Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We just had internet installed the other day. I can connect just fine via wireless with my laptop, and I have no issues with speed. Some pages will say the server isn't responding. If it does manage to get some of the page, most images will be missing, or the style sheet won't download and she gets a page of unstyled text.

I don't think it is a matter of signal strength. She has the issue both when sitting a foot from the router and when on the opposite side of the house. In both locations, the signal shows full strength, and mine works no matter where I am in the house (including right next to hers).

I've tried restarting the router and her computer with no luck.

Any ideas as to what may be the cause of this and what I can do to fix it?

Additionally: I just tried plugging it straight into the router/modem. It still loads the same page quite a bit slower on her computer plugged in than mine does over wireless.

share|improve this question
Does the same problem occur when you try another browser? Could also be some sort of spyware on the laptop. – RJFalconer Nov 25 '10 at 19:44
Are you both using the same IP address on your computers? There could be collisions. Check your configuration versus hers. Is the DNS the same? Is the default gateway the same? Try pinging and tracerouting from her computer. – dmah Nov 25 '10 at 19:47

Great! Good job on plugging her computer directly into the router. As it's still slow then we can rule out wireless issues. The problem is with her computer itself. You don't say which operating system you're both using, so I'm going to assume Windows.

Unfortunately, more than likely it is a bunch of Malware causing problems on her machine.

Download some anti-malware software (like AdAware Free), install it on her machine, and run a scan. If you have problems installing or running a scan, her machine might be quite badly infected.

If that's the case, try running a free online virus scan, like Trend Micro's.

If you can't even load that site on her machine, then it's probably a really bad case, unfortunately. (Many Malware and viruses are programmed to recognize attempts to remove them or access anti-malware software.)

If this is what happens, then post back here and I'll try to give you some more help.

If everything comes back clean, then great. I was wrong and it's more than likely just a lot of legitimate programs taking bandwidth. To reduce the number of programs running, press Start/Windows Menu and click on Run. Type msconfig and load that program.

In MSConfig, click on the Startup tab and unclick everything (these are a list of programs that get automatically loaded when Windows starts -- they can be started manually at any time, and so probably don't need to be loaded).

Reboot the machine and see if any of the above has helped.

If not, post back and I'll try to help you further.

share|improve this answer

We had the same problem.

After investigating I found out that the slower computer was on airplane mode (win 8).

Once I turned it off it started to work just fine.

share|improve this answer

Here are some things you might try to speed up the slow computer:

Go to start>Run Type Prefetch then hit enter. A window will open, then press ctrl+A. Everything in the prefetch window should turn blue highlighted. Now Press Ctrl+D. You might get a confirmation window asking if you are sure you want to delete these xxxx items. Click yes, then after they’re all gone, close that window.

Right click the recycle bin. Select properties and then move the slider bar all the way to the left so that there is no disk space taken by it. Click Apply and then Ok.

Now go to Start>All Programs>Accesories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup. Chose the C: drive, then click yes to any warnings/Confirmations. Check all boxes when the disk cleanup window opens.

Go to The Start>Run>Msconfig>startup. Uncheck anything that’s not a firewall, anti-virus/spyware, sound drive, anything you need to run your computer properly, etc. Then click apply and close. It will ask to restart the computer. Go ahead and restart it.

When it starts booting, press F8 immediately until you get a screen that has a list of options. Select safe mode. Go to Start>All Programs>Accesories>System Tools>Disk Defragment. Then Select the C: Drive to defrag. This will take a while depending upon the size of the hard drive. Do not use the computer while it is running defrag. After it completes, restart the system like you would normally. After everything loads a window will pop up saying you have used the system config tool, check the box and click ok.

You can also check out your Internet using this link:

share|improve this answer
Those tasks are intended to speed up the computer in general; the asker only has a problem with network activity. – Kevin M Nov 29 '10 at 15:14

She isn't downloading Torrents or anything is she? I'm sure if she was you;d have spotted it by now but when I am my browsing goes down the drain. Dodgy Virgin Router is to blame.

share|improve this answer
Probably not the router. Virgin Media are probably traffic shaping. – Chris Harrison May 11 '12 at 13:56
@user36296 - Very possible, changing routers wouldn't affect this in any way would it? – Joe Taylor May 11 '12 at 21:13
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well after a very frustrating couple of days and no help whatsoever from customer service, I decided to try a different router/modem. I'm fairly certain she doesn't have any malware.

Luckily and inexplicably, a different router works just fine. It also helped speed up loading on my computer as well. I don't know if just the individual router was to blame, or the brand (Motorola).

Now everything is cruising along at blazing speeds with nary a hiccup. Thanks for all the suggestions, though!

share|improve this answer
You could try upgrading the firmware on the old router, too. – goblinbox Nov 29 '10 at 20:53

Without being an expert I blame the driver on her wireless dongle. It is the manufacturers' problem to create reliable and stable drivers that can connect to all routers and that is not always achieved. There isn't much to do about it, except buy one that connects through usb.

share|improve this answer
The original poster explained that the problem persists when wireless isn't being used. – Django Reinhardt Oct 5 '12 at 20:10

Had the same issue. Fixed it by going to the device manager, selected the wireless and the network devices, and in each one of them disabled "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power".

share|improve this answer

looks like I'm a tad late but I think I got the answer: enter to your modem preferences (or router, I don't know the difference, sorry) and deactivate the IP overflooding option. Everything will be as smooth as grease over butter.

Hope this helps!

share|improve this answer

protected by Community Feb 12 '14 at 15:12

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

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.