I've bought a new notebook with rtl8723ae wifi chip (or at least it looks like)

$ lspci | grep RTL
03:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8723AE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter

Windows also shows rtl8723ae in the device manager.

At the moment, I have windows 7 and ubuntu 13.04 installed.

When I use wifi with windows booted, everything goes ok, router shows stable signal about -60 dBm and link speed 135-150 Mbit/s. Download speed seems OK.

But when I am in ubuntu with the same distance/walls to the router, download speed jumps from 0 to good, router shows signal ~ -80 dBm (with the same notebook vs router placement!) and link speed jumping randomly from 1 mbps to ~54 mbps.

Stable link with 135-150 mbps and signal -60 dBm under ubuntu is achievable only with the notebook at a 30 cm distance to router. Any longer distance or my body between the router and notebook drops signal dramatically.

iwconfig reports txpower 20 dBm:

$ iwconfig
eth1      no wireless extensions.

lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"ZyXEL_KEENETIC_LITE_3EFA9B"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.457 GHz  Access Point: C8:6C:87:3E:FA:9B   
          Bit Rate=150 Mb/s   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr=2347 B   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=70/70  Signal level=-14 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:28819   Missed beacon:0

Reducing it to 0 dBm with sudo iwconfig wlan0 txpower 0 seem to have no effect.

Signal level reported by iwconfig seem to jump randomly from -90 to +15 dBm (or even once maybe I've seen +26 dBm, not sure).

At a close distance (~30 cm) iwconfig reportes -30 dBm most of the time, but sometimes jumps to something ramdom (+10 dBm, -70 dBm, -90 dBm... )

Also, at a longer distance -60 dBm seems to be more likely to be reported by iwconfig, but random jumps are more often and it's hard to say for sure.

Everything seems like a transmitter power or signal correctness problem. But in windows everything goes OK.

May be, the driver does not work with the chip correctly, but works somehow.

The kernel module rtl8723ae seems to be loaded:

$ lsmod | grep rtl87
rtl8723ae              86459  0 
rtlwifi                79673  1 rtl8723ae

It there anything I can do with this? The notebook was bought for use with ubuntu mainly, but with such a wifi it is not quite usable =(

  • 1
    Maybe this helps: Wireless card Realtek RTL8723AE-BT Ask Ubuntu – Meintjes May 2 '13 at 7:40
  • Thanks for response, but this thread seem to be relatively old. It is from the times when no driver for rtl8723ae was included in ubuntu distribution. But now it is. And it works. But doesn't work fine in my case... If I have time I'll try the driver from their links, but I think it is the same driver that is now included in ubuntu and it'll hardly help. And using ndiswrapper is also an idea, but looks like overkill... May be I'll try it too. – Anatol May 2 '13 at 11:41
  • Right yes but sometime old stuff works best... :P – Meintjes May 2 '13 at 11:46
  • Yes, sometimes it does ) I'll check. – Anatol May 2 '13 at 11:48
  • As for drivers from links - they are for 3.4 and 3.5 kernel and I didn't manage to compile them for 3.8 =( Not sure if it is possible at all. – Anatol May 2 '13 at 12:16

Anatol, I experience a similar problem with my laptop. However, when I do

sudo iwconfig wlan0 txpower 30


sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid MyESSID key xxxxxxxxxxxx

...I get connected.

I have a modem very close to my desktop, with no wall interfering, and sometimes I connect, sometimes not. Then I guessed maybe a power issue was the cause. In my case, I was right.

Hope this confirms your suspicions.


I've experienced much better performance following the advice from this user:


In short, two stages:

  1. Try installing the linux-firmware-nonfree drivers with this command:

    sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

  2. Try installing the WICD network manager. For instructions for your version of Ubuntu, see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WICD

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