Why is my internet acting like it's 1998?
June 18, 2008 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Why does my internet connection suck?

Here is the situation:

I just moved into a house where there is a wireless network that is too complex to begin with. There are two printers connected wirelessly to two laptops in the family room, two Tivos connected wirelessly, two laptops connected wirelessly that range from around the house and my desktop located in the absolute farthest room away from the router. The internet signal that Windows picks up is only 2 bars but the computers downstairs have full signal coverage but the speed is abysmally slow. I.e. don't even think of looking up Youtube.

Is our internet connection 'full'? Did we jam the tubes or something? It seems that as soon as I moved in, the slow down began. The connection is supposed to be very quick (I don't have the details) and the wireless router is fairly new as well. Is this something that could be fixed with a different router or do we need to upgrade to FIOS or something similar?

Side note: I don't want to go into wireless repeaters due to the internet settings for the printers are bound to get messed up in the process but there is a cable outlet in my room. Is there anyway to attach an additional modem and router to this outlet and receive better internet access?
posted by bigcheesegump to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would bet that you've got multiple transmitters riding over each other on the same frequencies. A careful inventory of which frequency each device is trying to use would be revealing.
posted by Class Goat at 3:41 PM on June 18, 2008

The wifi isn't open, is it?
posted by stavrogin at 3:47 PM on June 18, 2008

you don't mention what ISP this is. is it verizon?

i had a similar problem with a verizon wireless router. the problem turned out to be that in the router's firmware, the wireless channel was set to "automatic" by default, which caused the thing to slow way the fuck down, presumably because it was channel-hopping endlessly or something. what fixed it was logging in to the router's administration page, and changing the wireless settings to use a particular channel. you might look at that.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 4:15 PM on June 18, 2008

Can you plug into the router with a cable? If so, does the slowness continue? Are other computers in the house slow?
posted by stovenator at 4:20 PM on June 18, 2008

Anybody torrenting? I've found it annoyingly easy to flood the upstream, which will kill your connection.

Other than that: is it just the internet which is dying? How do you go with large file transfers between the wireless clients? (or, I suppose, is the desktop affected too? (assuming it's a wired connection))
posted by pompomtom at 4:20 PM on June 18, 2008

Also, with wireless printers and stuff like that, I bet you have some 802.11b devices that operate at 11mbit. That makes all the 54mbit connections slow down to 11mbit, if I remember correctly.
posted by lockle at 7:37 PM on June 18, 2008

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