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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
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.
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.
TSsoonwai
post Oct 10 2018, 10:52 PM


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QUOTE(ulala2 @ Oct 10 2018, 10:30 PM)
I'm using ASUS RT-AC55UHP, technically it should able to achieve 1 GB in wired and 300xx on 2.4g and 866 in 5g.

With Cat 6 cable, in both wired and wireless max i only can achieved 2xx closed to 300mb.

Is it because of the router itself or ??

Is there someone else use this router can achieve more than 500 mb?
*
Technically, on LAN, this should be able to go all the way to 800Mbps and more. It has the same CPU as the Mikrotik RB960PGS. Just make sure that you have Hardware NAT enabled and anything that may affect it, such as QoS, disabled.

A result of 300Mbps sounds like HWNAT is turned off.
TSsoonwai
post Apr 17 2019, 10:20 AM


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QUOTE(arvind13 @ Apr 17 2019, 10:10 AM)
Hi, My Unifi 5Ghz channel Wifi speed out of a sudden is lower than my 2.5Ghz channel which is weird.I'm using the Tenda AC18. The speed on the 2.5Ghz channel does fluctuate though and noticed some disconnections as well.. Ex: 1st speed test shows 100Mbps while 2nd speed test shows 50Mbps then 3rd speed test also about 40++Mbps. Initially i used to get about 200Mbps using the 5Ghz channel and about 100Mbps using the 2.5Ghz channel on my mobile.  bangwall.gif  bangwall.gif
*
Neighbour got recently installed UniFi? Maybe interference.

This post has been edited by soonwai: Apr 17 2019, 10:20 AM
TSsoonwai
post Jul 19 2019, 08:28 AM


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QUOTE(shanmaha @ Jun 30 2019, 09:16 AM)
bro... just want to ask. I'm a Maxis home wifi installer. but i do have doubts. im using huawei nova 4. occasionally i install 300mbps (300mbps DL and 50 UL) superfast package. sometimes i do get a speedtest of 190mbps for download and 45 for upload... sometimes 230mbps for download and 40++ for upload.. why is that? what affects this in my fon? and what spec in this fon that plays a part of this different speed test.. plsss guide me
*
Probably where you’re standing and how you’re holding the Nova 4 or an environmental factor. The Nova 4 is 2x2 AC which is a pretty good match for most ISP supplied WiFi routers. 190 vs 230 is not a huge difference for WiFi. Upload of 40/45 is a bit slow. Where are you, in relation to the WiFi router, when you do these tests?
TSsoonwai
post Nov 20 2019, 12:49 AM


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QUOTE(wheelhot @ Nov 20 2019, 12:24 AM)
Hmm, I don't think my devices are the issue though, iPhone XS, 11in iPad Pro and a few other 802.11ac devices kept giving me 200-250mbps only on WiFi.
*
It's not one thing or the other but more of a combo like dating or marriage.
For myself, iPhone X + Mikrotik hAP AC = 250Mbps.
iPhone X + DLink DIR-882 = 550Mbps.
MacBook Pro on the other hand loves both the APs.
TSsoonwai
post Nov 20 2019, 11:48 AM


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QUOTE(wheelhot @ Nov 20 2019, 10:03 AM)
Hmm, but in my case the Asus is the widely regarded ac86u
*
Hmmm, it's an Asus, I tend to avoid them. The brand name doesn't really mean anything.

 

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