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Old 06-08-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
thund3rstruck
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Wireless is sssslllooowww....


I'm hoping someone can give me some pointers. I'm working with a new Dell Laptop and I've noticed that while running Linux (which I'd like to do 100% of the time) my wireless network connection is so slow that its basically unusable.

When I go to YouTube, it takes several minutes just to start playing a video and when it does it sits at buffering every few seconds. I thought maybe there was some kind of problem with my NetGear N Router so I booted into Windows 7 and suddenly the connection is fast as lightening. No buffering or anything. I'm getting between 2-4 MBps on Windows 7 but only 250KBps - 500KBps on Linux. I've also noticed that in Windows I always have 100% signal strength but in Linux I almost never get above 60% signal strength.

This is an Intel Centrino Wireless N 1030 embedded wireless adapter.

I started with Slackware64 and moved to OpenSuSe64 and both had the same result.

Please help me work this out because its driving me insane!
 
Old 06-10-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
syg00
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Probably a driver issue. I had similar with a 3945 years ago - ifconfig showed truckloads of errors.
iwlwifi should support that chip - what does "lshw -c network" show for your driver ?.
 
Old 06-11-2012, 07:22 AM   #3
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Probably a driver issue. I had similar with a 3945 years ago - ifconfig showed truckloads of errors.
iwlwifi should support that chip - what does "lshw -c network" show for your driver ?.
Thanks for the reply. Please bear with me, the wireless on this Linux laptop is so it literally takes 20 minutes just to get onto this site and post a reply. The connection is so slow in fact that hitting the post reply button will result in 2 or 3 page timeouts before I finally get a response from the server.

This machine is SuSe so no lshw but here is some equivilent info:

Code:
dellsuse:~ # dmesg | grep -i wireless
[   12.046778] Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link AGN driver for Linux, in-tree:d
[   12.047065] iwlagn 0000:09:00.0: Detected Intel(R) Centrino(R) Wireless-N 1030 BGN, REV=0xB0
Code:
dellsuse:~ # hwinfo
...
58: None 00.0: 1070a WLAN
  [Created at net.124]
  Unique ID: AYEt.QXn1l67RSa1
  Parent ID: y9sn.YRYy5AacvqC
  SysFS ID: /class/net/wlan0
  SysFS Device Link: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.3/0000:09:00.0
  Hardware Class: network interface
  Model: "WLAN network interface"
  Driver: "iwlagn"
  Driver Modules: "iwlagn"
  Device File: wlan0
  HW Address: 4c:eb:42:71:93:f0
  Link detected: yes
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #29 (WLAN controller)
Code:
dellsuse:~ # iwconfig
wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"BAILEYSOFT"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.427 GHz  Access Point: 74:44:01:93:61:E0   
          Bit Rate=150 Mb/s   Tx-Power=15 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:on
          Link Quality=68/70  Signal level=-42 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:2770  Invalid misc:42   Missed beacon:0
The Wireless router is a NetGear WNDR3800 a/b/g/n router. It has 2 SSIDs, one for 2/4GHZ and one for 5GHZ (a/n only). Configured for WPA2-PSK (AES) 300 Mbps.

While booted into Windows 7 the speeds are blazingly fast on the N network. I don't necessarily need Linux to match the Windows N wifi speed but I need it to at least function, rather than taking 30 seconds to load every page and timing out every couple of postbacks.

... sigh..

Last edited by thund3rstruck; 06-11-2012 at 08:05 AM.
 
Old 06-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
syg00
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My memory must be failing. Just had a look at my "notes" wiki:
Quote:
01 Feb 2012:
Added /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi.conf for a dropout issue introduced with
3.2.2 kernel. Contents are:
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=1
Interesting, no ???.
It's still there, despite I am now on a 3.3.7 (Fedora 16) kernel.

I'll drop it out later and do some more testing.
 
Old 06-11-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
My memory must be failing. Just had a look at my "notes" wiki:
Interesting, no ???.
It's still there, despite I am now on a 3.3.7 (Fedora 16) kernel.

I'll drop it out later and do some more testing.
I'm highly grateful for any assistance you can give... I did notice that iwlist shows my SSID as Encryption Key: off, even though the access point uses WPA2-PSK [AES]? Not sure what that's about or if it has any impact on the dialup speeds I'm getting from my N router on this Linux machine but just thought I toss it out there.

The connectivity is fine, it's just that the speeds are so slow that I just can't use Linux on this machine since its always connected to a wireless network. It did occur to me that this is a brand new Dell machine so perhaps I might just have to wait for Linux to catch up if by chance the Intel Wireless N chipset isn't supported yet.
 
Old 06-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
syg00
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I wonder if its related to that power magament being on - have a read of this thread.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 07:56 AM   #7
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
I wonder if its related to that power magament being on - have a read of this thread.
Hmm... this is interesting! I use this machine at night in bed with my wife and I never use it while plugged in (whats the point of a laptop if it has to be plugged in!). I will try this tonight to see if the speed increases while plugged in and if so I might be closer to getting this resolved!
 
Old 06-14-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
thund3rstruck
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Well the results are quite striking...

While the laptop is plugged into the wall:
Code:
Ping: 16ms
Download: 25.26 Mbps
Upload: 5.66 Mbps
When the power plug is unplugged:
Code:
Ping: 951 ms
Download: 0.06 Mbps
Upload: 0.44 Mbps
I have seen the same result on three separate Linux distributions. Anyone have any ideas how to fix this on openSuSe 12.1?
 
Old 06-16-2012, 11:06 PM   #9
thund3rstruck
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Anyone....? I'm just about at the breaking point here. Surely lots of other Linux laptop users have this problem...
 
Old 08-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #10
SouthernRoots
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I don't want to re-open an old thread but this is the only case I have found that perfectly match with my case.

thund3rstruck, did you solve your centrino 1030 wifi issues?? How are you dealing with it on OpenSUSE?
 
Old 08-21-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernRoots View Post
I don't want to re-open an old thread but this is the only case I have found that perfectly match with my case.
thund3rstruck, did you solve your centrino 1030 wifi issues?? How are you dealing with it on OpenSUSE?
Unfortunately this is one of those rare cases where I can't figure it out and no one is even willing to acknowledge the problem exists. I have posted on the Novell forums and LQ Forums and I've even reached out to the various linux channels on FreeNode IRC. I found some related posts on a Arch forum but it didn't work for me.

I'm at a loss really. I've tried Slackware, OpenSuSe, Ubuntu, and Fedora and they all have the same symptoms. Unplug the AC Adapter and your network speed drops so low that you can't use it anymore.

So, I'm back on Windows 7. Every now and then when I'm somewhere that I'm gonna be plugged in for a while I'll boot into Linux. It really upsets me because in the past I have always dedicated old hardware for Linux and this was the first time that I specifically purchased a brand new top of the line machine exclusively for Linux.
 
Old 08-22-2012, 11:29 AM   #12
SouthernRoots
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thund3rstruck, did you try changing the kernel version? I have heard that people solved the issue by updating lo latest available kernel.
What version of openSUSE are you using? Here I have same issues and even plugged the wireless adapter is unusable.
 
Old 08-26-2012, 07:48 PM   #13
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernRoots View Post
thund3rstruck, did you try changing the kernel version? I have heard that people solved the issue by updating lo latest available kernel.
What version of openSUSE are you using? Here I have same issues and even plugged the wireless adapter is unusable.
Code:
$ uname -r
3.1.10-1.16-desktop
No luck on any of the kernels using OpenSuSe. I re-ran the speed analysis and it's still abysmal compared to the same test run after plugging in the AC cord.

General Results
562 kbps down (~0.56 Mbps, 69 KB/s) ↓
50 kbps up (~0.05 Mbps, 6 KB/s) ↑

Code:
Details:
100 KB downloaded in 1.457 seconds
100 KB uploaded in 16.394 seconds
Speed @ 10% of the average for hr.hr.cox.net
11 times faster than 56k dialup
Tested on: 2012.08.26 20:39 EDT
Tested from: speedguide.net 2
Test ID: 3737691
Browser/OS: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:14.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/14.0.1
IP Address: {censored}
Provider: hr.hr.cox.net
Location: Newport News, VA, US
 
  


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