When we connect with our laptop with WiFi or with our smartphone to a WiFi wireless network, depending on many factors that we will now explain to you, we will be synchronizing via WiFi at a higher or lower speed. This synchronization speed is closely related to the real speed that we are going to achieve with our smartphone. In the case that you have a low speed for WiFi, the first thing you should look at is the synchronization speed, if this synchronization speed is low, it is completely normal that the real speed of the connection is low. Today in RedesZone we are going to give you all the keys to see if we are achieving the expected real WiFi speed or one below what is expected.
What does the WiFi sync speed depend on
The WiFi sync speed is a dynamic value that depends on quite a few factors. When we get into the status of the WiFi network in the different operating systems, it will always show us the synchronization speed of the WiFi wireless network, but it will never indicate the real speed we have, unless we do a test speed via WiFi to check the real speed that we will achieve.
The speed of synchronization of a client with the router depends on many factors
- Number of WiFi antennas : the more WiFi antennas the WiFi router / access point and the wireless client have, the higher the synchronization speed we will achieve thanks to MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology.
- Modulation : wireless clients use different modulation technologies, the best known and most popular in the latest standards is QAM. QAM is the acronym for Quadrature Amplitude Modulation and allows two independent signals to be transported, by means of amplitude and phase modulation of the carrier signal. Depending on the coverage received by the wireless client, the router / AP and the client will negotiate a more aggressive or more conservative modulation in order to lose the minimum number of packets possible. When we are close to the router or AP, it is normal to use modulation of 1024QAM in the case of WiFi 6, or 256QAM in the case of WiFi 5.
- WiFi channel width: the WiFi channel width is also very important in the synchronization speed that appears to us, generally in the 2.4GHz band we have a bandwidth of up to 40MHz, however, in the 5GHz band we have widths of 80MHz and 160MHz channel in some cases.
- WiFi standard used : the WiFi standard we are using is also very important, the latest WiFi 6 standard is the one that will provide the highest synchronization speed (and real speed).
- Guard Interval : it is the time that a router or AP waits to ensure that there is no interference in communication. The normal thing is to have a Guard Interval of 800ns of time, but from WiFi 4 the «Short GI» that uses 400ns is allowed and will allow us an extra speed.
Of course, depending on the coverage received by the client and the obstacles, we will use one modulation or another, therefore, the received coverage and obstacles also indirectly influence the WiFi synchronization speed.
We are going to give you a very clear example making use of the WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 standards, so that you can see the difference in synchronization speed under certain circumstances. Taking into account two WiFi antennas , with the maximum modulation of the WiFi standard , channel width of 80MHz and a Short GI , we will be able to achieve a maximum speed of 867Mbps in WiFi 5 and with WiFi 6 we will achieve up to 1,201Mbps of sync speed.
Once we know what the synchronization speed depends on, we are going to show you how to see this synchronization speed on a Windows PC and an Android smartphone.
View sync speed in Windows
Synchronization speed in Windows operating systems can be viewed in different ways. The simplest of all of them is to click on ” Start / Settings “, the main Windows configuration menu will appear, and we have to click on the ” Network and Internet ” section.
Once we are in the main menu of network and Internet status, we have to go to the “Wi-Fi” section that we have on the left side of this configuration menu. This section is where we can see the WiFi networks and other options for wireless networks.
In this menu, we will have several possibilities when configuring the WiFi wireless network. We can activate or deactivate the network, show all available WiFi networks, and we also have the ” Hardware Properties ” section, which is where we have to click to see the synchronization speed.
In this menu we can see that the reception and transmission link speed is 780Mbps, that is, the synchronization speed is 780Mbps, but it does not mean that we can achieve these speeds via WiFi, one thing is synchronization speed and quite another the real speed that we can get.
Another way to see the synchronization speed is to go to ” Start ” and put in the search bar ” Control Panel “. In this menu we will have to click on « Center of networks and shared resources «.
Now we have to click on the current wireless connection, where it says “Wi-Fi 2 (name of the WiFi network you have)”.
By clicking there, we will see the same information as in the other menu. We can see that the synchronization speed is 780Mbps.
Finally, another very interesting option to see the synchronization speed is to open a command prompt or CMD console, and execute the following command:
netsh wlan show interfaces
By executing this command we will be able to see the synchronization speed and the current status of the WiFi wireless network, as you can see in the following screenshot.
Once we have learned how to see the synchronization speed in Windows, we are going to see how it is done in Android systems.
See sync speed on Android
See the synchronization speed in Android is very simple, we will only have to press and hold on the WiFi button in the upper menu, once we are in the WiFi connection menu of our smartphone, we click on the WiFi network to which we are currently connected , and it will automatically show us the status of the wireless network. It will inform us that we are connected, the signal strength, the current synchronization speed of the link and other data such as IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, the frequency band to which we have connected, the type of authentication and the MAC address.
Once we have seen the synchronization speed of both devices in the same room where the main router is, we are going to see the real speed of the wireless connection and what is the difference regarding the synchronization speed.
Actual wireless connection speed
Now that you know how you can see the synchronization speed, we are going to show you the real speed that we have been able to achieve with the Intel AX200 card on a Windows PC, and with our Huawei P30 smartphone. The WiFi access point used is the D-Link DAP-2680 which is WiFi 5 3 × 3, we have connected in the 5GHz band as you have seen in the previous screenshots.
The synchronization speed of the PC with the Intel AX200 was 780Mbps, that is, almost the maximum theoretical speed allowed by the WiFi 5 standard. The actual speed we have achieved is approximately 550Mbps.
In the case of our Huawei P30 smartphone, the synchronization speed is also 780Mbps, and the actual speed we have achieved is about 630Mbps.
The actual speed that we are going to achieve is not only based on all the previously explained factors of synchronization speed, it also depends on the compatibility of the client’s WiFi chipset drivers with the chipset and firmware of the WiFi router or access point. For this reason, it is possible that with some WiFi network cards we achieve higher speed under the same conditions as other WiFi cards that use a different chipset. The number of wireless clients connected at the time of the test also influences , and, of course, if they are transferring traffic via WiFi both in download and upload. In the synchronization speed, it is not reflected if at a certain moment the wireless network is more collapsed or not.
If you have low WiFi coverage on your device, whether on a computer or smartphone, the first thing you should look at is the synchronization speed, if the synchronization speed is adequate taking into account the number of WiFi antennas, WiFi standard used, width channel etc., then the actual speed is about 40-60% of the sync speed. Of course, if you have a good synchronization speed, but a low speed, it may be due to problems with the drivers, that there are many WiFi clients connected simultaneously, and also to the wireless traffic at that certain moment.