Baffled by Internet Speed Issue

Posted on 2014-08-10
Last Modified: 2014-08-14
Hi folks,

I am absolutely stumped.

We have cable Internet service shared throughout our home by a Netgear 150 Mbps wireless N router. All but one of our computers typically perform well, and tests run at consistently show speeds of around 10-11 Mbps.

We have one desktop computer, however, that routinely tests at less than 1 Mbps -- often down around 0.5 Mbps! -- and always handles the Internet at a snail's pace. I have done everything I can think of. I've replaced both the wireless adapter on the PC and our wireless router with new units in case they were malfunctioning. I've wiped the PC and re-loaded Windows 7 (Pro x64) from scratch. Nothing changes.

I've brought other computers into the same area of the house to make sure something wasn't killing the wireless signal. Nope, they do fine.

Any idea what could possibly be causing this?

Question by:Ithizar
    LVL 50

    Expert Comment

    Ithizar --
    Run the speedtest on the slow PC plugged into  the cable directly without the router in the middle.  Does that improve the speed?

    How old is the PC?  What  browser?  Is this the same for all PC's?

    Author Comment

    Hi, and thanks for your comment!

    As I detailed in my original post, the other PC's in the house are working fine.

    Logistically, it would be a bit difficult for me to get the PC into proximity with the router and plug it in directly. I can do that if absolutely necessary. However, since all of the other PC's in the house perform flawlessly, it strikes me that it is unlikely the router is at fault. Though I wouldn't rule anything out.

    The PC is about 2 years old, but it was custom built as a high-end machine (AMD FX 8350 quad core processor, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, etc.), so it still has very respectable specs. The normal browser in use is Firefox, but switching to a different browser makes no difference in the test results.

    LVL 89

    Accepted Solution

    If you can get the machine to the modem, then I suggest you try. Like jcimarron, I test computers at the cable modem to determine if there is a fault in the computer.

    I know you have reloaded Windows on the problem computer, but try running TCP/IP Reset.

    Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator
    Then  netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
    Restart the computer

    Make sure there are no IP conflicts in your gear. All should be DHCP and none static.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    Possibe a TCP/IP Tweek.

    LVL 89

    Expert Comment

    by:John Hurst
    I used to use Tweakmaster in XP days and found that tweaks did not do anything much. Newer systems have better TCP/IP implementations.

    If you do make changes, document them specifically so you can undo them. TCP/IP Reset will remove any tweaks.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    by:Scott Thomson
    I would test with the following
    1. Test how fast you can send a receive a file between this machine and another - this will determine if for some reason there is a difference between http traffic and regular data traffic on your network
    IE - if you are getting slow transfer rates sending data internally on your network then it means the issue is not your internet at all. its just the network device or your configuration.

    2. How far away is this machine and what sort of objects are between this machine and the router in question?

    3. What router are you using and what wireless card are you using.? the difference may (not always) but may be the cause. You also stated your router is 150 but didn't state what connection your wireless card was. this is a good reason to tell us the card or to check on the cable as requested earlier. Even if you only move the machine itself and not the monitor and dial into it remotely.. you can still then test..

    4. Where do you live? in an apartment or a house? are there many other wireless connections around you?

    Author Closing Comment

    The solutions selected did not totally fix the issue -- I am still seeing lower speeds than on other wireless devices -- but did make a significant improvement and at least make the PC usable. Thanks to everyone who replied!
    LVL 89

    Expert Comment

    by:John Hurst
    @Ithizar  - Thank you for the update and I was happy to help.

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