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Use an up-to-date network adapter

If you try all our suggestions for optimizing your wireless network and do not see improved speed tests, it could be that your wireless device has an older network adapter. Any network adapter that uses a protocol earlier than 802.11n (that is, 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g) is older and not capable of the fastest speeds. In addition, if one of the wireless devices on your network has a slower network adapter, it can actually slow down all of the wireless devices on your network.

To determine which protocol your network adapter is using, follow the instructions below for your device. If your network adapter uses a protocol older than 802.11n, consider adding a USB 802.11n wireless adapter.

Mac OS X
  1. Hold down option and click  on your menu bar (top right).

    A few lines of gray text appears under the name of your network.

  2. Look at the value of PHY mode.

    This tells you which protocol your network adapter is using.

Windows

For Windows Vista and Windows 7:

  1. Click  in your system tray (bottom right).

  2. Hover over the name of the network you are connected to on the list.

    A few lines of gray text appears under the name of your network.

  3. Look at the value of Radio Type.

    This displays the protocol your network adapter is using.

Windows 8:

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to display the Start screen.

  2. Type cmd, wait for Command Prompt to appear in the Apps list, and then select Command Prompt.

    The Command Prompt window appears.

  3. At the command prompt, type netsh wlan show drivers and press Return.

    Information about your Wi-Fi network appears. The Radio types supported: entry in the command window displays the wireless network adapter or adapters your computer supports.

Chromebooks

All Chromebooks support 802.11n.

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