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Internet is extremely slow


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Guyl

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:40 PM

For years I have been having trouble with internet speed.  I have DSL through Verizon.  I have had techs out to the house probably 50 times over the last 6 - 7 years and have dealt with the Presidential level about 5 - 6 times over the last 2 years.  I'm supposed to get 3mbps at the modem.  I get a reading of 3360 kbps (which is about 10% more than what they guarantee) at the modem.  However, when I run Speedtest.net I get readings all over the place from .15 to 2.85.  Usually, it's in the low 2's but when I really get slow it drops to the .2 to .3 range.  Today it was so slow it couldn't even complete a Speedtest run on several occasions.  Eventually, I got it to run and it was .27.  Later it was .75 and by early afternoon it was 1.13.  I lost connection to the internet 5 times today.

 

The techs have checked everything they can think of and the Presidential level has run all kinds of tests, they have switched routers, given me new modems and several other behind the scene things.  They usually get it better than when they started but it always reverts back to the .2 to .3 range and I have to start all over with them. 

 

I'm wondering if it could be something on my end.  Over the years I have had various antivirus programs and right now it's McAfee.  I've also had various computers over the years also.  I run Spybot and Malware Bytes on a regular basis.  I have been to your forum in the past to have tests run also.  When at your forum it was not for this issue so I'm wondering if you have any programs that test for bots and something along those lines.  I'm at a loss as what it could be and was hoping you guys might have some thoughts and hopefully a solution.

 

Thanking you in advance,

 

Guyl


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#2 paws

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:18 AM

Hi Guyl

Ok, so we can see what's going on please post the last 4 of your speedtest results.

Please also advise us the following:

 

1 Make and model of computer, modem and router

2 Operating system used (XP) and the level of Service Pack installed.

3 Is XP fully updated? with all Windows updates?

4 Are you aware that support from Microsoft for XP will cease in April?

5 Do you have any P2P file sharing applications (utorrent etc) on your computer (even if not used?)

6 Did you fully uninstall all previously installed AV products before installing McAfee?

6a Did you remember to reboot between the uninstalls of the above and the new install?

7 Do you connect to your router/Wireless Access Point by an Ethernet cable or wirelessly?

8 If wirelessly have you tried using a different wireless network card or USB device?

9 Have you asked a chum to use her/his own well functioning computer on your network? (if no then please do so and check the speeds obtained on both and advise, remember to do this both by Ethernet cable and wirelessly if possible and show both results) If she/he gets reasonable speeds then it means we will need to Zero in on your computer but if their speeds are also slow (for your network) then it indicates a network fault so we will need to troubleshoot that

10  Are you using a proxy server?

11 Have you flushed your DNS cache?

12 Have you power cycled both your modem and router and rebooted your computer

13 Do any other folks share your network's bandwidth (other people who might be downloading or surfing using their own devices on your network?

14 Have you swopped out all connecting cables for known good working ones and checked the speed again

15 is there any pattern to the slows you are experiencing ( for example slower after 6 pm or better at midnight? etc.

 

Post back with the details and we will advise the next steps.

Over in the Virus and Spyware forum is is routine for them to check for undesirable code on your machine, so if you have had your machine cleaned there, then they will have checked for anything untoward, however once we have done these bascs checks we can refer you back to them if you suspect that you may have become re-infected. 

Regards

paws


Edited by paws, 16 January 2014 - 03:21 AM.
typo

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#3 Guyl

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:26 AM

Hi Paws,

 

Thank you for responding so quickly.  Here are your answers:

 

1.  HP Pavillion a1330n computer with a Westell 7500 modem.  On the last trip out here by Verizon they gave me a new Actiontec

     GT784WNV.  We hooked that up but shortly after they left I lost connection again so I went back to the Westell.  I still have the

     Actiontec.  I have changed modems in the past and it didn't help the problem.  He said the Actiontec was a better modem though.

2.  XP with Service Pack 3.

3.  Yes.

4.  Yes.

5.  I have Bit Torrent installed but I have that on another pc with no problems.  I'll address this later.

6.  Yes.

6a. Yes, I followed the on screen instructions.

7.  Ethernet cable.

8.  n/a.

9.  I have 4 computers hooked up.  3 are wired desktops and 1 is a wirelss laptop.  Like I said I get rotten speeds quite often.  Last

     night I disconnected (the ethernet cable) the oldest pc from the internet.  My speed on the other PCs went up to the 2.75 range. I 

     just hooked the old pc up and ran tests again.  The XP one got 2.87, another desktop (7) got 2.78 annd the wlireless laptop (7) got 

     2.77.       However, I'm quite certain the speeds will go right back down shortly ...............because they always have in the past.  I'm

     wondering if I do have something on the XP machine, after being disconnected overnight, does it take some time for it to start back

     up and bog down the system.  It's very strange to go from .15 readings, disconnect it, and shoot up to a 2.8 range.

10. I'm not sure what a proxy server is.

11. I don't know how to do that.

12. Yes.

13. No.

14. Yes.

15. Not that I can tell.  When it slows, it's slow constantly.

 

This is like going to the dentist with a toothache and when you get there it no longer hurts.  I'm currently getting the best readings in a

year or so.  Hoever, I'm as certain as I'm typing this that the speed will come crashing back down because history tells me it will.  This has been going on for 7 - 8 years.  I've been back up to this speed in the past and then it slows again.

 

Hopefully, I've given you something to start with.  If you need other answers or more explanations of my answers please ask.



#4 paws

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:35 AM

I know what you mean about the dentist!
:D  :D
 
Lets run this tool and seee if it sheds any light on the problem;
Mini toolbox, by Farbar
Please download MiniToolBox, save it to your desktop and run it.

Checkmark /tick the following checkboxes:

  • Flush DNS
  • Report IE Proxy Settings
  • Reset IE Proxy Settings
  • Report FF Proxy Settings
  • Reset FF Proxy Settings
  • List content of Hosts
  • List IP configuration
  • List Winsock Entries
  • List last 10 Event Viewer log
  • List Installed Programs
  • List Devices
  • List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
  • List Minidump Files
  • Click Go and post the result (Result.txt). A copy of Result.txt will be saved in the same directory the tool is run.

    Note: When using "Reset FF Proxy Settings" option Firefox should be closed

.
Hopefully the results .txt file will help
Regards
paws


Edited by paws, 16 January 2014 - 04:21 PM.

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#5 Guyl

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

Paws,

 

I have a question before I run this as I once lost some information blinding running a program without knowing what it would do.

 

What does the Flush DNS do and what does reset Firefox & IE proxy settings do?  Are these going to wipe out any files or cause me lose any FF add ons or the way I've configured FF or IE (meaning things like what my home page is or where downloaded files go, etc).

 

Thanks



#6 paws

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:52 AM

Hi Guyl
 

I have a question before I run this as I once lost some information blinding running a program without knowing what it would do.

 
1  That's why so much emphasis is placed on the need for backing up  your stuff... make sure that everything important to you on your machine is properly and accurately backed up, you should be doing this regularly and routinely.......Also make sure that you have at least one extra copy of your back ups kept safe offsite on removable media together with your disc images and bootable media.
 
2  The DNS is like a giant telephone directory that allows your computer to resolve a domain name into an IP address (computers are better at numbers than letters/words and tha'st why we have IP addresses... rather than relying and manipulating URL's the cache holds "Look Ups" that you have used recently so its quicker for your computer to use the cache to resolve the URL/ IP address by referring to the cache rather than starting afresh each time. Flushing the cache , purges the data in there and forces your machine to perform a look up via the longer route and this just takes slightly longer..... the cache will fill up automatically with your usual IP addresses... as you use it.
 
3  If you had a proxy set then I'm pretty sure you would know about it as its not something that happens by accident, although malware will sometimes set its own proxy)...... however if you are unhappy about any of the settings on the tool then just remove the tick/checkmark from the boxes you are not happy with (tell me which ones and if necessary I'll post you some scripts that will perform the tasks manually..... all our suggestions involve removing files and substituting or adding new ones....

4  Please do not feel pressurised into doing anything that you are uncomfortable with.... its your computer and your call on what you do with it and how... so make sure you are happy (especially with your back ups) before proceeding.
 
 5  As you have 4 computers on your network, they will be sharing your bandwidth so this could be a reason why you are experiencing the slows....
 
6  Remember if a computer is switched on then it will be constantly checking for messages, testing the network, updating various programmes, for example Windows Update will check regularly for automatic updates all taking up your precious bandwidth....downloading new updates and then installing them and often updating the updates!... ......Then there will be severalsets of Anti Vvirus and Anti Spyware applications all updating their various virus definitions and installing them.... Third party Firewalls will probably do the same, as will your Java, your Flash , your Adobe, probably your printers and a whole host of other applications... and of course all these multiplied by 4 if all the machines are "On" ........

 

7  The situation can be worse if some of the machines are not switched on, as the updates they need, will not be actioned, but will form a back log just waiting for the time when it is switched on and then Wham! everything will try to update and download  at practically the same time, causing your bandwidth to be used up and speeds to drop to a crawl..... when everything is up to date then the speeds available will go up to normal again.....until more updates are issued..... .something or the other other will want to update daily and sometimes several times per day!

 

8  Using P2P file sharing (bit torrent etc.) is another method of slowing down a computer (as well as the dangers involved)  some folks tend to forget that for file sharing via torrents to work effectively, then access has to be granted through your protection (Firewall) to anyone else using the file sharing, this needs to controlled and access only allowed where necessary, and to certain parts of the computer..... but alas this control is not always exercised effectively..... as well as being one of the biggest vectors for the distribution of malicious code ( viruses, worms, Trojans etc.,) it also can allow other file sharers to constantly access your computer and download files or parts of files from it..... this alone could account for a significant effect on the Internet speed that is available for your own use.

 

9  We recommend that P2P file sharing applications are uninstalled as a matter of urgency.

 

Regards

paws


Edited by paws, 18 January 2014 - 03:55 AM.
typo

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#7 Guyl

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 09:44 AM

Hopefully, the file you requested is attached. 

 

Thanks for the thorough answer previously posted also.

Attached Files



#8 paws

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

Hi Guyl

I think we will try and flush the dns cache manually...( the tool didn't achieve the flush)

Here's how:

1 Open a command prompt (start Run>All Programes>Accessories>Command Prompt

2 At the flashing cursor type the following:

ipconfig /flushdns

3 Press the Enter key

NOTE there is a space between the g and the / in the command....it needs to be there) 

( you should receive a message saying that the cache has been flushed successfully)

4 to dismiss the command prompt type at the flashing cursor

exit

Press the enter key

Let us know how things go

Regards

paws


Edited by paws, 18 January 2014 - 02:32 PM.

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#9 Guyl

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

This is the message I received:  Could not flush the DNS Resolver Cache:  Function failed during execution.



#10 paws

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 03:18 AM

Hi Guyl,

Its interesting that neither the automated tool nor the manual command could flush the DNS cache.

There could be a number of reasons why your computer could not do this (system settings etc) but a likely first "suspect" is that some services that should be running are not...( could have been disabled either intentionally or by accident)

 

Take a look here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919746

 

as the DNS "service" if not set correctly can prevent the cache being flushed.

 

Follow the steps set out by Microsoft and then try the flush again using the same command as your used previously and let us know how things go.

Regards

paws


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#11 Guyl

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:06 AM

Ok, that worked and the dns flush was successful.



#12 paws

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 09:19 AM

Thats good to hear

:thumbup:


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#13 Guyl

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 10:56 AM

Where do we go from here?



#14 paws

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:30 AM

Hi Guyl.
its time for you to do some more speed testing with all P2P file sharing applications uninstalled and whilst no other computer or smartphones Kindles etc are using your network. (Make sure all devices/computers are switched off other than the one you are using)
Presumably you have a secure password to access the Internet wirelessly for your router /wireless access point and have disabled remote administration (so no unauthorised person can reset your router /WAP remotely. This is important notwithstanding that you may ordinarily connect via Ethernet cable.
 
Make sure the log in password for your router is a secure one (never use a word that is in any dictionary in any language in the world, even if supported by numbers as these can be cracked in double quick time and allow a "kerbside surfer" to access your Internet and thereby absorb your bandwidth...The same rule applies for any passwords you use.... They should be a minimum of 12 characters (the more the better) and a mixture of special characters like for example>?,.(*&%$+~ with upper and lower case characters mixed in between them...... make sure there is no pattern to any of them. If you haven't changed your passwords within the last 28 days then do so immediately. You should also use WPA2 AES encryption for your WAP as anything less has security vulnerabilities that could allow your bandwidth to be used by unauthorised persons.
 
Finally physical access to your Modem/Router/WAP needs to be restricted as otherwise anyone with access can alter your settings and do more or less what they want.
Post back and let us know the results of these latest tests
Regards
paws

Edited by paws, 19 January 2014 - 11:32 AM.

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#15 Guyl

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:27 AM

Paws,

 

I had a family situation come up.  Can I get back to you in a couple of days on this?


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