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I am using Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium on a desktop computer. My internet provider is BT since it is the best ISP in my area. The speed test says I should expect speeds of 4-5 Mb/s, but my computer only reaches speeds of 300-500 Kb/s. I also noticed my Xbox downloads faster than my computer.

I've tried using the Ethernet cable that I use with my Xbox, but that doesn't change anything.

What can I do to solve this issue?

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Can you clarify that you are in fact downloading at 500 kilo bits per second (which would be slow) as opposed to 500kilo bytes per second which would be reasonably good for a 4-5mega bit connection. – Mokubai Mar 13 '13 at 16:18
run – ppumkin Mar 13 '13 at 17:27 will likely tell him what he already knows, and will offer no helpful steps towards a solution. – Moses Mar 13 '13 at 17:28

Because 8,000 bits per second = 1,000 bytes per second. So your download speed fromm your ISP is 4mbps which works out to be 500KBps max download speed. Plus most of the time it is the server that is slow, not your Internet connection. Ff you are downloading through a P2P site or torrent site make sure you upload is set to minimum and your download is set to 4mb.

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I typically start with devices and go up the networking food chain. You can do the following to evaluate your localized speed problems:

  • Investigate every device's software. Are there any devices hogging internet bandwidth due to software usage? Examples: P2P, video chat, audio/video streaming, etc.

  • Investigate incoming connections. Are there any ports open in your router in which there are a lot of incoming connections? Examples: multiplayer gaming, P2P, chat or website hosting, etc.

  • Investigate computer hardware problems. Is your PC the only device experiencing issues? It might be a problem with the network adapter. Upgrade it (costs $15) and see if speed improves.

  • Investigate network programming/hardware problems. Your router may be programmed incorrectly (DCHP, NAT, firewall or forwarding). It may also be faulty. Try replacing temporarily to see if speed improves.

  • Investigate issues with your DSL or Cable modem. This is different for every ISP but might comprise of rebooting, verifying programming with your ISP, or replacing the unit.

  • Investigate any widespread problems. Your ISP might be suffering outages or speed problems in your particular area, sometimes even as small as a particular building.

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