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> Maximum WiFi Speeds, ... or why my wifi so slow? (Home Networking)

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TSsoonwai
post Sep 17 2018, 11:05 PM, updated 2y ago


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Why my wifi so slow?
Since many Unifi users have got Turbo speed now, more and more people are asking why their wifi is so slow. Unfortunately many are misled by those AC1200, AC1750, AC2400 numbers so here's a guide to what actual speed you can achieve. Now, just to clarify, this is about WiFi speed not internet speed but in order to get max internet speed, you first have to get your wifi in order.

tl;dr Maximum WiFi Speeds
Here's a tl;dr of the max wifi speed that I've tested. Remember, in order to get max speed, your device must equal or better the wifi router.
PhoneLaptopTablet
2.4Ghz 2x291.57 Mbps92.1 Mbps-
5Ghz 1x1240.53 Mbps244 Mbps-
5Ghz 2x2343.66 Mbps357 Mbps518.79 Mbps
5Ghz 3x3-875 Mbps-

Gigabit Ethernet: 934 Mbps (for ref)
Faster speeds coming when I test the faster wifi routers.

AC Rating
The first thing, those AC numbers or Rating. These are there to impress help consumers.

The numbers give an indication of the speed of the router but they're mostly there because marketing needed a shorter way to describe the router. So instead of "2.4Ghz 2x2 MIMO and 5Ghz 2x2 MIMO", they use AC1200. Much simpler but just remember no way you'll get 1200Mbps from it.

TM's TP-Link C1200 as an example
Many people have this wifi router since it's a freebie from TM. It is AC1200.

Max 5Ghz link speed: 866Mbps (2x2 5Ghz wifi streams)
Max 2.4Ghz link speed: 300Mbps (2x2 2.4Ghz wifi streams)

So 866+300 = 1200 (yes, marketing did the math)


2x2, 3x3 MIMO
If you wondering what is that 2x2 wifi streams. It's something like this.

2x2 means 2 transmit and 2 receive.
MIMO (multiple in/multiple out) means the wifi can receive,send more than one wifi stream at the same time. Everything is MIMO now.
streams are sometimes called chains. Some people use the term antenna. Not wrong. One stream needs one antenna to transmit. Then you look at the C1200 which is 2x2 but it has 3 antennas. How leh? That one I explain later.

Which brings us to the speed of each stream. It can be more but let's stick to this for now.
One 5Ghz stream = 433Mbps
One 2.4Ghz stream = 150Mbps

Therefore for the TP-Link C1200, for 5Ghz, 2 streams is 2 x 433Mbps = 866Mbps.
Same for 2.4Ghz, 2 x 150Mbps = 300Mbps.
Add these together and you'll get the 1200 in AC1200.


Your laptop, phone
Alright, so your laptop and phone also has the same things. 1x1, 2x2, 3x3 MIMO. In order to get max speed, your phone must equal or better the wifi router.

Now, this is where a lot of questions arises. Some people might have a great router but their laptop or phone not so good. And vice-versa.
1. Most phones are 1x1
2. Some only have 2.4Ghz, no 5Ghz
3. Most laptops are 2x2
4. Some are 3x3
5. Cheaper laptops only have 2.4Ghz

So you see, if you connect a phone with 5GHz AC 1x1 to a C1200 2x2, the link speed will only be 433Mbps.


Link Speed vs Actual Speed
You might think, 433Mbps link speed is damn good already. But when you try, your speeds are much slower. Yeah, you'll never get full link speed. Why? Actually I'm not entirely sure so I'll leave that to Google.

user posted image
MacBook Pro Retina 2013 3x3 5Ghz Link Speed to a 1x1 hAP AC Lite

As a rough guesstimate for actual speed, I like to use 60% which is already a very optimistic number for the speed that you may get. You may get higher speeds, probably not, but very easy to get lower speeds. sad.gif
1x1 - Link: 433Mbps - IRL: 260Mbps
2x2 - Link: 866Mbps - IRL: 520Mbps
3x3 - Link: 1299Mbps - IRL: 779Mbps


Other Factors
In real life (IRL), other things will affect the final speed that you get.
1. Distance
2. Line of sight
3. Door
4. Wall
5. Interference from neigbour's wifi

So many things, I'm just going to list 5.


WiFi speed tests
To give you an idea of the speeds, I did a few tests below.

The test is a 30 second iPerf3 TCP test. Data is sent from the server via the respective wifi router to the device.
CODE
iperf3 -c 10.0.1.80 -R -i 4 -t 30

The command for iperf3 where applicable. iPhones are using an app called WiFiPerf which is iPerf3 compatible.

*Note that these are tests of just the wifi. No internet involved. Get the wifi speed sorted out before worrying about the internet. So, again, this is all local area network,
**I'm lazy to edit it so if you see single chain, dual or triple chain, it means 1x1, 2x2 or 3x3 respectively.

Stuff Used
Server: Thinkcentre M73 - Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - iperf3 3.1.3
Laptop: MacBook Pro Retina 2013 - MacOS 10.13.6 - 2.4Ghz Dual Chain - 5Ghz Triple Chain - iperf 3.6
Phone: iPhone 6s - iOS 12.0 - Dual Chain - WiFiPerf 3.2
Network: Gigabit - Cabling: Cat5e
Distance: Approximately 4ft from device to wifi router.

WiFi Routers (to be tested)
1. Mikrotik hAP AC Lite - 2.4Ghz Dual Chain - 5Ghz Single Chain - AC750 (done)
2. Mikrotik hAP AC2 - 2.4Ghz Dual Chain - 5Ghz Dual Chain - AC1200
3. Mikrotik hAP AC - 2.4Ghz Triple Chain - 5Ghz Triple Chain - AC1750
4. Aztech FG7008GR - 2.4Ghz Triple Chain - 5Ghz Quad Chain - AC2400
5. D-Link DIR-878L - 2.4Ghz Quad Chain - 5Ghz Quad Chain - AC2600

Notes
• RouterOS 6.44beta6 (11/9/2018)
• hAP AC Lite: 3x100M ethernet bonding
*because the hAP AC Lite only has 100Mbps network ports, I bonded 3 ports (300Mbps) to cater for WiFI AC speeds.
• The only tuning I did was lowering transmit power as I was only 4ft away from the wifi routers.
• WiFi chip features such as WMM, adaptive noise immunity, beam forming, or band steering are disabled.

Radio Environment
2.4Ghz Scanner and Frequency Usage
Tests were done in my house in the afternoon on a weekend. Typical double storey intermediate link house. Quite a few 2.4Ghz APs around but still can be considered good.
Since it's a weekend, more people are home and using their phones and laptops. It gets better in the afternoon on a weekday or in the early morning when everyone is asleep.
user posted imageuser posted image

5Ghz Scanner and Frequency Usage
Very clean. There's only one 5Ghz AP and the signal is very weak.
user posted imageuser posted image


Ethernet Speed Test (Control)
Phone 6sMBPR
Ethernet 94.41 Mbps934 Mbps
Actually I forgot, I thought my iPhone Lightning-Ethernet was gigabit. It's only 100Mbps.
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



Mikrotik hAP AC Lite - 2.4Ghz Dual Chain - 5Ghz Single Chain - AC750
iPhone 6slinkMBPRlink
2.4Ghz Dual Chain (Early Morning)91.57 Mbps144 Mbps--
2.4Ghz Dual Chain (Afternoon)79.29 Mbps144 Mbps92.1 Mbps144 Mbps
5Ghz Single Chain240.53 Mbps433 Mbps244 Mbps433 Mbps
hAP AC Lite only has 100Mbps ports so I bonded 3 ports to cater for WiFI AC speeds. I don't expect it to go above 300Mbps.
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



Mikrotik hAP AC2 - 2.4Ghz Dual Chain - 5Ghz Dual Chain - AC1200
iPhone 6slinkMBPRlink
2.4Ghz Dual Chain--
5Ghz Dual Chain340.88 Mbps866 Mbps357 Mbps866 Mbps
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



Mikrotik hAP AC - 2.4Ghz Triple Chain - 5Ghz Triple Chain - AC1750
iPhone 6slinkMBPRlink
2.4Ghz Dual Chain87.05 Mbps144 Mbps77 Mbps144 Mbps
5Ghz Dual Chain343.66 Mbps780 Mbps--
5Ghz Triple Chain--420 Mbps950 Mbps


Aztech FG7008GR - 2.4Ghz Triple Chain - 5Ghz Quad Chain - AC2400
iPhone 6slinkMBPRlinkiPad 2017link
2.4Ghz Dual Chain------
5Ghz Dual Chain304.96 Mbps---518.79 Mbps-
5Ghz Triple Chain--875 Mbps1300 Mbps--
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



D-Link DIR-878L - 2.4Ghz Quad Chain - 5Ghz Quad Chain - AC2600
iPhone 6sMBPR
2.4Ghz Dual Chainxxxxxx
2.4Ghz Triple Chainxxxxxx
5Ghz Single Chainxxxxxx
5Ghz Triple Chainxxxxxx

This post has been edited by soonwai: Sep 21 2018, 09:05 AM
TSsoonwai
post Sep 17 2018, 11:05 PM


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Reserved for more stuff
SilentVampire
post Sep 17 2018, 11:10 PM

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Yet another excellent guide. Will link to this thread on the TM thread. Thank you, and good job.
asdasd
post Sep 17 2018, 11:23 PM

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+1

TQ for making the effort.
miloaisdino
post Sep 17 2018, 11:50 PM

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I just cant seem to figure out why my device refuses to nego on 3x3 spatial stream.. probably either the aztech 7008 firmware kaput or my note 8 region problem lol (cos i use dfs bands)

This post has been edited by miloaisdino: Sep 17 2018, 11:50 PM
JohnLai
post Sep 17 2018, 11:55 PM

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https://www.ekahau.com/wp-content/uploads/2...Analysis_WP.pdf

Read part 1, ignore part 2.

EDIT: The pdf has simple explanation on why it is impossible to get full wifi link speed.

This post has been edited by JohnLai: Sep 17 2018, 11:57 PM
TSsoonwai
post Sep 18 2018, 12:05 AM


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QUOTE(JohnLai @ Sep 17 2018, 11:55 PM)
https://www.ekahau.com/wp-content/uploads/2...Analysis_WP.pdf

Read part 1, ignore part 2.

EDIT: The pdf has simple explanation on why it is impossible to get full wifi link speed.
*
Thanks for that. Very informative. I think I understand better now.
SilentVampire
post Sep 18 2018, 12:06 AM

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QUOTE(JohnLai @ Sep 17 2018, 11:55 PM)
https://www.ekahau.com/wp-content/uploads/2...Analysis_WP.pdf

Read part 1, ignore part 2.

EDIT: The pdf has simple explanation on why it is impossible to get full wifi link speed.
*
Very good PDF guide. Cheers. Will be a bit too technical for newbies though tongue.gif
wilson1stop
post Sep 19 2018, 03:00 PM

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+1

excellent guidelines.
samkian
post Sep 19 2018, 04:08 PM

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Wow...now I understand
charymsylyn
post Sep 19 2018, 10:43 PM

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Thank you for making the effort to do this, I learned quite a bit.
SilentVampire
post Sep 19 2018, 10:47 PM

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QUOTE(samkian @ Sep 19 2018, 04:08 PM)
Wow...now I understand
*
See the link on my signature to read more.

QUOTE(charymsylyn @ Sep 19 2018, 10:43 PM)
Thank you for making the effort to do this, I learned quite a bit.
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Click the link on my signature to learn more.
Xefron
post Sep 19 2018, 11:01 PM

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and 1 more thing, for the 5Ghz band, let the router decide the best channels.5Ghz band channels are quite tricky compared to 2.4Ghz.

Set it to auto and I managed to get 400-500Mbps constant on my Macbook.

This post has been edited by Xefron: Sep 19 2018, 11:03 PM
TSsoonwai
post Sep 20 2018, 08:04 PM


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Added results for Mikrotik hAP AC2, hAP AC and Aztech FG7008GR.

Conclusion. Mikrotik wifi sucks. OK, it's average lah but still, I was hoping for more. The hAP AC Lite is actually quite OK but the ports are 100 Mbps.

hAP AC has a big problem, 50% CPU usage when pushing 400Mbps from ethernet to wlan. Everything goes through a weak CPU. I think it's gonna have problems routing 400Mbps and pushing that to wifi.

hAP AC2 no problem, 5% CPU usage. I kinda like this guy even if you use it just as a router. It has a very capable CPU but wifi is just so-so.

Aztech on the other hand impresses me. 875 Mbps over a 30 sec period. If go for a shorter period, I think can get more impressive results as I see a few 901 Mbps over 4 sec intervals. Can't really expect more for RM145 (Lazada 9/9 sale price).

iPhone 6s seems to be stuck at a max of 300Mbps. I can't tell but it looks like it's only using one chain (433 Mbps) with the Aztech. That's why the Aztech results has an iPad in it. iPad connects fine with the Aztech at 2x2 resulting in 518 Mbps.

QUOTE(Xefron @ Sep 19 2018, 11:01 PM)
and 1 more thing, for the 5Ghz band, let the router decide the best channels.5Ghz band channels are quite tricky compared to 2.4Ghz.

Set it to auto and I managed to get 400-500Mbps constant on my Macbook.
*
Yeah, I gave up trying to "chase the channel" long time ago. Everything's on auto channels now.
squall0833
post Sep 21 2018, 03:57 AM

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Great detail l, very good knowledge for those who newly got turboed


cyberic
post Sep 21 2018, 09:08 PM

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Nice guide 👍
Zi-Tech
post Sep 21 2018, 09:49 PM

Eh, pangkat sudah tukar ka
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using my galaxy s8+ / laptop / tenda ac18

i get:
s8+
2.4ghz - dl 100mbps ul 110mbps

5ghz - dl 430mbps ul 212mbps

laptop(killer 1435)
2.4ghz - dl 100mbps ul 100mbps

5ghz - dl 400mbps ul - 200mbps

both are 2x2 mimo... and maximum i can get...

SilentVampire
post Sep 21 2018, 10:49 PM

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QUOTE(cyberic @ Sep 21 2018, 09:08 PM)
Nice guide 👍
*
See my signature for more.

QUOTE(Zi-Tech @ Sep 21 2018, 09:49 PM)
using my galaxy s8+ / laptop / tenda ac18

i get:
s8+
2.4ghz - dl 100mbps ul 110mbps

5ghz - dl 430mbps ul 212mbps

laptop(killer 1435)
2.4ghz - dl 100mbps ul 100mbps

5ghz - dl 400mbps ul - 200mbps

both are 2x2 mimo... and maximum i can get...
*
Yes, that is expected, and normal.
squall0833
post Sep 23 2018, 12:16 PM

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so.. in short

Users who have 300, 500 and 800Mbps Unifi, and wants WiFi to reached at least 500+Mbps
they need

Router
- Gigabit Ethernet
- dual chain or above Wifi AC 5Ghz

Their Phone, Tablets and Laptops
- 2x2 chain or above compatible WiFi AC on their device (usually newer, higher end models)

This post has been edited by squall0833: Sep 23 2018, 12:16 PM
nate_nightroad
post Sep 23 2018, 12:19 PM

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this is awesome my dawg!

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