General discussion

Diagnosing Download Speed Problem

Some weeks ago, we started experiencing slow email connection speeds and slow connections speeds to some web site (connection to Google seems quicker than most, although the home page graphics take some time to appear

BT said there was nothing wrong with the line. AOL said there was nothing wrong at their end and as they didn't support our DG834N Rangemax router, we should call Netgear. Netgear helped me to reset the router to factory settings and concluded there was nothing wrong with it. They suspected that a Norton Internet Security update might have raised our security levels too high (security and privacy set at Medium in Windows Internet Options)

Norton asked me to download a large file from their webiste, which revealed a download speed of around 11 Kbs when meant the file would have taken five hours instead of a few minutes to download.

My System Situation: BT domestic line. My ISP is AOL with 2Mbs min/8Mbs max line speed.

We are using two wirelss Compaq laptops, one(AMD 64 bit pricessor/1GB RAM)with XP and SP3 and one (AMD Turion Dual Core RM72 2.10 GHZ processor/4GB RAM) with Vista which has had automatic updates since it was installed.

The download speed problem occurs with and without an Ethernet cable connection between the Vista machine and the router.

How can I identify the source of the limitation on download speed?

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AOL, BT, Norton, and well, what a toxic combo.

To see if it's AOL and BT head to some wifi hotspot and see if it's better.

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Diagnosing Download Speed Problem

Thanks. I'll let you know the result. (Why didn't I think of that? Feeling stupid is not unusual when I'm using my computer!). Regards and Thanks again.
PS The router status shows 7520Kbps downstream and 448Kbs upstream on an ADSL link.

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Diagnosing Download Speed Problem


I've been using my vista laptop in a Costa Coffee shop where the download speed was between 100 and 125Kbps as opposed to 5 - 11 Kbps at home.

I called Netgear to see if the 7520Kbps Downstream/448Kbps Upstream speeds were normal for their DG834N router and they confirmed that they are.

So now I have to tackle BT and/or AOL to find out which of them holds the key to my problem. In my previous conversations with them, BT said the line was OK and AOL said they could not support the DG834N router (I believe because they officially support only netgear routers running at G - 10 Mbs).

How do you suggest I frame my approach to AOL now, having established that I don't need support for the router (I paid Netgear for that and established that it is OK)?

If I get zilch out of AOL, how do you suggest I frame my approach to British Telecom, my telephone line supplier?


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Another check.

Any TORRENT USE? Why I ask is that some torrent users have a complaint like yours. Nothing's really wrong but some ISPs do what is called BANDWIDTH SHAPING and throttle torrent speeds.

As that issue is well discussed I stop here.

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Diagnosing Download Speed Problem

Thanks for the followup. The problem has been identified after AOL insisted that my microfilter had failed (it hadn't) and I was lucky enough to speak to a BT person who had the knowledge and intelligence to listen to my story of elimination work that pointed to some kind of line fault - he did a line test and identified a data transmission problem in the local loop - something the BT guy I spoke to originally obviously didn't bother to do before telling me the line was OK.

Regards and thanks for you help

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I couldn't have guessed the ISP had failed to do their testing.


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