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Sudden bandwidth loss

This is where you can ask questions and get and give help about hardware related issues. This Forum will be moderated by Taw with help from some other experts. So feel free to ask any questions you may have about computers.

Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:05 am

Sudden bandwidth loss

I've noticed recently that my internet speed has just sunk. I used to be able to get an average download speed of 500k, yet now I struggle to get 40k. This apparantely coincides with a connection 'upgrade' from the 500k to 2m but I'm not sure what's gone on.

Any suggestions?

Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:03 pm

There are so many possible reasons for this. Who is your service provider and how is it delivered, dsl or cable? Do you have a direct connection via USB modem or do you connect through a router?

Post Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:22 am

Sorry for non-reply; you get three guesses as to cause.


I connect through a router, have it delieved via dsl and my ISP is virgin.net

Edited by - The Evil Thing on 10/8/2006 3:19:31 AM

Post Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:47 am

it's difficult to say exactly what is the problem without a closer look or more information, but check out the following:-

in Network Connections, go to properties for the connection, highlight TCP/IP, go to properties for that, and check it's set to "obtain IP address automatically" and "obtain DNS server address automatically" ok that, then in network properties ensure that "show icon in notification area when connected" and "notify me when this connection has limited or no connectivity" are both checked.

this will allow us determine with more accuracy where the problem lies.

things you can try - go to start, run, type "cmd" and open up a command prompt, type "ipconfig /flushdns" which will flush the DNS resolver cache - this is often a cause of severely restricted bandwidth esp if you've recently changed ISPs. It does no harm to do this every now and then. You can also try releasing and renewing your Ip address by typing "ipconfig /release" which will give you a string of zeros as your Ip address, then typing "ipconfig /renew" which, after a wait of a few minutes possibly, will automatically reassign you with a new IP address from the router - which acts as a DHCP server. if you then type ipconfig /all, you'll see your internal IP, the external IP, the gateway IP of the router, the MAC address, and a load of other stuff you don't need to know about right now. If you can see all that, you've sorted it.

it's also possible that the physical settings of the router might need changing, but we'll deal with that later if necessary (usually stuff like switching off uPNP and Ping-on-WAN, none of which you need)

other causes - a knackered network port, a compromised system leeching bandwidth (several persons I know had their PCs being remotely as mail and IRC servers) and if it's wireless, or wireless enabled, but not secured, half your street could be freeloading off your connection. And if you're connected wirelessly, it may be as simple as just moving your computer - or getting an ethernet cable patched in.

also, being dsl, the quality of the phoneline is an issue. it is very common for older BT lines to be "DACS" lines, ie they were "split" at some point in the past to provide a cheap second line (really half a line with a new number) which even though the secind number was taken off, remained split - meaning you only have half a signal and therefore half the REN. This means that instead of having up to 4 REN on a line, you may only have 2, or less if it's a an old line a long way from the DP (thats the green box you see at the end of the road)

You might also find on older phone distribution in most houses, you also need to locate the master socket (where the line actually come into the house) and change the BT faceplate for a modern aDSL filtered one - this can make a vast increase in dsl speeds) Also, phone equipment may be "leeching" signal - you may simply have too many phones (this is also related to the REN issue) so take some phones out of their sockets, faxes and digitals too, and the Sky box if its patched into a phone socket, and see what difference that makes. ATA VoIP adapters can also have the same effect.

also do the usual antivirus and spyware updates and checks, just in case.

Edited by - Tawakalna on 10/8/2006 5:53:25 AM

Post Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:52 am

I did all the checks you suggested. The connection is through a LAN and consequently displays a speed of 10MBits/s, which is decidedly unhelpful.

Also, the router is connected through physical network cables, there's no wireless or anything, at least not anything that provides internet access.

Other computers seem to be unaffected which leads me to believe that bandwidth is being allocated on a rather skewed "first-come-first-serve" basis by the router, if that's possible. I always assumed bandwidth was divided equally. If so, is there a way for me to 'appropriate' a bit more bandwidth? (Assuming this is the actual problem, of course)

Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:58 pm

try putting the ethernet cable into a different port on the router. you may have a dodgy port! it does happen, I have an 8-port switch at work which, if i plug my patch cable into port 3, cuts me off from the network and sets up a new one! cheap p.o.s.

what sort of router is it? make and model. I'd suggest if the above has no effect, in these cirumstances that you upgrade the firmware to the latest version. if that fails, try a different router.

it's not a Netgear DG834GT supplied by Sky or A-O-Hell is it? if so, flash it back to a Netgear, the supplied firmware is utter pants, doesn't work. Muchos problemos with these things at the moment.

Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 am

if your router is netgear, you can restart the router and that flushes all cache, history from it. This made mine go slow as the router scans the incoming pages and saves it as cache.
If its belkin, unplug it for about 10minutes and then plug in. That'll drain out some un-necessary settings etc. Thats not needed (if router left on, this is recommended)

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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:27 am

I use a Belkin router. I just restart mine by going to the setup menu.

Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:45 pm

well, that *might* solve the problem, but personally I doubt it; if it was my router, and I've experienced a similar problem in the recent past, upgrading the firmware is a much better plan. Don't forget to back up the sttings to a .cfg file first though! then when you've done the firmware upgrade, you can restore the config settings, which will include the username and p'word for the ISPaccount and any firewall rules, as well as any attached devices and MAC addresses for trusted wireless stations (if there are any) and be back to normal service straight away.

while the firmware is upgrading, do NOT under any circumstances turn the router off, or it will die forever.

Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:59 pm

If you have a power cut, that can't be helped.

Post Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:00 pm

Ok, results are in.

My sister's computer had so much spyware I'd wager that it takes up more disk space than her programs. A quick 'removal' of the LAN cable and 'uninstallation' of the network drivers seems to have solved the problem. At least temporarily.

Yay, it takes less than 5 minutes to load a page now (celebrates)

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