So I have that custom-made wifi router I've built. And it uses a USB wifi adapter with AC (wifi5) capability - the fastest one I could find in AliExpress.

I set it up a while ago - the internet access works fine, although speeds are somewhat sluggish. But hey, what to expect from a cheapo on Ali! Not to mention it's USB, not a PCIe...

A few days ago I ran a few speedtest.net tests with my actual AC router and the one I've built. Results were so different I wanted to cry :( some pathetic 23Mbps with my custom router :(

This evening I had some time on my hands and finally decided to have an umpteenth look.

nmcli d wifi
this is what caught my eye first. The RATE column listed my custom router as 54Mbps, whereas the actual router had 195Mbps.

I have reviewed the hostapd configuration sooo many times - this time nothing caught my eye as well.

Googling did not give anything obvious as well.

What do we do next? Yes, that's right - enable debug and read the logs.

> VHT (IEEE 802.11ac) with WPA/WPA2 requires CCMP/GCMP to be enabled, disabling VHT capabilities

This is one of the lines at the top of the log. Waaaaiiitttt.. VHT is something I definitely want with ac -- why does it disable that??? Sounds like a configuration fuckup rather than the HW limitation! And config fuckups CAN be fixed!

Turns out, an innocently looking
change into
`wpa_pairwise=TKIP CCMP`

made a world of a difference!

connect to the hostapd hotspot and run that iperf3 test again, and... Oh my. Oh boi! My pants fell off -- the speed increased >3x times!

A quick speedtest.net test deems my custom router's download speeds hardly any worse than the speeds obtained using my LInksys!!

The moral of the story: no matter how innocent some configurations look, they might make a huge difference. And RTFL [read the fucking logs]

In the pic -- left - my actual router, right - my custom-built router with a USB wifi adapter. Not too shabby!

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