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Strange slow wi-fi problem WinXP only


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#1
mo713

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I had a similar problem about a year ago which turned out to be a bad/weak internal wifi card. Replaced the hardware card and fixed the problem. Now it is even more strange.

 

I have 2 almost identical Acer AOA150 zg5 netbooks. I recently noticed a slow download so I checked the speed. Speedtest is good, but download is slow. Without telling a long story, I will just summarize the data from all my tests.

 

Netbook A (primary use) with Win XP and wi-fi

 

Speedtest 7.87 mbps dl (rated 6mbps) 1.88 up

actual download from mozilla 89-120 kBps (approx 1mbps)

actual download from cnet download.com 230-250 KBps

 

Ethernet wire connection

actual download from mozilla same as above (slow)

actual download from cnet download.com 870KBps (good and correct)

 

Netbook B (spare) with  Win XP and wifi

 

same as Netbook A approx.

 

 

Netbook A with Linux live USB and wi-fi

 

mozilla still slow

cnet download approx 7-8 mbps AS NORMAL

 

Netbook B with Linux live USB

 

same as Netbook A more or less.

 

So to summarize, we have:

 

1. Both computers with similar hardware get normal speeds with a wired cable.

2. Both computers get normal speeds with wi-fi and linux

3. Both computers get normal speeds with wi-fi and Windows XP **for the speedtest ONLY***

4. Both computers get a severely reduced speed with wi-fi and winxp for ACTUAL file download

5. Mozilla appears to throttle for every case

 

So, there is only a problem with this combination:

 

-only windows xp

-only wi-fi connection

-only actual file download (no problem with wifi speed test)

 

Questions

 

1. Can it be confirmed that mozilla is throttling download speeds?

2. Is there any chance that the servers are throttling to users that report Winxp as the OS? And if so, why only for wi-fi downloads and not for wired downloads? And if not, what else could make the speed test report fast, but the actual download slow, only on wifi with windows xp but not linux, and exactly the same results on two completely separate machines that don't get used the same way (and presumably would not have received the same infections)?

 

3. I there a place where I can try to download a large file (200+ mb) that is known to give full bandwidth to all downloads without restriction to ISP, browser, OS or other throttle issues for control testing purposes?

 

Notes:

 

The last time this happened (confirmed bad hardware), I could not duplicate the problem with multiple OS, multiple devices, and *could* duplicate the problem with the bad device and different tests. This time is the opposite. Different tests yield different results with the same device, and both devices yield the same results for each test. It does not appear to be machine specific.


Edited by mo713, 01 March 2015 - 05:00 PM.

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#2
mo713

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Here is a graphic to make it easier.

 

router -> ethernet hard cable -> pc -> windows xp  -> file download = FAST

 

router -> wireless -> wifi card -> pc -> linux -> file download = FAST

 

router -> wireless -> wifi card -> pc -> windows xp -> speedtest.net  = FAST

 

router -> wireless -> wifi card -> pc -> windows xp -> file download = SLOW

 

SAME BEHAVIOR TESTED ON 2 SEPARATE BUT SIMILAR NETBOOKS.

1st netbook has just received updated wireless card driver

2nd netbook has not used windows much in over 6 months and much "lighter" windows bloat and custom settings and installed s/w

Both netbooks were working normally before, with same router and internet service


Edited by mo713, 02 March 2015 - 09:36 AM.

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#3
Ztruker

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Do they both use the same anti-virus and anti-malware programs?

 

What does Task Manager look like for both, same?

 

What programs and services are starting at boot for both?

 

If you boot to Safe Mode with networking, how do they both work then?


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#4
mo713

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The primary machine uses MSE which I installed the last time this happened, removing AVG. That was a bad wireless card, so after replacing the card, left MSE in place.

 

The spare machine still has AVG, so no, they don't use the same av and anti-malware.

 

I did not check the task mgr during the express tests, but there is nothing out of norm that I noticed. The spare machine has a much lighter set of background processes.

 

I did try the safe mode with networking. No help. But again, using a USB bootable linux fixed the speed issue on both machines.

 

Can you answer my informational questions regarding certain sites throttling or offering certain download speeds? The mozilla s/w download is duplicable in EVERY case, regardless of connection type, OS, or computer, router, ISP, etc. 100kbps is all it gives.


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#5
Ztruker

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Sorry, don't know about sites doing browser specific throttling. I've never seen it or heard of it.


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#6
rockmilk

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Please download MINITOOLBOX and run it.



Checkmark following boxes:


Flush DNS
Reset FF proxy Settings
Reset Ie Proxy Settings
Report IE Proxy Settings
Report FF Proxy Settings
List content of Hosts
List IP configuration
List Winsock Entries
List last 10 Event Viewer log
List Installed Programs
List Users, Partitions and Memory size
List Devices (problems only)



Click Go and post the result.

Also save this tool to your desktop, run it post the result here.

http://www.crewetown...uk/wireless.exe


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#7
mo713

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Was distracted for the last few days on other pressing matters...

 

So right now, I have an experimental usb nano wireless adapter that I am trying, so I will need another day or so before I go back to the original wireless card. I would like to wait for the test reports until I remove the spare card.

 

In the meantime, it appears the issue has improved, if not cleared altogether(with original card). I'm not declaring anything official just yet.

 

For now, are you able to  answer my questions above? (see Original post, addl notes as follows)

 

1. Mozilla.org is now showing consistent rates of 2.5 to 3.2 mbps (better than before but still not capacity). Can you check if they limit your download speed also?

2. same questions, in general....  general answers to your knowledge

3. currently, cnet downloads(on wireless) are going at above 5mbps, which is close enough to stated speeds. Has been higher at times in last few days. This is the only common source I can think of. Is there a known, RELIABLE download source that can be used as a benchmark to measure download speeds of actual files other than this site? Something that will push the data out as fast as your connection will allow, and is known to be consistent with speeds as long as your equipment is working?

 

After going back to the original wireless card, I will post the test results . Thanks.


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