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Slow WiFi Intermittently On One Laptop Only


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#1 OpFor84

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:46 AM

Hi all, hopefully you can help. I have an interesting issue I haven't been able to figure out. I have an Airlink 101 AR675W router with the latest firmware installed which is connected my leased cable modem. There is a variety of devices using the network here including an iPad, two Android phones, an HP netbook, an HP printer, an HP laptop, a PS3, etc. Of all these devices, only the PS3 is hard wired to the router, the rest all use Wifi. Only the HP laptop has issues, and I can't sort it out.

The laptop with the issue is less than 6 months old (HP DV6, Win7 64 bit, i7 2.3 GHz, 8 GB) , shows link speed to the router of ~240-300 mbps, but web page loading, downloads, etc are intermittently slow. When it's "acting up", speed test sites show ~1.5 mbps download, yet 3+ mbps upload still. When it's not "acting up", the same sites show 20+ mbps download with 3+ mbps upload. The interesting thing to me is that even when the laptop is running slow, ALL the other devices run normally and are plenty fast at 20+ mbps. Connecting directly with an ethernet cable gives proper speeds. I have also tried rebooting all devices (modem, router, laptop) with no change.

The drivers are all up to date on the laptop, the firmware on the router is up to date, etc. Restarting the laptop as a "clean boot" makes no difference for wireless speeds, nor does safe mode with networking. I have tried temporarily disabling all firewalls with no change also. There are no devices that I have been able to determine cause any kind of interference either, the router is sitting in the middle of the living room floor about 5 feet away for testing with no cables nearby, we have no cordless phones in the house (other than cell phones), no baby monitors, time of day and network traffic doesn't seem to be an issue (since other devices perform fine), etc. I have used channel analyzers to determine the best channel to avoid interference from neighboring wifi also. I just can't seem to pin down what is going on, and why it's so intermittent.

Any ideas would be great! Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Here is an example of what I'm talking about (same server even).

~8:00 PM on 12/14
Posted Image

Versus

~8:30 PM on 12/6
Posted Image

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#2 jhayz

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:56 PM

There has always been mix reviews on every low to mid range routers performance or capabilities. If you find it performing very well on the HP laptop with just a few devices connected, then it would be the bandwith hogging is the culprit. Amazon Customer Reviews

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#3 OpFor84

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

The number of devices connected doesn't seem to have an affect, and although the router is certainly a possibility, I have a hard time believing it since it actually works great on all the other device (I do want a new router anyway though since this one doesn't seem to support loopback which I want for some IP cameras). It also doesn't make sense because it's not consistent. As the post implies, it's intermittent on this laptop ONLY. When it works "normally" on this laptop, the performance is excellent. When it doesn't work right, all the other devices still work great.

My issue seems to be trying to figure out what about this particular laptop might be the issue. Obviously it could be the wifi card in this laptop having issues with the hardware in the router, but what I don't understand is why I get such an excellent link speed (240 - 300 mbps) to the router, but yet the internet is so slow?

Here is a shot of the link speed:
Posted Image

Here is a shot of Xirrus running (my SSID is cleverly named "Home"):
Posted Image

Here is a speed test from after uninstalling all firewall software (Norton) and running the Norton complete uninstall tool. Still slow:
Posted Image

But here is a speed test at the same time to the same server via the same router on my Android phone. Plenty fast:
Posted Image

When the laptop works right, I get the same speeds there as I do on my phone. What I don't understand (and have said many times) is why it randomly decides to go so slow. It just makes no sense to me.

Edited by OpFor84, 16 December 2012 - 10:42 PM.


#4 jhayz

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:36 AM

Posted Image
Try setting the band to N and changing the channel to 1, 11 or other than the default.

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#5 coxchris

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:43 PM

Download Wifi Analyzer for your phone

Once Install on your phone Turn on wireless Right click button Go to View>>select channel ratting

Set your AP to the most stars channel.

WHen you have 4 AP using the same default channel its wants to cause trouble with other AP on that channel so the technical term is your sending data on the same frequency as other APs



Try 7,9 channel

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#6 OpFor84

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:23 PM

I already have that app, and I have already tried different channels. FWIW, you can "slide" across the screen to change views instead of selecting from the view menu. Anyway, I can force the router to use any single channel, or I can allow it to run in dual band mode (auto channel selection). Neither mode makes a difference. As you can see from the Xirrus screen shot, there aren't a lot of networks around so I have a lot of channel choices. I have literally tried every channel with no change, as well as various protocol connections (B, G and or N). Auto (dual band) provides me with the "best" performance, but it is still intermittently slow.

Currently the router is selected on N band only, 40 Mhz, and auto channel which means 7 and 11. This gives me the best link speed between the router and laptop, but still results in the exact same download speeds and slow web pages as 20 Mhz and channel 6 which no one around me is using.

I really am doubtful this is a connection issue between the hardware. I suspect this is some kind of software issue/conflict on the laptop. I am able to link up and stream movies and music to my PS3 with no hesitations, so inter-network traffic seems fine (which it wouldn't be if it was a connection issue IMO). It really seems limited to using the internet.

Edited by OpFor84, 18 December 2012 - 05:28 PM.


#7 jhayz

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

Do you have 20/40 mhz auto selection in the router? Try the 20 Mhz channel mode also. What HP DV6 series model number is it?

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