Irreversible loss of speed following streaming request

Hi folks,

Flat has wireless internet and my girlfriend has a very fast, consistent connection using the inbuilt wireless card of her laptop.

I have been less lucky. I use a Belkin N Wireless USB Adapter which has worked perfectly well in the past. However, on this network, it does not. On the rare occasion that I boot up my computer to find it working fine, my speed promptly plummets as soon as I request streaming from something like iPlayer. The speed then remains completely unusable, even after rebooting. Only rarely does it come back okay again.

Today I reinstalled the adapter's driver from the provided CD. To my delight it worked perfectly again and for a long time. I then tried to load a You Tube video which loaded very slowly. Shortly afterwards I tried to play a Top Gear video from a website called Street Fire and the exact instant I clicked play it failed again.

When such a failure occurs the connection drops to a completely unusable speed. The wireless icon on the taskbar simply drops one bar from the full bars it was showing previously. If I leave it two minutes it returns to full bars again but the speed remains just as useless.

What's going on here? I don't have access to the wireless router.

- Two computers in our flat
- Wireless router which serves about 3 flats, including ours
- One computer has a consistently good connection
- My computer's connection is catastrophically slow
- When my computer's connection is working fast (rarely), streaming appears to trigger the return to slow speed.
- When going from high speed to slow speed the wireless icon shows a drop in signal of one bar until returning to full bars again. Speed remains just as slow.
- My computer with this same adapter worked fine at my parents house before we moved.

- Windows 7
- Belkin N Wireless USB Adapter V6
- Dell XPS420

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