Asus RT-AC1200G+ Router throttling wifi

jefflad

Active Member
So.... We have Virgin Broadband and have had various speeds with no issue, however we've moved from 350Mbps to 500Mbps and the speeds on speediest haven't changed, still showing around 300Mbps. Connecting my MacBook to the router directly gives me speeds over 520Mbps, the router should give me wifi speeds up towards that but it doesn't. Interestingly, using the Virgin Broadband router the speeds are up to 480Mbps so an issue with this router.

I've checked most things on the config and can't see what would strangle it, no QoS nothing that I can see... I've got the latest firmware too.

We use the Asus Router as the wifi range from the virgin one is pants and we were always pleased with the coverage of this Asus one but my patience is now running thin.... Help!!

Think I've covered most things but any questions just shout.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
The "Link Rate" (ever erroneously called "speed") is a product of the capabilities of both the Wi-FI AP and the client device. For example, if your client device is only capable of 300mbps link rates, then 300mbps is the fastest you will ever get, no matter how fast you AP is. Incidentally, Wi-Fi link rates vary in real time depending on signalling conditions and throughput demands (unlike ethernet) and can be different in the "uplink" and "downlink" directions.

So first port of call is the check out what the Wi-Fi NIC in your MacBook is capable of from the datasheet or specification.

Likewise your router - just because it can support 10millions fiddledediddle on the ISP link, does not imply it can do the same on it's Wi-Fi link (and ethernet links) - they are unrelated to each other. So again, a visit to the datasheets is required to see what''s on offer.
 
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jefflad

Active Member
Thanks.... I’m predominantly using my iPhone 12 Pro Max to compare the link rate.... the data sheet for both, via googling them that both offer the higher WiFi speed. I used the MacBook to connect directly in to the router on cat5 to confirm link rate to the hardware. What it then spews out on WiFi isn’t what it should be based on the tin.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
The specs for the router say "Delivering 2.4GHz and 5GHz concurrent bands at up to 300Mbps and 867Mbps". Sounds as though you might be connected to the 2.4GHz band rather than the 5GHz band. Can you try forcing a 5GHz band connection ?
 

jefflad

Active Member
Yeah, two different names to the SSID so am definitely on the 5ghz and I also disabled 2.5 whilst testing.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Be sure to understand that the "speed" reported by networking equipment (and specifications) as "link rate" is not the same thing you see when running a "speed test." Speedtest does not test the "speed" (link rate) of anything, speedtest sends out a measured amount of data, times it, then computes a statistical average - like the trip computer in a car. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that link rates and speedtest results are "the same thing" just because they are both reported in the metric of "bits per second."

For example, if you hook up something via (say) gigabit ethernet (which works at a fixed rate) it defintely is a "1000mbps" link rate, no matter what speedtest reports because ethernet does not work any other way.

Wi-Fi isn't really "spewed out" by anything - it would be a good idea to ditch from your mindset any notion of Wi-Fi as some ethereal energy field like The Force or Ley Lines generated by some magical "Wi-Fi generator." Wi-Fi is a two way radio "conversation" like walkie-talkies not a one way radio "lecture" like television. Think of it in terms of sound and I think you'll get the idea.

To repeat, the link rate (speed) and throughput you see reported connected to you router using ethernet is completely unrelated to what it offers over Wi-Fi. One cannot infer the "because the ethernet rate is X it should be that good over Wi-Fi" - it doesn't work like that.

Not least because the throughput (as measure by speedtest) for ethernet is not directly comparable to Wi-Fi. A percentage of the basic link rate is "lost" to things like error correction, management chatter, encryption and so forth. There's a rough "wet finger" metric called the "protocol efficiency" that give some ball park measures of such losses. Ethernet has about 97% protocol efficiency, Wi-Fi is less good at of the order of 55-75% (on a good day with ideal signalling conditions.) Add some interference, distance, airtime competition and so on and the protocol efficiency of Wi-Fi drops as the error rates go up, retries increase, more conservative link rates and modulation schemes are used. It's all very complicated!

By connecting up via gigabit ethernet and speed testing, you've effectively confirmed that your ISP link is performing (as it's so much slower than gig ethernet) and your router has the horsepower to "route" the required amount of data. So you've essentially localised this to a Wi-Fi issue, either in the router, the clients, the signalling conditions or a combination of all three.

Unfortunately statements on your iPhone spec like "does Wi-Fi 6" are pretty much useless. We need to know things like the number of spacial streams (it does mention 2x2 MIMO,) the channel bandwidth supported and a whole bunch of other stuff to come up with useful numbers. Apple have always been pretty crap about providing such information.
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
BTW - you could try getting hold of one of the freebie "Wi-Fi scanners" such as InSSIDer, Acrylic Wi-Fi (which I know from Windows) and doubtless there are Apple Mac/phone equivalents if those two aren't available cross platform. Such things will "sniff" the Wi-Fi airwaves for any AP's/routers advertising in your locale and part of the data they capture (alongside the RSSI) is often the "max link rate" that the kit is advertising it can avail. It might be a way to affirm what your router is offering (and if you've got anything else in the nearby using the same radio channels as you.)
 

jefflad

Active Member
Thanks for all that... You're right the link is performing as expected and to be fair the ISP router is too but I have a major drop off with the ASUS router. to compound matters I'm using the ASUS as an access point and using the wifi provided by ASUS and killed it on the ISP... annoyingly when comparing the speed from speedtest the speed does rise with the ASUS router than when it's running the show. This just confirms some setting(s) on that router appears to strangle WiFi, I spent most of the weekend trying different setting configs and reboots to show no gain that matched the ISP router WiFi until I dumbed it down.
 

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