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Old 08-26-10, 10:30 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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Slow internet -- how to troubleshoot?

I just returned to school, meaning I'm living in a house I rent that is right outside of the campus. The landlord (a real one, who accepts checks, provided me with a real room, ) supplied a decent wireless router:
Netgear WNDR3300. It has a dual network capability; N and G networks are available at 2.4 and 5ghz respectively. I have a Netgar N600 wireless adapter for my desktop, which I am using now. I'm connected to the N network.

I'm noticing the internet is painfully slow, and sometimes fails to load pages at all! I went to speedtest.net and found a down speed of 3.89mbps and up of .25mbps.

I also ran a ping test on the same site and here's what came up:


Is this why my internet is so slow? How can it be resolved?
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Old 08-26-10, 10:45 AM   #2
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Signal quality is?

traceroute says?
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Old 08-26-10, 02:33 PM   #3
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What browser are you using? Opera has a "Turbo" mode that speeds up slow connections. It benefits the archaic dial-up users the most.
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Old 08-26-10, 03:21 PM   #4
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your ping is horrible. Step 1: use a network cable and plug directly into the most direct line you have, re-run the test. Step 2: plug into the wireless router you intend to use with a cable as well, re-run the test. If those work fine, try the G network. Might be a problem with different wireless N draft standards? not sure if that would be an issue.
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Old 08-26-10, 03:36 PM   #5
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Unless you have a need for G, turn it off as it can sometimes interfere with N networks.

Could also be ISP service. Bypass the router by plugging your computer directly into the modem and do those same tests again.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:34 PM   #6
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Weird. I got home from class, tried it again, and here is what I found:


The internet obviously feels a lot faster too. I think this was an ISP hickup. It alarmed me because it was my first experience with the internet on this computer at my new location. Unfortunately do need to keep the G as well as the N -- two of the five people in my house have N adapters; the other three have G only.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:42 PM   #7
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Cable eh?

Go to the status page of the modem by typing 192.168.100.1 and check the signal strength.

http://www.dslreports.com/faq/3412

Downstream Power:
You generally want between -12db and +12db. Most modems are rated from -15 to +15. Anything less or more than that and you may have quality issues.

I personally prefer to not have less than -7db. If you want to raise your signal level a bit, check my troubleshooting and splitter section.

Downstream SNR:
This number is best over 30, but you may not have any problems with down to 25. Anything less and you will probably have slow transfers, dropped connections, etc.

See my "Downstream SNR" definition for more information on this.

Upstream Power:
The lower this number is, the better. If it is above 55, you may want to see if you can reconfigure your splitters. Anything above 57 is not good and should be fixed ASAP. (This is getting pretty close to not being able to connect.)

Upstream SNR:
Anything above 29 is considered good. The higher this number is, the better. If this number is below 25 and 29, you have a minute amount of noise leaking in somewhere. If it's anything less than 25, you want to get it fixed as you may have a lot of packet loss or slow transfer rates.
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Old 08-26-10, 06:42 PM   #8
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You're sleeping in the living room again?
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Old 08-28-10, 09:21 AM   #9
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So now facebook and some other sites are loading excruciatingly slow. When they do load, they appear as text-only with links stacked on top of each other; obviously this renders the sites unusable. This happens in all browsers (tested Chrome, IE, and Firefox) and my roommates do not appear to have this problem. I ran MalwareBytes, CCcleaner, and my antivirus program, all of which found no errors. I have a solid wireless connection of 162mbps.

Examples of websites that don't load (properly):
http://www.collegehumor.com/
http://www.pbs.org
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.cbs.com
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Old 08-28-10, 09:29 AM   #10
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My laptop, when connected directly to the LAN port (RJ45), loads all of these pages without issue -- could the problem be my wireless adapter?
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Old 08-28-10, 11:04 AM   #11
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Here's cable's nasty secret, as explained to me: the more people on line, the slower the service. If there are 50 customers in your "link area", you might have great speed, but if there are 500, it will be slow.

Now, that's what someone told me, so I don't know if it's true or not - I have satellite because cable won't serve my area of the boonies.

On the other hand, there is some sort of windows update out there that keeps updating a driver in my son's wireless internet laptop that we have to keep rolling back because it about shuts down his service (windows 7).
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Old 08-28-10, 11:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Signal quality is?
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
My laptop, when connected directly to the LAN port (RJ45), loads all of these pages without issue -- could the problem be my wireless adapter?
Signal quality? Any other appliance in the same frequency range?
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Old 08-28-10, 11:31 AM   #13
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Blame the ISP

Actually I experience the same thing. While I don't do the tests noted earlier, Windows simpl diagnostic show my intranet for the network is fine, but the signal to the cable modem is not there. It is frustrating in that 10 minutes later works fine.

Last week I called Brighthouse because in addition to the internet issue, the TV signal was pixelating on all TV's - with and without the box. Again sporatic - freezeframe, pixelate, recover but do it 3 or 4 times during a program. To add insult to injury, had to call on my cell phone as the cable phone was also impacted. They did a push reset over the phone which seemed to help, but 2 days later doing the same. Have to call them now and set up a service appt for full line quality check next week.

The other person is right about more people on the cable node the more diluted the signal.
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Old 08-28-10, 12:23 PM   #14
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I'm thinking the problem is on my end and not the ISP's -- none of my roommates complain about this, and we all share the same wireless network.

Signal strength (from the modem) is not bad:
Downstream

Frequency 735000000 Hz
Signal To Noise Ratio 37.5 dB
Power Level -1.3 dBmV

Upstream
Channel ID 3
Frequency 30000000 Hz
Power 46.4 dBmV
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Old 08-28-10, 12:25 PM   #15
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Signal quality? Any other appliance in the same frequency range?
There are no other appliances in the frequency range that I know of. I'm connecting to the 5ghz N network, which should be pretty well free of interference.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
My laptop, when connected directly to the LAN port (RJ45), loads all of these pages without issue -- could the problem be my wireless adapter?
Your roommates' feedback that they're working fine along with this test you did does seem to confirm that the difference exists only with your WiFi connection (since the ethernet works fine). Some more info needed:

1. wireless device model? firmware version? driver version?
2. OS? 32/64-bit?
3. OS firewall, on/off?
4. antivirus & antispyware software? their firewall on/off?


What about setting your wireless adapter to G-mode? Unless you need access to a file-server on the LAN and are pumping alot of BIG files across to your laptop (like movies), there's no need to have +160mbps connections when the ISP is only feeding you the internet at 10-20mbps.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
Here's cable's nasty secret, as explained to me: the more people on line, the slower the service. If there are 50 customers in your "link area", you might have great speed, but if there are 500, it will be slow.

Now, that's what someone told me, so I don't know if it's true or not - I have satellite because cable won't serve my area of the boonies.

On the other hand, there is some sort of windows update out there that keeps updating a driver in my son's wireless internet laptop that we have to keep rolling back because it about shuts down his service (windows 7).
My wife was having a similar issue with her Vista 32 running on a Dell laptop. A security patch would not install properly and kept shutting her whole system down. Took her like four days of living with it before discovering the problem and manually installing the update...
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Old 08-28-10, 02:51 PM   #18
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I'd just go get a length of ethernet cable, plug your desktop into the router and disable your wireless card.
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Old 08-28-10, 03:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Your roommates' feedback that they're working fine along with this test you did does seem to confirm that the difference exists only with your WiFi connection (since the ethernet works fine). Some more info needed:

1. wireless device model? firmware version? driver version?
2. OS? 32/64-bit?
3. OS firewall, on/off?
4. antivirus & antispyware software? their firewall on/off?


What about setting your wireless adapter to G-mode? Unless you need access to a file-server on the LAN and are pumping alot of BIG files across to your laptop (like movies), there's no need to have +160mbps connections when the ISP is only feeding you the internet at 10-20mbps.
Thanks for the reply.

The devide is the WNDR3300 router coupled with the WNDA3100 adapter, both with the most recent firmwares.
OS is WInXP 64 bit edition. Professional.
OS firewall is on.
Antivirus is on.

I have the same problem connecting to the G network as I do the N network. I'm aware that there's no need to have a connection like 160mbps when the ISP is providing a fraction of that; I do plan on having a media sharing setup with my roommates (sharing DVD's).

I bought a copy of WIndows 7 shortly before I left school last semester and never got around to installing it. I'm going to install that tonight and try much luck.

Running an ethernet cable is not an option. While the router is physically only about 15 feet away from me, getting there means traversing down a long hallway and flight of stairs.
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Old 08-28-10, 03:43 PM   #20
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Your wifi's not wide open, is it? If so, get some good protection on it. Log into the router to make sure you and your roomies are the only dhcp clients on there.
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Old 08-28-10, 03:52 PM   #21
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Yes the network is encrypted; I've checked again and again my roommates are the only clients on there.
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Old 08-28-10, 04:01 PM   #22
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Does the software for your wireless adapter show you SNR and Signal Strength values?

What is the model number of your wireless adapter? When I type in N600 at newegg, I just get routers.

I used a PCI wireless adapter briefly. It worked, but not all that well.

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Old 08-28-10, 04:18 PM   #23
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The model number is WNDA3100, which I guess is of the N600 series. It doesn't give SNR, but it says the signal strength is 89%.
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Old 08-28-10, 05:01 PM   #24
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The devide is the WNDR3300 router coupled with the WNDA3100 adapter, both with the most recent firmwares.
OS is WInXP 64 bit edition. Professional.
OS firewall is on.
Antivirus is on.
WinXP 64-bit is the problem right there. NetGear has never released a WinXP 64-bit driver for this device. WinXP 64-bit is a bastard child that never got much support from MS or hardware-vendor. Partly because it's a mish-mash of WinXP 32-bit and Windows 2003 64-bit kernel. Creating software for WinXP 64-bit is quite messy. Vista 32 and 64-bit code has a lot more common base and developing 64-bit drivers is much easier.

The driver that you have semi-works on WinXP 64-bit is a hack. Do a full-image backup and load WinXP 32-bit and you'll find much better functionality.
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Old 08-28-10, 05:29 PM   #25
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The OP has a copy of Windows 7 and planning on installing that tonight. Surely Win7 will be supported...
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