Recently our cable provider boosted the internet speed to 15Mb/s down and 2Mb/s up. My son is connected to a desktop through the Cisco router and gets the stated speed. My wife has a newer Dell laptop and she also gets the stated speed.

My laptop is much older. I have a Dell Inspiron 9400 running WinXP and it has a WLAN 1390 card that doesn't have 5GHz capabilities.

The fastest speed I have been able to get out of the wirless card is 7Mb/s down and 2Mb/s up.

Is this the limitation of my 1390 mini card or is something else going on here.


Is there a significant distance between your laptop's physical location and your wife's one? The signal gets weaker the further you are .. also, try with a cable as suggested, if the cable doesn't provide more than what your wifi has then it could the issue with the card

If you are running WiFi 802.11b (probably) then you are getting about the max your wireless can provide (between 1 and 11 mbps), depending upon signal strength and distance from the access point.

According to the Dell user docs, the specs say that it should be able to support 802.11g (still 2.4GHz) which should provide up to 54mbps data rates, but I'm not sure your XP driver would support that. It also depends upon the access point.

I tried it connected directly to the router and got 16Mb/s down. A little bit faster then it's suppose to be.

When I tried the wireless it hit about 10.5Mb/s down. That was closer to the transmitter (-35dBm) vs me sitting in my chair (-47dBm). But I was getting 9Mb/s down then. That's the fastest I've seen it go.

The last fastest was a bit over 7, but mostly sticks between 5 and 6Mb/s.

Anyone think if I put a newer mini card in there ( I might get a faster connection? They're relatively inexpensive so if it didn't work it's not going to break the bank.

You can try an 802.11n card and see if that helps. The one you provided the link to does support 802.11n, but you may need a driver for XP, and since XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, you may only get 802.11g/b speeds (no better than you get now). My advice would be to upgrade your OS to Win7 at least, unless the card has an XP driver that supports 802.11n as well.

I think the real question here is: Why are you connecting to the internet with a Win XP computer? Do you like playing with fire?

XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and it no longer gets any security updates or patches. I would not recommend that you continue to use it to connect to the internet. For an older computer, you could replace it with a lightweight Linux distribution, like Lubuntu, which will be new, fast and secure, and free!

Not worried about it. The computer has nothing vitally important. I have backups. And the protection I have on it has served me well. If something happens then maybe, I might think about doing something new. Right now funds are tight and until they're not, this is what I have.

If your Cisco router has a 5ghz frequency it should also have a 2.4ghz frequency which would support a higher speed for older devices. I recommend connecting to that frequency and your speed should be higher and your encryption should be tkip/aes. You also received a recommendation to upgrade to windows 7 which I also endorse.

The router does, but the card I had in there (1390) doesn't.

I have replace the card with a Dell 1500 802.11n card and got a driver for it to work in XP. I have speeds that have reached 16.5Mb/s.