Wired only as fast as 5Ghz Wi-Fi

To me, it’s odd that a wired connection is only about as fast as the 5Ghz Wi-Fi connection, both about 30+ Mbps up/down with speedtest.net.

openSUSE 15.4 using Network Manager
Tested with Enable IPv6 on and off

AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet, Not configured, eth1
AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet, DHCP, eth0
lo.rpmsave,, lo.rpmsave
WiFi Link 5100, Not configured, wlan1
WiFi Link 5100, DHCP, wlan0

The system is an Acer 1410 netbook with an Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 1.4 Ghz. Acer Nplify 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N.

  • Would speedtest.net results be dependent on the netbook, which isn’t very fast?
  • Is 30+ Mbps up/down just a limit of the hardware and OS running on top?
  • Or should the wired results be more close to my i7 desktop, 90+ Mbps? (ISP service is capped at 100 Mbps.)


Depends on the network hardware in the Laptop – my 5 GHz WLAN is indicating WLAN Repeater link throughputs of 263 Mbit/s and 975 Mbit/s …

  • On the Laptop, what do “ip -h -d link show eth0” and “ip -h -d link show wlan0” and “iwlist rate” and “ethtool eth0” indicate?

If, for the Laptop, “ethtool” is indicating a “Speed:” of 1 Gbit/s and “iwlist” is indicating a 5 GHz WLAN rate of better than 1 Gbit/s then, the combination of the Laptop’s CPU and I/O capabilities and the Speed Test are indicating that, the Network is not the problem.

  • The Laptop isn’t new – it possibly still has a HDD, rather than a SDD, which is slowing down the I/O because of the available Write and Read rates to the disk …

Wireless is not slower than cable in many cases. It depends on your router/computer. Unless you want 2.5G or 10G.

Wireless will introduce latencies and dropped packages, and if the router is too far away, it will decrease the speed also, but a lot of factors play in this.

The PC is probably reaching its limit at 30 MB, as it seems to be a CPU from 2009.

YaST/Network Settings shows eth0 and wlan0 as in the original post, but in the shell, eth1 and wlan1 are configured, thus results for eth1 and wlan1 below…

ip -h -d link show eth1

2: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000
link/ether 00:26:9e:03:a5:17 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0 minmtu 42 maxmtu 6122 addrgenmode none numtxqueues 1 numrxqueues 1 gso_max_size 65536 gso_max_segs 65535 parentbus pci parentdev 0000:01:00.0
altname enp1s0

ip -h -d link show wlan1

3: wlan1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP mode DORMANT group default qlen 1000
link/ether 00:22:fb:64:04:f0 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0 minmtu 256 maxmtu 2304 addrgenmode none numtxqueues 4 numrxqueues 1 gso_max_size 65536 gso_max_segs 65535 parentbus pci parentdev 0000:02:00.0
altname wlp2s0

iwlist rate

lo no bit-rate information.

eth1 no bit-rate information.

wlan1 unknown bit-rate information.
Current Bit Rate=135 Mb/s

ethtool eth1

Settings for eth1:
Supported ports: [ TP ]
Supported link modes: 10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
Supported pause frame use: No
Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
Supported FEC modes: Not reported
Advertised link modes: Not reported
Advertised pause frame use: No
Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
Advertised FEC modes: Not reported
Speed: 1000Mb/s
Duplex: Full
Auto-negotiation: on
Port: Twisted Pair
Transceiver: internal
MDI-X: Unknown
Supports Wake-on: pg
Wake-on: d
Current message level: 0x0000003f (63)
drv probe link timer ifdown ifup
Link detected: yes

The netbook is indeed from 2009.

In other words, the machine is using a 1 Gbit/s LAN and, a 135 Mbit/s WLAN and, you have a 100 Mbit/s connection to your ISP.

  • But, for the case of your Laptop system, an Internet throughput test is only achieving 30 Mbit/s.
    A Desktop system on the same LAN is achieving a network throughput of about 90 Mbit/s (90 % of the capability of the connection to your ISP).

You’ll have to check if, the Internet Speed Test is also performing Disk I/O …

  • To inspect the behaviour of the Laptop with respect to “normal” Internet usage such as streaming Video, may I suggest that, you install a CLI program named “btop” – package is available from the openSUSE repositories.
    It’s an improved “top” which supplies information about Network and other I/O behaviour, in addition to the CPU and Memory usage information supplied by the original “top” and, the I/O information provided by “iotop” …