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Internet Speed Vs. LAN Speed

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, I've Always Wanted To Know...

Jim from Maine asks:

How does a 150 mpbs speed router increase my speed if I’m only getting a 20 mbps speed from my cable internet carrier?

Jim, that is an excellent question!

These numbers actually represent what is called throughput. This is the amount of data transferred between places in a specific amount of time. In this case, Mbps = megabits per second. What you want to remember is that there are several factors in determining your actual throughput. The two big ones you want to look at are your Wireless LAN speed and your Wired Internet speed.

Wireless LAN – LAN stands for local area network. This means all the devices connected to the wireless within your home.  If you are transferring between a wireless laptop and a wireless printer, you will get a potentially faster transfer rate than over your Internet connection. This is the 150 Mpbs throughput.

Wired Internet – This is the maximum speed determined by your service provider. It’s the wired connection that comes into your house and into your modem/router supplied by your service provider. This is the 20 Mpbs throughput you are asking about.

Another thing that can affect the actual throughput would be your wireless adapters. Older adapters may only support wireless g or b, but wireless n is much faster.  Wireless g can cap out at around 54 Mbps, but wireless n can go up to 300 Mbps or higher and provides a greater range than the previous bands.

Also keep in mind the higher the throughput, the better connection you will have with multiple devices. You’ll have more throughput to “split” between the devices. This can also have an effect on the range of your devices’ wireless connection.

So while over the ‘Net, you may not see any higher than the 20 Mbps your provider offers, there are certainly advantages to having higher throughput if you use multiple devices over a local network.

– Audra

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4 Responses to “Internet Speed Vs. LAN Speed”

  1. Corinne Larimore says:

    My biggest concern is security. I have Microsoft work on my computer remotely when I have problems and unfortunately, they’re not as good as I thought they would be.

    They’re spread out all over the world just like all the others … Costa Rica, the Philippines, India, etc., and some of them act like someone just sat them down in front of a computer and said have at it.

    With Wi-Fi I worry about security as Microsoft only uses Windows Defender Plus for my security and virus protection. I read some place if you had a really good Wi-Fi connection, that it also would enable your security issues too. That’s why I was interested in getting the best Wi-Fi setup I could get.


  2. […] thing to note is that changing to wireless ac is not going to speed up your Internet speed, but rather your wireless transfer speeds for things such video streaming between devices and file […]

  3. John honsaker says:

    A person’s home network can only go as fast as the slowest adapter. E.G. if yoù hàve five devices hooked up to ýour home network and 4 are working with 300MHz adapters and 1 old g type adapter at 10 MHz they will all operate at 10MHz.

    • Russell Skinner says:

      You, sir, are not really correct. You need to clarify you are only speaking about WIRELESS connections, not wired. Also this is only true for extremely old “B” cards. G, N, AC all can mix and match nicely.

      Further wireless operates on 2.4 or 5 ghz. there are no 300MHZ or 10MHZ adapters that have ever existed.

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