Computers & Electronics

Strong wifi signal but slow download speed.

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 13th, 2020 2:28 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 8, 2020
42 posts
21 upvotes

Strong wifi signal but slow download speed.

I have strong wifi signal in the house.

If I stand beside the router, wireless download speed is around 45mbps out of 50mbps.

If I am upstairs, wireless download speed is around 25mbps out of 50mbps (half the speed). I still have strong wifi signals 3 out of 3 bars but download speed is half.

I'm not very familiar with network speed and devices. If I install a wifi extender, does speed increase by any chance? Do I get a wifi extender, wifi booster, or some special device?
9 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36162 posts
9425 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
@Supermantd

Unless you get a WiFi extender that has an Ethernet back haul, your speeds would actually be worse.

Extenders that connect to the original WiFi and then create their own signal will cut your speed in half
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 10, 2005
11077 posts
4331 upvotes
Supermantd wrote: I have strong wifi signal in the house.

If I stand beside the router, wireless download speed is around 45mbps out of 50mbps.

If I am upstairs, wireless download speed is around 25mbps out of 50mbps (half the speed). I still have strong wifi signals 3 out of 3 bars but download speed is half.

I'm not very familiar with network speed and devices. If I install a wifi extender, does speed increase by any chance? Do I get a wifi extender, wifi booster, or some special device?
Are you on a 100 Mbps plan? 50?

Try some simple measures first. Change out of the default channel https://www.extremetech.com/computing/1 ... ht-channel
Last edited by blexann on Jul 12th, 2020 12:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
Newbie
Nov 21, 2017
92 posts
81 upvotes
Are you using 5G or 2.4G band? WiFi extenders can help, but not very significantly in my experience.

What I did for my parents (their router is in the basement) is install an access point upstairs, and connect the router to the access point via a Powerline adapter. This worked quite well and your device can freely roam from your router WiFi and access point WiFi for best speeds.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 8, 2020
42 posts
21 upvotes
Thanks for all ideas and suggestions.

This is my first time to learn about "powerline adapter". After reading online, it seems like more people are more satisfied with "powerline adapter" than wifi extender or wifi access points.

Maybe this powerline adapter will solve my speed issue. There are some discussions on other forums saying it is dangerous and cause house fire. I guess they are joking?

Anyhow, I am still learning more about wifi extenders and powerline adapters at the moment before I spend $50-100.
Newbie
Nov 21, 2017
92 posts
81 upvotes
Supermantd wrote: Thanks for all ideas and suggestions.

This is my first time to learn about "powerline adapter". After reading online, it seems like more people are more satisfied with "powerline adapter" than wifi extender or wifi access points.

Maybe this powerline adapter will solve my speed issue. There are some discussions on other forums saying it is dangerous and cause house fire. I guess they are joking?

Anyhow, I am still learning more about wifi extenders and powerline adapters at the moment before I spend $50-100.
Unfortunately with powerline adapters you really don't know what speeds you'll get until you try it. Lots will be rates for high speeds, but it all depends on your homes wiring. For example, if you have an older home with older wiring, you may get lower speeds than your current WiFi setup. If I am near my modem and am on WiFi I get around 300 mbps. When I use my powerline adapter to my computer upstairs I only can get maybe 40mbps. The reason I personally use powerline adapters for my PC and PS4 is for low ping and latency compared to WiFi. You may not get the fastest speeds, but powerline will generally be lower latency and lower ping than WiFi at least for gaming.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
7517 posts
8084 upvotes
Vancouver
A few things to keep in mind about WiFi:

- As you become more distant from the router, your connection gets much more sensitive to small factors like radio dead spots or weak spots caused by a coincidence of how the signals transmit and reflect around your particular house. Factors like which way you are facing, and exact placement and orientation of the router can strongly affect the signal.

- The simple indicators that most devices show you for signal strength and connection speed are unreliable. They represent a nominal best case scenario. If you have a device which allows real-time monitoring of the connection, you will see that the connection speed actually bounces up and down erratically second by second. So you may be seeing a nominal connection speed of 50 mbps, but as you watch the lower-level real-time indication, you may see it varying from 2 mbps to 35 mbps second by second, with a much lower actual throughput. And yet your device will continue to show you an inaccurate max level of 50 mbps connection speed as long as it gets close to that sometimes and doesn't have to renegotiate a connection with a lower speed.

- Signal strength tells you nothing about interference. You can get apps that show you detailed signal strength of all the WiFi networks in your area on each channel, changing moment by moment. But some channels may have almost no traffic, while others are busy with networks doing high speed streaming or intensive file access. Interference from other networks on the same channel or an adjacent channel will heavily impact your throughput without changing your connection speed or signal strength because you are getting frequent blockage and colliding packets with repeats. Unfortunately while the standard signal strength monitoring apps can show you competing networks, they can't tell you how much traffic there is on those networks. For that you need a different type of app, and for most WiFi hardware the app can only monitor traffic on one channel at a time for reason of hardware limitations.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 8, 2020
42 posts
21 upvotes
As I read and learn more about networks, I found out there is something called "mesh technology". It seems interesting but very expensive.

Google nest wifi router and point.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2011
1391 posts
1024 upvotes
Québec
Supermantd wrote: I have strong wifi signal in the house.

If I stand beside the router, wireless download speed is around 45mbps out of 50mbps.

If I am upstairs, wireless download speed is around 25mbps out of 50mbps (half the speed). I still have strong wifi signals 3 out of 3 bars but download speed is half.

I'm not very familiar with network speed and devices. If I install a wifi extender, does speed increase by any chance? Do I get a wifi extender, wifi booster, or some special device?
Strong signal does not mean small interference. Use Ubiquiti wifiman app to scan your local channel.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 8, 2020
42 posts
21 upvotes
elgros4 wrote: Strong signal does not mean small interference. Use Ubiquiti wifiman app to scan your local channel.
Wifiman
1. Good. -62dbm. 17m distance.
2. 2.4ghz there are 2 other people overlap abit
5ghz nobody overlap
3. Speed test. Average around 35mbps out of 50mbps

Seems like distance cause download speed to drop. If I stand beside the router, average speed is around 45-48mbps out of 50.

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