Need help troubleshooting slow internet
December 14, 2011 6:13 PM   Subscribe

My internet connection suddenly slowed way down. I've tried all the usual things, but I need some expert advice.

Here are the facts:
-I'm running a Windows 7 desktop with a USB wireless connection
-My internet connection slowed down significantly in the last month, consistently reports download speeds in the range ofof 0.5 Mps, but the upload speeds are around 3 Mps.
-No other computer on my home network has this problem.
-The problem remains if I connect via VPN
-The problem remains if I reboot my computer
-I have rebooted the wireless router and modem to no effect.
-Preliminary virus scans with Spybot Search&Destroy and Microsoft security essentials have shown no infections.

I'm not very well educated in networking, so I need some help
posted by nickhb to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Open a console window on this and another computer and run


and compare timing. If they are about the same it's not the network.
posted by sammyo at 6:17 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, the ping times were the same on the slow connection as on the regular one. What is the significance of that?
posted by nickhb at 6:24 PM on December 14, 2011

Scan with Malware Bytes as well, just as a precautionary.

Anyways, same ping times means that (tongue-in-cheek) your connection isn't dropping randomly (causes of this include failing router), which is good.

Is this on a laptop or a desktop? It might just be the USB wi-fi adapter that's failing.
posted by Angel of Khaos at 6:34 PM on December 14, 2011

Response by poster: Desktop. Would a failing adapter lead to such consistent results, especially such high upload speeds?
posted by nickhb at 6:40 PM on December 14, 2011

Response by poster: And the adapter is reporting full functionality and perfect reception
posted by nickhb at 6:41 PM on December 14, 2011

Try an ethernet cable and see if that works. Temporarily move the router/modem near the desktop. It's not your network, it's your computer.

Did you recently change any of your computer settings? Install any software? Try the diagnose/troubleshoot option that Windows come with?

This might take some time, it might not. Depends on what the problem is. Btw, how old is the computer and adapter.
posted by Angel of Khaos at 7:00 PM on December 14, 2011

Response by poster: No recent changes that I can think of. The computer and adapter are both less than six months old. The troubleshooter did not see a problem. Hardline is not an option as the house is old and does not have an ethernet connection in the room.
posted by nickhb at 7:07 PM on December 14, 2011

What model is the wireless adapter? You can try updating the drivers for it too, and you can also test it on other computers. Go into Device Manager:
Start > Search "Device Manager" > Network Adapters
Do you see the wireless adapter listed there? If so, check to see if the other adapters are not interfering with it.

I used to have USB adapters, until one day I accidentally hit the wall with it connected to the laptop, and it bent and had to be re-soldered. Perhaps the same happened for you (I highly doubt it, but it helps).
posted by Angel of Khaos at 7:15 PM on December 14, 2011

Response by poster: WOO! GOT IT! 8 Mps! I went in the device manager for the USB adapter, and enabled 802.11d. I don't know what it was I did, but it worked. I love you all. I love you, Angel of Khaos, I love you, sammyo, I love the whole damn world.
posted by nickhb at 7:27 PM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Lul, glad to help. Sometimes it's those small details you have to watch out for.
posted by Angel of Khaos at 8:17 PM on December 14, 2011

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