Troubleshooting Wi-Fi (wireless) network “link speed” issues at home


Hi everyone,

Last week, I was home teaching a virtual (remote) internal class, and Skype for business (SfB) kept on dropping VOIP and the desktop sharing intermittently.

When my other peers where sharing their desktop, I was able to hear loud and clear, and the desktop sharing was fine.

I was using a Lenovo Thinkpad W541 due to the amount of RAM (32GB) and the two (2x) 1 TB SSD’s I had in it for my Hyper-V lab.

The Lenovo Thinkpad W541 was a replacement for a Lenovo Thinkpad W530 that was 5 years old.

This Memorial Day weekend, I had a chance to look into it.  Here are my findings…


My ISP:  Frontier Communications FIOS (Used to be Verizon FIOS) w/ max. of 75 Mbps down and 75 Mbps up.

The wireless router: Actiontec MI424WR Rev1.
Lenovo Thinkpad W541 with an
Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 w/ Bluetooth


The tests were done from my living room.  The exception is on the last screen shot, where I went to the room that had the Actiontec MI424WR Rev1 Wireless Router.

Windows 10 1607 (Anniversary Edition, codename Redstone 1 (RS1)) Enterprise Edition.



Troubleshooting:

================

Going to http://speedtest.net, and these are the numbers that I’m getting:

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I’m getting 11.0 Mbps on the Lenovo Thinkpad W541 with an Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260.

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Sometimes it would drop down to 1.0 Mbps.

Powershell

Get-NetAdapter

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You could see the “LinkSpeed” is 1 Mbps.


Out of curiosity, I went to the Lenovo Thinkpad W530 with an Intel(R) Centrino(R) Ultimate-N 6300 AGN, and this is what I saw:

image

130 Mbps

http://speedtest.net results on the Lenovo Thinkpad W530 with an Intel(R) Centrino(R) Ultimate-N 6300 AGN:

image

which is quicker then my ‘newer’ laptop.


Step 0) Get some basic information about the network.

Start, CMD (Run As Admin)

netsh interface ip show config

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netsh interface ip show dnsservers

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netsh interface ip show ipstats

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netsh interface ip show tcpstats

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netsh interface ip show udpstats

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netsh wlan show networks

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My home network is called “C4QXH”.

netsh wlan show profiles

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C:\Windows\system32>netsh wlan show profiles name=C4QXH

Profile C4QXH on interface Wi-Fi:
=======================================================================

Applied: All User Profile

Profile information
-------------------
     Version                : 1
     Type                   : Wireless LAN
     Name                   : C4QXH
     Control options        :
         Connection mode    : Connect automatically
         Network broadcast  : Connect only if this network is broadcasting
         AutoSwitch         : Do not switch to other networks
         MAC Randomization  : Disabled

Connectivity settings
---------------------
     Number of SSIDs        : 1
     SSID name              : "C4QXH"
     Network type           : Infrastructure
     Radio type             : [ Any Radio Type ]
     Vendor extension          : Not present

Security settings
-----------------
     Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
     Cipher                 : CCMP
     Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
     Cipher                 : Unknown
     Security key           : Present

Cost settings
-------------
     Cost                   : Unrestricted
     Congested              : No
     Approaching Data Limit : No
     Over Data Limit        : No
     Roaming                : No
     Cost Source            : Default


netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid

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netsh wlan show interfaces

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I should be able to connect up to 130 Mbps for Link Speed

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Source:

Fix network connection issues in Windows 10

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10741/windows-10-fix-network-connection-issues

Result:

Nothing that stood out why the Link Speed was so low.


Step 1)  Checking to see what the biggest MTU size that my Wi-Fi router would allow


Result:

image

Which is not the issue.


Step 2)  Searching http://support.microsoft.com for Wi-Fi issues, I found:


Fix Wi‑Fi connection issues in Windows 10 Mobile
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14218/windows-10-mobile-fix-wi-fi-connection-issues



The article mentions about Bluetooth working on the same frequency as “Wi-Fi” and to disable it.

Since this Wi-FI NIC is a “Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 w/ Bluetooth”


Clicked on “Action Center”

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Clicked on the “Bluetooth (Not Connected)” icon to turn it off.

Result:

Ok a slight improvement:

image


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Step 3)  Searching the Technet Forums

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?forum=SurfaceSoftware,surfacehardware,win10itprohardware,w8itprohardware,w7itprohardware,itprovistahardware&filter=alltypes&brandIgnore=True&sort=relevancedesc&filter=alltypes&searchTerm=Slow+wi-fi


which lead to:

Windows 8.1 Troubleshooting: Fix WiFi Connectivity Issues

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/28176.windows-8-1-troubleshooting-fix-wifi-connectivity-issues.aspx


One of the items to try was to turn off the “Remote Differential Compression API Support”.

Start, CMD (Run As Admin)

AppWiz.cpl

Then click on “Turn Windows features on or off.”

image


Result:

No observable difference in the Link Speed.

I went ahead and put “Remote Differential Compression API Support” back in.


Step 4)  Searching our (Microsoft’s) and Lenovo’s website for wireless connection issues, there were some articles that mentioned to do the following:

NETSH INT TCP SET HEURISTICS DISABLED
NETSH INT TCP SET GLOBAL AUTOTUNINGLEVEL=DISABLED
NETSH INT TCP SET GLOBAL RSS-ENABLED


Before disabling or enabling anything, I wanted to see what the default settings were.

Start, CMD (Run As Admin)

netsh.exe interface tcp show global

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netsh.exe interface tcp show heuristics

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In Windows 10, “Heuristics” is already disabled.


NETSH INT TCP SET HEURISTICS DISABLED

NETSH INT TCP SET GLOBAL AUTOTUNINGLEVEL=DISABLED

NETSH INT TCP SET GLOBAL RSS=ENABLED

image

Source:

Windows 8.1 Troubleshooting: Fix WiFi Connectivity Issues
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/28176.windows-8-1-troubleshooting-fix-wifi-connectivity-issues.aspx


Frequently drop or intermittent wireless connection Window 7, 8 and 10
https://support.lenovo.com/ae/en/solutions/ht502846


Result:

It didn’t make any difference on the link speed.

I put everything back to the default:

NETSH INT TCP SET HEURISTICS ENABLED

NETSH INT TCP SET GLOBAL AUTOTUNINGLEVEL=NORMAL

NETSH INT TCP SET GLOBAL RSS=ENABLED

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Step 5)  Check the Network Adapter and Wireless Adapter settings for Power configurations.

My Power Options for the “Wireless Adapter Settings” was already set to “Maximum Performance” since I had opted for the “High Performance” Power Plan.

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Source:

Setting Wireless Adapter Power Management
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005879.html


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Unchecked the box for “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.
Clicked on OK.

Result:

It didn’t make any difference on the “LinkSpeed”.


Step 6)  I got tons of hits with searching the web with keywords "Intel Wireless-N 7260" slow

e.g.


Intel® Wireless-N 7260 - slows

https://communities.intel.com/thread/47983?start=285&tstart=0

It would have been easy to blame it on the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 but wait…

image

The driver that was installed its version 17.15.0.5 2/22/2015


Went to Lenovo’s website and downloaded the latest Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 w/ Bluetooth.

http://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-w-series-laptops/thinkpad-w541/downloads?linkTrack=Caps%3ABody_SearchProduct

The latest driver from Lenovo’s website is package version 19.50.1 that has a date of 4/13/2017.



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Checking the Driver version, it was version 18.33.6.2 that has a date of 2‎/19/‎2017.

Result:

It didn’t make any difference on the link speed.

Note:  It didn’t make any difference on the link speed, but I would still recommend you guys to update it, since it has fixes that were reported by others.  Caveat:  As anything, test it before you roll-it out.



Now, normally if you want support from your OEM hardware vendor, you are not going to install the hardware drivers from the OEM manufacturer.

For the sake of checking to see if there was a newer one and perhaps the fix for my issue, I turned to the one from Intel’s website which has a newer package version 19.60.0 that has a date of 5/16/2017.

Source:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/75439/Intel-Dual-Band-Wireless-AC-7260


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Checking the Driver version, it was version 18.33.7.2 that has a date of 4/5/2017.

Result:  It didn’t make any difference on the link speed.

I uninstalled and went back to Lenovo’s latest Wi-Fi driver.  Which kept me supported by them.



Step 7) 

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Advanced Intel® Wireless Adapter Settings

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005585.html

TechNote: Access Point Interoperability Issue with uAPSD
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005615.html

TechNote: Data Reordering Issue Causing Sporadic Wireless Disconnects
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005661.html

Wireless Disconnect Followed by Inability to Detect Any Networks
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005875.html

Windows® 10 and Supported Intel® Wireless Adapter Protocols
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000021562.html



Looking at my "Link Speed”:


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After these changes, it’s better at 52 to 54 Mbps but not the ideal of 130+ Mbps

Speedtest results when the Link Speed is at 52 Mpbs:

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If I go to the room where the Wireless router is, it becomes better at 65 Mbps to 78 Mbps.


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Speedtest results when the Link Speed is at 78 Mpbs:

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Note:  The speeds will vary depending on the ‘host’ that http://speedtest.net is hitting.


At this point, it would have been ‘easy’ to point the fingers on the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 wireless NIC but…


Speaking with my peer Jacob who also has a Lenovo Thinkpad W541 w/ the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 wireless NIC.


He was getting the following LinkSpeed:

image

Yeap, 243 to 300 Mbps on the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 wireless NIC.

Which is not even near what my Lenovo W530 with the Intel(R) Centrino(R) Ultimate-N 6300 AGN is able to achieve.


The difference is, instead of the Actiontec MI424WR Rev1 he has a wireless router that supports 5Ghz channels.  While the wireless router that I got from my ISP doesn’t.


The lesson learned here is, if and when you get the latest Wireless NIC, make sure that your Wireless router also is capable of taking advantage of the new Wireless NIC.


I’ll make a follow-up post when I get my new Wireless router with my new “Link Speed” numbers.



Advanced troubleshooting:

==================

Troubleshooting Wireless LAN Connections

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd569141(v=vs.85).aspx



More information about the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth:

===================================================

Intel® Wireless Products Selection Guide
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/wireless-product-selection-guide.html

Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 BGN with Bluetooth*: Product Brief
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-n-7260-bluetooth-brief.html

"Max Speed  300/867 Mbps"
Source:
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
http://ark.intel.com/products/75439/Intel-Dual-Band-Wireless-AC-7260

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED*  802.11agn
Source:
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260 - Product specification
http://ark.intel.com/products/75440/Intel-Dual-Band-Wireless-N-7260

"Delivers dramatically faster Wi-Fi speeds (up to 867 Mbps1) than 802.11n"
Source:
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth®
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-7260-bluetooth.html

Intel makes different versions of the 7260 adapter.

The wireless ac versions are: 7260HMW, 7260NGW, and 7260SDW
The dual band wireless n with bluetooth versions are: 7260HMW AN and 7260NGW AN.
The wireless n (no bluetooth) versions are: 7260HMW NB and 7260NGW NB
The wireless n with bluetooth versions are: 7260HMW BN and 7260NGW BN

PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_08B2&SUBSYS_C2708086&REV_BB\4&65BB5C0&0&00E1
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_08B2&SUBSYS_C2708086

// Mine is a dualband w/ bluetooth which is version 7260HMW AN or 7260NGW AN.


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