Broadband problems are pretty common, but unless it’s a serious problem with your ISP, a simple restart of your router usually cures things. But what if everything is running fine except on just one PC or laptop?
There are a few possibilities, but before you buy a new router, Wi-Fi adapter, reinstall Windows or thrown everything out of the window, here are a few things you can try.
Reset your network adapter
It’s worth doing this just to see if it’s the adapter at fault. You can disable and restart it by finding the adapter in the Control Panel (look under Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Centre > Change adapter settings).
Right-click the connection that’s currently being used and choose Disable. Leave it a few seconds, then double-click it to enable it again.
A restart of your PC can also have the same effect. Just remember in Windows 10 you need to choose Restart, not Shut Down because the latter saves the system state and doesn’t really close everything down.
If that doesn’t work, try running the following commands. Launch CMD.exe or PowerShell depending on your version of Windows and type (or copy and paste if you have Windows 10) these three, pressing Enter after each one.
netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
Look for apps that throttle the connection
If none of that has helped, it might be that an app is throttling your connection speed. Some apps work a bit like the QoS settings in your router and prioritise, say, games or video streaming over other things (which aren’t time sensitive) such as file transfers or web browsing.
If you have an AMD graphics card, or an AMD processor, look in your list of installed apps for Quick Stream. This is designed to ‘shape’ the flow of network traffic to improve things. But the reality is that it can also make certain things run extremely slowly.
Uninstalling it will do the trick, but you can also launch it and stop it from running.
If you can’t see AMD Quick Stream running in Task Manger (or in your list of installed apps) then start looking for other processes or apps which could affect your internet speed.
Others that have been reported to slow down your connection include:
- AVG Web Tuneup
- ASUS GameFirst
- LAN Optimizer
- XFast LAN
What else can I try?
You can try uninstalling your graphics card driver. Some owners of Nvidia cards have found their connection speed increases when the driver for their graphics card is uninstalled.
That’s not a good solution, of course, but if you find your speed does increase and your PC or laptop has 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, it could be worth switching to a wired connection to see if this increases the speed with the drivers reinstalled. If so, and you want to use Wi-Fi, try to move your existing adapter further from your PC – using a USB extension cable, for example – or even buy a 5GHz Wi-Fi card (so long as your router supports it) and try using that frequency instead.
Similarly, some users have found that choosing a slower Wi-Fi standard makes the connection run faster. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works in some cases.
To try this, follow these steps:
- Search for Device Manager in the Start menu and run it.
- Find Network adapters in the list, and click to expand it.
- Right-click the adapter you use to connect to the internet.
- Choose Properties, then go to Advanced.
- Look through the list and find the option that lets you choose the speed or Wi-Fi standard.
- Instead of setting it to 802.11b/g/n, try selecting 802.11b/g.