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Slow internet on one PC, not whole network

Last response: in Networking
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February 24, 2012 8:05:13 PM

Hi there,

My home network runs from a Virgin Media Superhub and is supposed to be their 50mbps service. There are two PC's on the network and a laptop, but all run on a wired connection.
The laptop gets the full 50mbps connection when I use speedtest but the PC gets between 3 and 10. Sometimes it starts at 30mbps but by the end of the test it always drops to less than 10.

I called Virgin about it and they suggested running a TCP/IP optimiser, which I have but it had no effect at all. I have also tried repairing the network connection and updating the motherboard/ethernet drivers (Nvidia 790i Ultra SLI).
The ethernet cables used for the PC and laptop are very long so to check if there was damage, I switched to the other cable, but the speed was the same. I also tried both ethernet plugs on the PC but it had no effect.

In the network connections (Windows XP), I have 'Internet Gateway', '1394 Connection' (Disabled), 'Local Internet Connection 12 (Active) and 'Local Internet Connection 13 (Inactive - Red cross... that's the other ethernet plug).

Any advice on what could be causing such a problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Joe

More about : slow internet network

February 25, 2012 4:34:42 AM

Hey Joe,

Try running another speed test, but shut off the firewall on the affected system, and completely shut down the rest of the computers on your network. Lets get the system isolated so that nothing else can be affecting the transfer speeds during the test.

If that resolves it, turn the firewall and the other PC's back on one at a time, running another speed test in between each change until it slows down again.

Edit: If the other computers are running newer versions of Windows, or another OS altogether, check with Virgin to see if there are any firmware updates for the Media Superhub available. I've seen newer consumer routers sh*t bricks when they encounter older operating systems... maybe something similar is happening here?
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February 25, 2012 7:04:10 AM

Hi, thanks for the reply. I just tred this and nothing has an effect. I'm using F Secure internet security/firewall and I disabled the firewall.
I also ran a speed test on the other PC on the network because it's also running XP, although it's Media Centre, and that is getting the full speed, which I guess rules out a compatibility problem with XP and the Super Hub.
Still at a loss at what could be causing such an extreme drop in speed on just one system.

Joe
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February 25, 2012 7:34:11 AM

Not completely. Even though it's based on XP, Media Center Edition may still be more compatible than a standard XP version. MCE was released in 2004/2005, whereas the original XP was released at the end of 2001 (even accounting for Service Packs, it may make a difference). I would still pursue the updated firmware avenue at this point.

Are you quoting all of these speed values in Megabits? or Megabytes? In case you weren't already aware:

Mbps = Megabits
MBps = Megabytes

Is the speed test you're using doing this as well? Just need to make sure we aren't getting the numbers mixed up...

Aside from that, is there anything else running on that machine that could be using network resources? Perhaps try rebooting into Safe Mode with Networking (press F8 and select the appropriate menu entry after rebooting the machine) and run another speed test? This should ensure that nothing else on the machine can affect the test, not even AV / Firewall programs.
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