• router download speed too low


    I am supposed to have 200 Mbps internet service.  I am only getting around 90 Mbps download speed.  I have traced the bottleneck to my router.  It is a Cisco Linksys 1500.   It supports 802.11N and is supposed to be capable of up to 300 Mbps.

    Are there some settings I should be using or should I consider the useful life to be over and purchase a new router?  Accepting router suggestions <$100.


    Viewing 12 reply threads
    • #2272109

      I have traced the bottleneck to my router

      Have you tries resetting the router ?

      When buying a new router today to be used for a couple of years, you should look for wi-fi 6 / 802.11ax .


    • #2272111

      Thanks for the reply  The router is turned off every night so that should be the same as a reset.  I do not use wifi very often and then it is usually <25 feet from the device connecting to it.  Forgot to mention that this is used with a cable modem with a wired connection as well as wired to my PC.

      • #2272149

        The router is turned off every night…

        Certainly not a good idea for xDSL, perhaps not so bad for cable.

        How about some stats? I primarily use the TBB tests (logged in line test results go back to ‘only’ 2013 now, though data for the line/login should go back even further). Tests/Results include single-thread connection speeds as well as the more common multi-threaded connections; single-threaded connection speeds (or lack of, eg. too slow to stream higher bandwidth video, or download remote server/game data) can be vital for certain common, or more unusual/specific scenarios to be successful. https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest

        Here’s a ‘good’ result from an ‘impacted’ (poor basic ‘last mile’ hardware infrastructure on VDSL2) ‘up to’ 30 Mbps line: https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1592001542212524755

        Non-‘impacted’ would be ~30-36 Mbps down, ~5 up. Average ‘bad’ results are somewhere between https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1592012277537841255 and zero/dead/dry string – on an almost daily basis.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2272130

      A Cisco Linksys e1500 router has, per the manufacturer spec sheet, the following key features:

      • High speed (up to 300 Mbps) for fast wireless transfer rates
      • Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps) ports to connect wired devices to the network

      Since you stated that “… this is used with a cable modem with a wired connection as well as wired to my PC”, we can ignore the first listed feature (up to 300 Mbps via wireless) and focus on the wired spec, viz, Fast Ethernet. Note that Fast Ethernet is 100Mbps.

      See where I’m heading with this?

      • #2272247

        Spot on, I had this exact problem with an old Linksys router when my ISP increased speeds from 100 to 200Mbps. The wired interface (Ethernet) which is what connects to the modem has a maximum speed of 100Mbps (causing the bottleneck). Whereas the listed wireless speeds are only between 2 wireless devices on the network so is not applicable to the Internet max speed. So the only solution is to replace the router with one that uses gigabit Ethernet.

    • #2272129

      Larry B-

      One reason for your lack of speed could be an inordinate number of users in your neighborhood using a LOT of bandwidth at the same time. That’s one of the drawbacks of using cable TV for high speed internet instead of a fiber optic provider. It’s cheaper, but you’re sharing the bandwidth with your neighbors. I experienced that problem years ago (ca. 2001) with a now-defunct provider. It persisted until they installed new equipment that give us more bandwidth, and then we were all set. This could be the case for your area…lack of enough equipment for the number of customers in an area.

      Something you should do is to secure your wireless network, even if you don’t use it while the router’s powered on because of using wired Ethernet connections instead. Add a basic password that’s at least 12-16 characters in length with upper case, lower case, numbers and special symbols to make it really secure. Better yet, if you’re not using the wireless capabilities for your own computers completely disable the wireless capability of the router. This can be done within the basic Wireless settings page within the router’s firmware.

      Also, you can filter wireless access to the network to only certain computers. All you need to know is their MAC address. There’s a page within the router’s settings for that type of security.

      Granted, although these two measures won’t keep anyone who’s really dedicated to breaking in out of your network, they’ll keep the vast majority of folks out who you want to keep out.

      The reason for your lack of speed could be wireless “moochers” who use the wireless signal from your router because it has no password, thus it’s an “open” network. The two steps above will get rid of those freeloaders.

      Once many years ago (2011) my next door neighbors came to my door asking if I had any internet access. I said that I sure did and that it was working just fine. They asked me to look over their equipment to see if it was working well because they didn’t trust the local cable provider’s phone-based tech support. With their permission, I looked at their setup and found they had 9 folks mooching off their wireless signal in addition to their own two computers, to which my neighbors said they never even knew anyone else could use their wireless signal besides them. After discovering all this, they promptly asked me to get rid of the moochers, which I promptly did after our neighbor provided a wireless network password. I also added MAC address filtering (after obtaining the needed info from their computers with their permission). After rebooting their router and letting their computers reconnect to it, their speed was back to what it should have been, no moochers allowed. Strangely enough, a few days later, several other homes in the immediate neighborhood had cable company vans out in front of them, presumably to get internet service hooked up!

      In summary, your slow speed issues could be due to lack of enough bandwidth in your neighborhood for the number of customers or it could be due to folks mooching your wireless signal because it’s unsecured by a password and MAC address filtering.

      At this point, I’m not too sure you’d gain anything by plunking down a C note for a new router. To best help you, the folks knowledgeable folks here will need to know what settings you have in your current router. They may post questions about them to help you navigate through your router’s screens to the right places to see what the setting are and, if needed, change them to something that will get you the speed you seek.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2272133

      What version of the firmware is running in the router? See if you can disable wireless Quality of Service and/or Wi-Fi Multimedia settings, or parental controls. The latest firmware could fix some wireless issues, and also E1500 router is declared end of life.

      If you desire to replace this one you should get a router that supports all Gigabit ethernet ports, even at slower speeds there is great improvement.

    • #2272136

      Plug the ethernet cable from your machine into your modem instead of router. Test speed.  You may have to reboot modem. What do you get? If you are getting close to 200 you have narrowed it down to the router.

      Edit to add: Last week I had a client with an issue with their router (Netgear 3800). Had to purchase one quick so took what I could find. Picked up a Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5 Router (R7000P I think). for about $150 It worked well and their speed jumped from 150mbps to 450mbps and it increased their wireless range pretty decently. All in all they are satisfied.

      Never Say Never

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by cyberSAR.
      • #2272139

        He said in his OP that he’d already narrowed it down to his router:

        I have traced the bottleneck to my router.


    • #2272223

      The router does have a password for wireless access that I doubt anyone within range would be able to crack.  I did connect the modem ethernet cable directly to the PC.  I then got 239 Mbps which is higher than what is advertised.  When I had a cable technician over for a TV issue, I also had them check my modem speed with their equipment and they also got 239 Mbps.  I have seen this router do >150Mbps, so maybe they just deteriorate over time.

      So it looks like I am in need of a new router if I want to get what I am paying for.  Otherwise, I do not have any issues with 90 Mbps as it suits all of my needs.  I was hoping that maybe some tweaking might get me closer.  I did update the firmware <1 year ago and do not have any parental controls enabled AFAIK.  I will post settings, but I have to log in as admin to open Cisco Connect.

      Thanks for all of the replies

    • #2272233

      Here are some screenshots from my router.  I do have the last firmware offered.


      • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Larry B.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Larry B.
    • #2272239

      Here are 3 more:cis6

      Moderator edit, formatting

    • #2272263


      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2272264

      You also may wish to look at https://www.dslreports.com/forums/all . The Cisco and Linksys fora are listed about 60% down the page, right column. There is much useful interaction on the site.

    • #2272300

      Thanks for the reply’s.  Looks like a new router it is.  A feature called “Speedboost” was messing me up.  Strange that wireless speed is 3X faster than wired speed.

      • #2272331

        If your link to the internet link is rated at 200Mbps you are correct that you existing router is not up to the task.  Consider a more capable unit.  Say a Netgear AC1750 (R6700), which sports gigabit wired ports and 802.11ac WiFi.  It’s should just make it into the sub $100 price point you specified.  The WiFi speed is always quoted as “up to” because it is dependent on the environment, the speed tests in near perfect conditions are rarely reproduced in your home or office.

        If you are looking to experiment you could deploy the same hardware with an aftermarket firmware, dd-wrt, which may improve the overall experience as it can get more out of the hardware.

        • #2272388

          DD-WRT generally gives you more features and flexibility at the cost of performance – router manufacturers prioritize speed over features.

          cheers, Paul

          • #2272671

            @Paul-T, very true, hence the may.  If you are talking enterprise grade routers I agree.  Alas, most of the low end SOHO stuff not so much.  I’ve found that the Netgear stock Linux based firmwares to be overloaded with bells and whistles which can not be disabled and result in lower overall packet through-put.  If the OP is happy with the stock firmware then changes are not required, and that h/w should be good for 200Mbps speeds. 🙂

    • #2273113

      The DD-WRT flash sounds interesting.  Not sure I am going to do it though.  It would be nice if they gave you an idea of what changes to expect.  In the meantime, I am strongly considering replacing this with the Archer AX1500.

      • #2273273

        Don’t use DD-WRT unless you are good at networking and understand routers and routing. It took me ages to configure mine the way I want and I think I’m good at these things.  🙂

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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