Windows – Slow file transfer on network between two 802.11n laptops (connected directly together via access point)

file-sharingnetwork-shareswindows 8wireless-access-pointwireless-networking

Me and my friend have both two exact the same laptops, bought from the same shop at the same day and I decided one day to go wireless because I forgot my ethernet cable to the LAN party (with a few other laptops but this question will be specifically about these two laptops).

I downloaded connectify, a tool which utilizes the windows netsh features to create a Wireless Accesspoint from my laptop.

Both laptops have a Realtek RTL8723AE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC and the same, newest and updated drivers running on Windows 8 with a Core i7-3630QM (2.4-3.2ghz 8 logical cores / 4 physical) Processor and 8gb 1600mhz RAM.

From what I know the 802.11n technology has a theoretical speed limit around 300 Mbps ( 37.5 MB/s). Yet the speed achieved when directly sharing a file from the first laptop to the second laptop is 16 Mbps ( 2 MB/s ). This is an utilization of ~5% and not even near the speed of 802.11g, not to mention 802.11n…

  • Where is my remaining 95% of the speed 802.11n offers?
  • Why is the connection so slow?
  • Is the 300 Mbps speed of 802.11n just a big marketing scam?

I also tried following this tutorial but the results were exactly the same.

The gigabit ethernet works really nice, we get speeds around 75MB/s ( 600 Mbps ) [peak: 115 MB/s].

Also, please note: the laptops aren't even 1 meter from each other and no other devices were connected to the network access point.

The netsh wlan show hostednetwork command, as requested, shows:

C:\windows\system32>netsh wlan show hostednetwork

Hosted network settings
    Mode                   : Allowed
    SSID name              : "xxxxxxx"
    Max number of clients  : 20
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : CCMP

Hosted network status
    Status                 : Started
    BSSID                  : 20:68:9d:59:65:94
    Radio type             : 802.11n
    Channel                : 13
    Number of clients      : 0

My friend came over with his laptop and I took a screen of my laptop stuff:
enter image description here
And suprisingly, a screenshot from my friends laptop:
enter image description here
The speed stated is 54Mbps (we achieve ~28 Mbps in the screenshot), however in our driver configuration we have both 20/40mhz bands enabled and n mode too.. I cannot think of a reason why the network would choose the slower variants.

Is there a way to fix this?

Best Answer

  • Generally speaking, using TCP-IP, you can reach 60% of the protocol speed - mainly due to wireless- and other protocol overheads.

    You can see that your wireless speed is 54Mbps and you're getting 3MB/sec which equates roughly to 30Mbps - which is 60% of the protocol speed so that is about the maximum throughput you'll see.

    There are several problems which could be causing your computers to not connect that the full speed of 108Mbps, 150Mbps or 300Mbps.

    • Chipset incompatibilities
    • Firmware incompatibilities
    • Incompatible Wireless settings
    • Wireless Noise

    Also, you're running a "hidden" OS functionality - I'm surprised it even works.

    Generally speaking the majority of chipsets out there are either Atheros-, Broadcom- or Intel based; I've never really personally seen Realtek-anything shine.

    I'm fairly sure that if you both connected to a properly configured Wireless Access Point with a similar chipset, you would get better throughput; 18MB/sec will be around the theoretical maximum throughput for all Wi-Fi devices sharing the same 50 sq m or so space around you, combined, though.

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