Slow net connection

Something’s screwed up with my Internet connection. I have a wireless network set up, with my old computer directly connected to the router and my new one connected via a wireless connection. On the old computer the connection’s still pretty good, but the new one’s connection isn’t rating much faster than 56k. Previously, it was much faster.

What have I done lately that might have had a negative impact? Reinstalled XP Pro and gone from an old Zoomair PCMCIA card to a new Linksys USB card. I’m guessing there’s something futzed up in my Windows settings or the Linksys software settings that is throttling down my connection. Guess is the operative term here, because that really is a guess. I hope it’s something like that and not just my ISP going south on me. I’ve got AOL Broadband, which heretofore has been very speedy.

I pinged Yahoo and got a 25% packet loss. That sucks.

Any ideas about what I should be looking at, or good websites for troubleshooting stuff like this?

Mark, ping your one computer from the other. Still have that packet loss?

I don’t know how to ping the other computer. How do I know its address?

Go to a command prompt in winxp and type ipconfig.

Wow – I pinged the old computer from the new one and got 100% packet loss. What’s causing that?

Do you have an XP firewall on?

To allow your hard-wired computer to accept ping packets:

  1. Start > Control Panel > Network Connections > Local Area Connection > Properties > Advanced tab
  2. Uncheck the Protect my computer and network… checkbox

Here’s a new app for you. Pingplotter. http://www.pingplotter.com.

Pingplotter doesnt just ping the destination computer, but all the computers in between. A traceroute ping lets you determine if a connection problem originates at your computer, somewhere within your ISP*, or someplace external to both of you.

Run identical pings to www.google.com on both computers. How do the results compare?

  • Pingplotter graphs ping history over time. So if your connection really is suffering from bad packet loss, you can export the graph as a graphics file or a text file and send it to your ISP as proof.

Now that is a nice app, Roger. Thanks!

I prefer Visualroute http://www.visualroute.com - it does the stuff pingplotter does, plus extrapolates server locations based on whois data and then shows you on a map the probable geographical path your packets are taking. It’s a pretty nice tool.

If you want to see what it more or less looks like you can give it a spin http://www.visualroute.it/vr.asp at that site - it’s a java applet, it’ll take a second to load, but you can enter in your ip address and have it trace back to you. The page isn’t in english, shouldn’t effect tool use though.

Mark, have you tried re-orienting the Linksys USB adapter? Sometimes antenna placement can make a big difference in WiFi speed. Move it as high as you can, and maybe shift it to the other side of the desk…