I recently bought the Dell Precision 5520 with the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8265. It so happens that I also have an older Dell Latitude 3550 that has the Intel Dual band Wireless card 7265. I have run a set of comparison speed test between the 2 different machines and the Precision with the Intel 8265 has significantly/dratically slower download speeds than the Latitude 3550 with the Intel 7265; like 50-90% slower download speeds in the newer laptop!!
With Dells assistance I got the latest drivers for the 8265 and the Precision is now equal to or a bit faster than the 7265 except when there is a slight distance from the laptop to the router! When I am about 20-30 feel away from the router then there is a huge difference with the 7265 having much much faster download speed than the newer Precision with the 8265! This is very discouraging as I like to watch Netflix in bed but the Precision has trouble with very slow speeds of 3-7 Mbps as compared to the Latitude which gets download speeds in the bedroom around 20-25 Mbps!
Dell is unsure how to improve my situation except to install a new Network card and antennas!
Any suggestions, recommendations and/or guidance?
We've moved your thread over to our Wireless Networking Support Community.
We understand you're having wireless range issues on your new Dell* laptop using our Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 adapter.
Based on your description, it seems possible for this to be an antenna issue. Such as defective or lose antenna connector. Would opening your laptop to look for the wireless adapter be possible? We wouldn't want you to void your warranty.
In the meantime, we would like to take a look at your system configuration and settings. To do so, please download and run our https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25293/Intel-System-Support-Utility Intel® System Support Utility. Once you've scanned your system, choose to save the report.
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THANKS so much for your response!!! I appreciate your suggestion that it could be an antenna issue; especially since Dell is organizing to send a technician to replace the Network card and the antennas!
As per you request, I did run the Intel System Support Utility and I have attached the report. I hope I did this correctly?
I look forward to your future responses and suggestions.
Thank you for this report. We're glad to hear that a technician will be coming around soon to look at your hardware.
Looking at the report you shared we noticed the following:
1. Your connection rate is 43.3 Mbps, with a signal strenght of 60%.
2. You're connected to a legacy Wireless-N network.
3. You're using the 2.4 GHz frequency on channel 1.
This supports our theory that your wireless antennas are either defective or loose, although it could still be a defective wireless adapter. On the plus side, we can expect this to be addressed by the Dell* Tech once they get their hands on your laptop.
Once this is fixed, you should notice a dramatic improvement on your download speeds and wireless range. However, there are other things we also play a (smaller) part:
1. Wireless-N (802.11n) is a 2007 standard. In computer years, 10 years is a long time. We recommend upgrading to a Wireless-AC (802.11ac) capable router or access point.
2. In a wireless-N network, your adapter's maximum connection rate is 300 Mbps. If you upgrade to wireless-AC, this number goes up to 867 Mbps.
3. The 2.4 GHz frequency has more penetration and range, so if there are a lot of walls between you and your router, this is the way to go. On the downside, this frequency is more susceptible to interference generated by a lot of things commonly found in all of our homes.
4. If you choose the 5GHz frequency, you'll notice better speeds and much less interference. But this band has a shorter range, and will suffer more if there are lots of walls in between.
5. Sometimes manually choosing a different wireless channel can make a big difference.
The following articles provide more helpful information than what I'm able to fit into one post:
NOTE: Any links provided for third party tools or sites are offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel® of the content, products, or services offered there. We do not offer support for any third party tool mentioned here.
- https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/80211ac-wifi-for-dummies.html 802.11ac Wi-Fi for Dummies - Silly title, great and simple source of information.
- http://packetworks.net/blog/common-causes-of-wifi-interference Common causes of WiFi Interference - by packetworks.net
- https://www.extremetech.com/computing/179344-how-to-boost-your-wifi-speed-by-choosing-the-right-chan... How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Speed by Choosing the Right Channel - by extremetech.com
With these points in mind, we can recommend making the following changes:
1. (https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000005585.html How-to) Access your advanced adapter settings.
2. HT Mode: for enhanced compatibility with a wireless-N router, set to HT Mode. For Wireless-AC networks, set to VHT Mode.
3. Roaming Aggressiveness: If you mostly use this PC at home, set to 1. Lowest. If you use it at work or use wireless hot-spots frequently, set to 2. Medium-low.
4. Any setting with "WoWLAN," or "Wake on...": set to Disabled.
5. Your Bluetooth® and Wireless drivers are separate. Make sure that you're also using the latest Bluetooth® drivers: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26944/Intel-Wireless-Bluetooth-Software-for-Windows-10?v=t Intel® Wireless Bluetooth® Technology.
Depending on what changes the technician makes, you may need to re-apply these settings after they're done. However, if you want to share an update and a new System Support Utility report then, we'll be more than glad to take another look and make new suggestions.
I am extremely grateful for your time and expertise! THANKS!!
The technician was just here and sadly, either a new network card and/or a new antennae made no difference at all! It is the same problem that speeds are good until there is a slight distance and/or wall. Then the 8265 performs significantly slower that the 7265! I am 100% frustrated to find myself in this situation given how expensive the Precision 5520 cost me!
The technician was of the opinion that Dell has a design problem with the placement of its antennae. The Precision has an "infinity" screen with no bezel. Since it has no bezel they then put the antennae at the bottom of the screen rather than the more common placement at the time of screen, under the bezel. He claims this is a design problem and that there is not part-replacement to fix this!
I am not in a position of knowledge in order to evaluate the technician assessment/hypothesis. In todays world it is possible that Dell sells a very expensive business-oriented laptop with a design flaw. But this does not help me to solve the problem! :-(
The technician, who may or may not really have expertise, was convinced that getting Comcast to upgrade the modem/router should make a HUGE difference. If I understood Comcast correctly over the phone, they now use a modem/router the Arris 1682, that communicates with the Network card to determine the best frequency for the signal, either the 2.4 vs the 5.0 GHZ. He also suggested I place the router in a more central location in the house.
Once again I am not able to determine if this is crap or in fact knowledge-based statements/predictions. One of the articles you suggested does seem to say that 5.0 GHZ can improve speed and performance. Again, I have no idea but it makes sense to let my Intel card and the router determine the best frequencies for my situation.
Finally, I could return the machine totally or just buy a range extender and move it into my bedroom for watching Netflix. Do range extenders operate on 2.4 or 5 frequency or do they adapt to what is best under the circumstances?
How does one manually choose a wireless channel?
Any and a all feedback from you will be appreciated.
Thanks so much for your time and professionalism
Personally, if there is a design flaw on a computer I just purchased, and this flaw is directly affecting how I used said computer, I would consider returning it and purchasing something else.
However, we're not familiar enough with the design layout nor the particular antennas that your computer manufacturer chose to integrate with our adapter to be able to confirm this diagnosis. Reading some online reviews of your workstation we didn't find any mention of WiFi issues, but perhaps nobody tested wireless range specifically.
We can definitely agree on their recommendation for you to upgrade to a newer router. Although, since range is an issue for you, we would recommend a Wireless-AC model featuring external antennas, if possible. You're currently using a legacy router, so upgrading to a newer model should make an noticeable difference on both computers. The same way that a highway will get you there faster than a country road, only there is no scenic routes with computers.
It's never good to have too many walls between you and your router. Because of this, having your router placed in a more central, less hidden location is generally a good tip. Wireless extenders are also good, because they simply mirror and extend your router's signals (both frequencies and speed-wise), but are sometimes not the most user friendly to set up.
Our best recommendation in this case will be to make the smaller, simpler changes first and work your way up:
1. Start by moving your router closer to where you use the computers.
2. If this doesn't help, upgrade to a new router Wireles-AC Router. You can never have too many antennas, but two external ones should be enough.
3. If none of this helps, then return the computer and buy one with better wireless capabilities.
Looking at your laptop's technical specifications, it seems like a well built machine. Our Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 adapter is also top of the line. We definitely hope that these suggestions help, but if not, we do hope your next one also has Intel® inside.
Just because there's WiFi everywhere you turn, doesn't make it any less daunting of a subject to dive into. If you have any questions, don't hessitate to let us know. We'll always do our best to help.