Is it possible for my ISP to throttle only wireless connections but NOT wired (ethernet) connections?

Seems impossible to me, but I think it is actually occurring. Here is my scenario:

I have a D-Link router connected directly to my ISP's adapter. When I use an ethernet connection, I get my max rated speeds of 8Mbps/1.5Mbps. My D-Link router is also a wireless AP. When I connect via WiFi to the D-link router, I get 2.5 to 3Mbps down and .7Mbps up.

So, it seems my wireless router is not very good or experiencing interference, right? So, I try a brand new Almond router. I connect it directly to my existing router via Ethernet(I have to do this because my ISP filters MAC addresses). I connect it to my laptop via Ethernet. I get 8/1.5. I then disconnect my laptop and connect with WiFi to the new router. I get 2.5/.7 . So, I have 2 lousy wireless routers or interference, right?

I shutdown EVERY wireless device in my house(iPads, iMacs, iPhones, cell phones, etc). I clone my D-Link's MAC address into the Almond router. I connect it directly to the ISP's adapter. I connect my laptop via ethernet and get 8/1.5 . I disconnect ethernet and turn on WiFi for my laptop. I connect to the Almond router and get 2.5/.7. I have ZERO other WiFi networks interfering with mine. The closest house is > 600 feet away.

Still, what could it be beside thick walls or some other interference.

So, I turn on every WiFi device again. Then, I get my Verizon JetPack mobile hotspot. I turn it on. Then, I use the Almond router in "Range Extender" mode connected to the Verizon JetPack. I use WiFi on my laptop to connect to the Almond Router. I get 18Mbps/8.3Mbps or roughly close to that on every WiFi device in the house connecting to the extended WiFi network via the Almond router.

This proves to me that the Almond is capable of significantly greater speeds than I get via my ISP. It proves that WiFi / environmental interference is not a problem.

Quite simply, it points to my ISP somehow throttling connections that use WiFi. I don't understand how that is possible as they should only see the MAC address of the first router connected to them. Correct?

Does anyone have some idea if this is possible and how to avoid it?

FYI : Another post suggested using inSSIDer. I've installed it and see no WiFi networks other than my own. Again, it doesn't really matter if there were others. Since the Almond router is experiencing the same interference whether it's acting as an extender for the JetPack or acting as the AP for the ISP's service.

closed as off topic by EEAA, DanBig, TheCleaner, longneck, petrus Apr 23 '13 at 19:29

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Your question is off topic for Serverfault because it doesn't appear to relate to servers/networking or desktop infrastructure in a professional environment. It may be on topic for Superuser but please search their site for similar questions that may already have the answer you're looking for. – EEAA Apr 23 '13 at 18:49
  • just a theory, it could be a combination of the wireless nic in your laptop with the routers you're using - perhaps it plays nicer with Almond than D-Link? Maybe D-Link is 802.11b vs 802.11g ? – user16081-JoeT Apr 23 '13 at 18:59

I really doubt the ISP will throttle your bandwidth. I would try to take off your wireless encryption and just run it completely open. If it works OK, it is your router not processing fast enough the encryption packets. Otherwise I would venture to guess that there is some sorts of misconfiguration limiting your wireless speed in your access point.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.