Fast 20MBit connection but slow browsing

  User-519324 15:17 10 Sep 2008

I have just set up our network on 20MBit Virgin connection. I am hardwired to the router and have a fresh install of XP Pro on my computer. The connection is lightning fast, with 2.2+MB/s downloads over HTTP; however, browsing webpages is very slow. Average pages take a couple of seconds to load, with no other traffic or transfers at the time.

Problem occurs with both IE7 and FF3, which are both freshly installed with no Addons. Win XP Pro was installed just a week ago. Windows firewall is in use - though when disabled it makes no difference.

Connecting directly to the modem causes the same slow browsing, yet very fast direct transfers.

As I'm getting very fast direct transfer rates, I am assuming this is a software / Windows issue rather than a hardware issue.

Can anyone suggest where the problem may lie or give a step-by-step approach to diagnosing what's causing the slow browsing?

I have connected other computers through the router (testing both wireless and wired modes) and the browsing is lightning fast, so I doubt it has anything to do with DNS settings.

Many thanks in advance!

  mgmcc 21:56 10 Sep 2008

Although you may have a fast 20Mbps connection, it doesn't necessarily follow that the server you're accessing, and which could have a considerable number of simultaneous connections, can deliver web pages at the full potential of your connection.

Bear in mind also that many websites that you view contain adverts, so you have to retrieve the ads from these servers too.

Then there is the process of resolving the web pages in your PC. My connection was recently increased from 4Mbps to 10Mbps and I cannot see any significant speed increase in loading web pages. File downloads can be faster and utilise the full 10Mbps bandwidth, but again it depends on the ability of the host server to deliver the data.

  User-519324 13:22 14 Sep 2008

Thanks mgmcc. Yes, it seems like it's actually the speed at which pages can be served from most servers (including ads from other servers) which is the limitation, not my connection or computer. Incidentally, when I run FF with a couple of addons I definitely notice a slowdown in page loading.

  mgmcc 14:00 14 Sep 2008

I notice a very considerable difference in file download speeds between a Mac, with no AntiVirus software running, and PCs running, in my case, Avast. Disabling Avast in Windows brings download speeds to a similar level to the Mac - I always use Firefox with both platforms.

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