Slow Internet Speeds

The speeds for my internet connection seems to vary significantly. For most of the day I have checked the speed of my internet from various websites such as,, speakeasy, 2wire, etc. The upload speeds are fine and are close to the advertised 4 Mbps upload speed that I am paying for.

During the early afternoon, the download speeds are around 15 Mbps and start to slowly decline until it reaches 1 Mbps at around 9 PM. This has been going on for months and I pay for 30 Mbps download speed from Charter. I've checked this on three different computers throughout the day and they all read the same thing. I don't know if it's a problem with my router or a problem with the wiring in the house.

The modem/router I have right now is a Motorola SBG941 (Never heard of it and couldn't find much about it online).

Here's one that I took about 20 minutes ago at 10:40 PM. Terrible.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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  1. This is why cable providers always qualify their advertsing w/ "up to" 15Mbps or whatever.

    Unlike DSL, cable systems are a shared resource. Everyone within a certain distance from your home is on the same loop, and that loop ultimately has a fixed amount of capacity. So as the number of active users goes up, throughput drops per user. That's just the nature of cable, and if you're unlucky enough to be in an area w/ a lot of night owls, you're more likely to be affected. The big clue here is the fact it drops steadily as the day progresses. Everyone is getting home from work, and so on come the PCs, XBOXes, Netflix's, Hulu's, and well, you get the picture.

    That’s why some ppl prefer DSL. DSL offers a guaranteed service level, but at the expense of a much lower top end. In the early days of the internet, the difference in top end between cable and DSL wasn’t nearly as great as it is today, so few ppl today would opt for DSL solely because of this limitation in cable.
  2. Thank you for the reply eibgrad. I talked to Charter and they said that my speeds were still much slower than others around my area. When the technician came he told me that whoever used to live in the house had Charter TV as well as Charter Phone and did not disconnect those devices when they moved out. So essentially, the data coming from Charter was split among the internet, phone (which I do not have), and TV (Which i also do not have).

    Sorry for asking another question, but how much do you think this had impacted my connection speeds?
  3. I’d be lying if I said I knew for sure. So anything I have to say has to be taken w/ a grain of salt. But it doesn’t mean I can’t at least offer an opinion.

    I don’t understand the significance of the previous tenants having left Charter TV and Phone connected (whatever that means, I’m sure they weren’t “active”). Is he suggesting that as long as they were there, that somehow broadband was being siphoned off to support them, needlessly? This makes no sense. I’m unaware of any home cable system where the cable resources are dedicated in this fashion.

    But just for the sake of argument, let’s assume this could happen. I still don’t get it. The TV and broadband signals are unrelated. They use completely different portions of the physical cable. No amount of TV watching or internet downloading affects the other. And as far as the phone (VOIP), it places a relatively trivial demand on your broadband, almost nothing compared to your overall broadband usage, and even then only when the phone is actually in-use.

    So none of it quite rings true to me. If we give them the benefit of the doubt and assume something was indeed amiss, it still seems to me it’s only going to be trivial. I just don’t see how this accounts for a massive loss of bandwidth. There might be a better explanation, perhaps one he wasn’t willing to share w/ you (maybe he just thought it was too technical), but based purely on what he said, I don’t buy it.
  4. The reason the tech told you that the tv being connected to the network, although not in use was affecting your internet speeds is because of the splitter that split the signal between the devices. A splitter adds DB which weakens the signal going to your modem.
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