Reply
Visitor
kbphoto615
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-04-2010

Wireless signal too slow?

I wont go into the endless amount of complaints I have with Comcast at this point, or the endless amount of stupidity that has been shown to me by the Internet people at Comcast, but rather just skip to the problem at hand and hope that someone here is somewhat knowledgable enough to assist me in this situation.

 

My name is Kendall, I am located in Nashville, TN. I recently upgraded to the 50mbps Internet package provided by Comcast. From what I was told I would not need to upgrade ANY equipment, modem or router, and that the effect would take place immediately upon hanging up with him. Well needless to say this was not the case. 7 service rep's later, 5 phone calls and 2 live chats, and I finally get someone with enough common sense to see I needed to upgrade my modem to a Docis 3.0. Now the modem is upgrade and the wired internet speed is at about 50mbps, sometimes over. But!, and this is a huge but because it is my main concern for upgrading. My wireless speed has not been effected at all. I am still getting in the range of 12-16mbps on my wireless laptop. I have a router provided by Comcast, and I was told this router would support the speeds I am upgrading to. This is obviously not the case. I have spoke with Netgear, and multiple service techs from Comcast, all of my router settings are correct, and the router " SHOULD " support the speeds I'm paying for.

 

Now, all that being said. I am not stupid, I know multiple devices and range and other things are all factors in this problem. But to be paying for 50mbps, and only getting around 18 at best on the main laptop that is used in the household, is just ridiculous if you ask me.

 

There has got to be something else to try here, the router should be outputting a better wireless signal. I dont know if Comcast offers a better router, if the router is even the problem. But Comcast is basically telling me to just deal with it becuase it's " up to 50mbps, & wireless is always going to be about half that", well fine, but im not even getting half of 50!

 

Here's my setup:

 

In the living room I have 1 Docis 3.0 Modem-Hardwired to-1 Netgear N150 WNR-1000v2-Hardwired to- 1 Windows XP Desktop PC-1 Network Printer-&1 Dynex Gigabit Switch

 

I then have an ethernet going from the Gigabit Switch-Hardwired to- 1 Xbox 360- 1 My Book Live Storage - 1 Sony Bravia TV

 

I am accessing this network wirelessly using 1 Dell Studio XPS 1645 Laptop, below you will find the adapters list from this laptop.

 

Adapters List
        Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter
        Intel(R) Centrino(R) WiMAX 6250
        Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6250 AGN
        Broadcom NetLink (TM) Gigabit Ethernet

 

This laptop can handle the speeds I am paying for, It just isnt working. I can provide more information or additional detials just let me know what you need. I really need to get this figured out guys, I rely on a good download and upload speed as I am a freelance photoeditor and my business is run off the internet alone.

 

Thank you in advance to those who try and help, but if you are just going to give me empty answers like power cycle the modem and router, please don't even attempt I have been through all the basics here guys.

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Wireless signal too slow?

You don't say what exact model of modem you have, but assuming it's a typical DOCSIS 3 model with gigabit ethernet, it should be fine.

 

If the lack of speed is caused by some kind of interference, replacing the router will not likely solve anything.  Before replacing the router, I would try changing the wireless channel on the router to see if things improve.  The default is usually 6, try 1 or 11.  If it does improve, you saved yourself some money, if not, you're no worse off than you were before.

 

The laptop might be the culprit as well.  The specs on the Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6250 AGN say it should be able to reach this speed no problem, but that doesn't mean the system design will.  The only way to tell here is to test on someone else's router who IS getting 50+ Mbps or try another wireless adapter.

 

While that router should be able to handle a single wireless session at speeds well in excess of 50Mbps, that doesn't mean the router will sustain that same speed from wireless out the WAN interface.  The router is an older model and if it's one of Comcast's, it's running a customer firmware that may not be capable of the speeds the retail version is.

 

So if the channel changing doesn't help, my advice would be to replace the router with your own unit.  Something like the Linksys E3200 or E4200 or the Netgear WNDR3700, 3800, or 4000.  Other high end consumer routers will work as well, just make sure they have gigabit interfaces, wireless N and are recent models designed for high performance.

 

 

 

Visitor
kbphoto615
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-04-2010

Re: Wireless signal too slow?

Hey Baric, replacing the router did the trick. I bought a Netgear N600 gigabit on sale at bestbuy and I am now hitting 34-60mbps wireless, even higher wired. The issue that now remains..how the heck does Comcast get away with "providing" a router that doesn't even come close to reaching the top internet speed packages that they offer.

 

This makes absoultely no sense to me and I would really love a Comcast employee to chime in on this. The fact that I have to buy a new router to support the speeds I pay for, even when several employees don't mention this and say the Netgear n150 will hit it no problem, is plain dumb to me. Comcast employee's are either too stupid or just unwilling to provide the truth about their products and it is seriously frustrating. Having to pay an additional $140 dollars for a router is just beyond me when no one mentioned this at all when upgrading my package.

 

I appreciate the help Baric, I wonder if a Comcast employee will reply to this. :/

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Wireless signal too slow?

Well, I can't speak for Comcast but I can give you my take on this.  

 

The router is provided "free" (excepting the shipping charge).  As such it's NOT top of the line and will only handle basic requirements of your average user.  It's an inexpensive low-end model because Comcast had to pay for it somehow (so that's why my cable bill went up yet again!).  It was never designed for high-speed throughput and from a time when broadband connections were much slower, so it didn't need to go faster.  Things have gotten much faster over the last few years (and that trend will likely continue), and these older models just can't handle the throughput.  

 

Plus, Extreme 50 customers are not what I would term average customers.  These folks need equipment designed for speed through out, not just in subsections since the speed through the modem is much higher than it used to be.  Manufacturers make routers for different uses and price ranges, from the inexpensive, basic models to the very high speed models which carry correspondingly higher prices.

 

I'm a firm believer in "you get what you pay for".  Free stuff, while nice, is usually basic and inexpensive because giving away better stuff would be prohibitively expensive.  if you want to use free, great, just don't expect it to be as good as the really high end stuff costing much more.  There's usually a reason the better stuff is more expensive.  When it comes to routers, it means faster chips and components, more features (which require more components and programming hours), and more extensive testing with faster connections, etc, all of which cost more, hence the price of the finished unit is higher.

Visitor
kbphoto615
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-04-2010

Re: Wireless signal too slow?

No I totally get that Baric, and normally I would never complain this much about something that was free. The fact is that I totally would have NEVER even thought about upgrading had I known this is the amount of hassle i'd have to go through to get the 50mbps that I am paying for. Also, being told by 1 comcast employee that they offer a dual band, higher end router for the 105mbps package customers, but not to the 50, really gets to me. I just got this tid bit of information from a supervisor today. Considering it's obvious the N150 just isn't cutting it for customers like me with a pretty complex network, and someone who relys on it. Maybe I need to switch to business class to get the support I need, maybe I need to switch companies all together.

 

I also just want to add one more opinion to this, this is my opinion soley based on what i've seen through my various tests, the firmware that comcast puts on the N150 router is what is holding it down, the specs of the router on the netgear site don't indicate that it wont do 50mbps wireless, as a matter of fact all the manuals I've read for this model router say it should have no problem hitting 50mbps. The thing of it is, comcast just wont own up to it. They just don't want to provide me with the correct equipment or the correct support, that is what is frustrating, not that a free device isn't working, but that a company is charging me for a service and not supporting said service or said device. :/

 

Again I appreciate your help Baric.