Wireless router slow at home, fast at work. Why?
April 1, 2009 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I have a Linksys wireless router that has started running my internet connection as slow as molasses at home, but when I brought it to work it is fine in the office. Anyone have an idea of WTF might be going on?

I have a Linksys WRT54G2 wireless router at home with a Verizon DSL internet connection. In the last week or two my internet speed has been very, very slow. When I checked the speed a couple of nights ago it actually showed as being slower than a dial up connection. I hooked up my laptop to the DSL modem with a network cable and the internet connection was fine, so my immediate guess was that something was up with the wireless connection.

So this morning I brought the router into work and swapped it with the office wireless router (another Linksys router on a Comcast cable internet connection) to see what would happen. When I connected with the new wireless network from the home router, everything worked without any problems. The wireless connection here in my office is absolutely fine with both wireless routers, and in fact using Speedtest.net the router from home was faster than the one in the office. I also took the time to update the firmware on the home router while I had it hooked up here

Any ideas what would be causing the difference in connection speeds between home and office locations? If my DSL modem is giving acceptable speeds with a wired connection I am guessing the problem had to have been with the wireless router, but in the office it performs flawlessly.
posted by worker_bee to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you use a lot of torrents? Or anything other type of peer to peer app that would open a lot of simultaneous connections?

If so, did you try just resetting your router to see if performance improved?

I had that router, and would find that after a day or two of heavy torrent use, it would um... run somewhere between super slow and not at all.
posted by nerhael at 8:00 AM on April 1, 2009

How secure is your router? Check how many people are connected to your router at home. Sounds like you've been compromised.

Firmware reset after that.
posted by teabag at 8:03 AM on April 1, 2009

FWIW I was running my wireless open (because I'm a nice neighbor) but someone glommed on and was downloading torrents (or some other extraordinarily high-bandwidth activity) 24/7.

I noticed because our internet connection always seemed very slow--ran speed tests etc just as you did.

After locking them out, all was normal.

One (simple but NOT foolproof) way to detect this type of connection is check your DHCP clients list--should be one of the options in the router. Another simple way would be to check your router's log files.
posted by flug at 8:12 AM on April 1, 2009

Did you try using a wired connection to the router from the laptop? If it's only slow during wireless and not wired it's most likely interference (get netstumbler to check) or people jacking your connection (use encryption).
posted by Kupo? at 8:19 AM on April 1, 2009

That router might track connections, but badly - I forget if lowering the number tracked or lowering the time watched is more helpful. I'd watch the blinkenlights to see if there's furious blinking - if there is, you probably have a p2p-overusing roommate (in which case, tell them to throttle their upload) or neighbor. I installed the Tomato firmware, & when that happened, I'd put them into a lower priority class, preventing them from interfering with my browsing yet not kicking them off - being kicked off is easy to workaround, & I didn't want to play whack-a-mole.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:50 AM on April 1, 2009

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