Shaw Internet Speed really has gotten faster.
We have two major Internet, Television and Phone providers here in Alberta: Shaw and Telus. I use Shaw. Shaw is now offering an Internet 150 service with promotional pricing. (Telus has a comparable plan, but I won’t use them because their VDSL technology is incompatible with my radio hobbies.)
Last week, I was reviewing my Shaw bill and noticed that I was paying $28 more per month than the regular price. Keeping track of plan changes is difficult, and it is easy to pay more than you have to. I used the Shaw Chat service to speak with a representative and arrange to reduce my cost.
While we were doing this, the Shaw representative mentioned that I could get their Internet 150 for only another $5 a month. Oh, what the heck, I did. My savings are now only $23 a month. Still good.
So, there has been lots of chatter that the Internet 150 does not actually provide a high speed, and that the new Hitron gateway modem provided by Shaw is not very good. I did some testing and here is what I found out.
Shaw Internet Speed depends on your home networking
If your PC is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable, yes, you really do get 150 Mbps or more. See the picture above. I am getting over 175 on the two computers connected by Ethernet cables.
But wireless is another story.
The rest of our computers, tablets and phones connect on our WIFI network, either 2.4 or 5.0 GHz. Performance ranges between 10-50 Mbps on these devices. There are many factors at play, including wireless signal strength, the quality of the wireless card in the PC, and the amount of interference from neighbor’s WIFI and even cordless phones.
And there is some really weird stuff, too. On my Asus laptop, I get faster WIFI speed with the lid up rather than down. Also, if I run the laptop on the battery rather than on an AC adapter, I get twice the speed! Why that happens is completely beyond me. Perhaps it has to do with how Windows 10 manages your PC on battery rather than AC power.
If you want to optimize your wireless use of Shaw Internet 150, try these things:
- Use 5 GHz if you can. Although it has less range, it’s usually faster.
- Update your laptop’s wireless drivers.
- Get a WIFI analyzer for your phone. Check out what channels your neighbor’s are using, and move your WIFI to a clearer channel.
And if you really want the fastest Shaw Internet Speed, take a step backwards and dig out your old Ethernet cables. If you are using WIFI, Shaw has a couple of excellent documents on getting the most performance: see here and here.