Making the Raspberry Pi Model 3 wireless faster

Why Pi, Why?

During some experimentation with a program I’ve been working on, I was moving files from my Linux desktop to my Pi using SCP, and noticed the transfer speeds were barely reaching 1 MB / s on my home network.

Was it my network, or the Pi? I ran a few more tests and determined it was the Pi on Wifi only. The wired connection is very fast, as it should be.

###What next?

Why, Google search, of course. Pretty quickly I found several forum posts asking for help with the Raspberry PI 3 wireless being slow. After reading several, and seeing a few different potential solutions, I found what I’ll call the ‘right’ solution.

Someone figured out that the 3 has a ‘power save’ mode which is on by default, and this appeared to be causing quite an issue with speeds. Many turned it off with a simple command,

sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

and that seemed to fix their problem. Fortunately, I didn’t stop reading at that post, and I found that a few folks who turned it off, then had issues with intermittent cut-offs in their connection, as well as an issue with the ‘power save’ feature being back on when they would reboot the Pi 3.

A little more research and there was someone with a little advice on a script they were using with success, and that’s what I’ve instituted on my Pi with success thus far as well.

The speeds are now up around 10 MB/s with transfers on Wifi, and I’m able to stream my linux desktop view to my Pi over wireless.

The Script

Here’s the steps to make the script.

  1. On the Raspberry Pi 3 with wifi issues, open a terminal (bash prompt).

  2. enter sudo touch /etc/network/if-up.d/wlan0

  3. change the permissions on this file using sudo chmod +x /etc/network/if-up.d/wlan0 making it executable.

  4. use Nano to edit the file with this command sudo nano /etc/network/if-up.d/wlan0

  5. add the following lines to this script:

    niwconfig wlan0 power off

remember to add one more empty line at the end, and save using CTRL+O then exit Nano using CTRL+X.

Now, reboot, and test your changes.

@tbaugh This is probably something you want to do on the Pi there at Home Instead too.