Why is Windows WiFi so slow?

A friend of mine has just bought a netbook – a Samsung… I tell everyone I love my Lenovo and they buy Samsungs anyway – and he noticed how slow its wireless networking was compared to his MacBook.

I fired up my Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 and my ancient G4 PowerBook and I found the same thing too.
I used broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk and did each test twice. My friend and I both have 02 broadband and I’m guessing we have the same router.

Lenovo Windows Netbook – 1.66GHz Atom – via 802.11g wifi running WindowsXP
5872 kbps download
788 kbps upload

Old Powerbook G4 – OS X – 1.66GHz PowerPC – via 802.11g wifi
11144 down
793 up

Lenovo Netbook – WinXP via ethernet
13936 down
772 up

But here is the really interesting thing…

Lenovo Netbook running Ubuntu Netbook Remix off a USB stick:
Download speed 11950 Kbps
Upload speed 927 Kbps

So with the same hardware, the Lenovo netbook’s wireless networking appears to be twice as fast under Linux – and Linux running off a USB stick to boot. I tried fiddling with the Broadcom settings in WinXP but it didn’t make any difference to the reported speeds. Very, very odd. Maybe a virus checker or firewall is slowing WinXP down?

This entry was posted in Linux, MacOS X, Ubuntu, WiFi, Windows and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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