My experiments with the wifi installation in our house and the excellent Bredbandskollen TPTEST bandwidth tester (mainly for machines in Sweden) has taught me a few interesting things about wifi.
- Your operating system may report the quality of the connection in percent or columns or somesuch. This is not directly proportional to the actual bandwidth you’re getting. One percentage estimate may correspond to a wide range of bandwidth figures.
- The bandwidth of a wifi connection is extremely sensitive to obstacles such as walls, doors, even waste paper baskets.
I started with the access point sitting on the floor near the middle of our house, and got 7 Mbps. Then I moved it less than three meters onto the wall, thinking that a high placement would improve bandwidth. Instead it dropped to 3 Mbps. So I moved it onto the window ledge, one meter from its original placement, and got 9 Mbps. (Note that I get 11 Mbps when I use an ethernet cable instead of wifi.) None of the three placements has line-of-sight to my computer’s antenna.
Reminds me of the time when my work computer was off-line and I solved the problem by moving the system unit 15 cm.