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#1 Posted by Choffy (484 posts) -

I'm not sure why, but lately it seems like my internet is slowing down a little bit, and the range has weakened. This was confirmed (albeit by a very un-scientific method) by my PS4 and Xbox One both showing my Wifi signal strength at about 75% (when they were both at 100% when they were set up in November), and speed tests giving me results between 10-15 Mbps when I'm paying for 45 Mbps. I called my ISP (Century Link), and they said that they were sending speeds of 45114/5120 Kbps to my router/modem combo (yes, I have DSL). Unfortunately, my laptop is my only computer, and there's no ethernet port on my Macbook to test whether a wired connection will give me better results, but I'm trying to get my friend to bring his laptop to test things out that way.

Basically, my question is simple. My router/modem combo is five years old (Actiontec Q1000), and I'm wondering if an old router/modem could be slowing my speeds. I consider myself fairly tech savvy, except for on networking so I'm hopeful someone could help me out with this. And if that could be affecting my speeds, would turning my Q1000 in to a bridge and purchasing a separate brand new router work?

Basically, how can I get the speeds I'm paying for. I understand you never get quite what you're paying for, and with Wifi you'll also see some loss of speed. But paying for 45 Mbps and getting 12-15 Mbps doesn't seem quite right.

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#2 Edited by Kidavenger (4069 posts) -

If you go into "network and sharing center and click on the active wifi connection, it will give you your wifi status including the maximum speed, as long as that speed is faster than the ISP speed (which it should be) the router won't be your problem.


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#3 Edited by Choffy (484 posts) -

@kidavenger: I'm on OS X, but I'm assuming I've found essentially the same thing. Here are my results:

2633583-screen shot 2014-05-16 at 3.20.24 pm.png

Should I look into changing the channel? 144 Mbps is definitely faster than what I'm paying for.

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#4 Posted by GiantBomber (389 posts) -

Check your routers downstream and upstream speed make sure those speeds are similar to what your ISP is sending. Also what do you get on speedtest.net?

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#5 Posted by Corevi (6793 posts) -

It's the network card in your Macbook, that's what's limiting it. There's no fix for it.

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#6 Posted by GiantBomber (389 posts) -

@corruptedevil: His link speed is capable of 144mbps, his internet download is only 45mbps down 5mbps up.

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#7 Edited by CornBREDX (7112 posts) -

It could definitely be, but the best way to test it is just to plug something in directly (preferably a computer as you will be able to test easiest with that).

You may also want to try testing by bypassing your router if you haven't already. Edit: Oh, it's a modem/router. Got it. No bypassing for that haha- I missed that initially.

If it's something that has only happened recently you could try powercycling the router/modem as well. Obvious, I know, but some people forget to do that and it really does help sometimes.

Another thing you may want to look into, also, is if anyone else is using your wireless without your knowledge. If someone is seeding torrents through your network (just an example) you'd also see a noticeable decrease in speeds. Often you can check your router for what is connecting to it- or just change your wireless password.

I used to work for Citlink and I know how phone tech support works- especially for DSL. They are required to get you off the phone ASAP, and with speeds it can often be hard to pin point the cause and they cannot sit on the phone with you to actually figure it out so they have you look at the modem statistics to see what the modem is reporting from the DSLAM. The thing is, just because it reports the right speed doesn't mean a terminal isn't malfunctioning. However, they can't send out a tech without anything to go on, as it costs the company money, so if they don't see anything wrong they tell you it's working properly because they have to. So, what I am saying is make sure you check directly from your modem if you haven't. If it's the same when your computer is plugged into your modem directly then the problem is with Citlink or wiring around your home (which they may not be required to help you with).

I'm speculating, though. There are a lot of variables involved with any connection problem that most people don't understand and ISP tech support is not afforded the time to explain to you- or they don't know either (in some cases) because they don't hire Tech Support reps for their knowledge in tech. These days the company they use for tech support hires for sales so most of them don't even know how networks even work at a basic level.

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#8 Posted by keyvin (40 posts) -

Have the number of wireless access points visible in your residence increased since you got your router? You share wireless bandwidth with every access point in range using a channel close to yours. You might try changing the channel the AP is using and see if that helps anything. The spectrum wireless uses is unregulated so something your neighbors or yourself have bought could be interfering with transmissions on your network.

Wireless is great if you want to sit on the couch and browse the internet or check your email. Otherwise I would just invest in some cat 5 cable, some rj-45 jacks, and a crimper. If you don't have vents or are uncomfortable running cable through walls and floors you can buy conduit you can adhere to walls to do your cabling runs. I live in a condo with a lot of units in close proximity due to the layout. Wireless has become about unusable here during prime netflix time.

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#9 Posted by Choffy (484 posts) -

@keyvin: Do the conduits work? (I'm guessing those are the things that essentially work as ethernet ports via power outlets in your house) I've read about them but they almost seemed too good to be true.

@cornbredx: I'm trying to get my friend to bring his Macbook over since no computer in my house has an ethernet port.I'm guessing all of my questions will be answered if/when I can convince him to come over.

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#10 Posted by Arabes (603 posts) -

@choffy: That's not what he means by conduits.He's talking about sheathing that you can adhere to the wall to hide your cables. What you are talking about is an ethernet over power adapter. They work fine, they just use the copper power cabling to transmit data. You plug them into the power point and run your ethernet from there.

Your router isn't affecting your speed, 5 years old isn't old for a router. You need to plug your laptop/desktop/whatever into your router and do a few speed tests at different times of the day. If you are not getting close to what you are paying for at any time, contact your ISP and fuck them out of it until you speak to a manager who'll do something nice for you.

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#11 Edited by techguru1101 (2 posts) -

If you do find that your router is the issue, I would consider a new router. Gaming with a gaming router vs. an old one that doesn't work well can make a lot of difference. A lot of people recommend the NETGEAR nighthawk AC1900, rated #1 on this site http://www.squidoo.com/best-gaming-router