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Intermittent broadband not giving right speed

Hi

Maybe someone can help me? I recently subscribed to an 8Mbps service (ukonline) but am having trouble getting any speed out of my connection. At the moment I'm seeing 3.2Mbps but my connection regularly cuts out and I have to restart my PC to get it to connect again. I'm using:

Alcatel Speedtouch USB modem
Windows XP SP2
AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.3Ghz
KT7a m/b
256MB RAM
Avast antivirus v4.6
Windows firewall

Interestingly, when I first connected my new service I got about 800Kbps until I stopped the antivirus and the firewall and tried again. Then I got 3.2Mbps, even now that the firewall and av are back on. But now the connection is unstable.

What should I check? Please bear in mind my PC knowledge is limited! Thanks!

Laura

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