The Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 does have N capabilities as you can confirm here: PRODUCT BRIEF - Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 however, there are a few steps you can do in order to improve your experience as described below:
1. Disable Power Saving Functions: Control Panel >> Hardware and Sound >> Power Option >> Set the High Performance and apply to default settings.
2. Check the Change Plan Settings and change the Advanced Power Settings >> Wireless Adapter >> Power Saving Mode and make sure both on Battery and Plugged in are set to maximum performance.
3. Check the Adapater configurations: Device Manager >> Network Adapters >> The Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 and right click on it and select Properties.
4. Once you are in Properties, select the advanced tab and from the options, select the value of U-APSD support to Disabled.
5. Check the value of Transmit Power and make sure it is set to 5. Highest.
6. Set the Wireless Mode to 802.11 a/b/g (Choose the wireless mode according to the support mode of your router).
7. Set the Preferred Band to Prefer 2.4GHz band.
8. Set the HT Mode to HT Mode for 802.11n compatibility. VHT Mode is for 802.11ac compatibility.
9. Set the 802.11n Channel Width for 2.4GHz to limited 20MHz.
10. Set the value of Roaming Aggressiveness to Lowest.
11. Set the value of Ad Hoc QoS Mode to WMM Disabled.
You can also check these other solutions available online:
Thank you for your response. Prior to reporting this problem, I researched and tried all of the suggestions listed in your response. None of them improve speeds above 20 mbps. While monitoring the WiFi connection, the adapter never uses 208.11n protocol. It only uses 208.11a or 208.11g. I read the product brief several days ago and did see that the adapter is supposed to support 208.11n, but it is not even listed in the Wireless Mode option. Ive had mine set at a/b/g. I can only conclude at this point that it doesn't support 207.11n. I have eliminated all other possibilities and have tried Intel recommendations and it still does not perform as 208.11n.
Have you check the configuration of your router? SUPPORT FOR Linksys E2500 N600 Dual-Band Wireless Router
The link above will lead to right to your router support. Check your router setup and let us know it.
We also recommend to disable Bluetooth* if not in use as it uses the same antennas and this may impact your connectivity.
I have Bluetooth disabled and it doesn't help. My router is a Linksys E2500 that supports wireless N. My older laptop had a WiFi adapter that supports 802.11n and gets speeds of 90-100 mbps. The new Dell laptop with the ac-3160 only gets 15-20 mbps. I've tested and eliminated other possible bottlenecks and everything points to the Intel ac-3160 adapter. Why can't Intel find a solution to this problem? I am not the only customer that has problems with this adapter. There are many reported on this forum.
The 802.11b/a/g/n standards use the 2.4 Gigahertz (GHz) band. With this frequency, 802.11b/a/g/n equipment may encounter interference from microwave ovens, cordless telephones, Bluetooth® devices, and other appliances using the same band. To learn how to change your wireless router’s channel, see this article:Linksys Official Support - Changing the wireless channel on a Linksys router
In cases like this, You can also select the 40 MHz channel width on your 2.4 GHz network to improve the performance of your Wireless-N network. However, this is only advisable if you are in a location less crowded with wireless networks. It is also important to note that in order for your wireless devices to connect to the network, they need to have a Wireless-N network adapter that is compatible with the 40 MHz wireless channel. *If you are not sure about the settings, it is best to leave it at its default settings. The channel width is set to Auto by default. This automatically defines the best wireless channel for your wireless network.
Changing the Transmit Rate on the router allows the device to work at a specific speed for wireless transmissions. The default Transmit Rate is Auto with a range of 1 to 54 Mbps.
The rate of data transmission should be set depending on the speed of your wireless network. You can select from a range of transmission speeds or keep the default setting, Auto. This will allow the router to automatically use the fastest possible data rate and enable the Auto-Fallback feature, which will negotiate the best possible connection speed between the router and a wireless client.
NOTE: If the transmit rate on the router or the adapter is not set to Auto, the Auto-Fallback feature will be disabled. If the Auto-Fallback is disabled, you will not be able to experience the maximum range of the wireless router as it will not be able to adapt to the environment’s condition.
If after checking all this settings and still experience low speeds we strongly recommed that you contact your OEM for further assistance.
Aleki, Thank you for your quick response. It is although concerning that Intel doesn't accept this as an Intel adapter problem. I must reiterate that I tried all of the suggestions I found from Intel. None of them help to improve performance. 802.11ac adapters are supposed to be backward compatible to support 802.11n. This one does not support n.
I have no intention to change my router settings since it is performing well supporting N devices. An example is a laptop with an ralink b/g/n adapter that performs well at n speeds. I don't think its good business to design a device and force customers to make all of these changes just to get a device to support the widely used n WiFi community.