How to fix slow 802.11n wireless network speed

Many people ask me about this, they have a 802.11n equipment with declared speed of 300 Mbps but yet when they are connected to their wireless network their speed seems to be a lot smaller.

Here are the few things you should check if you think your network is to slow.

  • Are both the wireless network card on your device and the access point you’re connecting to 802.11n. If you have a 802.11g card then there is no use of having a 802.11n standard AP. Same principle applies in the other direction, if you have a 802.11n card and a 802.11g AP
  • Are you using non-WPA2 security.
    802.11n standard prohibits the use of TKIP and WEP on wireless network. All network cards that are certified for the 802.11n by the WiFi Alliance will either not connect at all to the wireless network that uses WEP or WPA as the security, or they will fall down to 802.11g standard which has the maximum speed of 54 Mbps, like you can see at this Intel statement
  • Don’t disable the WMM/WME, WiFi Multimedia or Wireless Multimedia Extensions is something that 802.11n devices have to have enabled to be certified for 802.11n.
  • Check if your access point is using some sort of power saving, some access points will work with slower speed if you put them on some sort of eco/ power saving mode
  • Mixed mode, this is a much debated issue, some claim that configuring your AP to work in mixed mode (to also work with older 802.11b/g clients) will automatically drop your speed down. Some claim that it only happens if you have 802.11b/g client connected to network, and some claim that it doesn’t happen at all.
    Nevertheless if you only have 802.11n clients don’t put your AP in mixed mode.

If anybody has any suggestion for any other options or settings to take in mind when the connection is slow, feel free to add them in the comments.


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