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Wireless buffering and connection problems

Posted on 2010-11-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Customer has an Acer Aspire 5532 laptop running Windows Home 7 64 bit with an AMD Athlon TF-20 1.60 GHz processor and 3GB of memory.

She has two main complaints.  First of all when trying to look at YouTube videos there’s endless waiting for buffering.  Second, she and her husband both have laptops.  They sit in their chairs side by side and sometimes she doesn’t have connectivity while at the same time he does.  This bugs her to no end.  He has a Dell Inspiron 1545 with wireless G.  

Major problem with the buffering seems to be that they have Hughes Net Satellite, which of course isn’t as fast or dependable as cable or DSL.  Second problem I can see is that they have a Linksys WRK54G router.  That’s a fairly old G router.  

Here are my questions/solutions.  Tell me what you think.

1. The modem and router are in the basement, below where they sit.  
At first I was going to just get him a high gain antenna to improve wireless performance.  Looking at the Toshiba I see it has Draft-N capability.  I have a refurb Netgear WNR2000 V2 router.  I think a better solution would be the Netgear Router.  Opinions?

2. I see that that she has McAfee Security Center.  I’ve hated McAfee for over a decade now.  But I’m wondering if this is just a past prejudice.  She still has 71 days on the subscription.  My inclination is to rip it out and put in AVAST free antivirus, set up her id as a limited one and use the Win 7 firewall.  

But my other thought is that if a piece of software is working for a customer, stick with it.  Does anyone know if McAfee has gotten any better?  Is it still a major drag on performance?  Could it even slow down Internet? Would it protect the client’s computer any better than my suggestion above? Opinions?

3. About the buffering issue, which is a problem both for her and her husband.  I was thinking of installing YouTube downloader and then have them watch the videos after they downloaded.  Would this be too cumbersome and finally a lot slower than just trying to let it download?  Any other suggestions?  

4. Has anyone tried Speedbit Video Accelerator? Opinions?              
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Question by:alanlsilverman
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by:
Dave Baldwin earned 800 total points
ID: 34081145
With Hughes Net (their fastest speed is 5Mbps), I doubt that the router is making any difference.  I'd replace McAfee with Avast myself.  Get the McAfee Consumer Removal Program to clear out all the junk.  If Norton was Ever on those computers, get the Norton Removal Tool and use it too.
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Author Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 34081374
Dave,
The Netgear might not help increase the rate of video streaming but maybe it would help with those times when she doesn't get connectivity at all.  Of course, that could also be caused by some other radio interference, like a phone.
Al
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34081513
The satellite connection can be interfered with by rain and solar flares.  Try anything I guess.
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Assisted Solution

by:yarwell
yarwell earned 800 total points
ID: 34083023
what link speed is shown on the wireless connections - if they're at 24M or faster the wireless isn't the bottleneck
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Author Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 34083151
Remember, there are at least two primary issues here.  There's the buffering issue and the times when only one of the notebooks just doesn't have connectivity.  The other does though.  I've even seen wireless phones cause this.  I don't know the duration or exact circumstances because I'm not at their house, which is 8 miles from here.
The buffering issue is annoying to both of them and probably has the base cause in the Hughes Net.  I would just have them download all videos first before playing them.  Is this a reasonable answer?  
If so, then what is the easiest/best program to do this with and what is the best browser for it?  I'm thinking of a Firefox plug-in.  Although Opera is good for video too.  The problem is that the users are retirees without much computer knowledge.  I think that cut and paste might be beyond them.  So the best thing would be a single mouse click that would begin the download.  The program should not have spyware and it should be efficient.  Any candidates?  
Al
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Expert Comment

by:yarwell
ID: 34083362
if they are at the end of the signal range it's easy for one machine to connect and not another with different sensitivity, directionality, etc.

Does the router have its antenna horizontal to send most signal upstairs ?

Downloading videos is a means to an end but may not suit them. It can take nearly as long to download it as to watch it which doesn't fit today's attention span and demand for instant gratification.. Technically it's reasonable, sociologically it may not be. I don't have any views on download tools.
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Assisted Solution

by:faizbaig
faizbaig earned 400 total points
ID: 34083405

-> How much download speed you are getting when trying to download ...Hope sufficient bandwidth !?
> Buffering kind of delay in playing  youtube video could be because of Antivirus...try disabling Anti virus (all services)
Restart system and see any difference...
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Author Closing Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 34089713
I'm going to replace the router and also use DAP with their video downloader.  I tested it on my machine and got faster downloads than with Firefox native.
I'm also going to get rid of McAfee and put in Avast and make her normal userid a limited one, for greater security.
Thanks to all.
Al
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