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Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Here's the situation, a friend has a small office network that recently converted from one internet provider to another.  They currently have several PC's and laptops on the network.  Since the conversion any wired workstation is 3 to 4 times slower in accessing the internet (as seen in both DSL speed tests and real world downloads) than the wireless connected laptops.  The same speed discrepancy holds true in pinging the LAN router from either source.

The service provider has been out several times to look at the problem and has replaced outside wiring and supposedly corrected an issue with one of their (the service provider's) external switches configuration but the problem still remains the same.  (Not too surprisingly IMHO given that to me the evidence points to the LAN side of things).

My friend also tried changing MTU values on the wired workstations and running TCP optimization software but also to no effect.

I've googled on the general issue and was surprised to find that it is not as uncommon as I'd expected though suggested solutions were pretty much limited to the TCP tweaking variety.

Does anyone have any other suggestions re: troubleshooting or resolving this issue?


RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless


1. replace the ethernet cables, go from Cat5 to 5e or 6, basically improve the cabling and replacing with a known good working cable...

2. take a look at the NIC settings in the Device manager, there under the Network Adapters, double click the NIC, then the TAB Advaned, look for Speed&Duplex Settings... Change them from Auto Negotiate to 100 Mbps Full Duplex, if that does change then try 100Mbps Half Duplex...

while you are in the properties of the NIC, go to the last TAB and uncheck the setting "Allow Computer to turn off Device to save energy" (or similar worded)...

"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

i cant see a correlation between changing isp and differences in wireless/wired, is it for sure before it was ok?

please post ipconfig /all from a wireless and wired pc, what router is used, describe network topologie/setup

did the protocol change (ppp -> pppoe)?

M. Knorr


RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

This is likely not the cause, but I've had it happen to a client of mine before so I'll suggest it.

Are you sure the wireless connection is actually the same one as the wired one?

This client, was actually connecting wirelessly to the neighboring office's unprotected wireless network, which evidently had the faster Internet package.

So when he switched to the wired LAN his internet was noticeably slower.

In the end he decided to upgrade his internet package to the faster one and all was resolved.  

Phil AKA Vacunita
Ignorance is not necessarily Bliss, case in point:
Unknown has caused an Unknown Error on Unknown and must be shutdown to prevent damage to Unknown.  

RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I'll pass them on and post any results.

A few things I already know the answers to....
Re: cables - different patch cables have been tried, but I don't know re: Cat 6.  The original cabling is known good to the extent that it was passing higher speed communication previous to switching providers.

Lemon: the speed drop is for real the only correlation that I can see with the wired/wireless speed discrepancy and the change of providers is that the modem was swapped out as part of the changeover.  All the workstations and laptops now connect to the new vendor's modem/switch which is why I can't fathom why the vendor keeps looking outside the local network for the issue. I would think that once the packets hit the modem the vendor's network wouldn't be differentiating their wired/wireless origins.


RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Updated ethernet driver available????

Any diagnostic tests for the NIC card???  Either from the manufacturer of the card or the computer built-in.

Try different/PCI network card to compare speeds.  Borrow one from somebody.

RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Best guess at this point would be to check the connection from the Modem to the router/Switch, ensure they're communicating with each other at full speed.

Where is the wireless being generated? Is the Modem wifi, or is the router handling it?

RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Sorry if I missed this, but have you tried using one of the laptops (that connects fine over wireless) to connect over ethernet as a test?  I understand there are several desktops having the problem, but you definitely want to rule out network settings as the culprit.

What version of Windows are they all running?  I've seen some issues in Vista with IPv6 enabled.  Under the properties of the LAN connection, try disabling that if you see it checked.

"Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein
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RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Another idea...


...and this is just one of many, many different devices available for a similar price.  Just make all the workstations wireless, if it's a small office it will be cheaper than chasing a ghost that could lie in the switch or elsewhere.  I'd try one first before mass deployment.  

In this case, maybe ignorance will  be bliss...


Users helping Users...

RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

Sorry for the long delay between posts but I was waiting for a few pending issues to play out.

Thanks for all the suggestions.  Have tried pretty much all of them.

To answer few of the questions asked after my last post.  The OS for all workstations is XP Pro.  "Known good" cables & nics have been tried.  The 'wall side' hardware is the vendor's wifi/wired/router/modem combo (three different ones tried).  The vendor techs have been through all the settings on both the PCs and wifi/wired/router/modem and can't identify any issue (not that that convinces me that there isn't one).  The laptops have been tried on wired connection with the same slow result.

At this point the vendor is admitting that the problem exists but has been unable to rectify it.

The business has opted to basically go the route wahnula suggested and has made the workstations wireless so I guess the problem is 'solved' in that regard.

I've done some more googling on the 'slow wired/fast wireless" issue and have found it report in a number of forums.  Not one confirmed fix in any of the ones I found though.

So I guess this is one for the X Files though I hate giving up on it if for nothing else than satisfying my own curiosity.

Thanks again to all who offered their ideas.

RE: Network Problem - Slow Wired but Fast Wireless

All workstations on the same IP, subnet range, etc?  Static or Dynamic IPs?

What results does PINGing the router produce, and how do they compare when PINGing a wireless PC from another wireless PC, or from a wired workstation, etc.  (I'm sure you get my drift here...).

Has the new vendor exchanged this router for another to eliminate a duff piece of kit?

Can you check all the settings within the router?

You've told us it's a small office network. Are the workstations loose-cabled to the router, or do you have fixed wiring with floor or wall boxes?  If the latter, do you get different results if a PC is plugged directly into the router with a short cable?


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