Connection speed of ethernet adapter.

  Peter Lanky 18:26 PM 08 Jan 12
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I am not remotely knowledgeable about the technicalities of Ethernet so try this. I have a router (Tp-Link TL-WR841N) that claims speeds up to 300mbps, but my Broadcom NetLink (TM) Gigabit Ethernet adapter in my Dell Vostro 430 only shows a speed of 100mbps, and I cannot find anything which suggests I could change this, so my questions are: In reality what do 100mbps and 300mbps equate to in something tangible? Is the 100mbps fixed or can it be altered? Am I seriously losing speed in my network by being limited to 100mbps or are these figures higher than I could realistically make use of? Anything else I haven't considered but ought to?

  difarn 18:49 PM 08 Jan 12

You may find this article about gigabit networking of interest.

  Peter Lanky 20:24 PM 08 Jan 12

Interesting article, and as a result of reading it, I'm even more confused. Following the instructions, my network speed is confirmed at 100mbps and that there is no option for a 1000mbps speed. Carrying out the test reveals in reality that it is around 90mbps. So why is it called a Broadcom NetLink (TM) Gigabit Ethernet if it is only 100mbps?

  difarn 21:34 PM 08 Jan 12

To get the 1000 mbps you would need an ethernet card capable of this speed. This is usually achieved via an ethernet switch primarily for a large network of computers.

You cannot achieve 1000 mbps if the port of your modem/router is only 100 mbps

This is another interesting article, although it refers to cable it is very pertinent.

  mgmcc 08:35 AM 10 Jan 12

Briefly:

1Gbps (1000Mbps) is the speed of your PC's wired ethernet connection when connected to another port that also supports Gigabit networking.

100Mbps is the speed of your router's ethernet ports, so the PC can only connect to it at this speed.

300Mbps is the speed of your router's 802.11n wireless connection, again when used with a PC (or other device) that supports 802.11n connections at this speed. Some 802.11n hardware only supports connections at 150Mbps.

  Peter Lanky 09:23 AM 10 Jan 12

OK, I'm generally getting this, except that bit that my on-board Broadcom ethernet adapter is called a gigabit, but there is no option in the properties to set a speed higher than 100mbps regardless of what is attached to it.

  mgmcc 10:54 AM 10 Jan 12

"but there is no option in the properties to set a speed higher than 100mbps regardless of what is attached to it."

What have you connected the PC's ethernet adapter to that also supports Gigabit? When connected to a Gigabit port, its speed should automatically set to 1Gbps, but it won't show this speed when connected to a 100Mbps port and nothing will change that.

  Peter Lanky 11:46 AM 12 Jan 12

Now that I have connected my new router, I can see that it is now showing 1gb. It was confusing though, not showing the option unless a gigabit unit is attached.

  difarn 13:19 PM 12 Jan 12

It is a very confusing business isn't it.

  Peter Lanky 12:10 PM 13 Jan 12

OK, with my new router and switch, I've got everything working hunky dory and getting speeds of around 500mbps between computers, tested with LAN Speed Test. One of the computers is only connected via Cat5 rather than Cat5e. I thought I would have needed a new cable, yet it still manages this speed. I believed that Cat5e was required for gigabit Ethernet. So assuming that I now don't have to replace the cable as I thought I would have to, what does Cat5e do that Cat5 doesn't?

  difarn 13:36 PM 13 Jan 12

Essentially the answer is not a lot - this article may interest you.

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