Turns out that my slow speeds were due to my installation of Protowall (ip blocker if you arent familiar) not being compatible with my network card (Realtek). In case it could help, heres a link to the Protowall manufacturer's documentation on the issue: http://www.bluetack.co.uk/modules.php?name=FAQ&myfaq=yes&id_cat=1&categories=ProtoWall+FAQ#4
Cheers to clearing this one up..
Today, all of the sudden, my bandwidth sucks. My SBC DSL was running at around 2400 kbps, then today, around 200 kbps in every speed test I can find! This has happened once before without an explanation and a reformat was required to fix the problem.
This time I've done a virus check w/updated defs, ad-aware scan, and theres no suspicious processes running in the background (as far as I can see). I even plugged the cat 5 from my modem into my other computer and sure enough, 2400kbps. Whats going on here?
I have considered a similarity in both occurences of this slow connection problem: before each time this has happened I installed Azureus (bit torrent client) and the required java runtime files to run the app (they have since been uninstalled yielding no change in speed). Im not sure if this is at all connected... maybe?