Following some of the advice on these boards, I have just purchased a Edimax Wireless Adaptor to connect a desktop PC to our Home Hub2. Both are supposedly wireless 'N' compliant. Installation of the USB hub was straightforward and I was soon connected. However, the status of the connection says the speed is only 54Mbps (far short of the 'up to 300Mbps' advertised). Yet my wife's laptop connecting to the same hub shows 130Mbps. Is there anything else that we need to do to be able to increase the speed? What is the maximum that I can expect?
Probably one of the experts may comment in more detail in due course.
My understanding is the rates mentioned for the wireless link have nothing to do with the line synchronisation rate on the twisted pair to the exchnage. Don't forget the radio link is working in the 2.5 GHz band, which can handle that sort of modulation rate, but you will not get that on twisted copper pairs running in a bundle with others! I have a USB LAN adapter 802.11n compliant which I use on a laptop, it is rated as up to 54 Mbps, but my line rate on the HomeHub2 is only 12,000-15,000 kbps.
The Edimax 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter (http://www.shop.bt.com/products/edimax-300mbps-wireless-n-usb-adapter-79FN.html) states "You can enjoy high data transfer rate at up to 300Mbps when your Edimax EW-7622UMn USB adapter is connected with wireless 802.11n-compatible devices". The Page for the Home hub states "The BT Home Hub 2.0 (including the BT Infinity version) and BT Home Hub 3 use "802.11n", or "11n" wireless technology". The adaptor was chosen from the list of devices that came up from the list describing adaptors that would work with the hone hub (www.bt.com/shop/adapter). I, therefore, assume that it can handle wireless 'n' technology. Have I been sold a dud, or is there something else I must do? Or will it actually make any difference if the speed between the router and the local exchange is slow?
A quick scan with Google gives a many sites that describe the speed of your wireless connection, such as
5 Ways To Fix Slow 802.11n Speed
Why is my wireless connection so slow?
How do I determine the capabilities of my wireless network adapter?
Introduction to 2.4 GHz
I think it is clear from these that if you are operating a home network where the PCs, printers, etc., are linked by the wireless adapters, or cards, then you may see a significant "speed" of file sharing between them on the radio network than you would sending the file(s) onto the public wired network. The fact that ADSL 2+ allows very fast data transmission ( up to ca 20+ Mbps) over a pair of old, twisted copper wires is because of very clever mathematical techniques in data modulation - see http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/21cn.htm.
I don't see that you have a dud adaptor, it is designed to transfer data at the design rate under specified conditions. The fact that the file you wish to send then has to go down the twisted copper pair to the exchange will slow everything down. If you are fortunate enough to have a fibre optic link into the house then you may well achieve somewhat more than I get. However, since your data needs to be shared with every other user sending data to the exchange, then you will still be limited.
In the vicinity of your home wireless network there are practical ways of improving your effective speed such as checking there is no interference on the channels used either in-house or from neighbours, you have maximised the signals, etc.
Thanks everyone for the replies. However, I'm not sure that I am really any better informed. Both the PC and the laptop are running Windows 7. If I click on the wireless signal on each and select Status, the Wireless Network Connection Status dialog box states that the speed is 130Mbps for the laptop but only 54Mbps for the PC. I'd simply like to know why.
AFAIAA the PC does not have a network card - which is why I bought a USB adaptor. One that I thought was capable of wireless N.