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Virus limiting My Broadband Speed

by Cell_Splinter / April 1, 2011 8:30 PM PDT

Hi everyone. I have recently upgraded my broadband package from 8mb download to 24mb. I was promised at least 17mb download speed yet so far i have only been able to get 6.5mb. I contacted my isp and they sent out an engineer who could only come to the conclusion that its my laptop. I've ran scans using avg, spybot, outpost security suite and panda online scan and came up with nothing. Any help would be appreciated

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What I see from your post.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / April 1, 2011 9:31 PM PDT

I see AVG, Spybot, and "Outpost Security Suite".

I've not heard of Outpost Security Suite before but I see it combines a Firewall and anti-malware scanner.

This is what we find:

Some combinations are toxic. If your Spybot has it's Advanced TeaTimer scanner turned on, then that often conflicts with other installed anti-virus scanners. They both try to scan the same files at the same time.

If your AVG is the full package, including firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware, then also having another firewall installed and running, eg Outpost, will also cause conflicts as they both fight each other to scan the same files. Even if your AVG is the free version, if AVG and Outpost are running continuously in the background, there may be conflicts.

All of that can and will slow down download speeds.

So, the next step is yours. Try disabling one or more of your combo and see if that improves your internet speed. It is good that users have security, and entirely necessary, but we need to be careful what combinations we use.

I hope that helps.


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Virus limiting My Broadband Speed
by Cell_Splinter / April 2, 2011 12:50 AM PDT

Hi Mark, Thanks for the reply, i've uninstalled outpost and spybot so i'm just running avg now. i ran a speed test and it's still the same(around 6mb). i tried a different laptop on the network and it was getting around 10mb.

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Agree with Mark . . .
by Coryphaeus / April 1, 2011 10:36 PM PDT

and now your next step will be to go here Run these in this order:

Speed Test - make note of your results.
Tweak Test - make note of your results
Dr. TCP - download and run this tweaker using the results from the tweak test. And make sure it points to the wireless adapter, not the Ethernet port.

This has fixed many a laptop including mine.

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Virus limiting My Broadband Speed
by Cell_Splinter / April 2, 2011 12:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Agree with Mark . . .

Hi Coryphaeus, also thanks for the reply, My OS is vista, should i still run that tweak test as it says not to

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You got conned
by Jimmy Greystone / April 1, 2011 10:59 PM PDT

You got conned is the long and short of it. ISPs have been doing this little song and dance for years, and not a single federal agency in a single government the world over, has done squat about it.

First off, you have to note that you're purchasing a 24 megaBIT per second package, but the way they advertise them is in such a way that it leads people to assume it's megaBYTES per second. Big difference.

Second, there's no way they can guarantee a specific download speed. At all. Period. End of story. If you have that in writing, then you could probably sue for false advertising. Networks just don't work that way, especially on the scale of the Internet.

Usually they're cagey about it, and somewhere down in the 10 pages of like 8pt single spaced font where they have the legal disclaimers and "cover your ****" explanations about the bold claims made in the only part 99.99% of people ever look at (which they not only know, but are counting on) you'll see how they claim that you'll only be buying the POTENTIAL to download at 24Mbps (the case of the letter b here is significant. Lower case means bits, upper case means bytes) but actual speeds may vary.

And given how networks work, you will generally only download as fast as the slowest link in the chain between you and the system you're downloading from.

So the long and short of it, is you got conned, but it's at least partly your fault for not reading the fine print. If you have it in writing where they promised you a minimum download speed, you might be able to win if you sued them, but after legal fees you'd probably be lucky if you broke even. Let this be a lesson on reading that fine print, and stop assuming that everything that seemingly goes wrong is the result of a virus. Computer viruses are on the wane, being supplanted by malware which can be used to make ne'er do well's money, and it would be exceedingly odd for a virus to ONLY slow down your Internet connection. There's a much simpler answer to almost every problem people blame on a computer virus around here, including yours.

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At this point in time
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / April 1, 2011 11:07 PM PDT
In reply to: You got conned

that is absolute rubbish!

You might have added a couple of problems that I would agree with, namely ISP's cannot guarantee maximum speeds all of the time, and traffic on the internet, but the rest is uncalled for and ridiculous generalisations and observations.

Let the OP do the tests first, then we consider other factors.


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No, it's not
by Jimmy Greystone / April 2, 2011 2:58 AM PDT
In reply to: At this point in time

No, it's not, it's just the sad reality of the world we live in. You may be interested in reading up on pending lawsuits against the company Clearwire on this side of the pond. Cable Internet providers have been doing this kind of thing for years, but never quite as brazenly. Ofcom may be pretty toothless, but it's like a great white shark compared to the US FCC and FTC over the past decade. But hey, I'm a fair minded guy, so point out anything in my post that isn't true.

Speed tests are completely useless anyway. All they tell you is how fast you connect to a specific site at a specific time. The only people who take them seriously are the people who have no understanding of large scale networks.

And while I will not say that all telecom engineers are worthless, like any profession, you're not going to get a winner every time. There's a wide range of people in every profession, some are quite good at what they do, most are so-so, and of course some are completely worthless. That's just simple law of averages. Just because you stick "Engineer" on the end of someone's job description doesn't magically make them any more or less competent.

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Virus limiting My Broadband Speed
by Cell_Splinter / April 2, 2011 12:58 AM PDT
In reply to: You got conned

Hey i see were your coming from about the ISP's, I understand i won't be able to get up to 24mb but 6mb is a bit slow when i'm paying for 24, don't you think, surely if could at least double that i'd be happy. When the engineer they sent out tested my line there was 15mb coming off it, so it must be the laptop, also i'm less than half a kilometer from my local exchange...

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No... No it doesn't
by Jimmy Greystone / April 2, 2011 3:34 AM PDT

No... Not it doesn't mean it must be your laptop. They could have faulty equipment, not be well trained on using it, and usually they do the testing at the connection to your house, so there could be bad wiring inside your house causing it as well.

And like I said, all you're paying for is the POTENTIAL of 24Mbps, they're not guaranteeing you'll get anything even remotely close to that at all times. You may be able to download at 24Mbps, but the site you want to go to may only have say a 48Mbps backbone connection, and that has to serve EVERYONE who wants to access that site.

Also, depending on what you're doing, your ISP may well be throttling the activity. Even if they say they don't throttle or shape any traffic, odds are they're lying through their teeth. Comcast initially claimed they weren't doing anything of the sort, and finally when the evidence kept piling up all pointing to the same conclusion, they finally fessed up. Same with probably a dozen other ISPs, and those are only the ones forced to admit to it. Rather than invest in infrastructure to meet growing demands, they cheap out and buy some traffic shaping gear. IMO, it constitutes a breach of contract, but I digress.

Put simply, that 24Mbps connection, assuming we're talking DSL, is only between your house and the ISP. Once you go out onto the greater Internet, everything goes out the window. That is just the facts of life with the Internet. Anyone who knows more about networking than setting up a 2-3 system file sharing LAN will tell you the same.

Sorry to say, but you let yourself get taken in by the big claims and fantasies of being able to download files quickly. You're unlikely to ever come anywhere close to the speeds you think you should be getting, and it wouldn't matter if you lived right next door to the ISP's networking hub. What we sometimes fantasize in our minds when we see ads saying things like "Speeds up to 24Mbps" and what the reality will actually be, are generally very different.

Of course you say that their engineer only could get a 15Mbps signal, which you left out of your initial post... So, that just strengthens the argument that they are selling you a service which they know they can't provide. Best thing to do here, is drop to a lower tier of service that's as close to 15Mbps as possible. Play your cards right, and you might be able to get them to prorate your bill based on the differences in price given their own tech couldn't pull a strong enough signal.

Also, you never mention whether or not this is a cable or DSL service, or even something else. If it's cable, then you're completely and utterly screwed. If it's DSL, you can always hope some construction crew accidentally severs the line and they have to replace it, or that they'll maybe get a new DSLAM switch at the local hub. With cable, short of all your neighbors either moving away or switching to DSL or some other kind of Internet connection, you're screwed. Cable operates on a hub system. Everyone in a specific geographic region is routed through a specific hub, and each hub has a separate connection back to the home office. Usually something on the order of 100Mbps to 1Gbps, which EVERYONE on that hub has to share. Even if it were 10Gbps, you get 10-15 people with that same 24Mbps service package, and the bandwidth will get eaten up very quickly. If we're talking some kind of wireless/cellular service, then the shafting you'd get from Cable is going to look pretty good by comparison.

At no point during this whole discussion have I really seen anything that points to anything other than you allowing yourself to be taken in by the pretty ads and fantasies of downloading things very fast. Then reality came and kicked you in the teeth with it's steel toed boot. You can bang your head against the wall as much as you like, but unless you've been holding back on some crucial bit of info, I wouldn't be holding out much hope if I were you. This isn't what you want to hear, but it's more along the lines of what you NEED to hear. And in the unlikely event that one of the suggestions by the others actually improves things, then even better for you. Expect the worst, hope for the best.

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A couple things.
by mopscare42 / April 2, 2011 4:28 AM PDT
In reply to: No... No it doesn't

Are you DSL or Cable?
If your DSL how far are you from the CO?
Have you done a ping test or tracert, say to a site like Google or Yahoo?
Those are tests that are easy to do and can prove a lot.
Most speed tests are not at all accurate, you will get much truer results with "Shaper probe" sites. You can Google them.
I am with Comcast and am just the opposite of what Jimmy said. I pay for 22/4 and I am always getting at least 30 down and 5 up, that's with Shaper Probe and downloading large files.

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That sounds good..
by Cell_Splinter / April 2, 2011 7:19 PM PDT
In reply to: A couple things.

I will try them shaper probe sites. I've never heard of them before. My connection is dsl and i'm about half a kilometer from my local exchange. I did try tracert but was unsure what i was looking for? Anyway thanks for the advice.

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I kinda agree...
by Cell_Splinter / April 2, 2011 7:09 PM PDT
In reply to: No... No it doesn't

For what your saying about isp's and there ways.. I don't know anything about comcast as i'm actually from Ireland but from what your saying all isp's are the same the world over! This time a few months ago i was only on 3mb broadband with a 30gb download limit and it was fine. Then eircom(my isp) generously upgraded me to there new "next generation broadband" 8mb DSL broadband with a dedicated lane for everyone. Suddenly my bill was getting more expensive every month. When i rang up they said that with the new speed i was downloading more than what i would have normally.

So i decided to upgrade my package to unlimited downloads and when i saw the 24mb maybe i did get taken in. But i can easily switch back to 8mb if i want!

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