Here is my setup:
Samsung ATIV 9 Plus ultrabook computer (model NP940X3G K04US) running Windows 8.1 with all available Microsoft updates.
Computer has Intel 7260NGW AN wireless network card.
Comcast Arris TG862 cable modem/router - outputs 802.11n 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi (not dual band).
Cradlepoint MBR1000 Router (with version 2.0 firmware) - outputs 802.11n 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi (not dual band). Connected to the Comcast router via an Ethernet cable.
My Comcast internet connection gives me 120 Mbps download speeds when connected to a computer using an Ethernet cable.
Using the Samsung laptop connected via Wi-Fi to the Comcast router I get download speeds of about 23 Mbps using www.speedtest.net.
Using the Samsung laptop connected via Wi-Fi to the Cradlepoint router I get download speeds of about 70 Mbps using www.speedtest.net.
Using a Dell laptop connected via Wi-Fi to the Comcast router I get download speeds of about 80 Mbps using www.speedtest.net.
The laptops are about 3' from both of the routers.
The Samsung laptop is using Intel version 188.8.131.52 drivers for the 7260NGW AN network adapter (latest available that I can find)
The advanced settings for the 7260 are as follows:
802.11n Channel Width for 2.4 Ghz - Auto
802.11n Channel Width for 5.2 Ghz - Auto
Ad Hoc Channel 802.11 b/g - 1
Ad Hoc QoS Mode - Wmm Disabled
ARP offload for WoWLAN - Disabled
Bluetooth(R) AMP - Enabled
Fat Channel Intolerant - Disabled
GTK rekeying for WoWLAN - Enabled
HT Mode - HT Mode
Mixed Mode Protection - CTS-to-self Enabled
NS offload for WoWLAN - Enabled
Packet Coalescing - Enabled
Preferred Band - 2. Prefer 2.4 Ghz band
Roaming Aggressiveness - 5. Highest
Sleep on WoWLAN Disconnect - Disabled
Transmit Power - 5. Highest
U-APSD support - Disabled
Wake on Magic Packet - Disabled
Wake on Pattern Match - Disabled
Wireless Mode - 6. 802.11 a/b/g
I have tried various versions of the Intel drivers going back to the 15 series and still get the same results. I have also tried the Microsoft drivers that are supplied with Windows 8.1 - still no improvement. I have also tried a variety of advanced settings for the 7260, still with no change in speeds when connected to the Comcast router.
Can anyone from Intel help me figure out why I am getting significantly slower download speeds when connected to my Comcast router as compared to my Cradlepoint router?
Unfortunately I have no control over how the Comcast router/modem is configured. The menu screens provided by the router do not allow any modification of those parameters.
Another thing that I forgot to mention is that I also have a Dell laptop and when it is connected to the same Comcast router via Wi-Fi it consistently gets about 80 Mbps download speeds. (The Dell uses an Intel Centrino Wireless-n 1000 network adapter.)
Also, I have connected an external Trendnet wireless adapter to the Samsung laptop and using that instead of the 7260 the same laptop gets about 80 Mbps download speeds when connected to the Comcast router via Wi-Fi.
jferris33, did you verify the security settings used with both, the laptop and the router?
http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/4965agn/sb/cs-025643.htm Intel WiFi Products — Data rate will not exceed 54 Mbps when WEP or TKIP encryption is configured
You may also check with the internet provider regarding http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/CS-006321.htm firmware updates for the router.
The security settings are the same in all cases - WPA2 PSK-AES
The firmware on the Comcast router is the latest version, ditto for the Cradlepoint.
I have just updated to version 184.108.40.206 of the Intel drivers for the 7260NGW AN.
There is a new parameter in the Advanced settings called Throughput Booster.
My speeds using the new driver are as follows (all advanced parameters are the same as above and security settings are all WPA2 PSK-AES):
With Throughput booster enabled and connecting to the Comcast router as above my download speed varies between about 15 Mbps and 35 Mbps.
With Throughput booster disabled and connecting to the Comcast router as above my download speed also varies between about 15 Mbps and 35 Mbps.
Connecting to the Cradlepoint router my download speed is consistently 80 Mbps with Throughput booster disabled or enabled.
In other words, the new driver does not fix the problem of slower speeds connecting to my Comcast router compared to my Cradlepoint router.
It is recommended to disable channel bonding for the 2.4 GHz band if there are multiple surrounding networks.
http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/sb/cs-025343.htm Wireless Networking — How to configure 802.11n channel bonding on Intel Wireless adapters
Thanks for the reply and suggestion.
I just tried disabling the 2.4 GHz band channel bonding. When connected to the Comcast router I get about 15 Mbps download speeds.
I also tried connecting to my Cradlepoint router (sitting right next to the Comcast router) and get about 50 Mbps download speeds with channel bonding disabled and about 74 Mbps with channel bonding enabled.
My routers are located in a private residence in a rural area with no other Wi-Fi signals nearby.
One thing that I should mention about the Comcast gateway - it puts out three Wi-Fi signals, all on the same channel. One is the normal SSID that is used for connecting to the router by the user of the router. A second signal has an SSID of XFINITY and is used by Comcast to make Wi-Fi hotspots available to other people who can pick up the signal and have a Comcast account (this is something that Comcast has been rolling out this year and is now available across the country). The third signal has no SSID (hidden network) and is also on the same channel as the other two (channel 11 in my case) - so far I have not been able to determine the reason or use of this third signal.
Comcast does not allow the end user to control these "extra" Wi-Fi signals. The only thing that I can do from my end is to determine the channel used (all three always use the same channel). Since there are literally millions of these Comcast devices across the country it is something that Intel needs to learn how to deal with with their network adapters (both hardware and software).
As mentioned in my initial message, the Gateway device that I have is manufactured by Arris and is model TC862.
My Intel 7260NGW AN has no problem at all with my Cradlepoint router - good connectivity, never drops the signal and excellent download speeds. It doesn't seem to matter at all which Intel driver I use, all of them seem to work fine with the Cradlepoint router.
So, it is possible that those other signals can be saturating the same Wi-Fi channel. It is a bad thing that there is no way to get access or control over the router settings, or to know if those signals are affecting diversity somehow.
http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/CS-025361.htm Intel® Wi-Fi Products — How does wireless diversity work?
I was able to get Comcast to turn off one of the "extra" signals (the XFINITY hotspot) so now there are two instead of three signals.
I retested using my Samsung laptop with the Intel 7260NGW AN network adapter and still get the same results - about 15 Mbps download speeds.
I also testing using my Dell XPS Laptop with an Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000 network adapter and consistently get download speeds about 77 Mbps.
In addition, I have an iPad 2 and tested using that device and get download speeds of about 35 Mbps.
All three computer are sitting within a few feet of each other and are all no more than 6' from the Comcast Gateway device.
So it appears that only the 7260 is having problems with the Comcast Gateway Wi-Fi signal, both of the other computers get significantly faster download speeds from the same device.
An update to my last note - I was able to get Comcast to turn off both of the "extra" Wi-Fi signals. Turns out the hidden (no SSID) signal is used for household security products that Comcast sells which I don't use so they turned it off along with the previously mentioned XFINITY "hotspot" signal. So I now have just one Wi-Fi signal coming from the Comcast Gateway on channel 11.
The bad news is that my Samsung laptop with the Intel 7260NGW AN network adapted still gets poor download speed from the Comcast Gateway device. My Dell laptop and iPad both get good download speeds from the same Comcast Gateway device.
Another update - I noticed that when I start up my Samsung laptop with the Intel 7260 wireless adapter after it has been powered off that the wireless adapter is not working. Looking in the device manager I see that it is reporting for that device that "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (code 43)".
This is a consistent error that began after I updated the driver for the 7260 to version 17.1.0) and happens every time that I start the laptop after it has been powered off.
I decided to roll back my driver for the 7260 to the previous version (220.127.116.11) and the problem now does not occur. Looks like there is an issue with the newer driver (17.1.0).
Perhaps you prefer contacting Intel Customer Support for further assistance.
Phone: 1-916-377-7000, Monday – Friday, 07:00 to 17:00 (US Pacific Time)
http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support Intel Customer Support