Terrible Download Speeds

Hi everyone,

First of all I need to stress that I know absolutely nothing about network hardware and software, but I'll try and help anyway I can.

I'll condense what I know into a bullet point list that'll hopefully make this easy to read.

I'm on a wireless connection using a wireless adapter because my PC doesn't have an inbuilt wireless adapter. My laptop and TV however do have inbuilt wireless adapters and also get horrendous download speeds.

My browsing and streaming speeds are great. Websites load near instantly, youtube & netflix stream near instantly, and according to my wireless adapter software I'm getting around 104mbps.

My download speeds however are absolutely terrible. Averaging around 200kbps.

This problem started a couple of months ago. I got a new router (BT homehub for those in the UK), and at first it was great, but then when I came back from uni our download speeds had become terrible whilst I was away.

My router occasionally cuts off for periods of around 10 minutes. The amount it does this varies between not once, to multiple times a day.

I called my provider today and explained the situation. They stated that a number of hubs were accessing the same channel as mine, so they changed the channel. Seemed like a bit of convenient answer to me, but I don't know better. Time will tell if this fixed the stability issues, however my download speeds are still terrible.

I've ran out of ideas about what could be causing this, and my own ignorance on the topic is not helping. If anyone could suggest some fixes then I'd really appreciate that. I'll try and provide any additional information that's needed.

Thank you all.

Try connecting to the router using an ethernet cable and see what the download speeds are like. That way you'll know if it's the router's built-in wireless that is causing the issue or just slow speeds from the ISP. I imagine that the 104mbps reading that the software is giving is the max speed that the network adapter itself can get. It'll be able to get those kind of speeds on the local network but it won't be able to get that speed over the internet unless your ISP is giving you that speed. Go on Speedtest.net in order to find out what internet speed you are getting from your ISP(preferably while using ethernet). It sounds like the router could be faulty, it shouldn't be turning itself off(try borrow a router from a neighbour or friend to test also if the reported speeds are OK). After all you say that the DL speed was working fine up until recently. Another possibility is that your ISP is selling you short and limiting your bandwidth(I have heard that BT do this unless you make a fuss). If the speed reported by speed test doesn't match what the ISP said you'd get when you signed up, give them a call and complain. Don't take the likely bullshit answer "You're too far away from the "data centre" " or "Your area is a high traffic zone". Hope my semi-coherent instructions help.

Thanks for the help, Total.

I did a speed test on both a wireless and wired connection and the results were the same: a pathetic 1.9mbps. I looked up my house's plan and I should be getting speeds up to 76mbps. So it would seem that it's coming from BT's end then. I'll call them up and see what they say.

Doesn't explain why my router occasionally flips out though. Maybe the 'same channel' excuse they gave me yesterday actually was the course of that though because our router has been stable since I called them.

Thanks again.

Just an update for anyone who is having similar problems and is browsing the web for answers. After performing both a wireless and wired test, I phoned my ISP and told them about my problem and my results. They then performed a quick test themselves and confirmed that there was a network problem in my area. Today I had no connection for approximately 4 hours, but now it's back and significantly faster (I guess they were fixing it).

So for anyone having the same problem I was having, make sure you phone your ISP.


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