Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This is a really annoying problem I'm having with my connection. Every so often, it'll randomly "freeze", that is, the NIC seems to stop receiving packets. This results in things like

  • If I'm trying to browse to a website, it'll stop at "Waiting for website.com...". It does this or the equivalent in all 4 of the browsers I have: IE, Firefox, Opera & Chrome.
  • If I'm playing an online game, I seem to "lag out". That is, everything in the game freezes. One of the odd things I've noticed here is that sometimes the packets come through after a 20-30 second gap.
  • If I'm watching a youtube video ( specifically mentioned later ) the loading will just break off whenever the issue begins.

Now, for some reason, although the issue has been triggered by regular browsing, or gaming with no browser open, loading a youtube video seems to have a very high chance of triggering this problem. About 7 out of 10 videos will just break off during the loading and if I try to open any sites in new tabs it'll get stuck at "Waiting for website.com...".

The only fix I've found so far is that disconnecting and reconnecting to the wireless network fixes the problem. Sometimes I have to do this multiple times so I'm wondering whether it is, in fact, a proper fix or that the issue is just going away by itself during the time it takes to reconnect.

An even stranger thing is, while my computer cannot open any web pages, ping/nslookup still works. IM apps still work.

System info:

The computer: Windows 7 64-bit connecting via a Linksys USB adapter ( WUSB54GC ) The router: Linksys WRT54G2 v1.0

I have a CCNA cert and pretty decent knowledge of home networking but I have not been able to figure out any reason for this issue. Disabling IPv6, assigning a static IP, turning firewalls on/off, turning QoS on/off have had no effect. It cannot be wireless interference because inSSIDer still shows great reception and, after all, wireless issues would affect ALL networking and would not leave ping/nslookup untouched. I've tried switching to a different wireless adapter ( AWUS036H ) and still had the same problem. A different router also appears to have the same problem.

I would think at this point that it's the ISP, except that during the issue I cannot even open the ROUTER CONFIG PAGE at 192.168.1.1. So I have come to the conclusion that this must be a local issue on this computer. Can anyone suggest any avenues of investigation?

share|improve this question
2  
+1 for a question with perfect grammar and no spelling mistakes, which describes the problem in perfect detail. We need more of this on the internet... –  marcusw Feb 28 '10 at 14:13
    
When you've raged over a problem as annoying as this for months, you'll be able to list every detail of it too :P –  Rohit Nair Feb 28 '10 at 14:23
    
Could you try booting from some linux livecd? –  liori Feb 28 '10 at 23:28
    
Are the youtube videos causing problem always the same, or maybe the same video sometimes work and sometimes not? –  liori Feb 28 '10 at 23:47
    
Different videos, and like I mentioned it's not just youtube. What purpose would booting from a LiveCD serve? –  Rohit Nair Mar 1 '10 at 6:15

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I can't believe I figured out the problem after so many months and it was staring at me in the face all along.

It was my wireless headphones. The Plantronics 995h apparently operates on the damn 2.4Ghz spectrum and so it must have been interefering with my wireless card. THAT'S why it was random and occuring even though my Wifi analyzer showed no other NETWORKS within 5 channels of me.

I unplugged the wireless headset and have had 2 problem free days.

Thank you, everyone who tried to help! :)

share|improve this answer
1  
That's good to know and I never would have thought of it. I'll keep it in mind if I hear of someone with an intermittent wireless problem. –  Wayne Johnston Mar 6 '10 at 5:52
    
If you want to continue using your headphones you may be able to determine what channel they operate on by looking into the technical specifications, then set your router to the further possible channel from this. If you can't find the channel in the specs, you could try changing your WiFi channel and then playing a YouTube video to see if any of the available channels have less interference from the headphones than other. Although that being said they may just do a dirty trick and channel hop / use non-standard channels. –  Turix Feb 10 '12 at 11:07
    
Another option to conciser is the placement of the wireless base station for the headphones, try and keep it as far away from your wireless card/router as possible. –  Turix Feb 10 '12 at 11:07

Check for devices nearby that can interfere with the signal, and see if removing them from the area helps.

share|improve this answer

You've eliminated the hardware and drivers as a source of the problem, so that would leave either the IP stack or an application running above it. Since ping still works that suggests the IP stack is OK.

I experienced a similar problem due to a virus. When it tried to call home it would lock up the UI, or slow it down drastically. After several frustrating weeks I eventually found a virus scanner that could detect the problem. Since then I've kept a few around to run when something suspicious happens.

That's probably not much help, and you likely thought of it already, but it's all that comes to mind.

share|improve this answer
    
I've run scans with the 2 decent free antivirus apps on the market ( AVG and Avira ) and they both come up with nothing. –  Rohit Nair Mar 1 '10 at 6:16

protected by Community Aug 21 '13 at 10:54

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.