vs 5GHz. You make some good points.

    For me, the point of testing is to ensure I'm getting the very best signal possible even though I'm currently satisfied with the current speed. If there is some easy fixes to free up some extra horsepower, I'd like to make them!

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    Administrator Scott DeLeeuw's Avatar
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    Zoinks! Those speeds are not your wireless speeds? Set up LAN Speed Test on your laptop and run it to a share wirelessly to your desktop. Try this around the house in a few places and post your results.
    Check out the Home Network Articles and tell me what you would like to see!

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    Okay - Had to share folders and run LAN Speed again. I'm getting Writes in the range of 5-6.5 Mbps and Reads at 8-9 Mbps depending on where i'm at in the house. Should I be getting more? Or the real question what's the max I can expect to get from a wi-fi signal and how can I get it!?

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    If those numbers are Mb and MB then there is a lot of improvement to be had... Right now you are seeing 8-9 Mbps max, that's 0.97-1.09 MBps.

    In my old laptop wireless N shootout, I was able to see 66Mbps (8MBps) pretty consistently.

    A few questions on this though:

    1) In your laptop, what is the wireless card? Is it a wireless N card?

    2) How many devices do you have on wireless?

    3) What is your signal strength within inSSIDer?

    4) Do you have 40MHz wide turned on in the router or is it off?
    Check out the Home Network Articles and tell me what you would like to see!

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    Looking back at my LAN Speed test results, it's 8-9Mbps (8,000,000 bits per second)

    1) I've got a Intel(R) WiFi Link 5100 N wifi adapter inside my laptop.

    2) On wireless, I've got my laptop, a couple phones, and sonus. Everything else is wired.

    3) Per inSSIDer, I'm averaging 30-40 dBm's

    4) 20/40MHz wide is turned off, I've got my bandwidth set on 20MHz.

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    Ok, I'm going to admit that my desktop was running off of a wireless N usb stick. I have now wired it to the router and have increased my desktop download speeds to 30Mbps from 2-3Mbps...

    I just ran LAN Speed Test again from my laptop and now getting Writing speeds around 15Mbps and Reading around 20Mbps. Much improvement!

    Do you have any advice to make further improvements?

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    Nice! Getting everything off of wireless that you can will help as bandwidth is shared between devices.

    One more suggestion, Sonos devices work on their own mesh network, which takes a 2.4GHz channel. Within the Sonos controller software and, I think, the controller itself, you can set the channel to use. Make sure it's not the same as your router, for instance if you use ch11 for your router, choose ch6 or 1 within the Sonos software.

    The rest look ok, the Intel card is a decent one and signal strength is ok. You just made the obvious win of wiring the desktop that was next to the router, so things are looking better.
    Check out the Home Network Articles and tell me what you would like to see!

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