High Speed Internet: Can Your Router Keep Up Anymore?

Router on FireIn the area I live, Charter Communications is the cable Internet provider. At the beginning of the year, Charter publicized an increase in standard residential service bandwidth from 30 to 60 Mbps with no increase in price. That was very cool. Then sometime in the summer, they quietly increased the residential bandwidth to 100 Mbps! Again, very cool. Just a few years ago 100 Mbps was an expensive option reserved only for businesses that were willing to shell out for it. Now it is standard speed for home cable Internet users. Speaking of businesses, Charter has also increased their business Internet offerings to include 150 and 200 Mbps options. That’s some fast Internet! However, what I’ve discovered is that many routers in use today can not keep up with these higher speeds.

There are two main bottlenecks to be aware of. As most residential and small business routers include wireless networking, that is the first bottleneck I’ll talk about. Many wireless routers still in operation only support a maximum wireless bandwidth of 54 Mbps. That bandwidth decreases as you get further away from the router, so it should be obvious that routers like these will severely hamper wireless users from utilizing their full bandwidth if they are Charter subscribers.

It would seem the simple answer would be to buy a newer wireless router that supports higher bandwidths. While that answer is true, this brings up the second bottleneck. Many routers being sold today only support 100 Mbps on their wired Ethernet ports. Since wireless routers must connect to a cable modem through a wired port, the throughput of the wired port can become another bottleneck. For residential users, 100 Mbps wired Ethernet ports were more than adequate in the beginning of the year when speeds topped out at 30 Mbps or even later in the year at 60 Mbps. Even most business users were probably well-served by a router with 100 Mbps Ethernet. But now with 100 Mbps becoming the baseline for Internet speed, it isn’t enough to buy a router that only has 100 Mbps wired Ethernet ports. It is also important to note that whatever speed a port is rated at, it is a theoretical maximum. So even if you have a router with 100 Mbps ports, most likely you will only see around 90 Mbps of real-world throughput.

One confusing issue for would-be router purchasers is that many wireless routers with 100 Mbps Ethernet ports may support faster wireless speeds. So, for example, a router may be advertised as supporting 300 Mbps wireless speeds. However, if its wired ports are only 100 Mbps Ethernet, then the 300 Mbps will throttle down to the 100 Mbps on the wired port to the Internet. Which as I mentioned above, would likely max out at around 90 Mbps in real-world bandwidth. The other confusing aspect is that 100 Mbps Ethernet is called “Fast Ethernet.” It would seem that “fast” would be adequate, right? Of course, as I’ve described so far, 100 Mbps is no longer truly “fast”.

The next step up from 100 Mbps Ethernet is 1000 Mbps Ethernet, also known more commonly as “gigabit” Ethernet. This is what users should look for when buying a router to support the new generation of high-speed Internet services. Specifically, buyers should make sure that the Internet (or WAN) port supports gigabit speeds, however it is rare anymore to see a router that supports gigabit on the other ports but not the Internet port. Additionally, I recommend wireless routers that support “simultaneous dual-band” wireless frequencies. This allows the router to simultaneously support older devices that can only use the legacy 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi band while also allowing newer devices to take full advantage of the more recent 5.8 Ghz Wi-Fi band. Newer wireless routers can support wireless throughputs of up to 450 Mbps, which when combined with a gigabit Ethernet port to the Internet, should allow use of all the bandwidth provided by today’s high speed cable Internet service, even up to 200 Mbps.

If you have questions about your Internet speed or the best router to purchase for your needs, please feel free to use my new Question & Answer section of my web site. I have recently replaced many of my clients’ routers and the speed difference has been significant. Do you know what speed your Internet service should be and are you getting all of that speed with your current router?

  • Caleb

    This is exactly what I was looking for. For some reason it took me a while to find this information. Thanks a ton!

  • Dave

    If my Internet is only rated at 60Mbps max, is it worth it to buy a cutting edge router? There is no way to use gigabit speeds at this rate, is there?

  • True, a router with 100 Mbps ports should handle this speed with no trouble. However, you may want to go ahead and get a router with gigabit ports in case your provider increases their speed to 100 Mbps. Usually there isn’t going to be a big difference in price.

  • Wade

    I have a Cisco Small Business Class router that has 4 ports. Recently I used 2 of them to run Cat5 over to my sons room for his XBOX 1 and a new Gaming PC. Oddly ports 1 and 4 show 100mbps, but the ports I used for his room are only showing 10mbps. Doing speed test on both the XBOX 1 and his PC the download speed is only 9.49 mbps same for the PC. I manually switched the Ethernet connection on the PC to run 100Mbps full duplex but lost connection and will only work when switched back to the 10mbps..I’m stumped as I have 2 other desktops getting the full 30Mbps which is what I am paying for…really bummed right now as I wanted his new PC to running with the full internet speeds

  • It is possible that the Cisco router is programmed to force 10 Mbps on those ports. That would be the first thing I’d check. You could also try swapping the ports that are being used to see if the 10 Mbps follows the lines or stays on those particular ports. If the problem is with the line and not the ports, then I would verify that the cables are in fact CAT 5 or greater, and that the cables are correctly terminated. I’ve seen incorrect terminations cause strange issues like this.

  • nathan

    nice read with great information for the layman

  • Danny J Gentry

    I have a ea2700 router that’s been losing connection bad I just upgraded to 110mps Internet and I am just wondering if my royter software is bad or if it can’t handle the 110 mps speed.

  • The Linksys EA2700 router has gigabit ports and dual-band simultaneous wireless networking. In theory, it should be able to handle 110 Mbps Internet speeds with no problem. The question becomes why is your router having trouble? It could simply be malfunctioning. Or perhaps the issue is only with the wireless connection. Do you have any wired devices that you can test the router with? If it comes down to only wireless issues, is it isolated only to the 2.4 or 5.8 Ghz frequencies? Perhaps the issue is with your computer, as well. There are a lot of variables that can only be answered by testing and a process of elimination. Let me know what you find and we can go from there.

  • Danny J Gentry

    Well I have two iPad and two cell phones connect to WiFi neither get close to 80 or 110 and my pc doesn’t either and it’s direct connected to the router but if I take and plug it to the modem from my isp I’m getting my 110

  • Well, based on your testing with the wired PC, I would say the problem is the router (unless there is a bad cable between the router and modem). At this point, testing with a different router would probably definitively answer the question. You generally can get something like a Linksys EA3500 for about $100.

  • Kevin Dahl

    I have an Dell mini tower (hardwired) with an i7 processor and 32GB memory, a linksys ac1750 router (4 1gbps ports) and I loose about 150mbps from the twc modem going through the router. does that make any sense?

  • DJS

    Marcel- I have Charter at 100mbps. My router is a d link 655. I use it for a laptop about 20 feet away but through a wall and a tower downstairs from the router location. I use a netgear 3100 wifi card. It is constantly dropping and then re-setting. Charter says my router has been fine for the last two weeks so it must be my router. I don’t know about that. The troubleshooting returns says reset the gateway adapter and there is a damaged cable line…but I do not know how accurate that is because I changed the line fro the router to the modem.

  • Possibly. That router came out around 2012, so 150 Mbps was wicked fast back then. It may not have been designed to handle 300 Mbps, which is really wicked fast today! The only real way to know is to find others who have fast Internet and an AC1750 and/or do your own testing with other routers. In theory, with gigabit ports it should be able to handle 300 Mbps, but the processing power of the device also needs to be able to keep up with the data throughput as well.

  • The best thing to do is test with different devices and try to isolate the problem. If other devices show issues, then it may be the router and/or modem. Troubleshooting is often a process of elimination. If you do narrow it down to the router and/or modem, then you’ll need to test the modem directly.

    Let me know what you find!

  • Kimberly Yerby

    Ok so I have the linksys router in the picture above from 2007! It supports 54 Mbps and I also have charter 60 Mbps… Have only had it for days and have yet to have a full day of support on iPhone or iPad… Does this seem that all I need to do is update router? Or call their service support?

  • Well, if your router is that old, it probably won’t hurt to go ahead and get a newer one. I’ve seen many old routers simply start to malfunction after several years. Even if that doesn’t fix your problem, at least you’ll have a newer, faster router.

  • Electro Techs

    If i only get 100mbps via provider….what purpose would an ac3200 triband ..netgear nighthawk x6 do for me?…….i appreciate your time

  • Denis Davydenko

    I have 105Mbps from Comcast. When I am hardwired to modem – I am seeing that using http://speedtest.net. However when I connect my D-Link DIR-655 to the modem and then connecting same laptop to its Wi-Fi network I am only seeing half of that capacity using same test at speedtest.net. Is it hardware limitation of my router and it is time to upgrade the device or I might be missing some configuration sugar in router settings?

  • It’s a very good question. It may do nothing at all for you as compared to a less expensive gigabit router. However, in theory, the Nighthawk router could have better range, more resistant to interference, etc. If you have an AC capable device, an AC router in general may be better than a less expensive gigabit router, but you may not see much of a difference overall. It’s a very tough question to answer because everyone’s situation is different. If you have a larger house with newer AC devices, then it may be worth it.

    Here is a fairly simple explanation of AC vs N routers. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/160837-what-is-802-11ac-and-how-much-faster-than-802-11n-is-it

  • It could be a hardware limitation of your laptop (does it support 802.11n on the 5.8 Ghz frequency?) or a problem with your router. Have you tried hardwiring to your router and not the modem?

    The process is basically trial-and-error process of elimination. If you have another router and computer to test, that would be helpful.

  • Abbishek Hariharan

    I’m getting a 60mbps connection, whats the cheapest router that can support this LAN to WAN throughput?

  • Patti Caldwell

    I have a Westell Model 327W router. I just recently got Fios Higher Speed Internet. After a few hours, the internet goes in & out. Is it possible this router cannot handle the higher speed? If so, what router do you recommend? Thank you!!

  • Simply the fact that your router is 6 years old is a good reason to replace it. In my experience, routers do not age gracefully. Either because of performance or age-related failures, I’ve observed that after about 3-4 years, most routers are past their prime.

    If you simply need to cover high-speed Internet service of around 100-200 Mbps, then any gigabit router should work. I generally use the Linksys EA3500 router, as I am familiar with how that router operates. It is usually around $100. But any similar router from Netgear or D-link, etc., should work as well. If you have a house of Apple products, then you should also look at the Apple Airport Extreme router. It is more expensive (about $179), but it is easy to set up if you have Apple devices in your home, plus it is a very high-performance router. FYI, it works with all devices, not just Apple devices, but I find that people who have Apple devices find it easier to set up.

    If you are looking for something higher performing and you do not have Apple devices, there are many options you could look at. But I assume you probably aren’t looking for that type of performance.

  • Honestly, just about anything you can buy today will handle 60 Mbps throughput over the WAN connection. But for around $100, I would go ahead and at least get a router like the Linksys EA3500 that can handle 100 Mbps and higher. For the price difference of around $50, why bother with a router that you might want to replace soon?

  • Abbishek Hariharan

    The problem is i’m in India. So spending 6500 Rs (after converting 100$) is prohibitively expensive.
    I picked up a TRENDnet TEW-731BR 300Mbps Wireless N Home Router. How decent is it?

  • stevie_wander

    Huh? This article is ridiculous propaganda, and is false information! Most internet service is still under 30mbps (I have 18mbps myself). Even 50mbps from Time Warner is prohibitively expensive. 18mbps is just fine for running dual Apple TV’s, youtube on laptop, and phones and iPad connected simultaneously, so why anyone would need more than 30mbps for a family is beyond me. Sure, faster is always better not at any cost.

  • stevie_wander

    60mbps is “wicked fast”! You could run 5 tv’s with netflix at the same time and still surf the net on 5 laptops. This is the craziest article I’ve ever seen! There is no way any family needs more than 60mbps. Are all you flakes selling high speed routers or something?

  • stevie_wander

    No, trust me, you’re fine. These others are selling routers.

  • I see. The Ethernet ports are rated at 100 Mbps, so they should handle your 60 Mbps connection with no problem. However, I’ve not personally tested that router, so I can’t say for certain how well it performs. Good luck! Let us know how well it works for you.

  • I’m sorry you feel this way. However, this information is certainly not false. In the area I live, our cable Internet provider only offers one option anymore – 100 Mbps. Their business class service over standard coaxial can go up to 200 Mbps. I agree that 30 Mbps is very fast. As I stated in the article, only a couple of years ago, 30 was our top speed. It very quickly went to 60 then to 100 Mbps. Which is why I wrote the article. Those people who can get 100 Mbps or faster will not get their full performance if their router can’t keep up.

    It’s not a question of whether anyone “needs” faster than 30 Mbps Internet, it’s simply informing people that if they want to get all the speed they are paying for, they need to make sure their router is keeping up. In my work as a technology consultant, I was noticing that many of my clients were not able to get the speeds they were being given and I determined that the routers were the bottleneck. That is why I wrote this article. It’s not propaganda, as I do not work for an Internet provider or router manufacturers.

  • Again, “need” is irrelevant. If someone wants to make sure they are getting all the bandwidth they are being offered, then old routers could bottleneck them. That’s all there is to it. I do not sell routers, so lay off the false accusations.

  • If you pay attention to the question, she is stating that she is having trouble with her connection. Her router is 7-8 years old. I have seen many older routers have trouble with higher speed connections as well as newer devices. For the relatively low cost of a new router, she can possibly save herself hours of troubleshooting AND get a higher performing connection.

    Feel free to ask anyone who has commented on this article if I have tried to sell them anything, much less a router.

  • Abbishek Hariharan

    Yeah, that’s why I picked it up. I tested it today, I get 60Mbps on LAN but wireless i’m able to get only 46 which is decent for my budget.

  • If the router can do 802.11n networking, then I’m guessing your wireless device can only do 802.11g, which maxes out at 54 Mbps, so 46 would be a reasonable throughput given wireless protocol overhead and inefficiencies.

  • Stan Duffy

    Stevie, why don’t you just ‘wander’ off … ???

    Your negative and inaccurate comments are unhelpful to those of us getting some genuine, very useful (and FREE) advice from someone who actually knows what he is talking about. You may live in the boonies and get 30 Mbps But some of us actually have 100Mbps service but have old routers and need help. Nothing that Marcel has said suggests that he sells routers and no-one has to act on his FREE advice. Please go and rant somewhere else….

  • Stan Duffy

    Marcel, I have an old Linksys WRT54G wired/wireless router with 3 PCs wired and one wireless. My COX internet is supposedly rated at 100Mbps but my old DOCSIS 2.0 modem was limiting what I got, which was about 18Mbps, which finally frustrated me into getting a DOCSIS 3.0 modem (Motorola SB6141). Now, through my router I get 25Mbps so no great improvement. If I wire a PC directly to the modem I get up to 95 Mbps – depending on how much the cable line is being shared in my street …
    I have been looking at the Netgear N600 (WNDR3700) routr because I can pick it up cheap (around $25) and it has a gigabit port plus wired 300+300 Mbps capability, and wired up to 100Mbps.
    Do you think my old WRT54G should be pumping more than 18Mbps?
    And do you think the N600 would work for me, for now? If I can get 60+ Mbps at each PC and close to that wirelessly I would be happy. Can I use the gigabit port as a 10/100 if I need to?

  • Nandha

    Hey Marcel, recently I brought linsys E2500. I have 60mpbs connect at my home. If I use Ethernet port I am getting speed 59-61mpbs and speed stable in this range. In wireless I am getting speed around 18-35mbps. I checked with my service provider they said I need to get any AC series(802.11ac) router which will be having ability to provide constand 60mbps in wireless. I am not sure that is that technically. If I need to get till 100mbps trough wireless which is best in this situation.

  • Aklein97

    Thanks for this post. It was very informative. I came across your article, since I’m also using Charter and have a 60 Mbps download speed. I’m using their Cisco DPC3016 modem with my Netgear WGR614 router (a bit older but supposed to handle up to 100 Mbps). I’ve refreshed the firmware, but am only able to get 15 Mbps either through the wireless or hardwire from the router to my pc. If I go direct to the modem, I get 60 Mpbs. Any thoughts on upping my router speed? Thanks.

  • ctuna

    Ok Comcast finally upgraded in my area an now I can get around 140 mbs from ethernet or a direct connection . I ran the dslreports speed test and it kind of verify s the speed but I am getting a F grade for buffer bloat. Will a new router fix this? I notice it I get two video sites going live I get some hesitation or repeating in one of them. Typically this would bethe cnn live feed and one of the surf cameras from surfline.com
    I read some stuff on on this and it says there are some programs like codel that fix this.
    When I run wireless I am only getting about 50 to 60 mbs from a dlink gigabit extreme
    n class router . I think this is typcal even though it shows its connected at 135 mbs.

  • The Netgear WGR614 is fairly old and it is possible that device is malfunctioning or it simply can’t handle the throughput of today’s high speed Internet. Realize that just a few short years ago, 10 Mbps was considered really fast and many routers we designed with speeds like that in mind. Regardless, buying a new router is probably in order. If you have no preference, a device like the Linksys EA3500 will support over 100 Mbps easily and is only about $100 or less. Certainly it is much more powerful than what you have now. There are routers that are more powerful but also more expensive as well.

    Once you get the new router and get it installed, test your speeds and see what they are like. If you need to troubleshoot further, read my article that details the process: http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • Regarding buffer bloat, a new router may fix the issue, but it may not. It depends on the design of the router and if they put in a buffer that is considered “too big” by those who define the thresholds of buffer bloat. Likely a newer router has a much more powerful processor and can move packets much quicker, reducing the need for buffering at all. But newer devices eliminating buffer bloat isn’t necessarily guaranteed. I would suggest researching the particular routers you’re looking at for their buffer bloat grades. This isn’t a topic that many people even know about, so it may be difficult to get a good bearing on. But it may be completely irrelevant anyway, as the only thing that really matters is if you can get the full throughput of the Internet connection you are paying for.

    So go ahead and get a new router and see how it tests out for you. If you need to troubleshoot further, read my article that details the process: http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • The E2500 will not support 100 Mbps, but it should be getting around 90-95 Mbps. If you step up to a model like the EA3500, you can get over 100 Mbps easily. You technically do not need an AC router to get over 100 Mbps, especially if your devices are not AC capable, since they will never use the AC protocol. But if you do have AC devices, it may not hurt to spend more on the router to take advantage of the higher capabilities.

    If you are still having speed issues, read my article about troubleshooting slow Internet connections: http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • The old WRT54G is probably the bottleneck. The N600 should be able to handle the 100 Mbps easily. Yes, you can use a gigabit Ethernet port at 10/100, as they are backwards compatible. Let me know how it works out for you. If you still aren’t getting what you should be, read my article about to do further troubleshooting:


  • ctuna

    Seems like this is a Comcast problem I went to a direct to pc connection and got the same results. Or is my PC to slow now?
    I have a dvt6-3100 using an i5 with 8 mb of memory.

  • Calusa

    Sure glad I found this article. I am now getting 70 mbps service, and when I connect from the modem direct to the PC, speed tests confirm this. However when I run it through my trusty wireless Linksys WRT54GL speed test drops to 35 on average. The Linksys states 10/100. Why is there such a huge drop off? Does the 100 get shared up by other devices on the network? If thats the case I am looking at TP Link archer 5 as a replacement. Specs and reviews seem pretty good. Thanks for any guidance

  • I doubt an i5 with 8 GB of RAM is too slow, unless there are other underlying issues. So I would purse the issue with Comcast, as their service to your home and/or their modem may be problematic.

  • Your “trusty” old WRT54GL router probably just doesn’t have enough power to handle the faster connection, or it is malfunctioning. We all must remember that routers that were made several years ago were designed when broadband speeds of 10 Mbps were considered top-end! So yes, go ahead and get a new router. If you like the specs and reviews then go for it.

  • Calusa

    Thanks for time and response Marcel.

  • Ryan Aquino

    Dude cox cable offers 25mb on the low end up to 100mb even 1000mb in certain markets. It’s not propoganda if the speeds are accurate. Btw those high speeds are about 100 bucks a month + modem rental and cox and most other companies offer a dual band wifi router that will handle all the speeds. I’m not from any cable company I just know high speed. No endorsement just simple facts in todays internet speeds.

  • Jason

    I want to know what new routers are shipping with only 100mb ethernet ports? I install networks all day long and have not seen any for a while. Author should really check his information.

  • This article was posted almost a year ago, however, the data is still valid today. For example, the Linksys E2500 does not have a gigabit WAN port, was a very common router last year, and you can still buy it this year from many places like Best Buy.

  • Luis

    I have a Netgear N750 router, Surfboard 6141 modem and Obi 100 connected on my network with Atlantic Broadband isp. Had been receiving 60+ mbps download and 6 + upload for some time with little issues. After a recent general area internet outage I can’t get download speed back over 3. Isp says its a router issue, but even when connected directly to modem the speeds are inconsistent. I have tried power cycling all the devices, updating router firmware, resetting to factory settings, with no success. Any ideas?

  • Well, it sounds like if you are directly connected to the modem and the speeds are inconsistent, it could be an issue with the modem and/or service. I would verify that the problem is not with the computer you are testing with, then give them a call and let them know you’d like to swap out the modem and/or have them troubleshoot since it is inconsistent with direct modem testing.

    If you want to further troubleshoot: read this article I recently wrote: http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • bugzapper

    Similar problem here, but my WRT54GL is only 10 months old. Going direct via hard wire from the modem gets me Comcast’s advertised 60MB. But coming out of the router it slows to 35MB average. The only other device in the network (also hard wired from the router) is a seldom used Roku-style device. No wireless stuff being used. I’m still within the one year warranty period on the router. Maybe I can return it and trade up, but how do I know if it’s actually malfunctioning?

  • Jeebus Crise

    The issue is not when you purchased the WRT54, but the fact they shouldn’t even still sell those. I had one from years back and even with the most current firmware, the tech is old school like a Celeron over clocked is still not as fast as an i3, or even Pentium. Pentiums and Celerons are still being sold in “value” pc’s, just as WRT’s are still being sold as “:value” network solutions. I am even upping my router from a Netgear WNDR3400v2, to an ASUS RT N56U just to handle the traffic in my home. I have used Linksys, and Netgear in the past, but checked CNET for reviews and for true dual band performance, you just might need to try a better router.
    Keep in mind, “smart phones” also draw from wifi when you enable them. Most of us have multiple phones active on our router and forget to factor them in when we get interference. I cut off a couple of phones when not in use, cut off my PS3 when using the Xbox one to make sure I am freeing up as much band as possible. The WRT is truly not able to handle most of the devices we use.

  • Jeebus Crise

    “Flakes”? Wow. People come here to get information and others, to help. My family has four smart phones, two Xbox ones, one PS3, and four laptops in a two story home. “Need” is relative to usage. Three gamers that use a ton of speed, while also using our laptops to find tips while in game, while out smart phones are enabled, drawing bandwidth, pretty much says we could actually use more than 60. I own a couple of sports cars, one with 306 Hp, the other, 330 Hp and I swear I can’t wait to find an used Audi R8 for around $75k so I can up my HP. I don’t need it, it is a want. Some of us actually use our computers for more than porn buddy.
    One of my family members occasionally works from home wired into her work server, while others of us are gaming.

  • Mário Pedro

    thanx for this very informative article 🙂

    i have a few questions tho:

    i have a rather old laptop, which is always connected to my LCD TV for streaming purposes. much in FullHD…
    i have a 100 mbps connection at home and i get 95 mbps download and 5mbps upload speeds, connected with an ethernet cable.

    is it in any way possible to get more than this (yes, over the 100mbps of my connection) lets say if i buy the fastest router on earth or a laptop which has a better network card?

    thank you very much

  • I’m surprised the WRT54GL is still available for sale! It doesn’t really matter that you just bought it, the technology in the device itself is probably almost 10 years old. It simply doesn’t have the horsepower to handle today’s high-speed Internet services. If it was me, I’d return it and get a more recent router. The one I normally recommend if the user has no preference is the Linksys EA3500. It should be about $100 or less at most places.

  • If your provider is giving you 100 Mbps, that pretty much is going to be your top speed. Some providers will give you a little extra bandwidth at times (say up to 110 Mbps) but there is not really a way to get more bandwidth than what your provider is giving you. The only real question here is why are you only getting 95 Mbps? Is that the real-world speed your provider is getting to you, or is your equipment shaving off a few Mbps? Personally, I would probably be satisfied with 95 Mbps for the moment. Going out and buying a new router maybe will give you the few extra Mbps, but no more than that. However, if you are able to buy more bandwidth from your provider and you are still only getting 95 Mbps, then I would say your equipment is the bottleneck, just like this article explains.

  • Mário Pedro

    Thank you very much for the fast answer.

    The reason i asked is that there are routers being sold that supposedly support up to 1650mbps… I mean… What kind of connection does a user need to have to reach auch speeds? Do these connections even exist 😛

    Another question i have is:

    Im security oriented and as such i’d like to install a DD-WRT router which has support for my VPN.
    I’ve seen people install the DD-WRT router as a secondary router to their ISP router, this will probably cause slower connections.

    Can i replace my ISP router with the DD-WRT router? And if yes, do i have to give notice to my ISP so they provide me all the INFO, or do u think it’s possible to just “copy” all the info from my ISP router to the DD-WRT?

    Thank you very much and thanx again

  • Usually the super high-speed ratings on routers are referring to the theoretical maximum wireless speeds, which would only be relevant on a perfect wireless-to-wireless data transfer on the LAN. Usually those routers will have gigabit Ethernet ports which would by definition limit the bandwidth out to the Internet to 1000 Mbps theoretical maximum. Regardless, I’m not aware of any ISP service that is faster than about 300 Mbps, unless you are getting a gigabit fiber service, which is a rare option at this time.

    Ideally, you would want to have a simple “modem” from your ISP that you can then connect your router to. Since you are getting 100 Mbps speeds, I’m guessing you must have cable Internet service and not DSL. If so, then you need to ask your ISP to provide you with a non-router modem (or if they don’t include the modem as part of your monthly service fee, then you can buy one yourself). At that point you can use whatever router you want. As far as the configuration of the router to your ISP, you’ll need to talk to them to be sure. Often you can simply copy the settings, but every ISP is different.

  • Mário Pedro

    Thanx again,

    So as for those speeds se can all only dream about, its marketing…

    As for the other question:

    I have a technicolor tc7200 router. Something really basic where u cant even set a diferent DNS server nor the wlan password. And hasnt port forwarding either…

    So i should ask my ISP if i can have a simple modem instead of this router, so i can then install a DD-WRT router linked to the modem?
    And then ask them for the configuration settings.

    Is this correct?

    Thank you very much for the useful information

    Best regards

  • Sharon C

    I was wondering. I have 100mbps at home with a router provided by the provider. It does have the 2.xghz and 5.xghz. Connected are 2 cellphones (android) and 2 tv receiver boxes (all via wifi) but my speed is only 27mbps tops and usually all the way at 3-4mbps. My provider mentioned that since i have 4 devices connected i need to divide my mbps by 4 and that would be my average speed. Is this true? And is there anything i can do to speed it up?

  • You are basically right. The technicolor tc7200 is basically a cable modem/router combo device. So get your ISP to swap it out for a simple modem without router and use your DD-WRT as your router. You’ll need to consult with the for any particular settings, if necessary (it may just be DHCP, in which case almost no config will be necessary). Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  • The suggestion that each device divides up your bandwidth is flat out wrong. You will need to troubleshoot to find out where your bottleneck is. This article I wrote recently walks you thorough the process:


  • Daniel Chan

    now i am using a 100mbps connection and i have a Dlink DIR-655 gigabit router.I get full 100 mbps when connected to ethernet. but i get only 50 – 60 mbps in wifi and i am very near to the router. The router is specified as N300 and supports a wifi speed of 300 mbps. what would be the issue ?

  • clem gray

    Central FL Bright house Provides me with a 90 Mbps pipe I have 5 Static IPs there modem is the Arris TG862G, My speeds are slow 8 to 12 mbps down 4 up. Router is a Linksys WRT610n. When the Technician get here he enters one of my IPs plugs direct into the Arris an POOF! they are pulling 80 mbps. How can this be? he claims its my Router….. Hell it worked before I was pulling 50 mgps the I upgraded to 90.

  • The DIR-655 does have gigabit on all ports, including the Internet port. This would explain why you can get around 100 Mbps. However, the router is actually a fairly old design, introduced back around 2009 as far as I can tell. It may not be quite powerful enough to fully handle today’s high speed Internet service. It does not have dual-band wireless (missing the 5.8 Ghz band) so it can only use the 2.4 Ghz band, which depending on your laptop, may be limited to around 54 Mbps.

    I would verify what kind of bands your laptop can support. Can it support 300 Mbps on the 2.4 Ghz band? Does it have 5.8 Ghz radios? If your laptop can support the 5.8 Ghz band, then upgrading your router may help you get the full 100 Mbps bandwidth. But if it doesn’t, then the bottleneck may actually be your laptop if it can’t run full speed on the 2.4 Ghz band.

  • Based on the fact that the tech can get 80 by connecting directly to the modem, then it would seem the issue is with your router or your computer. The WRT610n does have gigabit ports and is dual-band simultaneous, so it would seem that it should support at least 90 Mbps. However, it is also a model that was introduced somewhere around 2009. Your particular unit may be several years old, but even if it isn’t, the technology in the device is many years old. It is possible this particular device just can’t handle the 90 Mbps, or is old and malfunctioning. The only way to know for sure is to test another router in place of your current one, and/or test your computer to make sure it isn’t having problems.

    This article goes through a detailed troubleshooting process if you need it: http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • Jeff Fuller

    I recently purchased a new modem (D-Link CM 500) which supports the speeds from my IP (TWC). I performed a speed test (three to get an average) on my modem (using my computer) and I am getting 300 Mbps DL and 20Mbps UL. When I connect the modem to the WAN port of my router and run the test the DL speed is more than cut in half (120 Mbps DL and 20 UL). This test was performed with no other devices (wired or wireless) hooked up to the router. The router is a Gigabit router, dual band (ASUS RT AC66U). Before I ran the test I power-cycled the modem and the router and emptied the cache and cleared the cookies from my Mac Book Pro and restarted it, as per the IT tech’s instructions from my IP. The modem and router are in my IT cabinet and the cable, which I used, was not more than 6 feet long. I chatted with some technicians from my IP and one of them told me that the bandwidth was being divided to the other devices. I question that answer, because later when I ran the test with only 1 port being used and the others empty (nothing else using or on the wireless portion of the router, there basically wasn’t anything to divide and the speed is more than halved. I don’t want to shell out money on a new router if it’s not the problem. Please someone school me on speeds. By the way, I also went into my router and modems interface to check out the settings. I entered the DL and UL speeds (300 & 20, which my IP supplies) on my QOS page (tab) of my router interface. The bottom line or question is “Why is the speed being reduced? I would like to know if my router is bad or if this is normal. Sorry about the information/situation I’m providing being so scattered. Hope you can understand/comprehend. I am appreciative of any feedback. I’m not very tech savvy.

  • Well for not being very tech savvy, you certainly have some detailed troubleshooting skills!

    Don’t pay attention to people who say your bandwidth is being divided in half. That is simply not true at all and I’m very surprised that paid technicians are spreading this garbage information so frequently. The only kernel of truth to that statement would be in a situation where multiple devices are all pulling down significant bandwidth simultaneously. At that point then of course the bandwidth is divided up among the various devices pulling bandwidth, but it is not a simple division of bandwidth as these techs claim. The different devices will pull what they can depending on how fast the servers they are connected to can send the information to them and the division of bandwidth will be dynamic as conditions change by the millisecond.

    That being said, based on your troubleshooting, I suspect that your router is malfunctioning, or perhaps simply can not keep up with 300 Mbps throughput. However, according to this site (http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tools/charts/router/view ) your router should be capable of pushing over 800 Mbps from the Internet. Make sure your firmware is up to date on your router. If your firmware is current and you are still having the problem, unfortunately the only way to prove that your router is the problem is to test another high performance router in its place (either the same or different model, as it just might be your particular unit is the problem). Good luck and let me know if you are able to test another router and if you can get your full bandwidth.

  • Jeff Fuller

    Thanks for your reply. I am going to try one more test before I go out and get another router. I read in your troubleshooting routers that sometimes the configuration gets messed up so resetting it to the factory settings might help. I’ll let you know. Do you have a gamer router recommendation me? BTW, whenever I am gaming i make sure that there are no other devices on or online. My gaming console is wired.

  • Jeff Fuller

    I reset my router but to no avail. Made sure that my firmware was current (yes). My UL speeds are fine (20), but my DL speeds are still around 120. I guess its time for a new router. I asked for a recommendation in my last reply. I mentioned that I am a gamer. I believe that I remember in some of your other posts that you prefer a Linksys 3500 (?). Is that okay for gaming? Do I need to get a special type for mainly gaming? Thanks again for your earlier reply. I’ll wait to see what you have to say before my purchase. Cheers, Jeff

  • The Linksys EA3500 is a good router for people who want good performance without spending too much money. There are certainly higher performing routers available, but the question is will you get any real performance boost for online gaming with a more expensive router? I tend to think most of the time you won’t see too much of a difference, given the way online gaming is designed, especially if you are being so careful with limiting use of your router when playing (which is probably not necessary). But that being said, I would read reviews on routers in the $150-200 range and see if you find people claiming that it helps their gaming. There’s nothing better than real-world testing to know for sure. Good luck!

  • james braselton

    hi there i have a belkn n router good for 1 gb/s looking too up grade too a ac router for 2.3 gb/s becuase i am going from hughs net 10 mb/s download 1 mb/s upload too charter 60 mb/s download and 4 mb/s upload speed can you advise me what too doo want fastest speeds

  • I’m not certain what you are asking for, but if you already have a router with gigabit Ethernet ports, then I would think it should be able to handle a 60 Mbps Internet service.

  • Eli Medina

    Get a clue, My Wife, Son, and I have Macbooks running 802.11ac, Our downloads on Wifi is 47Mbps, but if you devide that by 8, it is 2+MB true down for each of us, we can easily stream 4k on all three, but as you can see, we are approaching the limits. A bigger bottleneck is the modems used as well, if they are not at least 8 channel download modems, you can be paying for 300mbps and only get 100tops!

  • Eli Medina

    Exactly, another huge bottleneck in 2016 is going to be distance/latency! You can have Gigablast, Google fiber, and even faster than that-There is only so much that we can pull from the backbone. Unless worldwide load-balancing and more backbone is added, or local farms are placed, long distance speeds will ultimately still be crawling….

  • Brandon

    I have charter internet i am currently using a Linksys WRT54G2-RM Wireless-G Broadband Router IEEE 802.3/3u, IEEE 802.11b/g when i do a speed test i only get 10.99 mbps will a newer router help get a better speed

  • Promo Grabber

    Buy forward. Plan years ahead. Don’t purchase based on what your current bandwidth is, buy based on what you’ll potentially be able to upgrade to at the same monthly rate when bandwidth becomes less expensive. That way you can keep the same router through the upgrade. You may not get every drop out of a AC3200 router today, but if you get it at a good price, you’ll be able to keep it for a long time.

  • I certainly agree on taking advantage of better technology if the price is right. However, given that it seems router technology moves fast and many routers don’t last more than a few years, I would not recommend spending a lot more on a router than necessary, since the customer may never see the return on investment. If a $100 router works as well as a $300 router in a particular situation (especially if the user doesn’t have any devices that can work with the latest tech like AC), then it is probably not worth the extra money at this time. However, if a $150 router will provide some benefits now or in the near future, then maybe that is a wise investment. It is hard to advise without knowing more about a particular user’s situation. But your point is definitely valid. Thanks for commenting!

  • Sorry I missed your comment before, Dave.

    Regarding a “cutting-edge” router, at 60 Mbps or even say up to 200 Mbps, the most expensive routers today probably aren’t worth it. Simpler routers around $100 will definitely handle 100 Mbps or more. But there are advantages to more expensive routers within a local network, which generally will show up more in a business environment or one with many devices. The main advantage of more modern routers can be seen if your devices also contain more modern wireless hardware. Then those devices can communicate at significantly faster speeds within the local network, which is useful for operations like copying files over the network. But for most common Internet tasks, you do not need a “cutting-edge” router as most of the speed within the network will be lost when going outside the network to communicate with the Internet.

  • Given that the technology in the WRT54G2-RM is probably pushing close to 10 years old, getting a newer router probably won’t hurt. However, before you buy a new router, make sure you are able to get your full bandwidth by connecting directly to your cable modem. If you are only getting 11 Mbps (or significantly less than you should be) when connecting directly to the cable modem, then there is a problem with your cable modem or service to your building. Get that taken care of first.

    This article will give you more information on troubleshooting your Internet service: Is Your Internet Speed Not What it Should Be?


  • Cyrous

    Hi Marcel!
    I have problem with my modem. So basically, there are 5 ethernet ports in a modem…Now, the 3 ethernet ports had only limited connection but the remaining 2 are ok… Can you help me with that?

  • I’m not sure if you are asking about your modem or router (or if it is a combo modem/router). Regardless, if it appears you are having hardware issues with either type of device, the simple answer is probably just purchasing a new device (or if it is leased, getting your ISP to replace it). There’s usually not a whole lot that can be done to change the configuration of the ports on most common routers and even less on modems, so it’s not likely that some sort of settings change will help you.

  • Hassaan Ahamed

    Hi Marcel,
    Recently We installed 100MBPS fiber connection and when i Connect directly to ISP modem I am Getting almost 95 to 98 MBPS. Then I configured the Cisco WAG320N router for connecting with my LAN. After wards I cannot able to reach the speed more than 30 MBPS. So please suggest me how can I get the full speed with any other routers. EA6500 is ok or any other please suggest ASAP.


  • mario perez

    marcel, which desktop or motherboard has giga ethernet card to use to to test giga port on the router?

  • The Linksys/Cisco WAG320N router was released in 2010. As a router that has 5-year old technology, I am not surprised you aren’t seeing more than 30 Mbps. The EA6500 should be able to handle a 100 Mbps connection easily. Good luck!

  • Most computers made in the last 5 or more years should have gigabit Ethernet. The same with motherboards.

  • bugzapper

    I opted for an Archer 9 (TP-Link), around $130. I plugged it in just as Comcast informed us we were being bumped up to 75Mbps. Know what came down the line? 89.02 MB! That’s nearly three times faster than the old router. Hard to complain about that. Thanks!

  • That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Glad I could help!

  • Rob Fitch

    Hi. Found out today that my Dlink router is causing my speeds to be nearly 1/3 of what they should be. I’m supposed to get 100Mbs downstream and I do if I take the router out of the equation. It’s just a simple 6 port wired router and I use an access point for my wireless. I really need a router and would like to stay with a wired one. What would you recommend so I can get the full downstream speed I am paying for but not getting?
    I really don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for one either.

    Thanks for the advice ahead of time.


  • david raifsnider (downfield80)

    i have 60mbs internet and i am looking at getting an new router that does dual band that both un at 450mbs would it be worth getting?

  • Pranay Nirgude

    Hi Marcel Brown,
    I have 100 MBPS internet connection, and I am confused which router should I use. Can you please suggest..?

  • I generally recommend something like the Linksys EA3500 as a starting point. that router can easily handle 100 Mbps. If you have a more unique need, then you may want a more expensive router, but most people don’t.

  • As far as the Internet speed goes, not really. 450 Mbps would be wasted on a 60 Mbps Internet connection. However, there may be advantages to getting a newer router that can support the higher speeds if your devices can make use of the newer wireless protocols. It really depends on your devices and particular needs. I generally recommend a router like the Linksys EA3500 that does dual-band wireless and is only about $100 as a starting point.

  • I generally recommend a router similar to the Linksys EA3500, as it can handle 100 Mbps with no problem and is usually about $100 or less.

  • Rob Fitch

    Thank you. I have been meaning to get back with you and I got behind with reworking my network. I ended going with the Asus RT-N56U router and got a Netgear 8 port gigabit switch as well as updating all my CAT to 7. My wired speeds are now 150mbps down and 90mbps + on Android.

    I appreciate the advice and now I’m future proofed hopefully?
    Oh and I wasn’t using my gigabit lan port on my PC so I changed that. Duh!

  • Judith A Swindle

    I need a router for use with Charter 60 mbsp. Can you make a suggestion?

  • Just about any modern router should be able to handle 60 Mbps fairly easily. It’s only when you get over 100 Mbps that you must make sure to get a router with gigabit ports, as the article suggests. I recommend going ahead and getting a router that can support over 100 Mbps in case you upgrade to 100 Mbps service or faster in the near future. I generally recommend the Linksys EA 3500 or similar as a basic router that can support 100 Mbps and faster speeds.

  • You should be good to go for awhile, but just know that your router does not support the most current 802.11 AC standard so you aren’t exactly “future-proofed.” However, that really won’t matter until you have devices that can use the AC protocol. So don’t worry about the future until you need to worry about it 🙂


  • Rob F

    Thanks for the adive. I thought this model had AC capabilites but it really doesn’t matter as you pointed out because I don’t currently have anything that runs on that band. I’m pretty happy with it’s performance except for signal strength isn’t like it was when I had my range extender. I tried using Asus extenders but I had issues with connection and maintaining a reliable con. I was wondering if I could use my old Cisco/Linksys WAP54G to extend the range?

    I appreciate your help and advice.

  • Michael Balbarin

    Our current provider is offering 300mbps download; however, our current router (Netgear WGR614 9v) appears to handle 54Mbps. Should I be considering a new router or a new router and a modem ( Motorola SurfboardS86141)? I am by NO means a tech person so any assistance would help?

  • The Motorola Surfboard S86141 cable modem appears to be DOCSIS 3.0 so it should handle 300 Mbps, plus it seems to get great reviews on Amazon. I would recommend only changing the wireless router since your modem is a good one (unless you think it is malfunctioning). Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • atlje

    We supposedly get around 60 mbps but have trouble staying connected to the internet. The router randomly resets and seems to do so when a lot of devices are being used. When they came to see what the problem was, they did speed tests and was getting 80+ Mbps download everytime then said it’s our router and that it can’t handle the speed, which I guess makes since because they doubled ours for free and it seem to got worse after doing so. They suggested some 200 dollar router (Netgear Nighthawk) and was wondering is it really that necessary to spend that kind of money for a router or is there a cheaper router out there that can handle those speeds?

  • It does sound like your router is the problem, since it is randomly resetting and you’re only getting 80 Mbps when you should be getting over 100 Mbps. A lot of people will recommend routers like the Nighthawk since they are “high performance” and I’m sure the Nighthawk would handle your needs nicely. However, you can probably get a less expensive router that would still handle your needs. It really depends on what kind of devices you have because if they don’t support the current 802.11 AC standard, then the more expensive routers won’t really be used to their full potential. I generally recommend the Linksys EA3500 or similar router as a baseline that will support 100+ Mbps speeds with no trouble and that is usually around $100. But your situation might do better with a more powerful router if you have a lot of devices and/or some of them support the AC standard. So review the devices you have and then you can make a more informed decision.

  • stevie_wander

    And all your kids are porn hogs, trust me.

  • stevie_wander

    Ummm, shove it.

  • Christine Filipy

    I have a Linksys WRT54GS, and we pay for 50 mbps…I am only actually getting 9.8 mbps direct connected, do I need a new router?

  • KL

    Thanks for a great article Marcel. I recently upgraded from a 40 MBPS connection to a 100 MBPS connection. However, I noticed I was only getting a maximum of about 4 MBPS download speed as opposed to 2.5 to 3 MBPS on 40 MBPS connection.

    When I look on SpeedTest using the cable, I get about 96 MBPS on the new connection, but on Wifi, next to the device, I get only about 54 MBPS. I have a 4 year old Netgear N150 router. Is there a way I can get more speed on wifi? Should I invest in a new router? My Laptop is 4 years old but supports dual band, but my router I think, does not.

    If I should go for a new router, what speed should I look for, and should I be worried about the class? Many thanks in advance!

  • Almost certainly you need a new router. The WRT54GS is a router that is at least 10 years old, technology-wise. Almost any new router will allow you to take full advantage of your 50 Mbps. But I would still recommend looking at routers with gigabit Ethernet ports so that if your provider upgrades to 100+ Mbps service, you will still be to take advantage of that. As the article says, my provider went from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps, then within 6 months went to 100 Mbps. So it would not necessarily be out of the realm of reality for your provider to go to 100 Mbps in the near future.

  • The fact that you are only getting 4 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection is a big problem, but it was also a big problem that you were only getting 2.5-3 Mbps on a 40 Mbps connection! Your router is 4 years old, which by itself certainly makes the case for getting a new one.

    The Netgear N150 router should allow wireless speeds faster than 54 Mbps, but it appears that either the router is configured for “G” mode or your laptop does not work in “N” mode. Regardless, if your laptop supports dual-band wireless, then you should look into a new router because the N150 does not appear to be a dual-band router.

    So the fact that your connection maxes out at 54 Mbps, the fact that you are only getting around 4 Mbps normally, the fact that your router is 4 years old, and the fact that your router does not support dual-band makes this a no-brainer to get a new router. As the article says, I would look for a router that has gigabit Ethernet ports so that you can take full advantage of your 100 Mbps connection.

  • KL

    Hi Marcel, I tried changing my router setting to work at 150 MBPS, but that made no difference. It has no dual band mode, my laptop does though. I have an Intel Centrino Advanced N-6235 adapter, which an online search says should work upto 300 mbps.

    The advanced property tab for this network adapter shows under Wireless Mode “802.11 a/b/g” only. However, the first property on the list says 802.11n channel, which is set to auto setting. Also, when I look at properties for my connection, it says protocol: 802.11n. So I am assuming I have 802.11n protocol.

    Would it make a difference if I use my Laptop on 5.2 Ghz band, with a dual band router? Or a 2.4 Ghz should work with a newer router as well? I imagine 802.11n works in either band?

    Also, what class of routers you recommend I buy? Should the N class suffice, or should I invest in AC class? Since my laptop clearly does not seem to support 802.11 ac, is it worth having an AC class? I also want to keep in mind the future connections, since I anticipate we should have much faster internet speeds available in next 2-3 years. However, I do not have plans to change my laptop. Many thanks for your help!

    PS: I also have a Macbook Pro 2015 version, at work. Would that perform better than my current Windows 8, Samsung NP550P5C laptop in getting better speeds with a new router?

  • When you get a new dual-band router, generally most laptops will connect using either band and will default to the 5.8 Ghz band. Usually you will want to use the 5.8 Ghz band as it will provide better bandwidth, but your laptop should automatically switch bands based strength of signal.

    Since your laptop does not support AC, it won’t take advantage of the newer protocols. However, your MacBook Pro 2015 does have AC so there is a good reason to get an AC protocol router right now. Plus you may get newer devices such as smartphones and tablets that support the AC protocol in the near future.

  • KL

    I just noticed AC routers are quite expensive here. Will an AC750 router be good, or should I make an extra investment into buying an AC1200 or AC1750? Quite a bit of price difference.

    A 750 MBPS TP-LINK AC750 device costs 5.k here. Currently, I should be able to half it with a discount. A Typical 300 MBPS, AC1200 device is costing. 3.5k. So there is quite a difference.

  • KL

    I should be able to afford TP-Link Archer C2 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Gaming Router, Marcel. Is that good? It has a gigabit port. Also, it says it allows simultaneous use of both 2.4 GhZ and 5 GhZ bands.

    “Archer C2 offers you the flexibility of two dedicated networks and ensures amazing wireless performance. Simple tasks such as sending e-mails or web browsing can be handled by the 2.4GHz band while bandwidth intensive tasks like online gaming or HD video streaming can be processed by the 5GHz band – all at the same time.”

    Is this true? Does it work like this?

  • KL

    Thank you for all the advice, I have decided to go for Netgear R6220. Its the cheapest AC1200 device I can find. I was tempted by Archer C7, but this seems better. Hope you agree.

    I also saw this: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/netgear-r6220-router,review-3229.html

  • Based on the review, I would agree with your decision. Since your connection is 100 Mbps, I think you’ll be able to max out that connection easily with either router. Let us know how it goes when you set up your new router!

  • KL

    Hi Marcel, I purchased the Netgear R220 AC1200 router and I configured it today. Close to the device, now I get 91 MBPS on wifi for a 100 MBPS connection. I am also able to download at 8-9 MBPS on average, while connection peaks at around 10 MBPS.

    I also noticed the speed of the connection in “Network and Sharing Centre” showed 130 MBPS, and when I switched to 5.2 Ghz band, it showed 144 MBPS. I imagine this is the limit of the speed between my laptop and the router for the N protocol? Since my laptop has no AC protocol.

    Many thanks for your article and advice. 🙂

  • KL

    I mean R6220. Costed me equivalent of $58.

  • It sounds like you are pleased with your performance. Ultimately, that is all that matters.

    FYI, just to be a little nitpicky, there is a difference between megabits and megabytes, expressed in shorthand as Mb and MB. So when you say you are getting 91, I assume that is Mbps (megaBITS per second). Then you say 8-9, which I assume is MBps (megaBYTES per second). Usually Internet providers promote their throughput in megabits per second while some softwares or testing services show the downloads as megabytes per second. Confusing, I know.

    Generally with the N protocol (and the AC protocol as well, although this is not relevant in your case), the higher speeds (300, 450) are achievable only when both the router and laptop have multiple antennas and set to wide bandwidth channels. Oftentimes the router or laptop do not have multiple antennas or they aren’t configured right to get the top-end N speeds. Still, 130 or 144 Mbps should be enough to take advantage of your 100 Mbps Internet service.

  • KL

    Yes that is exactly what I meant regarding the speeds. Thank you. And I am very pleased so far, especially getting the device for a reasonable cost since I see almost all AC1200 devices in the +100$ category.

    I was also surprised to see people buying, and companies selling, products that are capable of 600-750 Mbps wireless speeds, but have only a 100 mpbs LAN port and no Gigabit port. I can’t imagine why people would buy those devices, taking those wireless speeds into accounts. Seem companies do a great job of marketing around those speeds, without letting on, that using a 100 Mbps LAN port will not get you those speeds on any connection!

    Thank you for your help. I am glad I read this, researched online and of course interacted with you, all of which helped me choose a good product and learn more about this. 🙂

  • Thank you for your words!

    Regarding the really high speed wireless routers, to some extent they are just marketing gimmicks. But realize that wireless technology is also used extensively in larger networks where the really high speeds are very useful in computer to server communication over a local network. So wireless technology development isn’t really concerned with Internet provider bandwidth. However, since that technology is the latest and greatest, router manufacturers are going to run with it and try to promote their products with the highest specs. For a lot of people it will be overkill. However, the newer wireless technologies also do have some advantages besides pure speed so it’s not all just gimmicks. And there are some Internet speeds available that do approach 1 Gbps so some people do need those capabilities.

  • Nikolay Delibozov

    Hi, I have the Linksys E2500 router. I used to have speeds of 50 Mbps download and 25 upload from my provider and which were achieved wired to my desktop. However, I upgraded to 100 Mbps/50 Mbps down/up and now the router can achieve only 68 Mbps download speed. When I use the cable straight in my computer, I can reach 95 Mbps. Do I need to upgrade to a gigabit router?

  • Well it certainly sounds like your router is the bottleneck. However, 68 Mbps seems slow for this router. It is either malfunctioning or something connected to it is eating up bandwidth. I would try disabling the wireless on the router and only connect one wired computer to it so that you can isolation test it. You may also want to try factory resetting it (and make sure it is running the latest firmware) before getting a new one. Although, I guess it might just be easier to run out and buy a new one! Let me know what you find.

  • Nikolay Delibozov

    Thanks for the answer.
    The first thing I did was to upgrade the firmware. My hardware version is V2, so I downloaded an installed firmware 2.0.00. The results were the same. I also disabled the QoS WMM support (I admit I don’t know what this is), because I read it may help.
    It increased the speed with may be 2-3 Mbits, but this can also be luck.

    I finally tested disabling the Wi-fi connection, but this also led to no improvements.

  • Well, I would say that most likely your router is not functioning correctly. So it is probably worth your time just to get a new one and stop messing around with this one. That being said, if you’re getting about 75 Mbps, it is up to you if you want a new router to get the extra 25 Mbps. I would do it, but I’m geeky like that 🙂

  • Nikolay Delibozov

    I think I will do just that, thanks for the article!

  • mjjudson

    I have a Netgear N600 wireless dual band gigabit ADSL+ modem router and about to upgrade to 20Mbps and want to confirm that my current router can handle it. Can anyone offer their input? Thanks in advance!

  • Dan Evans

    I have 100mb internet from suddenlink, and I use their router. Im only getting 20-30 mb with a Ethernet cord.
    Can the router just not handle the speed?

  • The N600 should easily handle 20 Mbps, assuming it is working properly. Almost any router should be able to handle that bandwidth, assuming it is less than 5 years old or so.

  • It certainly could be that the router is faulty, but it could also be a problem with the service you are receiving. However, there could also be a problem with your computer. Have you tried more than one device to rule out your computer? Assuming your computer is fine, since it is their router and their service, I would contact them and let them know you are only receiving 20-30 Mbps and let them troubleshoot. Either they’ll fix their service (or at least confirm that is the problem) or they’ll replace your router.

  • Mihovil Jakus

    I have outside internet speed 50Mbs, then two switches and eight routers. Constantly i have 50 to 60 connections. Switches are 10/100 Mbs, my question is if i put one switch 100/1000 will i manage to improve connection to all of us, because sometimes very slow response and problems. Ty

  • Are you in a shared building to have 8 routers connected? It sounds like you have the switches connected to the Internet as to provide a way to connect 8 routers to it. It probably wouldn’t hurt to replace your current switches with one powerful gigabit switch. The reality is that the rated throughput probably won’t make all that much difference (100 vs 1000 Mbps connected to only 50 Mbps). However, the processing power of switches also can make a difference in real throughput. In my experience, some switches can be overwhelmed by a lot of sporadic traffic, even if that traffic doesn’t add up to a lot of total throughput. So you can eliminate the possibility of your switch being a bottleneck by getting a good gigabit switch. Just be aware that change alone may not solve the problem completely, but at least you can make the effort to eliminate this one potential source of problems.

    That being said, I’d wonder if your ISP supports the way you are connecting the routers through a switch. It might be possible that having more than one router connected to the ISP’s service might cause glitches at times. I’d check with them just to be sure, assuming you haven’t already.

  • adolfo wiebe

    hey marcel..
    have a question..
    i just updated to a 200mb line..
    and my NETGEAR GIGABIT switch just lets me take out only 30mb..
    its a 8 port switch and doesnt matter one wish port i plug the 200mb line in all other port only give me 20 – 30 mb..
    email me any info.. adolfowiebe@yahoo.com.mx

  • Sanjeev

    My brodband speed is very high but my WiFi modem transver only 54mbps only I want a WiFi modem provide me high WiFi speed

  • Mireya

    Mr. Marcel,
    I really need a geeks advice. My head is spinning with all the Router research I have done and I am still not certain which one to buy that will give us good range and awesome streaming simultaneously on several devices. After reading so many bad reviews on one of the more expensive Netgear Nighthawk routers which I was almost convinced to buy, I’m back to square one. We are getting ready to switch providers and have decided we would rather own our own router instead of leasing one from the Network Provider. I am in awe as to what all the people are posting on your page talking about having 60Mbps speed and above, I can’t believe what horrible and ridiculously slow speed we have in our area (our internet speed rate is only 3Mbps…yes, you read that correctly!). BUT, if we switch to the other local provider we have in our area we will be able to obtain up to 75Mbps internet speed. All we want to do is be able to get enough internet speed to be able to stream Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and download music every once in a while, (my husband is not a big gamer but occasionally does like online gaming) so the technician assured me that 25Mbps would be plenty to cover our needs. Can you please help me select a good wireless router that will do a good job for 25 to 75 Mbps of Internet that will provide good range and frequency? I also read that a 600Mbps router is good to have in order to stream content to multiple devices simultaneously, would this be stated on the box of the product? I really don’t understand all of the technological language so if you can make it as easy as possible for me to understand, I would appreciate it. Thank you!

  • The article explains what kind of router you should look for. Just about any new or recent router with gigabit Ethernet ports should perform well enough to provide at least 100-200 Mbps speeds.

  • Mireya Hidalgo Kearney

    Thank you! I just felt so overwhelmed after reading reviews and I just needed clarification whether most routers could have several devices simultaneous as well and you make it sound easy enough.

  • I think you probably are suffering a bit of paralysis by analysis! Take a deep breath and relax. Let’s take this step by step.

    First off you probably don’t “need” an “expensive” router to handle your situation. Many more reasonably priced routers now have tremendous performance as compared to routers of just a few years ago. The reality is that unless all your devices have the latest and greatest wireless protocol (802.11 AC), you probably aren’t going to be able to take full advantage of the most expensive routers anyway.

    Second, take bad reviews with a grain of salt. Oftentimes the reason for a bad review may not be relevant to your needs. I see a lot of people with technical knowledge rate certain things really badly because they didn’t do exactly what they thought the device should. However, the device itself actually performs very well, it’s just that the reviewer was expecting the world and didn’t get it. Balance the bad reviews with good reviews and put more weight on the reviews that are written by people who seem to line up with your needs.

    How many devices are you looking to stream from simultaneously? In other words, how many people are in your home that would be streaming videos at the same time? Roughly figure about 5 Mbps per stream. Then give yourself some overhead. So if you have 4 simultaneous streams, 25 Mbps should probably be able to handle it, with 5 Mbps of room for the overhead. However, only real-world testing will bear that out. In my experience, it seems that it is better to be generous with bandwidth in situations where multiple people are streaming.

    Honestly I would probably start looking at routers in the $100 range. There are some pretty powerful routers that you can get in this price point and you might be able to find a sale that can bring the price down $20-$30 off, as I have found periodically with the Linksys EA6350 at Best Buy. I recommend purchasing from a local store with a liberal return policy so that you can test a router and return it if it simply doesn’t meet your needs.

  • Justin Deckard

    Like many of these folks on the Q&A, our connection via WiFi is a joke. We pay for 60MB from Charter, but speedtests from pick any device, show roughly 9MB down and 4MB up. We are guilty of 20-25 connected devices in our home (iPhones, iPods, printers, laptops, direct TV receivers, etc), half of which lets say at most are AC capable. We currently run on an OLD NetGear WNDR3800 router that Ive determined to be end of support based on some simple research. I’m considering one of the ASUS brand routers (ASUS RT-AC87U or RT-AC88U) and don’t mind spending the money, I just want some results. Im beyond open to any feedback you can provide so we can make the right choice.

  • Yes, that router is at least 5 year old technology so it certainly can’t hurt to upgrade to a newer router. That is a lot of devices, so going to a higher-end router should probably help. I would suggest two things.

    First, purchase your router from a store with a liberal return policy so you can return it if it just doesn’t work out well for you. Buying from a local store like a Best Buy or Micro Center will help make it easier than returning something with shipping.

    Second, when you get the new router, connect it to your cable modem but do not configure it for wireless right away (in other words, do not set it up with the same wireless name and password as you currently have). This way you can do some speed testing with the router isolated from any connected devices. If you are getting good speed tests with only one computer directly connected to the router, then you can set up your wireless the way you currently have it so all the other devices can connect up. If after getting all your devices connected you notice speed issues, then you can be fairly sure that one or more devices are sucking up your bandwidth. Narrowing that down can be tricky, but at least you’ll have a starting point and can being a process of elimination.

    Let us know what you get and how well it works out for you.

  • Justin Deckard

    Great advice, thanks. I plan to buy via Amazon most likely with an easy shipping/return with prime membership. As a follow up, the Charter provided modem is a Cisco DPC3008, and likely has similar age to our router. Do you think thats something worth asking Charter to replace or is modem technology fairly level where age isnt a big of a factor?

  • According to specs, the DPC3008 should handle up to 440 Mbps. However, if the device is malfunctioning, it may not be working to full potential. I’d say if you get a bad speed test when you are testing the router with only one computer connected, then I’d ask for a new modem.

  • And now that I think of it, just connect a computer directly to the modem now or any time and see what kinds of speeds you get. That will show either that everything is working well, or there’s a problem with your modem or service to your home.

  • Justin Deckard

    Will do, thank you. I actually have a Charter tech showing up this morning to take a look after going thru the Tech level 1 phone support scripted troubleshooting, so we shall see. Charter owns both the modem and router, so ideally I get some confirmation the modem is not functioning properly and get it replaced and I upgrade the router to something more suitable for our 20+ devices we hammer it with. Thanks again for your quick feedback, very appreciative. I see you’re somewhat local to St Louis, I work for a local integrator (WWT) myself.

  • Ok, good. If they’re coming out, they’ll probably replace the modem if there is any sign of problems. You’re welcome!

  • Mark

    Hey, so my internet is running at 200mbps and now that my brother came to live with me we need to wire his computer. The problem is that the internet provider doesn’t have routers that can keep with more than 100mbps and we are on our own. Unfortunately I have no idea what to search for, so will you be able to suggest something?

  • The router I’ve been getting for clients lately is the Linksys EA6350. I’ve confirmed it will support 200+ Mbps speeds and I can usually find it for less than $100. But any similar router should suffice as well.

  • Crystal M Wilcoxen

    I have a NETGEAR WGR614v10 – G54 Wireless Router and recently upgraded to 110 Mbps. Will this be able to keep up with the new internet speeds?

  • Not likely. It is a router with at least 6 year old technology in it. On the wireless side 54 Mbps is the theoretical maximum, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were only getting low 40’s on the high side, assuming the router is still working optimally. Even if you had a wired computer, the Ethernet ports are 100 Mbps, so you likely would not see any more than about 90 Mbps in theory, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were seeing far less. I would suggest it is time for a new router. There are many powerful ones that are $100 or less, but make sure to follow the recommendations in this article to not get a relatively decent router.

  • Phred

    I’ve been trying to figure something out for over a year, and just stumbled upon this several year old conversation that appears to still be going.

    I have had the Comcast Blast service for over 10 years. Over the past few years Comcast has upgraded the service. I believe way back when it provided 25Mbps down, and just last week our service was bumped up to 200Mbps. Two times the service we were paying for exceeded the capabilities of my equipment. First my router, way way back when… and more recently my cable modem.

    When my service was at 100Mbps, and it was bumped up to 150Mbps… my speed tests only increased a little bit…. to the 110-120Mbps range. When I took my router out of the equation I would get 160-180Mbps, well above the advertised speed. My router is a Cisco/Linksys EA6500, I believe its backplane is supposed to handle 400-600Mbps or something like that. The configuration of the router is very simple. I have no media prioritization set, disabled IP6, no special routes, Guest network disabled… and yet the router is limiting the throughput. Firmware is up to date, and I’ve factory reset the thing a lot of times. I would simply upgrade the router, if it weren’t technically capable of handling the speed, but technically it should.

    Now when the difference between the speed that I was getting and the advertised speed was only 10-20Mbps… I just let it slide. However, as I mentioned earlier, Comcast just upped our speed again. I’ve rebooted my cable modem, and my computer when connected directly gets well over 200Mbps download speed. Put router back into the equation, 130’ishMbps. This is kind of maddening.

    My cabling is all Cat5e, but just because some people said it would make a difference I borrowed some Cat6 cabling from work… and as I suspected it made no difference.

    Do you have any idea why my router that should support Comcast Blast’s current download speeds, isn’t?

  • Kamlesh Kamal

    I am using the NETGEAR WGR614 V10 router with aa 50 Mbps internet speed . I recently update the router firmware .. I still see speed drops to 15 to 20 while my internet speed via a LAN cable is above 50 .. can u suggest what could be the issue ? Is the router too old ?

  • Yes, that router should be able to handle a significant bandwidth level. Are you connecting wirelessly or direct wired? Have you tried another router (even one of the exact same model) to see if maybe that router is simply malfunctioning? It is possible for a router to “mostly” work yet have trouble with higher speeds or certain applications.

  • Most likely that router is just a little too outdated to really handle today’s higher Internet speeds. A lot of routers like that were created when 10 Mbps was considered high speed. I’d say get a new router and you’ll probably see a lot better performance.

  • Phred

    Thanks for the reply. I have been meaning to post a follow-up message, but simply hadn’t gotten around to it yet. I figured the problem out, although I don’t really understand why it behaved the way it behaved.

    I fell victim to poor troubleshooting technique. I assumed something. Ever since I’ve been on cable, I’ve cloned the MAC address of my main PC, on the router. I believe this was a necessity with the equipment I had way back when. However, while that is no longer necessary, I was still doing it. I don’t know what caused that synapse in my brain to fire, but I removed the cloned MAC address from my router, rebooted my cable modem, allowed the to rebind to each other, and boom… full throughput through the router.

    So, the issue has been resolved… FINALLY!.., but I have no idea why cloning a MAC address would cap the routers throughput at roughly 140Mbps. I now routinely get speed tests in the 230-240Mbps range, on a service advertised at 200… so all is well.

    Thanks again for the reply.


  • Well that is an interesting nugget of information. It used to be that cloning an MAC address was often required to use a router with many cable providers. Now it is rarely needed. But it should still work without hurting bandwidth. Unless there is a bug or some other issue with that router and cloned MAC addresses. Regardless, you don’t need it so problem solved on your end! Thanks for the info!

  • Jim

    Hi, I just upgraded to 200M internet service. I have the netgear wndr3700 which says it is good to 600m. However, I can’t get the system (Ethernet) to go above 100. Do I need a new router?

  • Try testing your Internet service without the router. Are you getting 200 Mbps there? If so, then it appears your router is the bottleneck for some reason. However, I have a suspicion that you may not actually be getting 200 Mbps from your ISP.

  • We just received 100 mbps Brighthouse/Spectrum cable internet service. We bought a brand-new compatible modem (Motorola MB7200) and a brand new router (Linksys AC2100 – EA6100). With both connected, I am only getting about 60 mbps of download speed. Without the router connected, we get 100 mbps with the router directly connected to the laptop. Any idea what we can do to fix this? I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  • From my investigation, the Linksys EA6100 only has 100 Mbps Ethernet ports. That should still get you around 90 Mbps in real-world throughput, so 60 seems low. However, if you’re purchasing a brand new router, you might as well get one with gigabit Ethernet ports so that it should be able to saturate the 100 Mbps line. Likely it will also be a more powerful router overall and you should see the full 100Mbps through the router. I’d return the router you just purchased (just tell them it isn’t fast enough for your 100 Mbps connection) and get something like the Linksys EA6350 that I know supports many hundred of Mbps.

  • Toni Feathers

    I have a D-link my cloud Model DIR817LW router It is dual band 2.4 and 5.0 but normally only connects at the 2.4 I was running 50 mg cable internet from suddenlink and usually got about 47 to 50 even wireless for speed. I just upgraded to 200 mg service. My upload speed runs about 22 and my download speed dropped to 37 and will fluctuate the highest being only 62 wireless. When wired I get the full 200 mg speed. I suspect the problem is the router. I checked and updated firmware. Restarted the modem and router and let them reconnect. Is there a setting I should change, is there any way other than being wired, that will speed that up a bit? I know I cannot get 200 mg speed wirelessly, but should be getting better than low 60’s I would think

  • It’s odd that you are now actually seeing less throughput on average than before you upgraded your service. I must assume that this router is simply inefficient in some way or malfunctioning. However, the fact that the router only has 100 Mbps ports is going to choke your maximum bandwidth anyway, which I explain in the article. So I would recommend purchasing a new router with gigabit Ethernet ports and likely you’ll see improved throughput through the router.

  • DoesNotCompute

    So a router with 10/100 ports won’t get the speeds provided by my ISP if it’s 100mbps and over?, I need a gigabit router for that?.

  • Yes, as I explain the in the article if your service is over 100 Mbps then your router is going to max out close to 100 Mbps as that is the absolute fastest it can send data. 100 Mbps is a theoretical maximum and in the real world when allowing for protocol overhead and other inefficiencies, 90-95 Mbps is the fastest you’re going to see with a 10/100 router. So if you have 100+ Mbps Internet service, then a router with gigabit ports will make sure you have plenty of bandwidth to spare with these very high speed services.

  • DoesNotCompute

    Ah I see now I recently purchased a new router that claimed get up to 300Mbps, because my old router was only getting 70Mbps on a 100Mbps connection. But I kept experiencing the same issue and I realize now it’s because both only have 10/100 ports, which as you said prevent me from getting the most of my service. Lesson learned the hard way I guess, thank you for the quick response.

  • No problem! As I wrote in the article, it can be very confusing when the router says 300 Mbps or some other large speed, but they are only referencing the wireless speed. This might be all well and good if you are doing internal network data transfers, but 90% of people will rarely ever do that and only be concerned with their Internet speed. If I were you, I’d look into returning the router for a better model and explain that the router simply isn’t fast enough or it was misleading advertising. Good luck!

  • David Crump

    Marcel, I have charter as my isp with 100 Mbps. After read your article I see my 54 Mbps router is not giving full advance of my internet. Which router would you recommend for me to buy based on price for a gigabit router and for future expanding.

  • Andrew Krosley

    I have charter internet 100Mbps. My family and I have a apple router and a Linskys RE6500 extender. My question is the extender making the problem for the speed or the apple router? By the way I am just thirteen years old. I am the “tech guy”.

  • I know I replied to you in e-mail, but I’d thought I’d share my response here as well.

    Almost any router with gigabit ports is going to handle 100+ Mbps Internet services like Charter with ease. One router I’ve been using lately with good success (I’ve personally confirmed over 200+ Mbps) is the Linksys EA-6350 router, which is less than $100 at local Best Buy stores. You can definitely spend a lot more money, but this router should serve almost any home setup at a good price.

  • Welcome to service! Most of us “tech guys” started out young!

    The only way to know for sure would be to do some isolation testing to determine if the Apple router or the extender is the problem. You should unplug the extender and then try testing a laptop close to the Apple router. See what kinds of speed you get. You can also then try testing with a direct Ethernet connection from your laptop both to the router and/or to the cable modem. If speed tests check out well at the modem, but not the router, then you know it is the router. If the speed test is poor at the modem, then it is likely the modem or the service you are getting from Charter. If all the tests are good and then adding the extender back in play slows things down, then it is likely the extender. However, it may be possible that a wireless device is hogging all the bandwidth (entirely possible if a Windows PC has malware or if a computer is running some sort of peer-to-peer file sharing software).

    For more detailed information on how to troubleshoot a situation like this, see my article here http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • Mark Morgan

    The real problem with WiFi is it is a half duplex shared media that attenuates over distance (unless your using MIMO it could be full dublex but still shared and attenuates). This means your “300Mb” is shared between all your connected devices, they can only “speak” one at a time (TDMA) and that “300Mb” is only good if you within 5 feet of your access point. 20-25 WiFi devices on one Access Point is going to reduce everyone’s bandwidth even if they are not being used beaconing alone with that many devices is going to cause collisions and resends. With that many devices you’re better of using multiple hardwired Access Points setup across your home with the signal strength setup not to interfere with each other or cause hopping issues. no more that 20% signal overlap.

  • Canon Sharp

    The EA6350 is the router I use in my home and I’m paying for 200Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. But when directly connected to my router with a ethernet cable from my xbox one I only get anywhere from 70-100 depending on what other devices are running. Any thoughts? I have an Arris modem that my internet provider says is capable of running those speeds as well. They provide modems based on the speeds you are paying for.

  • Never having tested bandwidth from an Xbox One, I’m not sure how accurate it is. I would suggest testing from a regular computer just to be sure. Depending on how that test pans out, you may also want to test a device connected directly to the cable modem to rule out the router.

    For a more detailed troubleshooting process, see this article http://marcelbrown.com/2015/08/13/is-your-internet-speed-not-what-it-should-be-how-to-test-and-isolate-the-problem/

  • Canon Sharp

    Many of my friends have Xbox ones and they all have super fast 200Mbps download speeds. They all on average download at about 170-180 also depending on what they have running at their houses. So I think the Xbox One is perfectly capable of speeds well beyond what I’m getting. And I have indeed connected my system straight to my modem and it checked out at speeds over 100 but still not close to what I’m paying for.

  • Richard

    Att have just upgraded our neighborhood to ATT fiber (1000mbps) Will my Netgear WNDR4300 be to handle this or close it or i am going to need to upgrade the router.

  • Ok, that’s good to know about the Xbox One. If you connect directly to the modem and you’re still not getting what you’re paying for, then I would start talking to the ISP about that. Sounds like you’re not getting good quality service to your house at this time.

  • The WNDR4300 has gigabit Ethernet ports on both WAN and LAN so in theory it should be able to manage the bandwidth up to 1000 Mbps. However, only testing will show if it actually is powerful enough to push that much throughput. 1000 Mbps is a lot of bandwidth and if the processor in a router isn’t fast enough (or if a particular unit is malfunctioning) you may not get full bandwidth. Let me know how it works for you.

  • Richard

    Thanks Marcel! We haven’t decided on what we are going to do but it is good to know that our router if all things are equal should be able to handle the bandwidth.

  • Alex Zabel

    I have charter 100 mb internet and am using a linksys e2000 router. Should I upgrade and what would be an affordable replacement?

  • Ed Chuang

    Hi — I have the Comcast X3 Wireless gateway and a home automation system by Control 4. The Control 4 folks say I must disable the router function in the Comcast gateway since that is causing problems with my home automation system. Spoke to Comcast and they will replace the X3 with just a Cable Modem — currently am getting over 130MBps on wireless on occasion . I currently have two older Apple Time Capsules, a Asus TM-1900 router from T-Mobile and just bought a Asus N-600 router (so 4 total access points for a 4200 sq ft house) to connect to the Xfinity cable modem and use as a router. I have have a structured wiring closet with a bunch of GE Switched ports that power the Ethernet wall connections in 8 rooms of the house and will be connected to the router. The Apple time capsules and one of the Asus routers (the one not connected to the cable modem) will connected via Ethernet in 3 separate rooms.

    My question is does it matter if I connect the Asus TM-1900 or the Asus N-600 router to the Comcast cable modem – the TM-1900 is newer and faster but I can’t control it as easily since it’s the T-Mobile version they gave to me for having their cell service or would the N-600 be fine and have no material difference (still unopened). I have the Xfinity blast Pro Internet service which is rated at 150Mbps.


  • This is an odd one. The router itself seems to be at least 6-7 year old technology, but it appears to have gigabit Ethernet ports. So in theory it might be able to hand 100+ Mbps speeds, but it also might not have the horsepower to handle it gracefully. Bottom line: test and measure. If you aren’t getting 100 Mbps or over, then it might be time to replace it, especially if you have used it for many years.

  • I would need to know the model of the Asus N-600, since that is a general description and not the actual model number. Normally I would suggest the newer router as the one to connect to your Internet connection, but I’m not sure what you mean by you can’t control it as easily (what is the difference with the “T-Mobile version?). That being said, there usually isn’t a need to do a lot of configuration with a normal home Internet connection so it may not matter that the TM-1900 is less configurable. As well, if you just purchased an N-600 model, you may want to take it back and get a newer, more powerful model as I can’t imagine the price difference would be that much.

    Let me know the N-600 model number and the TM-1900 details.

  • Ed Chuang

    Thanks for the reply. The model # of the Asus N-600 is RT-N56U. The RT-N56U is about $55 after rebate.

    For some reason I can’t login to the TM-1900 — the IP address and cellspot.router both timeout and tech support for T-Mobile couldn’t resolve the issue.

    My house is about 10 years old and I found out that the 16 switches in the structured wiring closet powering the physical Ethernet connection in each room are only 10/100 switches. – so it might be a moot point.
    Not sure if I want to replace those since they are embedded in the panel. At some point maybe I will replace with Gigabit Ethernet switches in the panel — but the panel switches seem significantly more costly and assume I have CAT 5 at best given the age of the house.

  • Who cares about WIRELESS crap ? Hackable & unreliable POS.
    One paragraph into the article and it’s all wireless blabla whine…
    Are you truly certain your router will deliver 90mbps out of 100mbps ?
    What about wiring ? Is it better to replace your wires with CAT6 in a 100mbps setup, just to eliminate speed degradation due to wire quality ?

    Disappointing Article.

  • Craig

    I upgraded to 250mbps internet from 110mbps, old speed was great but more speed for less money offered. I bought a new DOCSIS 3.0 modem 8/4 namely a ARRIS SB6141 as required. Day 1 of the new service my speedtest.net/google speed test clocked in at an impressive…. 8mbps!! What the $%?! I called my ISP, said it must be my router (DLINK N600 wifi with four 10/100/1000 ports). My computer (MacPro, no wifi) is hardwired to the router.

    The ISP tech support had me bypass the router, run direct to modem. It worked… 200mbps+ . Yea. But now I needed my wifi. so I upgraded to a TPLInk AC1270 wifi, big upgrade again with 10/100/1000 router ports. Same problem!! Arghhh! I tried also my laptop on same config, no dice.

    Any suggestions? Maybe I should split the computer/wifi router with an unmanaged gigabit switch? Trying not to just throw money at the problem with no results.

  • Canon Sharp

    After many arguments and phone calls with my provider, I managed to get things sorted out. From what I understand there’s not much they can do about it. It depends on which server I’m connected to via Microsoft’s end. Sometimes I can run 180mpbs because their end is sending the information out better then other days. But when it’s a busy day and there’s a ton of people on Xbox Live, then it slows down since the server is a lot busier.

  • Bill Anderson

    I have 200mbs from hub in modem only mode going to router with gigabyte ports but can get only 70mbs over wifi. Support tells me something about “splitting” Not sure I follow that!

  • Clearly you weren’t the intended audience for this article. Also keep in mind this article was written in October 2014, so it is almost 2.5 years old.

    You may think wireless is hackable and unreliable, and while on a relative highly technical level this may not be false, practically speaking wireless is plenty secure and reliable enough for the vast majority of home and small business applications. But the article wasn’t really about wireless, although it has to be mentioned because it is a staple of our technology lives. Yes wired is important, as the majority of the article devotes, but in the age of mobile devices dismissing wireless is simply ludicrous.

    Speaking of wires, the vast majority of installations I’ve seen have CAT 5E, which is rated up to gigabit speeds, so it should easily cover the 100 – 300 Mbps services that are fairly common now. Perhaps using CAT 6 would improve things if somehow the user had CAT 5 or CAT 3, but again, the audience for this article are likely using cabling that is within 5 years old or so and should have CAT 5E or better already.

    Given that the audience for this article is an average non-technical user, it isn’t practical to delve into esoteric technical details or risk overwhelming and confusing them. Also, given that I allow for questions and respond to those that want more information, I’d prefer to give a general overview without getting too detailed so that I can help individuals more directly in the comments.

    Now you certainly seem to have good technical knowledge, so have you run into situations and solutions that an average home or small business user could benefit from your experience?

  • My apologies for not responding sooner. You have an interesting situation. The basic troubleshooting steps would be to isolate each particular variable. In this case, you have a new modem that seems to be working correctly and a new router so the odds are it is working well. The most obvious variable that isn’t accounted for is the cable connecting the modem and router. That would be the first thing I swap out. If that doesn’t work, then there is a chance the new router is actually faulty. Let me know how you end up resolving the situation.

  • My first thought would be that either the router or cable is not working the way it should be. How old is your router? Have you tried swapping out the Ethernet cable between your modem and router? Let me know what you find out.

  • Likely you have CAT 5E, as that has been very common for quite a long time. But yes, the 10/100 switches are likely the bottleneck. Consider that you might not need to replace all the switches, maybe just one or two to ensure a gigabit flow from your router out to the modem. Let me know what you end up doing.

  • Well that certainly is interesting. I’m glad you figured it out and thanks for sharing!

  • Craig Gardner

    Hi Marcel thanks for the reply. A tech buddy of mine came by and diagnosed it. Turns out I had an IP conflict between the modem and router. I changed the IP address and DHCP range on the router and resolved it! Now I have super fast internet! Thanks again for reply

  • Craig Gardner

    Oh, and also I reset the modem (which I bought on eBay used) back to factory defaults.. no sure but this may have helped as well. My tech buddy’s advice “anytime you buy used equipment, reset to factory defaults and update the firmware.” Hope is helpful to others experiencing similar problem

  • Ed Chuang

    Here’s a picture of the 16 switches inside my structured wiring closet.
    My set up is Comcast X3 Gateway (with Wifi turned off) to Asus TM-1900 and one the ports from the Asus is connected to the switch pictured. Now the different rooms in the house that are being powered by the switch in the closet to these direct Ethernet connection have multiple connections — some have Apple Time Capsules as wireless access points, as well TVs, Xfinity X1 boxes, PS3s, etc etc. Of course these port were never labeled so I have no idea which one goes to which room — though I guess I could upplug each one and run around the house and test it.

    any idea how much these switches cost to replace with Gigabit switches and if someone with limited handyman/tech skills could do it themselves or how long would it take a professional to do?



  • Well, an IP conflict can certainly cause odd problems. Did you use the same IP setup on the new router as the old? If so, then you may have effectively replicated the problem on the new one! Although based on your other reply, there may have been a strange issue with the setup of the used equipment you purchased. Certainly it never hurts to factory reset used equipment to make sure you are starting off fresh. Firmware updates never hurt either if needed. Thanks for letting me know what happened!

  • Bill Anderson

    Thank you I have solved the problem. My Router (netgear) has a function called dynamic qos in which you can set the max speed you get from the is. I had forgotten this and it was set at my old max of 70mbs. Thank you for your support.

  • Well that solves the mystery!

  • You say 16 switches, but looking at the picture I think you actually mean 16 ports (2 8-port switches are pictured). So this becomes a lot easier to manage as compared to 16 actual switches. Thinking about it now, that would be a massive network for a home!

    Doing a quick search, I could not find this particular GE panel-mounted switch to match up the details. However, I did find what seemed to be a similar item in gigabit form for about $125 each, which is really expensive for an 8 port switch plus you need to purchase a power supply – unless the ones already in your panel will also work. (https://www.amazon.com/On-Q-DA1008-8-Port-Gigabit-Switch/dp/B0032FO20O) I don’t know if this model I found will fit in your panel. You will need to verify the dimensions and mounting placement.

    That being said, it seems there are only four screws holding each of the 2 switches place. Since a switch is a self-contained unit, there should not be any wiring behind the units and I would expect they would come right out. But I can’t be certain, so you’ll need to verify how they are mounted.

    Aesthetics aside, you could just get a 16-port gigabit switch, place it inside the panel and connect all the Ethernet patch cables into it for a quick and dirty gigabit network. If you want to keep the clean look and need a professional to do it, then first I would try to find the company that installed it originally and failing that, I would call a local trustworthy AV/wiring installation company to take a look.

    Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

  • Yes, the guideline to go by is K.I.S.S.. If you don’t have to have wireless, as I have seen people with desktop PCs go wireless, plug it in. An improperly setup wireless router will allow a hacker to access devices connected to the access point. To stop all devices from communicating with each other sharing the wireless use access control/isolation control on your router. WPS is the biggest hole in wireless allowing for hacking as it is an 8-10 digit numerical code allowing for 10^10 possibilities easily bashed. Probably the most beloved security hole loved by laymen cause it’s push button setup.
    I think it takes MORE knowledge for a person to secure a wireless portion of the router than it takes to setup the wired one. Wireless still gets disrupted by interference such as people crossing the paths, walls with power lines or AC ducts, etc…

  • Marcela Dominguez

    I appreciated reading your article and further questions and answers and I have a related problem. My company was Time Warner when I signed up a year ago (now Spectrum) and I get 50 Mbps. I bought a Motorola/Arris modem recommended on their website: SURFboard SBG6700-AC for $154. If I am in the living room 50 feet away from the modem, my connection drops, I can’t make a Skype call (and this is when only one person is using either Skype or my voip phone). I called Time Warner and they asked me to call the modem company. I called them repeatedly and they said the distance was OK that that should not be happening, they asked me to change “channels”, monitor my speed during the day, asked me to Time Warner to reprovision me, they send me a new modem. When I had 5 Mbps with Verizon I didn’t have any problem. Could you please guide me with this? I hate having spent $154 and not have good service.

  • Kenneth Burks

    I have 200gb suddenlink service and a 24/8 channel router, Netgear C7000. Do I have fast enough router to get everything out of my service?


    I have a NETGEAR N300 router and pay for 100Mbps . the speed tester says my up and down is 26 so not even close. I am 5 ft from the router which is connected to fiber Optics in, then a cat 5 cable to the router. they offer 1gig service so there “box” must handle way more than my 100. and my router is for 300mbps so why ? I am a user not geeky AT ALL. so pretty dumb when figuring this stuff out. but any help ?

  • I agree that if a desktop computer is close to the router, they should just use wired networking and I often do this for my clients if I see this situation. Securing wireless correctly does take more knowledge, however, it is often not practical for people to wire their devices (especially mobile devices with no wired option). The good news is that most routers today by default use sufficient security so users don’t need a lot of knowledge to be secure out of the box. They would actually need to work at making it less secure.

    Interference issues can be very tricky, as I just dealt with one issue the other day inside a bar. I had to set up a wireless booster (which I really dislike doing unless absolutely necessary) and placing the booster so that coverage and throughput was satisfactory throughout the 2-story establishment was really difficult. But the client wanted to make sure their customers had guest wireless access (using isolation as you suggest) so I had to figure out how to make it work. Ultimately, it was a just a process of testing and measuring to find the spot that worked the best.

  • This device seems to cover all the necessary specs for high speed Internet. 50 feet of wireless coverage should be no problem normally, but there is always the possibility that there is some sort of interference (a water wall, other radio interference, etc.) that is compromising the coverage. Also a possibility is that the device is malfunctioning.

    In general I recommend people get a “regular” cable modem (i.e. not a combination modem and router like this device) so that they have some flexibility in their placement of the modem and the router. Also because I’ve experienced that most combo devices are mediocre when it comes to LAN/wireless performance (although this model seems to have great specs) so getting separate units allows for improved performance. So the next action you take is up to you: either get a direct replacement of this device and try testing that or return this device and put the money towards a regular modem (such as the comparable SURFboard SB6141) and a separate wireless router (such as the Linksys EA6350 that I’ve used with good success).

  • According to the specs on this device (which is a combination cable modem and wireless router), it should perform well enough to cover 200 GB service. Are you not seeing this speed?


  • The most likely issue is that your N300 router either isn’t powerful enough to hit 100 Mbps of throughput, or it is malfunctioning.

    I looked up the N300 Netgear and it isn’t actually an exact model, but a range of models that supposedly give a particular level of performance. One of these models is the WNR2000, so I’ll use that as a point of reference.

    I find reviews of this model going back to 2008. So it is about a 10-year old technology, even if your particular unit isn’t that old. 10 years ago it wasn’t uncommon to see high-end broadband services topping out at 10 Mbps. So companies didn’t need to make home routers that could handle 100+ Mbps connections like we see today. Even though the specs of the networking functions may indicate that they can handle high throughputs, the internal processor of a router like this simply may not be powerful enough to sustain a data flow nearing 100 Mbps. Also, as I explain in my article, keep in mind that the wireless speed stated (300 Mbps in this case) only refers to the maximum throughput of the wireless technology itself. In theory, you may be able to get 300 Mbps of throughput with this router but ONLY if doing a data transfer between computers INSIDE your network and not out to the Internet.

    So my advice is pretty simple: regardless of why your router can’t hit 100 Mbps, get a new router that uses more modern technology and you’ll likely see the maximum speed you are paying for. I suggest starting with a router like the Linksys EA6350 as I’ve had good experience with it being able to hit well over 200 Mbps (which is the maximum speed any of my clients can get in this area with standard service offerings).

    Let me know what you get and if it helps fix your issue.

  • Kenneth Burks

    Yes I am just wondering

  • Well, as long as you’re happy, then all is good!

  • I disagree, WPS is a very vulnerable out of the box system. Although, I would have to check the new router’s defaults.

  • Dillon Thompson

    What is the best router for price today to be able to get my 200 mbps

  • Jamie Bertram

    I’ve just ordered my gigabit service. A friend got his but found his router couldn’t deliver gigabit wirelessly. I have an ASUS N56U. Should I be looking to upgrade as well? If so, have any recommendations?

  • I recently purchased a dual band router. Could not get to work. Went the Charter store. They told me they did not support dual band wifi?

  • Dan

    I have a high speed router do I still need high speed internet from my provider

  • TheRealPatriot

    Well whoever you talked to is a moron and has no idea what they are talking about. WiFi is not dependant on your provider but on your router and whether or not it has 1,2 or 3 bands.

  • only126db

    Your best bet would to be to dump Charter….

  • WiFiDude

    Most gigabit routers achieve gigabit speeds with hardware NAT acceleration or a software shortcut forwarding engine. Even relatively current models with dual core GHz CPU’s under the hood are dependent on these speed boosters to actually route traffic at near Giga bit speeds (actual performance is 700-900 – true gigabit is rare). These functions do not play together with quality of service or bandwidth limiting control options. So take a gigabit router and turn on QoS or bandwidth controls, and you no longer have a gigabit router (speed drops to ~200 Mbps are not uncommon). Check your router settings. If you don’t need bandwidth controls, turn them off if you want to maximize throughput speed. Also check your wifi settings. If you are running the wifi in “Mixed” mode that includes legacy 802.11b support, than slow 802.11b is all you’re going to get… N and G play together, so “NG” mixed is a good setting for 2.4 wifi to support older devices, but be careful supporting older standards you do not need.

  • Adam Bynum

    I currently have a Zyxel pk 5001z router and have upgraded to 40mbps internet, the fastest speed for my address, will my current modem handle it? Centurylink has told me I need to purchase a new modem. Is this true or are they simply trying to make a sale?

  • It’s hard to tell from the information I could find online, but it seems like it could handle 40 Mbps. I guess I would say to keep this modem and see how well it works. If it isn’t getting 40 Mbps then get a new one.

  • Ŝ๓Ӧǩ’M

    I currently have a TPLink TL-WR1043 ND v1 and I just upgraded my internet speed to 200mb. When I connect direct from modem to computer I get full speed on speedtest but when I connect router, the speed drops to 130mg. How can I fix this? Do I need to buy a new wireless router?

  • According to TP-Link’s site (https://www.tp-link.com/lk/products/details/cat-9_TL-WR1043ND.html) this router should be able to achieve 800+ Mbps throughput from the WAN to LAN, which basically means it should be able to support Internet speeds that fast. So your 200 Mbps should be well within the capacity of this router. However, if you are using devices that have older wireless radios, 130 Mbps may be their top speeds. Are you able to test with a device wired directly to the router? Assuming the wired tests show 130 Mbps, then there may be a misconfiguration in the router or the router is malfunctioning. Let us know what you find.

  • Ŝ๓Ӧǩ’M

    My desktop computer is connected to router (wired) and when I do
    a speedtest on line, speed is approx 130Mbps. But if I disconnect from the router and connect direct to modem then I get 200Mbps. I’m the only wired device connected to the router. If it’s a misconfiguration, maybe you can walk me through the process of fixing this problem. I never had problems with this router before. It seems like it’s not able to handle a 200Mbs internet connection and maxes out at 130 Mbps. I hope I am wrong here and also hope that this problem can fixed without me having to buy a new router.

  • Ariyan 420

    Hi Sir,
    Thanks for sharing the ideasss.
    News 24

  • The simplest thing to try would be to do a factory reset on the router so that it is back to default configurations. If it still doesn’t give you 200 Mbps, then I would suggest trying a different router to see if you can get 200 Mbps there. If you can’t borrow a router, purchase one from a store that has a good return policy so you can return it if it ends up that a new router does not fix the problem.

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