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Thread: Why is my cell phone WiFi 3 times faster than my new 802.11ac laptop?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Why is my cell phone WiFi 3 times faster than my new 802.11ac laptop?

    I have 120 Mbps internet service in Altoona PA from cable provider Atlantic Broadband. When connected directly to the cable modem via ethernet cable I get very close to the full 120 Mbps testing with Ookla. I previously had a Cisco Linksys e4200 802.11n router but wasn’t satisfied with my WiFi performance so since my new devices support 802.11ac I upgraded to a Netgear Nighthawk X6. It has two 5 ghz channels that support 802.11ac with load balancing and one 2.4 ghz channel that only supports 802.11n. A Samsung S7 Edge and two iPhone 7s all test consistently at 90 to 110 Mbps on WiFi regardless of which 5 ghz channel that they are connected to.

    My new HP Spectre X360 with Intel® 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo card consistently tests at 20 to 40 Mbps. It doesn’t matter which of the 3 WiFi channels I’m connected to or if my firewall and antivirus services are enabled or disabled. The laptop has respectable specs (listed below) so performance shouldn’t be a limitation and I haven’t loaded many applications yet to slow it down. The 8 year old Sony Vaio that I replaced with the Spectre gets comparable speeds (20 to 40 Mbps) on both my old and new router using a card that only supports 802.11n.

    Any thoughts on why the WiFi on my Spectre seem to be way underperforming compared to the three cell phones when tested in the exact same physical location? I triple checked that I don’t accidentally have any devices throttled and can’t find any other router or Windows 10 Pro settings that should be the problem.

    HP Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop - 15t touch

    • HP Active Stylus Pen
    • Full-size island-style backlit keyboard
    • Security Software Trial
    • 16 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
    • Intel® 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo
    • Office Software Trial
    • HP Spectre x360 - 15t Touch Laptop
    • Windows 10 Pro 64 with Windows Ink
    • HP Wide Vision FHD IR Camera with Dual array digital microphone
    • 15.6" diagonal UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit (3840 x 2160)
    • 6-cell, 79.2 Whr Lithium-ion Battery
    • Intel® Core™ i7-7500U (2.7 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores) + NVIDIA® GeForce® 940MX (2GB GDDR5 dedicated)
    • No Internal ODD
    • 1 TB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    I would first try temporarily disabling any software that may be interfering/slowing down the connection (anti-virus, software firewall, etc.). I would also look through the network adapter driver settings, turn off power saving, allow maximum wireless power, maybe even jumbo frames. Turn off any "offloading" options to reduce load on the adapter. Also ensure you are using the latest NIC drivers.

    Does all that have any effect?

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Windows Smart Scan was the culprit

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    I would first try temporarily disabling any software that may be interfering/slowing down the connection (anti-virus, software firewall, etc.). I would also look through the network adapter driver settings, turn off power saving, allow maximum wireless power, maybe even jumbo frames. Turn off any "offloading" options to reduce load on the adapter. Also ensure you are using the latest NIC drivers.

    Does all that have any effect?
    Disabling Windows Smart Screen temporarily boosted my speed to over 100 Mbps. I walked away and when I came back an hour later my laptop speed was back down to 20 Mbps but my phone still tested at 100 Mbps.
    Last edited by qaburk; 06-07-17 at 08:12 PM.

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