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I'm trying to diagnose whether my laptops wireless NIC is dying or I have some adverse setting on my router or computer

When I'm connected to my router, my download is extremely slow. For awhile, I blamed it on comcast and even had the modem swapped out. Still no fix.. was getting frustrated and continued to blame comcast.

Then this morning, I hooked up my work laptop (also via wifi, same router) and did a speedtest. It gave me much, much, much (x20) faster speeds.. this lead me to figure out the problem isn't comcast, but actually my laptop (or the router).

I checked my router, and while I'm not a networking person, I couldn't see anything that suggest my computer would specifically be throttled or otherwise impaired on the router side. QoS is turned off completely.

Here are the facts:

  • HP Pavillion DV6000 with Windows 7 SP1
  • Linksys WRT-54G with DD-WRT flashed onto it
  • Broadcom 802.11g internal card, the most up to date drivers I could find

Is there maybe some weird setting that might have accidentally gotten set on the NIC to self-throttle or something? I've spent hours searching around for settings and experimenting with different physical configurations.

Here is my speedtest connecting via wifi:

wifi speedtest

Here is my speedtest connecting via cat5 to router:

speedtest ethernet-router

And finally here is my speedtest connecting via cat5 directly to the modem:

speedtest ethernet-modem

(Sidenote: I knew the router would slow the speeds, but that seems like a huge difference between direct modem and via router.)

As you can imagine being that slow is painfully frustrating. To make matters worse, my battery is depleted so it always has to be plugged in.

Is there anything I can do? Any diagnostics to check if the NIC is actually dying or it's just some adverse setting? Or should I just go out and buy a USB wireless adapter?


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I'm having a similar issue with the WLAN in my MacBook. The speeds go to hell and I have reboot the router to fix it. Usually that would point to a router issue, I know, but my wife's machine does not have the problem, nor does my iPhone, her iPhone or my iPad. Only my Mac. But rebooting the router fixes it for several days. Have you rebooted your router? – Paperlantern Jan 9 '12 at 3:46
@Paperlantern several times.. no joy :( – WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Jan 9 '12 at 3:48
Based on what you've said then, my next step would be to reseat the card and antennas. If no improvement there you could only assume the card IS bad. You've already tried it with another good machine and it is fine so it doesn't appear to be router related. – Paperlantern Jan 9 '12 at 3:52
It is a laptop so there's no easy way to dismantle it worry-free. I'm mostly a software as opposed to a hardware person and I've heard horror stories about laptops not closing back up properly, especially if everything isn't perfectly positioned. – WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Jan 9 '12 at 3:55
MOST laptops have a 1 screw access panel for the WLAN card. Others are under the keyboard, which is only slightly more complicated. Very small percentage are a bad design that prevents easy access to mini pci slot. But my guess is it needs reseated or replaced. – Paperlantern Jan 9 '12 at 4:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I just removed all bluetooth access options from the card and my connection speed jumped from 0-60Kbs to 1Mbs (1000Kbs). Hope this helps

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