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I have a connection of 500Mbps. I clock speeds of 460-480Mbps when plugged in (Ethernet, Cat5e).

But when I’m on Wi-Fi (even positioned above the router, 5GHz dual-channel 802.11ac) I clock speeds of only 260-280Mbps on an iPhone 6 (802.11ac).

My question is if I double my ISP connection to 1000Mbps, will the max. Wi-Fi speed of 260-280Mbps I get on my iPhone 6 double or stay the same?

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  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 12, 2017 at 4:04

3 Answers 3

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No. Not at all.

The speeds you get are the ones you are getting thru your network. By increasing the speed of your WAN, you are not incresing the bandwidth in your network.

Imagine a funnel: If the funnel has a width of 2 cm and you are dumping 50 liters of water into it, water will still only flow thru those 2 cms. If you dump 2000 liters into it, it will still flow 2 cms. The only way to see a difference is increasing those 2 cm.

Now if you have a funnel that is 10000km width (obviously exageration) and dump 50 liters, you will get that speed. But if you dump 50000 liters, you will obviously see a higher flow and speed of water.

I hope that clears it up.

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This answered the title, not the OPs actual question. Look to the edit at the bottom for the direct answer to OPs question.

Actually, it could, just indirectly.

Technically the answer is no, because the wireless devices you have (let's assume wireless 802.11N) are all communicating at that protocols fastest speed already. Which can be anywhere between 50-300Mbps.

Now, if your ISP was previously at 10Mbps and you were trying to download something from the Internet, not from another device connected to your LAN, it will be stuck downloading at 10Mbps even though your wireless is capable of higher speeds.

Since you upgraded your ISP speed, let's say to 50 Mbps, you are now able to download that much faster, over the wireless too.

But keep in mind, your wireless speed isn't technically getting faster, just your ISP speed. But because your speed is determined by the slowest point in the network, (in this case your ISP speed) then anything you do over your wireless network accessing the Internet will be faster.

This is only true of course if your ISP is the slowest link in the network. If your devices are performing at their spec protocol speed and that speed is less then your ISP speed, these rules do not apply.

EDIT: after reviewing the question in its entirety, the answer is no. Your iPhones speed is now limited to that speed not because your ISP speed but your wireless setup that you have. Adding a faster, better router might help, testing on a non iPhone 6 might also show different results. It's possible that if you tested this on a full fleged laptop that you might see sub 500mbps speeds. At this point, your ISP speed is absolutely not a factor in getting your wireless devices to talk faster to the router.

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  • Thanks, but I don’t understand why my wireless speed is limited by the router. I have an Archer C7 5GHz 1300Mbps. It has 802.11ac and so does my iPhone. Why is the speed capped at 280Mbps and I can’t match the ISP speed of 500Mbps?
    – Alex
    Jul 31, 2015 at 18:36
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    Research the device ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_6 ) It's limited to 433Mbps (half-duplex, so anything over 200 is "full speed")
    – Ricky
    Jul 31, 2015 at 21:40
  • @RickyBeam so you’re saying it’s a limitation of the iPhone 6. If I get a PC with an 802.11ac adapter (say MacBook Air 2015) I’ll reach the max. Wi-Fi speed of my ISP’s 500Mbps?
    – Alex
    Aug 1, 2015 at 8:35
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Based on the information provided, no increasing your ISP speed will not increase your 802.11 wireless speed.

When you are looking at this type of question you are really asking, "where is the bottleneck"?

When you tested wired out through your router to the internet, you achieved approximately what you expect to see based on your 500Mbps of available bandwidth (460-480Mbps). This establishes that you can get at least 460Mbps along that path of the network.

When you extend your network over your 802.11 wireless, you get speeds of 260-280Mbps. This is where your bottleneck resides.

Think of this as a (simplistic) highway...if you have to get cars from point A to point C along a highway and A->B has two open lanes that can allow 2 cars per second while B-C has four lanes where you can allow 4 cars per second, where would you want to increase the traffic flow? Clearly you would want to increase the cars per second on the A->B section.

As for what would increase your wireless speed, there are many factors that contribute to this and would make this much too broad to answer. In general terms though, it is based on the capabilities of the wireless client, the capabilities of the access point and how the wireless network is configured.

At the current time, the best wireless devices widely available cannot support more than 4 spatial streams and 80MHz wide channels, giving a top data rate of 1300Mbps under ideal conditions. Many devices do not even have this capability (mainly because of a need for less battery drain or cheaper chipsets).

Since this is half-duplex and management traffic will take up a portion of the bandwidth, expect real world performance less than half the data rate. This will continue to decrease as you move the client device further from the AP, introduce noise into the environment (interference), add client devices, neighboring networks, and a number of other factors.

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