I have recently been seeing some very strange networking issues on my home computer, and I’m not certain I understand where the problems are coming from. Because my computer is a long way from our cable modem, I make use of a wireless networking adapter (a Netgear WG311 v3, to be exact). The signal strength I receive is somewhat low, due to the adapter’s tiny antenna and its lousy location at the back of my computer.
The actual problem I’m seeing is a severe degradation in performance over time. When I run the speed test at Speakeasy right after a reboot (or when I initially turn on my machine), I can consistently get ~4500 kbps down and ~300 kbps up. After an hour or two of usage, running the same test consistently gives me ~750 kbps down and ~50 kbps up (sometimes slightly higher; the numbers vary). None of the other computers in my house see this issue, and all are wireless.
Last night I flashed the latest firmware onto our DLink DI-624 wireless router (the one that was installed was really old), but I saw the issue again after I made the update. Seeing that this issue is limited to my machine, it makes me think of two possibilities:
- It’s a problem with my wireless card (though another computer in my house has the exact same type of card, and doesn’t see the problem).
- It’s a software issue (something is screwing over the network settings system wide).
Does anyone have an idea of what might be going on here? I’m thinking about buying a new networking card with a better external antenna (this one at NewEgg is what I’m currently looking at), with the hopes that better signal strength will make this problem disappear. But I’m grasping at straws; this is driving me nuts and I want it fixed!