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I feel like I'm using dial up... please help

Last response: in Wireless Networking
September 10, 2011 5:27:52 AM

I'm new to the forums, I've been looking around anywhere I can but I haven't really found a clear cut answer to what I need to do to speed my internet up. Right now I'm thinking about upgrading my cable modem to boost internet speeds but the one I'm looking at runs like $150. Being a college student I don't want to drop that kind of cash unless I know it will help. Here are my system specs and what I'm running around the house.

My computer: Dell inspiron 1520 w/ Intel core 2 Duo T5250 @ 1.5GHz (I'm not sure what that means.)
Cable Modem: Linksys model BEFCMU10
Wireless router: Linksys model WRT160N
Internet provided by Comcast and I believe we have some sort of speed booster for the home network. (Moved back with the parents to save cash for school so I don't have to take out more loans). Anyways they have a network in the house with the main cable internet jack in the kitchen and then CAT-5 outlets in most of the rooms. We are also using Vonage and I have an Xbox 360 hooked up to the internet wirelessly.

Our internet has never been super fast but it's gotten slower with the addition of the Xbox to the wireless network. I ran an internet speed check through a cable modem website and download speeds were around .4 kb/s with the Xbox on, and just over 1mb with the xbox off. I looked up the specs for that cable modem and it said it was supposed to do around 40 Mb/s. I moved the wireless router down to the basement and plugged it in through the CAT-5 jack and it now sits around 10 feet from the Xbox and it is in the same room and that did very little if anything.

The new cable modem I was looking at is the Cisco Model EPC3212 EuroDOCSIS 3.0 8x4 Cable Modem with Embedded Digital Voice Adapter - 440 Mbps Cable modem - Hi-Speed USB / Gigabit Ethernet (I'm not sure exactly what all that means I just copied and pasted the specs/description)

Is there a way to get my current set up to run faster? My computer internet is slow even if I plug it into the router rather than using wireless, Xbox live is slow, I lag on online games, netflix streaming never gets to high quality, everything is pixelated and even with the low quality video it still takes forever to load. I also have netflix on my Bluray player and Tivo and it's the same as the xbox. Pretty much the only thing plugged up to our internet that doesn't lag is our Vonage phone service. Thanks in advance for the help, I'm open to any suggestions.

More about : feel dial

September 10, 2011 6:17:36 AM

Welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums!

"...My computer internet is slow even if I plug it into the router rather than using wireless,.."

From this it looks like a computer issue and not a wireless card or modem issue.

1.50 GHz is the clock speed (frequency) of the CPU. Medium speed.

One thing you can try is to delete temp files and cookies. Also check the programs in the startup folder. There is no need to load all programs during startup and have them memory resident which will slow down your computer.

I use "whatinstartup" to manage the programs loaded during startup. It's a free utility program.
September 10, 2011 1:12:41 PM

Comcast has been marketing some rather slow "budget" internet packages this year. They have one setup that cost only $19.95 per month for internet but it only gives 1.25Mb/sec with an advertised "burst speed" of 12Mb/sec which last only a few seconds, then drops down to the slower sustained speed. Changing cable modems will have no effect if this is the plan you have. Check your Comcast bill and see what speed you are paying for, or call them to find out. You may be better off spending more per month to get faster speed rather than hundreds of dollars on a new cable modem that won't speed anything up if your plan is a slow, budget plan. A cheap $72.00 (Wal-Mart) Linksys CM100 can deliver whatever speed you are paying for, so your cable modem is just not a suspect in your slow internet speed. The cable modem does not determine the speed, Comcast does.
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September 13, 2011 3:30:44 AM

Talked to Comcast today and we were on the 'budget' plan. Now we are on a plan at 12Mb/s and a 15Mb/s 'boost'. Their next tier up is 22Mb/s. I'm running speed tests and my wireless on the is reading between 5 and 10Mb/s download and a more consistent 10Mb/s plugged into the router. Xbox is still running kind of slow. I read somewhere about possibly changing the channel that the wireless uses.... would that help?

September 13, 2011 6:41:55 AM

Changing the channel will help if you have close neighbors using the same channel.

Turn off your wireless router and see who shows up in Windows, that is, what channels are in use and how strong the signals are. Set your wireless to an open channel or at least on one that is weakest in your area.

Try to test your speed.