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Windows 7: I've got 5 bars wifi, but only about 1 Mbps download speed.

10 Mar 2016   #1
bomar84

Windows 7 home premium, 64 bit
 
 
I've got 5 bars wifi, but only about 1 Mbps download speed.

I live in an assisted living establishment with wifi furnished free but it isn't the best.I'm showing 5 bars on my computer, but I'm only getting around 1 Mbps and I see a lot of the spinning donut. Are there things that I am able to do or am I at the mercy of the owner. He probably would not be willing to spend a little more cash just to satisfy a few of us old geezers.


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10 Mar 2016   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You have 2 effects - for one the owner probably went with a cheap connection (ask him what it is) and then there are several people connecting to the router which produces contention.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2016   #3
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bomar84 View Post
I live in an assisted living establishment with wifi furnished free but it isn't the best.I'm showing 5 bars on my computer, but I'm only getting around 1 Mbps and I see a lot of the spinning donut. Are there things that I am able to do or am I at the mercy of the owner. He probably would not be willing to spend a little more cash just to satisfy a few of us old geezers.
5 bars indicates strong WiFi signal of course, but I wonder about a couple of things:

1. How exactly did you come by the determination of 1 Mbps?

2. When you click on the Network icon in your taskbar, and hover over the wireless connection, what "Radio Type" are you shown?

3. When you click on the Network icon in your taskbar, then right-click on your wireless connect, left-clicking on Status, what does it show?

Mine looks like this for comparision:


Attached Images
I've got 5 bars wifi, but only about 1 Mbps download speed.-wifi.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2016   #4
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

The five bars are showing the strength of the signal between your device, (laptop, Phone, Tablet etc ), and the actual router, speed you are measuring is I believe the actual speed from your property to the internet, this is a figure that is shared by all the users on the system at any one time so even if there was a 10Mb/s system it would only show this divided by the number of residents using the system.

Apart from obtaining your own contract with an ISP there is not much you can do to improve a shared free service
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #5
bomar84

Windows 7 home premium, 64 bit
 
 

I came up with the I Mbps by averaging several checks of my download speed by my Systems Mechanic. My status is like yours except for these differences: SSID says: guest, Speed says: 54.0, Bytes says: 5851 and 19669. I downloaded a driver and it was 41.9 Mb and it took just under 11 minutes. The radio type shown says: 802.11gn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #6
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

There is no correlation between how many bars you see on the wifi icon and what speed data is transferred. The bars indicate relative strength of the signal between your computer and the wifi access point. It's quite possible to have a very strong signal but if that signal is coupled to a slow connection, it will still be slow. A weak signal may cause the data transfer speed to be slower than it should but a strong signal cannot make up for a slow connection.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2016   #7
bomar84

Windows 7 home premium, 64 bit
 
 

What possibilities would cause a slow connection?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #8
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

The connection is dependent on both major & minor items.

The contract that the Company / or person who provides the service to you has with their service provider. If they pay for 5Mb/s then that is obviously the maximum you will ever get.

Another major thing is how many users are on the system in total at any one time.
Again using the 5Mb/s example if you have one user they will get all available bandwidth, 5Mb/s, (this is not strictly true as it is possible for the provider or the ISP to limit the maximum that any one user can access), if you five users on-line at any one time the Maximum available will be 1Mb/s for ten users it would be 0.5Mb/s Etc.

This can also be effected by the number of users on-line in your Area with the ISP, and also how busy the actual internet is at the time Again using the 5Mb/s service, this is not a sold as a constant service - with internet contracts you pay for UPTO xMb/s so at some times there may only be 4 Mb/s or even 1 Mb/s available at the property - The ISP may guarantee a minimum, but not all do this

There are losses related to the infrastructure (wiring, Hardware, Interference Etc). which again reduces the bandwidth available

One other thing to be aware of is that the ISP sells the service a Mb/s (MegaBits per second), where as we normally deal with MegaBytes for file sizes. If we wish to download a 1MB file over Our (5Mb/s) service and currently getting your normal 1Mb/s then the file is 8Mb and thus would take a minimum of 8 seconds to download It would actually take longer as you have to include the actual processing of the file at both ends for the transfer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #9
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bomar84 View Post
I came up with the I Mbps by averaging several checks of my download speed by my Systems Mechanic. My status is like yours except for these differences: SSID says: guest, Speed says: 54.0, Bytes says: 5851 and 19669. I downloaded a driver and it was 41.9 Mb and it took just under 11 minutes. The radio type shown says: 802.11gn
This suggests to me that your in-house connection to WiFi is not the issue, it is likely the Internet Service Provider at your assisted living place.

It is probably slow to begin with, but when you factor-in that others (including staff) will be using it at the same time, that really puts pressure on the ISP connection.

I dunno System Mechanic. Instead, open a browser and go to testmy.net, click on Test My Internet, select Combined, and tell or show us the result.

Here is mine ATM, not too hot but it's workable:


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #10
bomar84

Windows 7 home premium, 64 bit
 
 

I just checked mine with testmy.net and got 1.3 (159KB/s). Evidently, this is not as bad as I thought. I don't know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 I've got 5 bars wifi, but only about 1 Mbps download speed.




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