UniFi Network – Optimizing Wired Network Speeds

The main factors that contribute to wired speeds are:

  • Physical (Layer 1) connections between your networking devices
  • Available device resources (e.g., CPU and Memory)
  • Protocol limitations
  • Software or configuration limitations

Follow these guidelines, and those in Optimizing Wireless Network Speeds, to maximize your total network throughput.


Check Your Cabling

Make sure your cables are undamaged and securely connected to their respective ports. If your speeds are slower than you expect, swap out your cables for new ones. We recommend using SFP/SFP+ modules or DAC cables, when possible, to maximize speeds. Otherwise, use CAT6 RJ45 cables

Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Network Cabling for more information. 

Ensure That All Ports Negotiate Proper Speeds

All UniFi devices automatically negotiate their speeds. Some clients, however, may be incapable of doing so. For these devices, we recommend manually setting their link speed in the Port Management section,  found in the UniFi Devices tab of the Network Application. 

Please be sure to check each client’s specifications. Not all clients have a Network Interface Card (NIC) capable of negotiating at faster rates, such as 1 Gbps.

Note: Clients with speed negotiation issues often result in dropped connectivity. This is a telltale sign to look for if you suspect a client-specific issue.

Disable Resource-intensive Software Features

Resource-intensive features such as Threat Management and Smart Queues may reduce throughput by up to 30%. Please consider this when prioritizing network speed, performance, and security.

Note: Smart Queues are only recommended if you have expected Internet speeds of 250 Mbps or less and you consistently have more internet traffic than your bandwidth can support.

Other features that may impact throughput include: 

  • Device and Traffic Identification (Deep Packet Inspection)
  • Firewall Rules
  • Content Filters
  • VPNs 

To approximate your deployment’s resource usage, try our UniFi OS Console Resource Calculator

Note: These features will only affect traffic routed through your gateway or to the internet. It should not affect LAN traffic between devices on the same network.

Minimize Network Congestion

A high number of concurrent clients routing traffic through a local network device, like a single switch, may reduce throughput. To resolve this, we recommend separating network traffic or adopting an additional Layer 3 switch.

Be Aware of Protocol and Client Limitations

Certain protocols offer  lower performance. For example, L2TP VPNs are relatively slower compared to Wireguard or Teleport. Another example of a traditionally slow protocol is SMB file transfers.

Similarly, some clients may be limited by the resource intensity of the applications they run, independently of your network.

Use DHCP or Static WAN (Internet) Connection When Possible

PPPoE is a very CPU-intensive protocol that may reduce throughput compared to DHCP or Static IP configurations.

Remove Traffic Rules and Bandwidth Profiles That Limit Client Traffic

We always recommend taking a moment to verify that there are no active Traffic Rules or Bandwidth Profiles reducing client throughput.

Expedite Your Support Request

Please include answers to the following in your request to expedite your support experience:

  • What are your expected speeds?
  • How are you hosting your UniFi Network Application (i.e., UniFi OS Console vs. self-hosted)?
  • What version of UniFi Network are you running? What firmware versions are your network devices running (e.g., switches, APs, gateway, etc.)? Please refer to our Software Releases directory to verify everything is up-to-date.
  • If you are using a UniFi OS Console, what version of UniFi OS are you running? Please refer to our Software Releases directory to verify if you are running the most up-to-date UniFi OS.
  • How widespread is your throughput issue? Does it affect wired clients, wireless ones, both, or just certain devices?
  • When did this issue start?

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