Posted 18 March 2009 - 07:54 PM
Hi, I have a Dell Inspiron 600m with the internal wireless (Intel miniPCI 1300) network card. It is at the 802.11(b) level, as is my wireless router (a Netgear). Mysteriously, the network performance got slow maybe 6 or 9 months ago. The network always shows "Excellent" signal strength, and the system connects effortlessly, so I assumed I had a browser problem. The problem I see is that the traffic just stalls. The browser doesn't actually hang, it just says "web site found, waiting for reply" and stays in that state for a long time. Usually, after a few minutes, it kicks into gear and the page in question loads rather quickly.
Another typical symptom comes about when I try to watch a YouTube video. Once viewing a video, I will see the progress that the video is downloading, but then it will stop. I can watch the video up to that point, then it just stops when it reaches the end of what was downloaded. I can "tickle" it into doing more by backing up the slider. It may then download a little bit more of the video, but it won't keep going and just download it to the end.
Steps I have taken to resolve:I have taken Internet Explorer down to no plug-ins or added features
Switched to Firefox (still thinking I had a browser problem, not a connectivity problem); but the behavior was the same
Updated the driver for the miniPCI card from Intel
...but nothing seems to have changed this behavior. Again, it doesn't seem to be a browser thing as I can also replicate the behavior by finding a large file to download via .ftp, for example, and just watch the download stall part of the way through. The little computer screen in the system tray that shows wireless network activity just stays blank, then after several minutes, may show some green activity that it is doing something, then go blank again for a long time.
I recently installed the Intel PROSet Wireless utility and noticed something interesting using the diagnostics -- I have excellent signal strength on my wireless network, but "poor" to "fair" signal "quality". I don't think it is my wireless router, though, as I can bring my work laptop home and get perfect performance. I have compared my Windows XP wireless settings between the work laptop and the home one, and they seem to be set up the same way. So it is still a mystery to me.
I hate to go buy a new computer, switch to a wired connection, or buy a new PCMCIA wireless card...I just don't like to give up ;)
I would greatly appreciate any advice or direction.