Why can't I get faster speed with wifi?

Will Schmidt
Will Schmidt used Ask the Experts™
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I have this laptop that only will download at a maximum of 1.5 to 2 mbs connected wirelessly .  I put a spare hard drive in, install the same OS system and now I get 6 and sometimes almost 7 mbs.  
What can I do to increase the download speed without re-installing the OS?
I have run three different scans and found nothing. (Malwarbytes, ComboFix & Avast)
I have set internet setting to default
It doesn't matter what browser I am using - all act the same.
Even with Ethernet cable it is slow
any other computer works fine wireless or with cable
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do you use the same driver for wireless card on both OSs ?
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
Downloads are usually shown in Mega-Bytes per second while network speed are normally given as Meg-Bits per second.  Bytes are equal to 8 Bits plus the networks have some overhead so a good estimate of max download speed in Bytes is the network speed in Mega-Bits divided by 10.  So you have to know which one you are looking at.

If you are downloading from the Internet, your data is traveling over multiple networks and the Slowest part determines your download speed.  And the 'guarantees' from your ISP only apply to the first part of the connection that belongs to them.  Since download speeds are limited by things outside your browser, it does not normally matter which browser you are using for downloads.  Page rendering is a different issue.

I have a DSL connection that is rated for a maximum speed of 10 Mega-Bits per second.  The fastest downloads I have ever seen are 1 Mega-Byte per second and I believe that was from Microsoft.  Some servers are on much slower paths and run as slow as 50 Kilo-Bytes per second which is the same as 0.05 Mega-Bytes per second.

Author

Commented:
Yes, I use the same driver.  I replaced the original hard drive and, started the system and then uninstalled the driver, and using the same driver I re-installed it.  

Reply to DaveBaldwin:

I am sorry I did not explain myself as clearly as I should have.  My service provider is AT&T.  they have a website to check the download and upload speed.  (http://www.att.com/speedtest/) The download speed on my computer consistently tests between 5.75 & 6.  the upload is normally at .40  But on the laptop in question the speed will only show a download speed at around 1.5 to 2.
When I am downloading a file the highest I can get is around 600 kbs to 675 kbs.  On this laptop downloading a file I get a maximum of about 7 to 20 kbs.  That is way to slow for DSL.   go to this website and you will see what I am saying.  I realize that you probebly will get a different reading depending where you are at.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
You are probably getting interference in your wireless setup.  Change the channel that you are using.  The only channels I use are 1, 6, and 11 beause of the way that they overlap.  If you plug your laptop into the wired network, you should be getting 'normal' speeds.

Author

Commented:
My router is currently set on channel 6.  The laptop seems to be working normal with the cable plugged in, but i need to be able to use the wifi.
   
After some more detective work I think I have narrowed it down to both the registry settings and a broken antenna running up to the top of the lcd screen.  I found another set of antennas and rigged them up on the outside and with the new operating system running everything is working fine.  I still would like to know how to change the system to the correct settings so I wouldn't have to re-install the OS.
Fixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
I haven't heard of a registry setting that would affect the wireless speed though I suppose it's possible.  A bad antenna definitely would reduce your signal and allow for more interference.  I normally set my routers for channels 1 or 11 because channel 6 is the default that they are set to.  If there are other wireless networks close by, changing it to 1 or 11 may make a better connection.
Commented:
Try looking at power settings for wireless card.
What OS are you running?

in XP the setting most likely is in properties tab for wireless card (Constantly on or no power saving, depends on model), but with Win 7 or (SIC) Vista it is under Power Options - advanced setting - wireless card - maximum performance

Author

Commented:
Sorry I didn't get back sooner.  I decided to order another set set of antanna wires.  I tested a set from another laptop and they worked good after I re-installed the os system (windows xp sp3).
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
Good, glad you got it running again.

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