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Why is My Wireless So Slow? - SecuriSee Consulting

Why is My Wireless So Slow?



So you set up an 802.11g wireless access point for your business. After getting everything hooked up and all of the appropriate systems online, you found that your throughput hovers around 6 Mbps. The business is small enough and all of the systems that need the WLAN are close enough to the router that distance should not be a problem. You know that the g rated speeds are rated for 54Mbps, but in reality (actual throughput) you should be able to see throughput near 20 Mbps for most of these devices. Why is it so slow, and how can you figure out how to fix it?


802.11g tends to be very susceptible to a variety of interference. Because the g network runs at 2.4GHz, my first inclination is to be to determine if there are possibly any other pieces of technology within distance that could cause interference.  Through experience and research, I know that there are a variety of common appliances and pieces of tech that run on the same 2.4 GHz spectrum. Cordless phones, Bluetooth, other Wi-Fi signals, even older microwave ovens use the same frequency and can cause interference. To test for this type of interference, I would simply turn off and devices I thought may be using the frequency and retest my throughput. Finally, one by one, turning off and on each suspect device, you may find cordless phones to be the culprit. Since I am installing new hardware, I have decided to look into VoIP for my business. But in the meantime, I am going to use a regular, wired telephone.

wifi signal

After fixing the problem with the cordless phones, I still am not satisfied with my throughput and feel I should be getting a lot more bang for my buck. After going back and checking if there are any other wireless signals that could be causing interference, I find that there is another wireless network that my router is seeing, and it is a 802.11b wireless network. It seems as though my router is trying to pick up the signal from the b system that is within range. 802.11g signals can suffer from the b networks causing the g network to slow down to the speed of the b network. First thing I want to do is use a program such as insider that will allow me to accurately scan the wireless networks within range and see what channels the close by wireless networks are running on. I can see that both my router and the b signal are on channel 5. In order to be sure I am staying away from this other wireless network, I go into my router settings. Usually what I nee3d is going to be found in the basic wireless settings of my router. Once there, I find the section that tells me what the channel (usually standard channel) for my router is. Once there, I manually set the channel to try and keep it no closer than 5 channels close to the offending wireless b channel that may be giving me fits, in this case I’d go for channel 11.


After performing further testing, I find that I am receiving a more desirable 17 Mbps on my wireless signal. Then I decide to invest in an 802.11n system when I have the time and money.