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My computer (the one I'm typing on) is a windows 7 (x86) connected via ethernet to a router acting as a switch. That router is connected to a router in another room, which is then connected to the modem. The problem is that buffering youtube videos is, for some reason, slower on this computer than a windows 7 (x64) laptop connected to the same router via wifi.

I don't have any firewalls (not even windows firewall) enabled, nor any anti-virus on this computer. I know this, and networking questions in general, are difficult or impossible to diagnose without a decent amount of back-and-forth between the person with the problem and someone with the experience to solve it, so what I'm looking for is software that might help me track down the issues at hand. Network monitors and the sort. Or, if by chance, someone knows what might be causing the problem, please let me know.

The router this computer and the laptop are connected to is an actiontec gt704wgb, and the one in the other room is a linksys wrt54g v5 router.

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Instead of a qualitative assessment ("youtube is slower"), some real numbers would be helpful. From the "connection status" popup for these network interfaces, there are connection speed numbers. Also results from www.speedtest.net (or similar web site) using a browser at each PC would be helpful. You really don't need additional software or "network monitors" (whatever that means). The first task is to quantify the speed of the wired Ethernet, i.e. is it degraded to 10Mbps? –  sawdust Aug 12 '12 at 3:55
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You could try attaching the laptop to the CAT5 to see if your x86 machine has a slow NIC or embedded Ethernet adapter. If the laptop still outperforms the x86 when land-lined, it is 99% the x86 machine that is the weakest link. This is probably the fastest/easiest to diagnose.

If that doesn't give you any useful info; you could then look up the specifications of the various routers to see what throughput they're capable of.

Doing the above will greatly narrow the search for a culprit.

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