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Is my laptop slowing down the router? I'm lost!

  ITBuffoon 21:19 03 Jul 2014

I have recently started living at with my sister's house and there is a problem with my laptop that is causing problems with the router. (Belkin.5398)

Quite often, internet access slows to unusable speed when I am online with my laptop. I suppose this usually happens after about an hour. This affects my laptop and usually, everybody else's. It can arise from doing any internet activity, even simple browser (no heavy downloading).

I trust my sister when she says there was definitely no problem before I started using the wifi and router! It's usually OK again once I restart the router but this isn't really a solution.

I have changed my browser from Firefox to Chrome. I have disable addons. We still seem to have the same problem.

The support staff from Virgin were very helpful, but were sure there was no problem their end. We looked at the router itself, they suggested trying a different browser and disabling the add-ons.

I often get 'server not found' messages in Firefox, and 'Oops! Google Chrome could not find xxx' in Chrome. I have to refresh to find the page.

Could I have a virus on my laptop? I ran Avast today but it brought back nothing on the scan.

We did have network sharing setup on the router. We removed this with the guy from Virgin.

Can anyone help????

I am not super-techy but I can access the router via the browser to follow any (helpful) instructions.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:29 03 Jul 2014

If wireless connections, try changing">">changing the wireless channel in the router

  wee eddie 23:41 03 Jul 2014

I suppose that it depends on the speed and bandwidth she was getting before you arrived.

If, for example, you are using your laptop for gaming. That may be taking quite a lot of it

  Secret-Squirrel 09:44 04 Jul 2014

"Could I have a virus on my laptop?"

Yes, it's possible that something on your laptop is hammering the network so much it slows everyone's Internet down. It may be malware or something a lot less malicious.

Some Windows versions have a diagnostic tool that you can use to troubleshoot network activity so post back the Windows version you're running on your laptop.

  ITBuffoon 15:08 05 Jul 2014

Thanks guys. I'm not doing any gaming or any bandwidth hogging activity. I'll try and change the channel. I'm using Windows7 Home Premium. Thanks.

  wee eddie 15:44 05 Jul 2014

Just a thought: has anyone else in the household changed their habits since your arrival.

For example: Someone who was watching the Main TV is now downloading and watching in their room?

  Secret-Squirrel 17:07 05 Jul 2014

".....I'm not doing any gaming or any bandwidth hogging activity............. I'm using Windows7 Home Premium."

The next time everything slows down on your network, and you're not knowingly doing any heavy downloading, click your Start button, start typing resource monitor and after just a few letters the program name should appear at the top of the menu so click on it. When the program opens, click the "Network" tab, look at the "Network Activity" bar then the "Network I/O" monitor - it looks like this. Keep an eye on it for a few minutes. What's the maximum value shown (in Kbps or Mbps)?

That simple test should determine whether there's a hidden process on your laptop that's using the Internet so much it's slowing everyone down.

  ITBuffoon 17:11 20 Jul 2014

I have looked at the resource manager. There didn't see to be anything slowing up my laptop.

I don't see any way to post an image to the forum. Is it possible (so someone can look at the Resource Manager readings)?

Some other things have occurred to me, that I need to add.

  1. When the connection slows, the message is "resolving host" in the status bar. Could this be something to do with the DNS? I have done a DNS flush from the cmd line, but the the connection between laptop and router still slows/drops.
  2. The router's firmware doesn't appear up to date - I presume updating this would be a good idea.
  3. Other internet activity usually works when browsing doesn't. E.g Spotify was fine this morning when basic web browsing was impossible.

Any ideas?


  wee eddie 17:29 20 Jul 2014

Someone using Spotify, on a regular basis, is going to hog a fair proportion of your available bandwidth

  Secret-Squirrel 08:56 21 Jul 2014

ITBuffoon, I'm still waiting for an answer to my question. It was a simple one. What does the little "Network I/O" show when your network's misbehaving? The example in the link I posted shows 36Mbps so tell me what you get.

  ITBuffoon 20:36 21 Jul 2014

Hi Secret Squirrel, thanks for your message. When it grinds to a halt, the Network I/O values are in single figures. Pages won't reload, pages can't be found. The figure is in kbps.

Rebooting almost always solves the problem, but I can't constantly do that.

I've run Malwarebytes as well to see if Avast missed anything, and the laptop is fine in that respect, nothing harmful running on it.

To the previous posters, I honestly think the Spotify issue is a red herring. I meant it as an example of the fact that the problem usually seemed to arise from standard web page browsing.

Any ideas appreciated!!! Thank you again all!

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