Why is my computer limited in download speed?

I have just set up a new 60mb internet through virgin. Me and two others have connected i have a windows 7 laptop and the other two are on apple macs. When doing a download speed check they have around 55mb and i am getting more like 2 or 3 mb. Is my computer limiting this?


Also all 3 laptops are wireless connected. When i use an Ethernet i get more like the 55mb.

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Internet speeds are overtaking WiFi speeds...

    Many laptops and routers still have 802.11g '54 Mbit' WiFi, which in practise usually means something like 1 - 3 MBytes per second throughput.

    To get higher speeds, both ends of the link - or sometimes all WiFi devices in use - must be 802.11n rated.

    11n has multiple speed ratings, you can get 150, 300 or 600 Mbit types.

    The speed will typically adapt to the lowest active device.

    The actual speed you will get (in MegaBytes per second) is about a tenth the megabit speed, shared over all active WiFi devices.

    Your router is almost certainly an 11n type already - it's a bit pointless them giving you a fast connection without a fast router...

    Look at the specs on each laptop to see if they have 11n or 11g WiFi, or try each on it's own with the others off to see if any run at higher speeds.

    The WiFi modules in laptops can almost always be upgraded, they generally use either Mini PCI or Mini PCI Express cards.

    If you consider this, you need to look carefully at the physical size of the module (for mini pci, there are different heights) and if you get a replacement uninstall the drivers for the old WiFi card before actually swapping the cards. Then install the drivers for the new card, if Windows does not do it automatically.

    See the links for a mini PCI Express and a short size Mini PCI (which will replace either a long or short one). The third link is a long one for comparison.

  • 9 years ago

    The speed you get on wireless will never (unless you have a degree in radio frequency analysis) match that of a wired connection. there are too many variables in the home to give you the same as a cable.

    But you can check a few things, firstly the type of wifi you use, if its G then you will only ever get a max of about 40mbs as the top is 54mbs and then you have to account for interference, if anyone else is using the channel in your area or the microwave is on they interfere slowing you down. if you are using N then you may not have the setup quite right, if your router has 2 aerials and is n then to get great speeds you need to play with the settings under the aerial section try MIMO settings to get the best, plus there is where the router is possitioned how you have the aerials setup streight or angled and many many things, when testing always use a cable ... i have n and most i get is 7mbs because of the routers location and the construction of my walls being solid stone.

  • 9 years ago

    You will always get a weaker wireless signal compared to a usually stable Ethernet connection. It all depends where you computer is in relation to where your router is situated. The closer the router, the better the connection.

    So to avoid all that it's best to go for an Ethernet connection if possible. That said, download speeds are usually determined by your Internet Service Provider. And these download speeds can vary during the time of day.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Plug your computer into the router using ethernet cable to test. You should get approx 55MB.

    If so it means that your wireless connection is not fast enough. Is it 'n' or the obselete 'b' or 'g'?

    Source(s): Experience
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  • 9 years ago

    If you are getting nearly the full download speed when connected by ethernet then the Virgin broadband is OK, their "superhub" however does not have a particularly strong wifi signal.

    If you are only getting a couple of Megs on wifi then I think that your laptop is connected to someone else`s wifi rather than your Virgin routers wifi.

    Your computer cannot limit you to that speed, you need to make sure that you are wirelessly connected to your Virgin router.

    Here is their advice on the subject;


    Best of luck with it, Bob.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    In such case there are certain issues to be resolved such as you have to removal invalid registry entries, and removal of unused processes deactivated to free up space. In this way the result you get is a computer that works faster and better.

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