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Since a few weeks my pc at home is suffering from slow internet speeds, but not always. 2 out of 7 days the speed is normal, the other days it's very slow (reminds me of my old 56k modem). I'm running Windows XP on it and it's on a wireless home network.

Rebooting doesn't help, I've ran a full virus scan and spyware scan: nothing was found. Another strange thing is that my laptop computer doesn't have this problem, not even when the pc suffers from the low speed, so it isn't my internet connection itself.

Is there anything else I can check to fix this problem?

EDIT: pages load very slow, downloads/torrents are slow, etc. Yes, I checked the CPU load: nothing special. The PC is further away from the wireless router than the laptop usually is, but this is only a few meters, there are no walls in between and this worked great for the past 3 years...

Never tried running speedtest... might try that tonight.

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Specifically, how does the problem manifest itself? Lag in gaming? Slow page loads? Poor download speeds? Have you checked the processor load at slow-downs? Verified your broadband speed during such periods ( – Bonus Nov 5 '09 at 9:55
Interesting point, since it's wireless: are the laptop and desktop on the same place when you check speeds? Are you far from the router? Wireless is easily disturbed by distance and walls, it could be as simple as that. – Gnoupi Nov 5 '09 at 10:02
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Try to change the channel on your wireless router :
It might be that your neighbor just got himself also a wireless router that's interfering with yours.
Try channel 11, for example.

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Thanks. This is something I'll have to configure on the router itself? – Gerrie Schenck Nov 5 '09 at 11:51
To configure you have to logon to the router by its IP address (normally or, supply admin user name & password, go to the Wireless section and change Wide Channel or Channel. Then save. It's better done with a wired connection to the router, because with wireless you'll then lose connection. – harrymc Nov 5 '09 at 14:06
It seems to have done the job. I ran a speed test before I changed the channel: it was only 0.5 mbps, now it's 8.5! Thank you, I hope the problem will not come back. – Gerrie Schenck Nov 5 '09 at 19:27

connect the PC to the router via ethernet, see if that fixes it.

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You mentioned torrents.

In your torrent app try to put a maximum upload speed to a low value like 20kB/s.
Put it something like half of the maximum upload your Internet Service Provider gives you.

The torrent upload clogs your tubes because: The torrent apps are aggressive in terms of number of connections to do the upload/download and when they use all the upload speed, your request to read a page on the internet gets behind the torrents so the pages take longer to load.

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I'm usually not downloading/uploading torrents when I have the speed problems. But thanks anyway. – Gerrie Schenck Nov 5 '09 at 11:50

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