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Why is Macbook Internet faster than Vista

Posted on 2010-09-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
My MBP gets 10Mbps download (ISP max) while my Vista (64bit) computer only gets between 4-5Mbps download.

Both MBP and Vista desktop computers are connected to an Apple Time Capsule router.  The TC plugs directly into my cable modem.  Both computers connect wirelessly to the TC.  Both are using 802.11n.   The TC is under a desk, beneath both computers.

I initially used this link http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-5-vista-tweaks-to-increase-internet-speed/ to resolve the Vista speed issue.  It went up to 10Mbps but that was only temporary.  Even after a reboot, speed doesn't improve.  What is it about the Vista box that it only gets 1/2 the speed of the MBP?
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Question by:brettr
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33657595
Are you using the same browser on both computers?  IE on my computers is a slug compared to Firefox, Safari or Chrome.
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Expert Comment

by:SportsDayMedia
ID: 33658290
Try using wireshark to take a look at the network traffic.  This might give you an idea of the activity that is bogging down the Vista machine...
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Expert Comment

by:joinaunion
ID: 33658381
Go here http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/TCP-IP-Limit-AutoPatch-Download-72536.html
Make sure you click on read more under the download links on the left.
This will increase your tcp/ip limitation.
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Expert Comment

by:joinaunion
ID: 33658382
Sorry on the right.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33658516
FF and Safari are nearly identical speeds.  Wireshark is very confusing.

I tried the download link and it found an out of date network card driver.   But it wants me to register with their software to update.  I didn't see a read more anywhere on the page.

I'll try to get an update on the network card driver another way.
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Dave Baldwin earned 200 total points
ID: 33658527
Sometimes Windows Update will have a newer driver but you have to click on the optional updates, not just the security updates.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 33658680
Let's consider the computer hardware.

What is the make and brand of the Vista machine(processor, RAM, Motherboard if OEM, NIC model/driver).  You then would compare this to the MBP.  Bottlenecks may exist depending on hardware used.


Also are they both using N, G or A for wireless or is this over ethernet?
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Expert Comment

by:SportsDayMedia
ID: 33658837
Is the Vista machine using the Standard wireless software to connect, or is there a third party application controlling the wireless connection?  Also do you have network security turned on?  If so what type?
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33659012
I updated the NIC (Realtek) through Windows Update.  After the update, it got as high as 8Mbps but is now back down to around just over 5 to 5.6Mbps.  

The Vista box is an HP Pavilion 9400t desktop:
- Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q6600 2.40Ghz
- 4.00 GB RAM
- Realtek 802.11n
- not sure on the motherboard

All NICs are wireless and using N, as mentioned in the OP.
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Expert Comment

by:xdomains
ID: 33659700
Do you have all the Vista service packs and patches? Without all the necessary OS updates, Vista crawls.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33661538
Yes - all updates are applied.  And Vista certainly crawls.
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Assisted Solution

by:xdomains
xdomains earned 100 total points
ID: 33661592
I just saw something on MS website... specifically for IE7 & IE8 browsing issues and speeds.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Tips-for-solving-problems-with-Internet-Explorer
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33661659
This is happening in all browsers.  I'll check the link though.
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Assisted Solution

by:joinaunion
joinaunion earned 200 total points
ID: 33670145
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33677074
Thanks.  The first link was included in my link from the OP.  I did apply the second link you posted.

I get between just below 4Mbps up to around 6Mbps.

Here's an additional piece of info I didn't include in the OP.   I recently moved to another state and changed ISPs.  I'm still on cable.  This started on the Vista box since moving.  But how can a change in the ISP affect Vista and not the Mac?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33677181
A lot of things can affect the speed of the connection.  You probably have anti-virus on the Vista and not on the Mac Book.  Anti-virus software installs a 'proxy-server' on your computer so it can inspect the files before the rest of your programs can look at them.  That makes that computer somewhat slower.  Drivers make a difference.  Browsers can make a difference.  IE is a slug on one of my computers compared to the other browsers.

Also, were you getting the same high speed before you moved?  I ask because if they were both slower before, you may not have noticed any difference then.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33677233
Speed at the old location was around 10Mbps constantly.  Computer is configured the same now as before.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33677288
I use the free version of AVG.  I disabled the link scanner and restarted the web browser.  I then tested its speed: 3.54Mbps.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33677311
Then I just don't know.  Something changed.  Windows Update?
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33677352
I have no idea either.  I going to award points based on info given.  Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:joinaunion
ID: 33680278
If everything was the same as before then I would call your isp and ask them if you on a lite speed or a high speed connection.Typically any speeds below 5 mbps indicates a lite speed.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 33681686
I'm on a 10Mbps d/l plan.
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