Networking – Why is the router wireless slow? How to fix slow wireless download speed? (Netgear R6200)

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I have a NetGear R6200v2 router and my connection is slow. I get 65 Mbps download speed direct to the cable modem, and the same when using a wired connection. But over wireless I only get 18 Mbps.

What's wrong? How can I fix this?

Best Answer

Sifting through hundreds of old forum posts is not fun. So: here is what I did, for future reference.

  • Update cable modem firmware. Call your ISP and ask them to push a firmware update to your cable modem. If you already have max download speed on a wired connection, you may not need to do this. But it should set you up for the best possible speed.
  • Update your router firmware. The process varies by model.
    • For my Netgear 6200 you can do Advanced -> Router Update -> Check
  • Disable 2.4 GHz if you don't need it. This depends on the space you need to broadcast to, and what devices you use. But if you have a small space and newer devices, you may not need it.
  • Disable "20 Hz/40 Hz compatibility mode"
    • For Netgear 6200 this is: Advanced -> Advanced Setup -> Wireless Settings -> "Enable 20/40 MHz Coexistence"
  • Enable WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia) settings
    • For Netgear 6200: Advanced -> Setup -> QoS Setup -> "Enable WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia)"
  • Select the right WiFi channel. I used my phone and a wireless scanner app to see which channels were the best nearby. I kept changing channels and running a speed test until I found one that worked the best. For me it ended up being the highest channel, but your case may vary.

Strangely: when I did tests before updating the router firmware, turning WMM off actually made the wireless speed improve, but only from 16 Mbps to 18 Mbps. Once I updated the firmware, turning WMM on was much better, jumping from 26 Mbps to 64 Mbps.

Hope this helps someone else!