I have a problem diagnosing a bandwidth with a Windows 7 PC on my home network. The PC has both a wired connection to the router as well as a wireless connection. When downloading files, all other devices on the network become unable to connect to the network. When the file download completes, all other devices can function normally again.

I have many other devices in my home that are connected to the network - all via a wireless connection. They are a Wii, two laptops (one running Windows 7, one running Linux, Android tablet, iPod, etc.). None of these devices have any trouble operating with the others, including when downloading or streaming large files.

Downloading a large file results in no other devices on the network being able to connect to the Internet. I am also not able to browse the Internet on the PC doing the downloading until the download completes. However, if I'm streaming video through the browser (i.e., via Netflix), I can still browse in a separate window and other devices on the network can also connect to the Internet. Enabling/disabling the wired/wireless connections in any combination doesn't affect the issue.

I set up the PC to dual boot with Linux, and if I boot into Linux and download large files I have no trouble with other devices on the network.

The router is a Belkin N+ Wireless Router.

I am about at my end with this issue, particularly since this is my primary home computer. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Why do you have both a wired and wireless connection to that machine? Do the wireless problems happen when that machine only has its wired connect (and has wireless switched off)? – Spiff Aug 25 '12 at 22:06
  • Good question, but no. I've tried all the possible configurations (wireless on/wired off, wired on/wireless on, etc.) but all still have the issue. – Geoff Aug 25 '12 at 22:11
  • What sort of download, i.e., what software are you using to download? – Harry Johnston Aug 26 '12 at 22:46

You can use some programs to limit your bandwidth on Windows 7 like NetLimiter .

  • I'll check it out! – Geoff Aug 25 '12 at 22:01
  • So I installed NetLimiter to test it and it seems like a great tool. I set a limit on the process handling the file download and found that the actual download rate changed accordingly. Unfortunately, all other Internet access on the PC was still blocked. It appears that something in Windows is simply blocking all other traffic through the hardware network devices. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what network adapter configurations to check... – Geoff Aug 26 '12 at 1:31

It sounds to me like the program your downloading with is using a vpn link that kills all other network activity while it does its thing. this is a common feature on high security vpn links


This is a normal problem. You have MANY devices connecting, and all fighting for the same Network Bandwidth.

Depending on the size of the file you are trying to download, I am surprised you havent seen this issue sooner.

Think of it this way: You are on your Desktop/Laptop trying to download a PPT for work. Your wife/partener (WHATEVER) is streaming Netflix to an iPad, and your kids are playing online on the Wii. All of these devices are causing your network to literally choke.

The best thing you should do is this: disable Wifi access on whatever devices that have an IP address but are not actively doing anything. IE iPhones, BB, iPad, etc etc. Then leave only your computer and maybe on other device connected wirelessly. This should help.

Furthermore, you can login t your router, and disconnect everyone, and you should be able to get your files faster.

Hope this helps.

  • I agree that many devices doing things all at once causes problems (though at any given time only one or two things are happening, so it's usually not noticeable). However, when it's the Windows 7 PC the network bandwidth is used to the extent that I can't even connect to the router to monitor/configure the network usage. If I boot into Linux (Ubuntu, in this case), no trouble at all. It's definitely slower, but everything still works as expected. – Geoff Aug 25 '12 at 22:00
  • I do large, fast file transfers on fast machines on my wireless network all the time, and it never causes other devices to completely fail to connect. At worst it causes some lagginess and causes other operations to slow down somewhat. – Spiff Aug 25 '12 at 22:04

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