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Internet Speed Fluctuating

Last response: in Networking
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January 17, 2011 6:01:19 PM

Alright so I just moved into my 1 bedroom apt. about 2.5 weeks ago and as a result I had to switch internet providers from Comcast to Cox and also got a new router for Xmas that I have started using at my new place. (I was using a LevelOne N_Max Wireless Broadband Router but am now using a D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Gigabit Wireless Router. I made the switch because the level one router had to be reset almost everyday during the last couple months I had it.) I'm paying for the exact same internet plan with Cox that I had with Comcast (15 Down/2 Up) however the speed with Cox has been fluctuating a lot vs. Comcast (when I do speed test with my current ISP I get anywhere from 5-20). Also online games, such as Halo, lag a lot more at my new place vs. my old one. I've been trying to figure out why this is and so far have had no luck. So far this is what I have tried:

I tried plugging directly into the modem and I do notice a bit of an improvement when doing a speed test with this. I tried playing halo while plugged directly into the modem and at first it was much smoother but it then started to become laggy again after 10-15 minutes. This is what Cox suggested I try when I called them a few days ago. I'm gonna try calling them again soon but I'm not expecting to get much more help with this.

I've tried lowering the security settings on my router and turning off extra features (WISH [Wireless Intelligent Stream Handling], Advanced DNS service, Unicasting etc.) but that did nothing either. I turned on Multicasting which at first seemed to work, but then it just fell back down again.

The Firmware on the router is up to date and I've also tried turning off and turning back on the router and modem numerous times.

I'm not a networking expert so I don't really know what else to try. I would like try out my old router but I gave it to my old roommates. One other thing I've also noticed is that wireless on this router is slower then my old one (everything is plugged in directly to the router minus my work laptop and iPhone). On my old router I would consistently get 150 Mbps on work laptop (which has an N card) on this new one it generally only gets 65Mbps and occasionally will get 150 Mbps.

So is there anything else I can try to fix this issue? My best guess is that it's either the router or the wiring in this building. Thanks in advance for your help!
January 18, 2011 12:53:58 AM

Try replacing all of your ethernet cables, and disable any 3rd party firewall programs besides the built-in firewall into your operating system. It's cost effective, and normally, the problem really is right in front of you.

Now, if that doesn't work, it could be software related. Again, firewalls and anti-virus software could affect ping. Sometimes, graphic lag is mistaken for high ping, and this could be caused by anti-virus programs, or torrenting software to be running. If that is the case, disable real-time protection in the settings.

If the issue still persists, your modem could be giving out. Newer modems today more often change frequencies when one frequency has too much traffic. This can be received through your ISP if available. Hope this helps.
January 19, 2011 12:22:35 AM

Thanks for the response I definitely appreciate it. I just tried switching out the Ethernet cables and disabling the firewall on the router and my anti-virus software (I use ESET NOD32 for anti-virus if that matters at all) and had no difference. The last few speed tests I've run tonight I have only been getting about 3.5 Mbps download.

I also tried running a program called SG TCP optimizer and that had no effect either on speed.

The modem COX gave me I believe is a brand new one, but I am going to call them tomorrow to see if maybe they can switch it out with another (it's just a basic Motorola one). I do think your right in that problem is probably right in front of me, I feel like it's probably just some random setting on the router that needs to be adjusted or just some switch on the ISP's end that needs to be flipped.

Very frustrating as I thought COX would be at least a little better then Comcrap. If you have any other ideas definitely let me know, I'm willing to try anything at this point.
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January 22, 2011 5:17:50 PM

Randomly changing out stuff is expensive and time consuming. You should test out each step in your network chain.

Test the cable, run a bandwidth test between two computers, run a trace route, ping your first hop and see if it's bad. etc etc.
January 23, 2011 10:54:16 PM

Kewlx25 said:
Randomly changing out stuff is expensive and time consuming. You should test out each step in your network chain.

Test the cable, run a bandwidth test between two computers, run a trace route, ping your first hop and see if it's bad. etc etc.


I don't think the user purchased additional cables. But if he did, it never hurts to have a spare. Besides, it'd be more helpful if you gave him the step-by-step on what you're suggesting, otherwise he'd be wasting his time trying to figure out what your talking about!
April 27, 2011 3:19:14 AM

You could try plugging your computer directly in to the modem Bypassing the router completely. This would eliminate one device from the equation.
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