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ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

Internet is extremely slow on laptop

I've had this happen before and nothing I tried fixed it, it seems to resolve on its own. The laptop is the biggest POS I've ever seen, and even after a clean format things rarely work properly. Then again my parents use it most and they're not very computer literate so who knows what they do to it.

A couple of days ago I upgraded my internet to DOCSIS 3.0 and bought a 3.0 modem. Initially everything was fine, but now one laptop in the house can't connect to the network at all and I woke up to find my tablet also unable to connect. The tablet is showing one bar of signal strength even sitting a foot away from the router, the laptop shows the same thing and just refuses to connect. When it did connect yesterday, it took minutes for pages to show up and I had pings of over 3000ms on the laptop. Everything else (my computer, tablet, phone) was fine yesterday. Today just my computer and phone still work fine. I've tried switching the channels the router uses (usually set to auto) and that didn't help. I'm thinking of resetting it to factory settings and seeing what happens.

The router is a Netgear WNR3500L. I just upgraded the firmware thinking maybe that would help but it did nothing.

Modem is a Motorola SB6141.

I was going to see if I could update the drivers on this laptop, but now that my tablet also refuses to connect I'm thinking it has to be something with the router. Any ideas?
--
Intel X3350 Quad@3.6GHZ
Abit IP35 Pro
4096MB of Gskill
320GB+500GB SATA
nVidia 8800GTS 512MB OC


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

I just reset the router to factory settings and my tablet connects fine now. Laptop connected at first, I got to one web site, and then it dropped the connection again and wouldn't even detect it. Just rebooted and the laptop seems to be working again.

Any ideas why this has happened twice and why resetting the router worked this time even though I just applied the same settings after the reset?
--
Intel X3350 Quad@3.6GHZ
Abit IP35 Pro
4096MB of Gskill
320GB+500GB SATA
nVidia 8800GTS 512MB OC



Dogg
Premium
join:2003-06-11
Belleville, IL
reply to ice

Sounds like a faulty router. Regardless of the router setup/configuration, you should be getting a strong signal, especially at that range.
--
Google is your Friend


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

The first time was also with a different router, so the fact that it happened with two routers and was always only the laptop makes me think the laptop isn't compatible with something here.



Dogg
Premium
join:2003-06-11
Belleville, IL
reply to ice

If it's the same laptop, then it's the NIC. Again, configuration won't affect signal. Possibly drivers, but more likely a hardware issue.
--
Google is your Friend


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

Now I"m thinking it's this POS router after all. It just happened again, lost connection on both my tablet and my laptop, desktop worked fine. Connection came back to laptop and tablet and the latency on the laptop is high as well, browsing barely works on either.

Since I updated the firmware, what else can I possibly do other than buy another router? I'm not resetting to factory settings every time this happens, and why would that fix anything temporarily anyway?
--
Intel X3350 Quad@3.6GHZ
Abit IP35 Pro
4096MB of Gskill
320GB+500GB SATA
nVidia 8800GTS 512MB OC


n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA

When you changed the channels on the router, did you check which ones were being used nearby? Running inSSIDer on the laptop should show what's on each channel.
--
KI6RIT


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

Nope, I didn't. I'll try that when I get home, and I'm also going to take note what it's currently using on the router and what it uses when I factory reset again. Since that seemed to help the first time maybe it's just a channel issue.



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

Use Ethernet instead of wireless. If the problem disappears when using Ethernet, you've narrowed down the problem to wireless-related issues (most of which are almost infinite in number and are extremely difficult to solve without hours and hours of troubleshooting efforts). 802.11n made the situation even worse, sadly.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

I meant to try that too, just never got around to it.

According to inssider it's always picking the best channel so I don't think that's it. Reset it again and it's been a bit better again, though still not 100%.


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

Just died again on the laptop. Tablet still works fine on wireless, that's the annoying part. It's only ever this piece of garbage laptop that can't maintain anything.

Anyway, connected it directly to the router and the internet is fine. To me it still sounds like it's something with this moronic laptop and not the router, if the router was having issues I would think anything connected via wireless would have issues as well. I'm going to see if I can get my old netbook running, if the wireless on that is also fine then I don't think it's the router. I can't check pings on my tablet that I know if, so I'm going to check the netbook.
--
Intel X3350 Quad@3.6GHZ
Abit IP35 Pro
4096MB of Gskill
320GB+500GB SATA
nVidia 8800GTS 512MB OC


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA
reply to ice


Netbook on wireless connection

Laptop on wired connection

Laptop on wireless connection
Click for full size
Tablet on wireless
Ok, it's not the router, it is this piece of garbage laptop. Does anyone have any ideas on what needs updating or what driver to install for it? I've tried updating the Atheros driver and it obviously did nothing. It's a Toshiba Satellite A205 with Windows 7.

Just to illustrate, here are screenshots of the netbook on wireless and the laptop on a wired and wireless connection. I even threw in one of my tablet (I see it used a different IP, I tested it with the 31.x.x.x number and got the same result).

Is it possible for the wireless in a laptop to just take a crap no matter what? As I said before, I just reformatted this thing probably 4 months ago and it isn't even used that much that would would get all junked up. There's no viruses on it or anything else that should be causing issues.
--
Intel X3350 Quad@3.6GHZ
Abit IP35 Pro
4096MB of Gskill
320GB+500GB SATA
nVidia 8800GTS 512MB OC


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

It looks to me like a problem specific to your laptop's wireless drivers, antenna, or underlying wireless chip used. It could also be a compatibility problem between the wireless chipset used on the router vs. the wireless chipset used on your laptop.

Tools like inSSIDer are not necessarily going to help determine what the actual issue is -- it can help determine if your signal level is crap compared to another identical device, but it's not helpful when it comes to things like Product A vs. Product B. What you'd actually need is a full 802.11 protocol and frequency spectrum analyser. These are very expensive and require great technical expertise.

Wireless is one of the worst, most unreliable things I have ever had the "joy" of dealing with both professionally and personally. It's just utter garbage; it blows my mind how the entire world uses something so unreliable. It's an awful, awful piece of technology. Just awful.

Anyway -- engage Toshiba and make this their problem. You can fiddle around with drivers and wireless settings (though keep in mind adjusting ANY wireless NIC settings on your laptop, or on the router, often causes the wireless chip to be completely reset -- this often results in things that work briefly then fail down the road, so a simple "i changed X setting and it fixed it" is not sufficient, you need to test over a long period of time (1-2 weeks, no joke)), but my advice would be not to do any of that and instead engage Toshiba from the get go. If the problem is easily reproducible, that should help them out greatly. All this is assuming the product is still under warranty; if it's not, good luck solving the issue.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

There's no warranty. The thing is nothing but trouble and I wish my parents would just throw it away and get another one.

Thanks for the help, no clue what I'm going to do about it in the meantime. I've had this router for more than a year, the only change that was made was getting DOCSIS 3 and a new modem, but as I said this also happened a couple years ago when I was still on DOCSIS 2.0 and had a different router. The only common thing here is the laptop.
--
Intel X3350 Quad@3.6GHZ
Abit IP35 Pro
4096MB of Gskill
320GB+500GB SATA
nVidia 8800GTS 512MB OC



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to ice

One thing:

Wireless controllers are a challenge, and the are definitely not created equal in my experience, and compatibility can certainly be another issue, between router and controller. But one thing you might try: If you can figure out what chip you have for the controller, you can go to the chip manufacturer's site, unearth THEIR driver, and see if that helps, believe it or not, sometimes it can. Or trying an older or newer revision. Also, there are a multitude of settings that the wireless networking forum leaders can tell you about. Me, I'm no better than any noob, but just thought I'd mention these things.

I have a really cheap router, and I thought, gee, maybe I could get more out of it putting another firmware on it. It works good except password function instability seems to happen, it's pretty weird, but until I can afford a real router, something of quality, this one has to work.

I use a Ethernet over Powerline as well as wireless. The EoP works significantly better, it's 4 times faster, and I am even using dish antennas, a pair. The ASUS wireless controller I've got is a piece of crap too. I've helped improve it a little with manufacturer drivers, playing with channels, and even what slot it was in (originally it would work for a flip in my top slot) had an effect. ASUS generally has an excellent rep, but this particular device sucks, I have suspected that I have a lemon.

You might also consider, along with EoP solutions, getting a USB based external wireless controller, one that uses a good driver and good chip. And remember, what you pay for can matter.

Best of luck to you!
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.


n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to ice

My mom has a Satellite L305D with an Atheros wireless card (AR5007EG). I just put Windows 7 on it. I know it was picky with the wireless driver version used. I tried one from a few months ago and it resulted in a BSOD. I ended up using one from September 2009 (I can't remember if it was from Toshiba or Windows Update). It's been trouble-free with that particular version though.

If you want, you can try swapping it out for a different wireless card. It's likely that it uses a full-height mini PCIe card, whereas most newer cards are half-height.

I put an Intel 6205 dual-band 802.11n card in my Dell laptop last year, and it's been working very well so far. It looks like its predecessor, the 6200, is dirt-cheap on Amazon (the 6205 is usually in the $20s). Couple that with this half to full-height adapter and it should work pretty well for not much money.
--
KI6RIT

Expand your moderator at work


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
reply to ice

Re: Internet is extremely slow on laptop

I have a netgear wndr3700 v1. It works perfectly, at all speeds and security settings, unless an atheros (realtek) card connects to it using wpa2. When that happens, I get the same behavior you describe. The device with the atheros takes forever to load pages, if it gets an ip at all. And within a few hours, other devices start dropping off, and wont reconnect until the router has been power cycled.

I found 2 work arounds.
1. Replace the atheros card with intel. You can get them for about $15 on ebay.
2. Drop to wpa encryption, which will also force the connection to 54mbps.

When I went looking for a solution, I found a lot of others discussing the same problem, all with the combo of netgear, wpa2, and atheros. Some people reported certain driver versions worked for them, but I had no luck.
--
Intel i7-2600k /ASRock P67 Extreme4 /4x 4Gb G.Skill /2x Intel 510 series 250Gb SSD /3x WD20EADS 2TB /2x PNY GTX 260 /Silverstone 850W /Custom water cooler /Antec Twelve-Hundred