wirless connection slow down
May 8, 2009 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone suggest a remedy for a slowed up wireless connection?

My p.c., laptop's wireless connection has mysteriously slowed way down even though my wife's connection speed (we both work at home) remains strong. I purchased and swept my laptop multiple times with an anti-malware program which found and rid my p.c of several viruses. The program now shows my system is free of all viruses yet the problem continues.
posted by tangyraspberry to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some ideas: Since you've checked for malware already, try rebooting the access point. (Simple, but often helpful if it's been running a while). Then, make sure you're the only ones using it. Freeloading neighbor, perhaps? Are you running an open network (without encryption or anything)? If so, put a password on it. Even 64-bit WEP, while not secure, will often be enough to dissuade casual freeloaders.

Barring that, if you're talking about Internet speed (as opposed to copying stuff on the local network), remember the wireless can only be as fast as the Internet connection. So if your Internet connection speed has tanked, wireless would be slow too. You might try bypassing the wireless altogether to rule that out.
posted by theslarty at 9:47 AM on May 8, 2009

My p.c., laptop's wireless connection has mysteriously slowed way down even though my wife's connection speed (we both work at home) remains strong.

How are you measuring the relative speeds? Also, are you using a proxy or VNC connection on your laptop when you're experiencing the issue?

One method for ruling out any spyware/software issues would be to burn an Ubuntu live cd to boot from and try doing some bandwidth tests on you and your wife's machines outside of the normal Windows installation.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:40 AM on May 8, 2009

One thing we've had a problem with is we have fiber optic internet. Super fast and relatively reliable. The downside, they're now running our cable TV through the fiber optic/ethernet. This results in annoyingly slow internet when the TV is on. In addition, the image quality on TV has dropped markedly. The channels they claim are HD are an absolute joke.

All these changes began when we were contacted by the cable company (PrimeTime Communications), saying that they wanted to 'upgrade' us to the new DVR that now plays and records HD. Wow were we ever stoked when we found out that we could now view and record HD!!

Needless to say, less than a week into it, and we're completely underwhelmed.

Anyways, the point is if some of the internet providers, or even your own, are starting to stream cable TV through the same pipeline as your internet provider, they may be hogging a bunch of the available bandwidth.

Another option, My computer has similar problems at times, and I'm thoroughly convinced I have some spyware. I guess that's what I get when i use McAfee for protection! These days, I think it takes a small Armada of programs (i.e. LavaSoft AdAware, Spybot, AVG Antivirus, etc) to keep your system in full check.

I also agree with theslarty to reboot your wireless router and modem. Unplug both for a minute or two, plug the modem back in, let it fully boot up, then plug the router in.

Good luck, and let us know when you identify the cause/problem.
posted by marinade at 10:49 AM on May 8, 2009

The program now shows my system is free of all viruses yet the problem continues.

Try a different program. There are plenty of free ones out there. Microsoft has one that is pretty good.
posted by caddis at 11:02 AM on May 8, 2009

Does performance improve when you move your laptop closer to the router?
posted by shinybeast at 11:37 AM on May 8, 2009

Here's one from the twilight zone: Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing has - in my experience - decided to install itself and caused inexplicable network latency and IP services issues.

Unless you really want to use a windows box as a router (perhaps the third worst idea in the world) I suggest you nuke the ICS from orbit.
posted by fydfyd at 11:48 AM on May 8, 2009

I'd vote for the wireless adapter having gone wonky. I suffered with one for two years, believing that wireless LAN just sucked. Then it finally died and I got it replaced, and was amazed that it no longer sucked. Check your router and wireless card for dropped/damaged packets.

(Could also be as simple as bad/loose connections between your wireless adapter and the antennas.)
posted by gjc at 5:09 PM on May 8, 2009

Do you have Norton Antivirus installed on your PC?
posted by flabdablet at 5:34 PM on May 8, 2009

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