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Confusing Speed Issue

tomxlisa
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: 20-04-2012

Confusing Speed Issue

Have got a weird speed problem, on my main computer where i use a usb dongle the speed doesn't seem to be at the max that it should be, i just called plusnet up to report a fault but then remembered afterwards that i had the same problem months back and it was fixed by pulling out the dongle and connecting up with a ethernet cable, so tried that again, pulled out the dongle which i was getting around 1Mb speeds on via http://www.speedtest.bbmax.co.uk/ and http://www.speedtester.bt.com/ got my ethernet cable out again and connected the computer up with that to the router, checked speeds again and was getting my usual 17Mb + again and web pages we're flying again, just checked the laptop to see if they work at full speed via wireless and they are fine, it just seems to be the desktop computer which uses the dongle that has problems, so what could this be, this issue seems to have been since i upgraded to a new motherboard in my computer, went from a old one to a more recent motherboard and i think that is when the problems started, so do i buy a new dongle as it could be that or do i try a pci wireless card as i've heard it can be the usb dongle as usb isn't very good for network stuff or as the computer isn't too far away from the router should i just lay the ethernet cable down and use that (ethernet will always be the fastest and most secure way to go) ideas welcome?.
5 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,264
Thanks: 2,702
Fixes: 22
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Confusing Speed Issue

Tom,
I think your post contains all of the answers... Ethernet is always likely to be the fastest - at least 100mbs which is faster than your ADSL up link.
What would be of some relevant interest is to see how fast your PC accesses USB storage devices.  Though I am no expert, it might be the case that your new mother board is not configured to operate USB 2.0 which is faster than prior standards.
Note that all of the speed tests suggest that you should be connected direct to the router by Ethernet cable.
tomxlisa
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: 20-04-2012

Re: Confusing Speed Issue

Yes i am wondering if it would be worth buying a new usb dongle or maybe a pcie networking wireless card instead and see if that will be better, or just laying the ethernet cable and using that instead of wireless.
dfunked
Grafter
Posts: 182
Thanks: 5
Registered: 15-10-2011

Re: Confusing Speed Issue

If your PC is stationary, then laying a bit of cable is always going to be the better option given the choice IMO...
As it iscapable of using a PCI express card, then its safe enough to assume that USB1 speeds aren't the bottleneck here, so I'd say the dongle itself is the culprit...
tomxlisa
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: 20-04-2012

Re: Confusing Speed Issue

Well i have not tired a pci express networking card on it yet, still trying to figure out what i should do, i think the dongle might be conflicting with my new motherboard for some reason and causing the low speeds, like you said though, it is probably best to lay the cable to the computer as the laptops seem to work fine through wireless so it just seems to be the main computer and as that is in one place, cable should be fine, what is the best way to lay the cable, what is best to use, want to run it along the carpet near the skirting board?,
would still be good to know why wireless isn't working on my computer though and what is the problem but i could be here for ages spending money on this and that and trying to diagnose what the problem is, cable is probably the easiest method and most secure way forward.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,656
Thanks: 883
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Confusing Speed Issue

The cable needs to be CAT 5e Ethernet cable - it's best if you buy one ready made of the correct length or a bit longer to allow a little flexibility. It doesn't matter how you run the cable, CAT 5e is designed to be practically immune to any interference.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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