Home Network Speed


Jeff Lloyd


I bought a switch the other day in the hopes that I could speed up my
network here at home.

I have a DSL line, and a Speedstream 5660 DSL Modem/Router that is hooked
into the uplink port on a Linksys EZXS55W 10/100 5 port workgroup switch
(not a hub). I've got CAT5e cable throughout the house.

I do not notice that the speeds are that much quicker. I have three PC's in
the house. Two are hooked into the wired Ethernet architecture an I also
have a Linksys Wireless access point "B" (Model WAP 11) hooked into one of
the ports on the switch as well. I realize that anything running through
the wireless route will be limited to 11mb/s.

However, when I ran a network bandwidth test between the two wired machines,
I came up with an average speed of 8750Kbits/sec. Now I am not sure how
that translates to 100Mbits/sec, but I don't think it measures up. I guess
I need to know just how fast 8750Kbits/sec compares to 100Mbits/sec. The
speed between the wireless machine and one of the wired machines is
4760Kbits/sec. Of the two wired machines, one is a Windows XP SP1 machine
and the other is a Win2000 SP4 machine. The wireless is a Win2000 SP4
machine as well. Both wired machines' net cards are 10/100 cards.

Am I missing something obvious? Any comments greatly appreciated. Thank

Jerry Polyak

Well, the 100Mbits/sec is a hypothetical limit which is hard to achieve.
Depending on the quality of equipment/wiring/software certain things happen
that degrade your networks performance. I.E. not all 10/100 NIC cards are
created equal. Collisions occur on any network, thus creating a need to
retransmit, thus degrading performance further. Length of cable is another
issue. A 5m cable will experience less loss than 90m length. And so on and
so on.

That being said, I would expect a little better then 8.75Mbits/sec.
Reexamine your setup. Make sure the NIC cards are full duplex. Check the
software settings. Make sure the cables are wired properly. (An improperly
wired cable will still transmit but at much lower rate).

Hope this helps.

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