Just got my new computer, i5 2500k, 8gb of RAM (so I'm sure my computer isn't the problem) but my internet is really slow, sometimes google searches and simple text web pages come up fairly quickly and sometimes (quite often) takes quite a few seconds. Finding it difficult to play youtube videos even at 360p. At 240p, the download bar only just manages to keep up with playback.
I did an internet speed test and my download speed is 9.7mbps and upload speed is 0.98mbps. According to a BT webpage I found about internet speeds, 10mbps should load internet pages instantaneously.
A note about my network setup: I'm running the internet modem into a Netgear Wireless G-router. I have the internet set up for use wirelessly for laptops and mobile phones in the house. But because I have a new desktop (my first ever) I need to connect to the internet wired too. So I've connected the LAN port on the back of the computer up to 1 of 4 LAN ports on the back of the Netgear Wireless G-router. There aren't any more slots on the internet modem itself so if I wanted to connect the desktop straight to the modem I wouldn't be able to have wireless internet too. Am I doing this wrong? Is this splitting the signal or something? But then how come the speed test I did on my desktop said near enough 10mbps?
Also, the cable I'm using is about 10m long, quite long but it shouldn't be making such a huge difference should it? Again, the speed test should have accounted for this, shouldn't it?
If you have your new laptop wired to the router then turn off your wifi on the laptop. Don't have both wifi and wired connected on the laptop. The 10m cable should not effect the speed, but you could replace the cable to see if that's the issue with it.
Your router is an older model and you may replace that one to use the new wireless n on your laptop.
From your description, you've hooked everything up correctly. The bandwidth test you ran proves it. Hooking your desktop directly into the modem itself is not only a very bad idea from a security standpoint, it also means (as you noted above) that you would cut off every other device using the wireless router at your house from internet access.
Use the DNS Benchmarking tool and follow it's suggestions (namely specifying DNS servers locally, rather than having your router do it). It's helped every system I have run it on thus far, as DNS settings are often not optimized for the environment in question. Usually this is because people either don't know the options exist, or ignore them even if they are aware of them and look elsewhere to solve their issue.
Also check to make sure you aren't also (now) having these same speed issues on any other devices connected to your network. Run that same bandwidth test that you tried on your desktop, from another device if any are present.
I was just downloading McAfee and noticed the download speed fluctuating wildly. It went as low as 200kbps. Did another bandwidth test and it says 3mbps. So it looks like I have a problem of inconsistency.
I will try the DNS thing though. Is it just a one off test that improves internet speed across the board even if I then go on to new websites I've never been on before?
I have had the same problem, a new computer and the system is sometimes slow (not only internet). At first I thought that maybe the PC is infected by a virus, but after some search work in google I found a website which gave me the answer (a pass you the site: slow internet). The driver of the network card was not working correctly. After upgrading them…problem solved!