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My network connection is reeeeaaaaaal slow lately. How can I analyze the problem to find the culprit?

Candidates I see are:

  • my machine (although it works ok on other networks)
  • my wlan (reception is shown as great, but does that tell anything about the bandwidth)
  • my router
  • DSL modem
  • my DSL connection

How do I differentiate between those?

OS is Windows 7

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migrated from Mar 27 '11 at 13:21

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I'd also look at any anti-virus/anti-spyware tools on your computer. Depending on the app and settings, they can bring a machine to its knees. If you have a safe network to connect to, consider turning them off for 5-10 minutes while you test connections. – scunliffe Mar 27 '11 at 13:05
Operating system? – Majenko Mar 27 '11 at 13:22
OS is windows 7 (added it to the question as well – Jens Schauder Mar 27 '11 at 18:15

You can run tracert to a web site which loads slowly and see where the latency is.

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As explained in the infamous YouTube video: – Cody Gray Mar 27 '11 at 15:44
that video is fun – Jens Schauder Mar 27 '11 at 18:19

To see if you are getting the bandwidth you are paying for you can search for "internet speed test" on Google OR you can type in your local ip address (usually or and click on "modem status" (or something similar, each modem/router interface will be different). There you can view your down/upstream rates.

If you are wirelessly connecting, make sure that your connection strength is at least 50% to be getting a decent connection.

The speed of a computer also affects the "speed" of the internet because your computer still has to compute all the data and/or render video when you view youtube or something else. Even if you have an average computer, you need to make sure you don't have a billion processes running in the background or else this will slow everything down on your computer because it is using up your RAM/processing power. Sometimes this is just from accumulation of tons of things at start up or could also be caused by a virus. You can start the task manager to view processes (push ctrl+alt+del) and see what processes are slowing down your computer.

Oh, sorry...misread your post. Given your circumstances, I would guess it is the computer itself (e.g. processes are hogging up your computing power or your computer is just sub-par in the first place)? Best of luck!

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How do you get to the conclusion in the last paragraph? The computer is pretty decent (4GB, 4 cores) – Jens Schauder Mar 28 '11 at 4:52
Double sorry, I thought you meant that other computers worked fine when connecting, it was just that computer, but I think you meant it was only slow on this particular network. Has this always been the case or has this problem recently emerged? Something could be stealing your bandwidth? I would explore the first option I mentioned. You can access a traffic manager and bandwidth allocator (usually) from there. – Mr_CryptoPrime Mar 28 '11 at 6:15
It was probably slow all the time, I just use more streaming stuff lately so it became more anoying. – Jens Schauder Mar 28 '11 at 6:42

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