USB much slower to access ADSL than ethernet?

  laith 07:43 26 Apr 04

I have the following problem. At home I have both a desktop PC and a laptop, a broadband (ADSL)modem and a Wireless Router. The Wifi router is connected to the modem, the laptop uses wifi to connect to the router while the desktop uses a USB connection (with a USB/Ethernet converter) to connect to the router.

The other day I did some tests and found that the laptop broadband speed of connection is about 8x (!) faster than the USB/Ethernet converted connection on the desktop!

Is this typical and due to the USB? A bit ridiculous given that USB is rated at 2MB and my ADSL connection is 600k.

Any ideas? Don't use the desktop much so would prefer to avoid buying an ethernet card.


  Gongoozler 07:49 26 Apr 04

USB 8x slower! That must be some slow connection. Is this as reported by clicking the taskbar icon, or is it a real world test. Try the online testers at click here and click here

  laith 07:57 26 Apr 04

No, its a real world online speedtest done from the laptop and the desktop. Laptop gets about 550K on average while desktop gets about 70-80K!

The desktop is an older model (360 Hz but boosted RAM), while the laptop is newer (1.7Gh): could this be the reason?

Wouldn't think though that CPU speed affects online bandwidth speed?

  Gongoozler 08:04 26 Apr 04

This isn't inherently a usb problem. I get better than that with my usb modem on Tiscali 150K. I think there is a problem with either your usb port or your usb modem.

  laith 08:43 26 Apr 04

It is not a usb modem. the modem is ethernet and connected to the wifi router with an ethernet cable. the wifi router has two wired ethernet lan ports as well as the wifi connectivity. The desktop is connected to one of the ethernet lan ports using a "converter": a little device that connects to the desktop through its USB port and into which you plug an ethernet cable.

Maybe its this "converter" that's causing the problem? Anyone use one of these?

Many thanks for the input/feedback!

  mgmcc 09:09 26 Apr 04


I have a couple of USB network adapters and haven't experienced any problems with slow internet connections. Being USB, which only supports 12Mbps, they only establish a 10Mbps ethernet connection with the router, as opposed to 100Mbps with a PCI card, but their performance is still better than an 801.11b WiFi connection and much too fast to have an impact on the relatively slow 512kbps broadband connection.

The fact that you are using a USB network adapter should not, in itself, be the problem.

  laith 10:12 26 Apr 04

Maybe its the lan ports on the wifi router.

I'll try to connect my laptop with a ethernet cable to one of these ports and see what type of speeds I get.

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