What is the Difference between the Theoretical and Actual Speed of Wireless Networks?

Have you ever wondered why the result of the speed test you took at home is often different from the number announced on the official website? Do these networking companies exaggerate their network speed? Let’s check out the trues behind these magical numbers.

Data Rate in Each WiFi Standard

As you can see in the above table, every generation of WiFi has broken through the max data rate from the previous one. This means that we should experience faster and faster network speed when we download and upload documents, play video games, watch YouTube videos, etc. However, can we really feel the difference? The following paragraph will tell you what would affect our network speed experience.

Things that Might Affect the Network Speed

1. Too Far/Too Many Obstacles

Since the strength of the electromagnetic waves would be weakened if the distance from the network devices is too long or there are any physical obstructions, such as walls, signal-blocking, and reflecting materials between your devices and the network devices, all might affect signal propagation and cause the network speed down.

2. Too Many Devices/People

If there are many devices or other wireless networks in the same frequency in the same area will affect the performance. Furthermore, if there are many people share the same bandwidth, which just likes many cars are driving on the same road that you cannot drive as fast as you want, right?

3. Different Specification of the Devices

General speaking, we will choose the internet solution from ISP (Internet Service Provider), then ISP would provide the modem to us, then we will use a RJ45 Ethernet cable to connect the modem and the router or mesh so as to setup the network for broadening the coverage, and finally, we could use the devices like smart phone to connect to the network we had setup.

*the specification in the picture is for example

In this process, we can see that there are so many different specifications of the products to choose from. For example, if your smartphone can only support WiFi6, then it is reasonable that you cannot get the WiFi7 experience even though you bought a WiFi7 router/mesh. In other situations, if you choose the 5G option from ISP, then your network might have limited speed. Besides, the specification and the quality of the cables you used to connect the modem and the router or mesh would affect the network performance as well.

To sum up, the three situations mentioned above, are the regular reasons that affect our network speed. Thus, different products and different use ways in different scenarios would cause different actual network speeds.

Things that Might Affect the Network Speed

Too Far/Too many obstacles

Too Many Devices/People

Different Specification of the Devices

Since there might be a gap between the theoretical and actual speed of WiFi, we should be more careful about the number next time when we check the products’ information.

ROG Rapture GT-BE98

GT-BE98 quad-band WiFi 7 (802.11be) gaming router, support new 320MHz bandwidth & 4096-QAM, Multi-link operation (MLO), Puncturing, three 10G ports, VPN Fusion, Triple-level game acceleration, Mobile game mode, Quad Level Security and AiMesh support, RangeBoost Plus, AURA RGB

Click here for more detailed spec


RT-BE96U Tri-Band WiFi 7 Router with dual 10G Port, AiMesh for mesh WiFi, AiProtection Pro network security.

Click here for more detailed spec