Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Netgear WNR2000

My trusty old D-Link DI624 started having problems recently. Actually it only started having problems immediately after a Comcast technician switched out our cable modem. Coincidence? Probably, but whatever...

I knew my Macbook was supported "Draft 2" of the 80211.n standard, so when I saw a reasonably priced 80211.n router, I went for it. "It" was a Netgear WNR2000. It installed very easily. I was able to re-use my old SSID and security settings, so that I did not to change any of my devices (two laptops and a Wii) or devices of friends and family who had previously used my network. Very nice. All of my devices accessed the new network with no problem. Happy happy joy joy! Not so fast.

Everything worked great except for my Macbook. It had no problems with the network, but its Internet connection was horrible. It was like being on dial-up, and it was only this way for my Macbook. My wife's laptop was blazing along as was our desktop computer (with a wired connection to the WNR2000.) It was only my Macbook that was badwidth impaired.

I started tweaking with the WNR2000's settings, well actually just one (wireless) setting: maximum network speed. This was set to 300 mpbs, or half the theoretical maximum for 80211.n and nearly six times as fast as my old DI-624's 80211.g network. I started tweaking it down, but to no effect. Until I set to 54 mpbs, i.e. the same speed as you get with 80211.g. Then my Internet connection on my Macbook was as fast as it was for every device on the network. Order had been restored, but it is not a satisfying solution.

My only guess is that I fell victim to some kind of "mixed" network issue, but that is mostly a guess. I thought the 80211.n would come in handy when copying files between my desktop computer and my Macbook. I do this a lot for music, photos, and videos. Now I basically have the same wireless network speed as before, but I could have gotten that with a cheaper router.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I ran into this same problem and was finally able to fix it tonight. If you got into your router settings (routerlogin.net) you need to change your wireless settings. In particular, you need to change the type of security you're using on your network to WPA2-PSK [AES]. Anything else, especially WEP will make your internet run like hell.

I speed tested my connection 10 times with different configurations until I stumbled onto this solution. Now my internet speeds are about 5 times as fast.

Tim Andersen said...

Neat trick. Changing from WEP to WPA2-PSK [AES] helped my speed from 1.2 MB/s to 3.6 MB/s. I am still disappointed, seems like it should be a lot faster than that. I'm transferring 2.5 GB TiVo files to my Macbook. Cuts the time from about 35 minutes to about 15 minutes.

Sarah said...

Hi - having the same problem and I just changed the security setting and it helped a lot - it's not yet fabulous, but it's so much better - thanks Anonymous!!