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My network utilization in windows never seems to get above 1%.

This seems absolutely tiny, does anyone know why it is so low and if there is anyway to increase it(or if it indeed does need increased)

FYI: I use a D-LINK USB wireless adaptor

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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are several possible bottlenecks for network transfer:

  • For anything over the internet your internet connection will most probably be the bottleneck. Your inet connection is likely to be anywhere between some 100kb/s up to 100 Mb/s (latest fibre connection).
  • The router can be a bottleneck, allthough you will only notice this for transfers over the local networks. Router is usually 1000 or 100 Mb/s.
  • Then there is the actual throughput of your network interface, i.e. your network adaptor. This will be either 100/1000 Mb/s for Ethernet, or 54Mb/s for wireless.

Now. What the windows network manager displays to you is the usage of the possible bandwith of the local network adapter.
As you can see from the above numbers this is normally a tiny amount of the total available bandwith of your adapter for transfers over the internet. If you would try to locally copy a file over the LAN it will most likely use a very big portion (maybe 100%) of the bandwith of your network adapter.

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Lets say you use only the internet for example, which is 1mbps (in our example). Let's assume your wireless adaptor supports N. Then it is 300mbps at best (windows displays it 300mbps). So 1mbps from 300mbps at best transfer rate.

Basically that's the reason. (You can't increase it. If you get a faster internet connection, it'll increase itself. You can check out the maximum output by copying something through lan to a PC which is connected with 1gbps LAN cable to the router (if the router supports 1gbps))

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+1: Yep, yep. If your network adapter is gigabit, and you're connecting out through a 10 megabit high speed internet line, that's 1%. If you're not sharing a massive amount of data across a LAN, then your max is always going to be capped by your maximum upload/download speed. –  Satanicpuppy May 24 '10 at 15:10
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What is the maximum connection rate on your USB wireless? How many bars are you getting on your WiFi connection? You have to remember that regardless of the theoretical maximum, the real-world utilization will be much lower due to overhead and a weak signal. Some chipsets are better than others, but DLINK is a cheap consumer brand so they use the cheapest parts possible.

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Open the CMD window with Administrator privileges and copy the following commands one by one:

netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int ip set global taskoffload=disabled

Note:

  1. To paste in CMD don't press Ctrl+V, but right-click in the CMD window, then select Paste.
  2. Press ENTER after each command.
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Welcome to Super User! Can you please edit your answer to explain what this does? Thanks. –  Arjan Sep 14 '13 at 12:38
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  1. Turn off any other devices, such as cable boxes, other computers, gaming consoles, that are connected to the internet.
  2. Connect your router directly to a coaxial input in the wall. Do not use a splitter of any kind.
  3. Disconnect and reconnect to your wireless network and watch your utilization jump.
  4. Whenever your utilization reaches below 1%, disconnect and reconnect and watch it jump again.
  5. Eventually, you should find a stable connection with utilization above 8%, having a net result of increasing your download speed from less than 100 kb/sec to 1.5-3.5 mb/sec
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You haven't really identified what your answering as the initial question is Why not how. Also Might I ask why this would work to increase traffic? –  50-3 Sep 5 '13 at 2:18
    
I have no idea why it works, but give it a shot. If you have the time to sit there and disconnect and reconnect, you can take a 6 gb download from 3 hours to 15 minutes. Tested and confirmed (1) time. –  josh Sep 5 '13 at 21:27
    
Most people ask why under the assumption that it will provide them with the information they need to fix their problem. Unless you're just in it for the curiosity. –  josh Sep 5 '13 at 21:29
    
If I had to take a guess, I'd say that there's probably something going on with network prioritization, such that whenever a new IP connects it is processed/registered first in line. As new IP's connect, your own is forced to share with those connections. I'm only basing this on the fact that literally, whenever I reached >1% I never went above it again. I don't know anything about computers. Just found a solution to a common problem, thought people should know about it. –  josh Sep 5 '13 at 21:32
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