WiFi speed is unstable with both intel and broadcom cards

I’m running Manjaro v23.1.0 with GNOME shell v45.1.

I had an ASUS card and was using the network-broadcom-wl that came with the Manjaro installation. Some time ago the internet started doing this: first it would be regular-fast, then it would slow to a crawl or even stop, and stay there but jump back up to normal speed occassionally.

I thought it was the card and replaced it with an intel card, and I am getting the same behavior.

Can anyone suggest how to debug this?

Here is inxi output:

  Device-1: Intel Ethernet I219-LM vendor: ASUSTeK driver: e1000e v: kernel
    port: N/A bus-ID: 00:1f.6 chip-ID: 8086:15bb class-ID: 0200
  IF: eno1 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX210/AX211/AX411 160MHz driver: iwlwifi v: kernel
    pcie: speed: 5 GT/s lanes: 1 bus-ID: 04:00.0 chip-ID: 8086:2725
    class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp4s0 state: up mac: <filter>
  IP v4: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
    broadcast: <filter>
  IP v6: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
  IP v6: <filter> type: noprefixroute scope: link
  Device-3: Intel I210 Gigabit Network vendor: ASUSTeK driver: igb v: kernel
    pcie: speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1 port: 3000 bus-ID: 06:00.0 chip-ID: 8086:1533
    class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp6s0 state: down mac: <filter>
  WAN IP: <filter>

Thanks so much

Well, you need to try and isolate the problem to resolve this. You’ve already replaced the Wifi card, so you can rule that out. That would leave the following things to check:

  1. Antenna / antenna connection: check the antenna cables, make sure they’re in good order etc.
  2. Software issues: Test speed using a different piece of software, such as a different browser or wget
  3. ISP issues: connect a device to your router via Ethernet, see if it exhibits the same issues.
  4. Wifi interference on your network: connect another device to your Wifi, see if it exhibits the same behaviour.

It also might be useful to go to https://speed.cloudflare.com/ and look at metrics there to try to determine the cause of the problem, at least at the network level.

Thanks @dgdg. I finally got around to testing it again, needing the computer for work.

  1. Antenna and connection are fine. Also tried brand new ones from one of the new Wifi cards
  2. wget, curl, different browsers, all slow
    3/4. Cloudflare speed tests
    4.1. Questionable computer Wifi: 1-5Mbs across the board with long periods of nothing. I stopped the test because it hung at the upload 10Mb stage for 10 minutes
    4.2. A laptop Wifi: about 40Mbs across the board, consistent
    4.3. Questionable computer ethernet: about 300Mbs download 90Mbs upload

I think this points to a software issue, something with one of the system updates a while back (1 1/2 years?)

Any advice?

One thing you could do to check signal conditions is install linssid:

sudo pacman -Syu linssid

You might find you’re using a crowded channel. I’ve had routers auto-set themselves this way (and sometimes your manual choice gets reset with a firmware update). Or just poor signal strength.

If you think it’s a software issue, then I’d recommend verifying that by getting a live USB stick and testing from a clean environment. If it works better under the live USB environment, then you can either meticulously inspect configurations/packages to try and find what’s wrong, or back up your files and reinstall. However…

While this seems unlikely to be the only issue, given that the laptop got higher speeds, 40Mb/s seems quite low given the ethernet speed. So perhaps another good question is what router is @mcsimenc using? Because if your Internet connection has 300Mb/s down, WiFi 5 and above should easily saturate it.