The Wi-Fi 6 Conundrum: One Laptop’s Slowdown Saga



I’ve recently upgraded to a Wi-Fi 6 router and encountered a perplexing issue. My laptop’s Wi-Fi connection is languishing at approximately 5Mbps, which is peculiar since this problem is isolated to this single device. In contrast, two smartphones and another laptop in my possession are achieving the expected speeds of around 150Mbps.

Curiously, when I reboot the laptop or refresh the Wi-Fi drivers, the connection speed surges to its full potential, but this peak performance is fleeting, lasting merely a minute before plummeting back to 5Mbps.

This issue was non-existent with my former Wi-Fi 5 router. Even when I configure the network to operate solely on 802.11ac, the speed boost is temporary, reverting to 5Mbps shortly after.

The laptop in question is stationed adjacent to the router. Despite my efforts in trialing various driver versions, the problem persists. I’m contemplating replacing the MediaTek 7921 Wi-Fi card, suspecting it might be the root cause.

Could you shed light on what might be causing this erratic behavior? Notably, the upload speeds remain stable at around 50Mbps, and there are no competing Wi-Fi networks in my vicinity.”


Wi-Fi 6 technology promises faster speeds, improved efficiency, and better performance in crowded areas. However, transitioning to this new standard can sometimes introduce unexpected issues, particularly with certain devices. In the case of the MediaTek 7921 Wi-Fi card, users have reported problems similar to what you’re experiencing—slow download speeds on a single device that temporarily resolve upon a system or driver restart.

The root cause of these issues can often be traced back to driver inconsistencies or compatibility problems between the Wi-Fi card and the router’s firmware. Here are some steps and considerations that might help resolve the issue:

: It’s crucial to ensure that you’re using the latest drivers for your Wi-Fi card. However, if the latest drivers are causing issues, rolling back to a previous stable version can sometimes provide a temporary fix.


Network Settings Reset

: Incorrect network settings or corrupted cache data can lead to connectivity problems. Resetting your network settings may resolve these issues.


Power Management Adjustments

: Sometimes, the power management settings on your laptop can interfere with the Wi-Fi card’s functionality. Adjusting these settings to prevent the card from being turned off to save power could improve stability.


Private Connection Settings

: Setting your connection to private, as opposed to public, can sometimes enhance security and performance.


Hardware Inspection

: If the problem persists, it could be a hardware issue. Inspecting the Wi-Fi card for any physical damage or misalignment and ensuring it’s properly seated in its slot could be beneficial. In some cases, users have found that reseating or even replacing the Wi-Fi card has resolved their issues.


Router Firmware Update

: Check if your router’s firmware is up-to-date. Compatibility between devices and routers is essential, and a firmware update could resolve the issue.


Interference Check

: While you’ve mentioned there are no neighboring Wi-Fi networks, other electronic devices can cause interference. Ensure that devices like cordless phones, microwaves, or Bluetooth devices are not causing interference.


Consulting the Manufacturer

: If all else fails, reaching out to the laptop or Wi-Fi card manufacturer’s customer support can provide device-specific assistance.

In conclusion, while Wi-Fi 6 offers significant benefits, it’s not without its teething problems. The MediaTek 7921 card, while generally reliable, has been known to have issues that can often be resolved with the steps outlined above. If you continue to experience problems, considering a replacement with a different model or brand may be a worthwhile consideration.

Remember, maintaining a stable and fast internet connection is key to making the most out of your Wi-Fi 6 router and ensuring a seamless online experience.

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