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we have one broadband internet connection, which through a very basic switch is divided through I think four machines.

I've noticed that when me and my brother start downloads, his consistently overrules mine. His light will flicker like crazy and mine will barely blink at all; he gets nearly full speed and I get nearly nothing.

Oddly enough when I switch our positions on the switch, his connection still overrules mine. So something about his machine appears to "remember" that he has higher priority.

What can I do to alter this behaviour? Ideally we would have the thing divide the bandwidth intelligently but just knowing how to switch the priorities the other way would be good. Just any information on how this process works would be excellent.


Ok the layout is as such:

-> [router]
       1
       2
       3 -> dad's pc
       4 -> [switch]
                1 -> my pc
                2 -> brother's pc
                3
                4

I'm not worried about the fighting between me and dad's PC. However I am worried about fighting between me and my bro's PC.

Router: NetGear RangeMax ADSL Modem Wireless Router
Switch: probably from a £ shop, "PC Line 5 Port Fast Ethernet Switch"
All PCs are mongrels running Windows 7
Testing download speed with Mozilla Firefox 4
Network chips I have no idea how to find that out

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Is there a router or just a switch? –  tjameson Jun 18 '11 at 21:01
1  
Just a basic switch. –  Chris Burt-Brown Jun 18 '11 at 21:11
    
Hard to diagnose without knowing model of router, PC models and OSes, network chips in the PCs and the download apps being used - more input please! –  Linker3000 Jun 18 '11 at 21:20

2 Answers 2

Switches are generally unintelligent devices, which means that there is no priority built in. This is assuming that the switch is an unmanaged switch. The flashing of the light is not generally a good way to measure your bandwidth, you would need to use real speed tests to prove that something is amiss.

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We are also looking at download speeds, and it's the same story there. –  Chris Burt-Brown Jun 18 '11 at 21:12
    
Can you post the results of the speed tests from the various machines? To be honest, every time one of my friends complains to me about something like this, the tests invariably reveal that it is all a question of perception. However, it is still worthwhile to run a more scientific test. –  Kirk Jun 19 '11 at 16:47

Switch does not divide speed. Most probably you have router. If you don't, router is next device after your switch and this device affects it. Speed prioritization in routers is called QoS

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