Have you faced situations when file downloads are delayed, video freezes, or a speed test shows something completely different from what is indicated in the tariff? We know that with a kindly quiet word in such cases, you think about your provider. But most often it's not his fault. Let's understand what causes the speed mismatch and talk about ways to solve this problem.
Choosing a tariff «up to 100 Mbps», some users expect that in 10 seconds they will be able to download a gigabyte of information. This is not possible for several reasons:
- The speed is given in bits, not bytes. Accordingly, 100 Mbps is 12.5 Mbps.
- Even with a direct connection and the right equipment, there is a small percentage of loss between the provider's switch and your router/computer. These losses are due to the presence of service traffic (generated during retransmission, fragmentation and encapsulation of data packets). Speed test programs do not take it into account when measuring.
Therefore, getting 85-90% of the declared speed is the norm.
The subscriber is provided with a channel which width corresponds to the rate of the tariff plan. And the number of Mbps that will reach it is determined by the equipment on the receiving side.
How the Internet network works
Level 1: Apartment
A router is responsible for organizing a home network. It can be connected by wire or via Wi-Fi.
There are two frequency bands in which a wireless network can operate: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The first range is supported by all devices, the channels at these frequencies are usually busy. 5GHz provides faster speeds, but is not supported by legacy devices. The more networks you see when opening the list of available ones, the more likely the channels are congested and your Wi-Fi speed does not live up to expectations.
Level 2: Apartment block
The next level of the network is the provider's switch in the entrance.
Your and neighboring computers and routers are connected to it. If the switch is located at a distance of 90 meters or more from your device, the speed will be affected not only by service traffic, but also by attenuation.
Level 3: Provider
Usually, these are small data centers («Maxnet» has the own data center). The network equipment works there, to which, in addition to the main ones, backup communication and power lines are connected. In case of failures, the system quickly switches to spare channels.
Level 4: IXP
The next step is traffic exchange points. These are large network infrastructures with equipment in different cities and countries. Their task is to ensure the exchange of traffic between participants, which in turn own independent networks. Maxnet is a member of such traffic exchange points: DTEL-IX, UA-IX, DATA-IX, KH-IX, Giganet. This allows our subscribers to connect to Ukrainian and foreign servers without experiencing delays.
Useful information about home Wi-Fi
Today, there are 3 common standards for the operation of wireless networks:
• 802.11g (maximum speed — 54 Mbps, real - 20 Mbps);
• 802.11n (maximum — 150 Mbps at 2.4 GHz, 600 Mbps — at 5 GHz with 4 antennas; real - 70 Mbps);
• 802.11ac (5GHz only) (up to 6.77Gbps maximum (8 antennas); 300-500 Mbps actual).
We recommend choosing a less loaded channel and familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of the router and the connected equipment to set a single operating mode. By default, the router settings are set to mixed mode (11bgn) for maximum compatibility with old and new devices. Is it good or bad?
Example: your router, laptop and smartphone support 11n, the tariff is 100 Mbps, the actual speed is close to the advertised one. A friend visits you with a dinosaur phone that only supports 11g. It connects to the network and your router switches to 11g, the speed for all users drops to 20 Mbps.
Wi-Fi mode is determined by the «weakest» device connected to it.
Разница заявленной и фактической скорости
As the load on the network increases in the evening, the speed decreases, regardless of whether you are using a wired or wireless connection.
For a direct connection, this deviation is negligible or non-existent. In general, the difference between the declared and actual speed is due solely to service traffic and the peculiarities of the operation of the equipment on the receiving side.
With Wi-Fi, things are more complicated. The main reason for the discrepancy is the large number of wireless networks that interfere with each other. It can also be affected by the wrong standard of the router operation. An increase in the number of users connected to one router will also lead to a decrease in speed. The location of the router is important, as the presence of concrete walls with metal partitions between it and the receiving device, mirrors and other surfaces can impede the signal.
Read below more about the reasons for the decrease in speed of a wireless network, regardless of the connection type and time of day.
Causes of speed reduction in wireless networks
1. As you can see, most often the causer is the huge number of wireless networks in apartment buildings. Powerful antennas of routers with gains turned to the maximum interfere with each other. When there are too many networks broadcasting on a channel, it reduces the speed, and it becomes difficult to find a free channel for your router. It looks something like this:
2. The next reason is a router. It may not support the desired speed, have the wrong settings (inappropriate broadcast standard / overloaded channel), or simply stand in the wrong place. You may not notice that too many devices are connected to the router until one of them starts downloading files or performing other resource-intensive activities on the internet. Then all other users will feel a decline in speed. There is also intra-network traffic. Many users connect external drives to the router and use it to download and store media. While downloading files or broadcasting them, the load on the central processor of the router increases, which significantly interferes with its broadcasting.
3. The third place is occupied by the equipment on the receiving side: Wi-Fi adapter or network card. Please note, that they must support the standard on which the router broadcasts. In addition, it is advisable to constantly use the latest drivers.
4. Next software problems follow. Software that “bites off” some resources may quietly run on your computer. For example, if you forgot to exit µTorrent, or if there is a game service running in the background that is downloading a client update. And, of course, do not forget about viruses.
5. And the cause can also be in the browser. На всякий случай, перепроверьте скорость в другом.
Just in case, double-check the speed in another. Today's websites require quite a lot of CPU resources. This becomes a serious problem for "old" devices. If you use Google Chrome, especially when there are many tabs open, in addition, RAM is heavily loaded.
6. All this is compounded by antivirus programs. Packets that the computer downloads from the internet pass through them. It takes time, and the speed drops even lower.
7. By the way, do not forget that not your computer that, but the requested server, overloaded with requests, «slows down». This will be noticeable by uneven speed when launching different sites and services. For example, the messenger works flawlessly, but the online game slows down.
Usually, the farther the server is, the higher the ping (server response time to a request). This is true, but you need to take into account that sometimes the path to the server runs through intermediate points. For example, it happens that the connection to the servers in Minsk will pass through Amsterdam.
8. Other factors may also be the cause, such as an outdated computer as a whole (then not only the internet will slow down, but everything in general), exceeding the permissible length of the twisted pair cable, poor-quality cable crimping, individual equipment features, enabled VPN.
What to do to increase the speed
- Before the speed test, disable game services, torrent downloads, and anything else that might be slowing down your CPU.
- Next, make sure you are directly connected to the internet. For doing this, switch the cable from the router to the computer / laptop. After the connection is established, run the test again.
- If the result is radically different for the better, the problem is in the router or Wi-Fi adapter. If the results are not too different, we continue to look for the problem.
- Update the driver for the network card / adapter, check the specifications. For a tariff of more than 100 Mbps, you need a gigabit router and a network card.
- Check if the cable or connector is not damaged.
- After completing these steps and receiving the changed speed indicators, we return
1. Change the broadcast channel to a less busy one («Wireless Settings» → «Channel»). A full video on how to do this is here: Video instruction for changing the channelа
2. Check the number of connected users: «Wireless Statistics» / «Status» / «Network Map» → «Clients». If there are more than you need, change the Wi-Fi password to a more complex one. (How to do this is here: How to change your password)
3. Check which mode your router is broadcasting in. («Wireless Settings» → «Mode»). If there are no «dinosaurs» in the network, choose «11n/ac».
- Reboot your router and check the result.
If you are our subscriber and none of the above helps, call us, write to our chat, we will help you solve the problem.