Wifi and Router Issues

glennhoffmania

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I've been having problems with my modem and router over the last couple of months. I would periodically lose connection for a couple of seconds and then it would resolve itself. I've had a Spectrum tech at my apartment four times since Christmas to check out the signal strength and swap out the equipment. The last time was a couple of weeks ago, and they figured out that there was a node malfunction somewhere in my neighborhood. They gave me a new modem and router, and a couple of days later they told me that the node was repaired. Since then I haven't noticed any connection issues when using a tablet or phone.

But ever since the last repair my computer is getting very slow speeds when I do a speed test. The weird thing is that it doesn't seem to be much slower, although at times it may be a little slower. When I do a test on my phone or tablet I'm getting 150-200 pretty regularly. When I test on my computer I'm getting 6-7. I connected it to the router with an ethernet cable and it got up to 80.

I've googled this problem and tried some of the fixes but nothing has worked. What could be causing my computer to be getting such slow speeds while all of our mobile devices are fine? In case it matters, it's a Dell laptop, about two years old, and it's otherwise worked pretty much perfectly except for the speed issue the last couple of weeks.
 

Rudi Fingers

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If you go to a Windows command prompt (many ways to do this - one is to type "cmd" into the "type here to search" bar at the bottom left of your Windows 10 machine then hit enter), type the following:

netsh wlan show drivers


then look at the results and type out what is listed after "Radio Types supported".

An ultra-awesome new laptop will have "802.11b 802.11g 802.11n 802.11a 802.11ac"

A two year old bottom of the line Dell laptop may only have 802.11a, 802.b, and 802.11g listed... (which would help explain the slower speed... I was shocked to troubleshoot a three year old laptop that only supported a, b, and g)

What does your laptop have?
 

cgori

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1) Routers from your cable/ISP usually are terrible. The only salvation is that they will often replace a dead piece of junk with a working piece of junk for free.

2) What exact models of laptop, tablet, phone and router? And how are you speed testing?

3) As long as the output from what Rudi suggests has at least "802.11n" or "802.11ac" the laptop is likely not the problem (or at least, it has theoretically fast enough hardware). However, getting 80 from a wired ethernet connection isn't exactly blazing, unless somehow your router only supports 100mbit ethernet, or if "80" is MByte not Mbit, then it's perfectly reasonable.

4) Is it your personal laptop or a work-provided machine? Some corporate IT will load up a machine with enough firewall/security software to choke a horse.
 

glennhoffmania

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Thanks, guys. I'll have to check this stuff when I get home but here's what I remember:
If you go to a Windows command prompt (many ways to do this - one is to type "cmd" into the "type here to search" bar at the bottom left of your Windows 10 machine then hit enter), type the following:

netsh wlan show drivers


then look at the results and type out what is listed after "Radio Types supported".

An ultra-awesome new laptop will have "802.11b 802.11g 802.11n 802.11a 802.11ac"

A two year old bottom of the line Dell laptop may only have 802.11a, 802.b, and 802.11g listed... (which would help explain the slower speed... I was shocked to troubleshoot a three year old laptop that only supported a, b, and g)

What does your laptop have?
It wasn't the ultra-awesome new laptop but it wasn't the bottom of the line either. I'm pretty sure it wasn't just a, b and g. But I'll confirm.

1) Routers from your cable/ISP usually are terrible. The only salvation is that they will often replace a dead piece of junk with a working piece of junk for free.

2) What exact models of laptop, tablet, phone and router? And how are you speed testing?

3) As long as the output from what Rudi suggests has at least "802.11n" or "802.11ac" the laptop is likely not the problem (or at least, it has theoretically fast enough hardware). However, getting 80 from a wired ethernet connection isn't exactly blazing, unless somehow your router only supports 100mbit ethernet, or if "80" is MByte not Mbit, then it's perfectly reasonable.

4) Is it your personal laptop or a work-provided machine? Some corporate IT will load up a machine with enough firewall/security software to choke a horse.
The tablet is a Samsung Galaxy S3. The phone is an S9. My wife has an iPhone 8. Those are all fine. I use fast.com and the Spectrum speed test site. My internet is supposed to be 200mbps and before this incident I was regularly getting at least that on my computer. And it's my personal computer, not work.

Is it possible that the speed test is simply wrong when I do it on my computer? 7 mbps is really slow, and it certainly doesn't seem that slow. I'll check back tonight with the rest of the info.
 

cgori

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Thanks, guys. I'll have to check this stuff when I get home but here's what I remember:

It wasn't the ultra-awesome new laptop but it wasn't the bottom of the line either. I'm pretty sure it wasn't just a, b and g. But I'll confirm.


The tablet is a Samsung Galaxy S3. The phone is an S9. My wife has an iPhone 8. Those are all fine. I use fast.com and the Spectrum speed test site. My internet is supposed to be 200mbps and before this incident I was regularly getting at least that on my computer. And it's my personal computer, not work.

Is it possible that the speed test is simply wrong when I do it on my computer? 7 mbps is really slow, and it certainly doesn't seem that slow. I'll check back tonight with the rest of the info.
Galaxy S3 is a/b/g/n capable
Galaxy S9 is a/b/g/n/ac
iPhone 8 is a/b/g/n/ac

150-200 is either typical/good "n" speed or low "ac" speed, suggesting that that router is at least an "n" and possibly "ac" capable. "g" will cap out at 54mbps (probably see more like 20-25 in practice), "b" is ~11 max, probably 5-7 in practice.

There's an outside chance your laptop is stuck on "b" somehow. That would be very weird though and I'm actually not sure how to diagnose/troubleshoot that possibility, as I'm more of a networking nerd than a Windows nerd.

I would trust fast.com results more than Spectrum. I would doubt that the results are "wrong" from fast.com, but you could try speedtest.net to double-check.

(FYI when you pay for 200mbps service, all that means is that on the ISP back-end they agree that they won't limit you to something less than 200. The gear in your house can often be rated lower than 200 for a single piece of equipment. Usually, the router that they supply you can at least hit the cap, 200 in your case, but that wasn't always true. Usually people hit the 200 by using multiple devices at the same time that add up to ~200mbps of consumption, at which point the back-end throttling might start applying.)
 

LoweTek

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Go here, enter your service tag ID and make sure you have the latest drivers and firmware for your machine.

Better yet, go here and download Support Assist, run it and see what it has to say about updates for you specific machine.
 

glennhoffmania

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If you go to a Windows command prompt (many ways to do this - one is to type "cmd" into the "type here to search" bar at the bottom left of your Windows 10 machine then hit enter), type the following:

netsh wlan show drivers


then look at the results and type out what is listed after "Radio Types supported".

An ultra-awesome new laptop will have "802.11b 802.11g 802.11n 802.11a 802.11ac"

A two year old bottom of the line Dell laptop may only have 802.11a, 802.b, and 802.11g listed... (which would help explain the slower speed... I was shocked to troubleshoot a three year old laptop that only supported a, b, and g)

What does your laptop have?
Ok so my laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series. When I do the command prompt thing I get this for radio types:

802.11b 802.11g 802.11n 802.11a 802.11ac

So it seems that isn't the problem?
 

glennhoffmania

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1) Routers from your cable/ISP usually are terrible. The only salvation is that they will often replace a dead piece of junk with a working piece of junk for free.

2) What exact models of laptop, tablet, phone and router? And how are you speed testing?

3) As long as the output from what Rudi suggests has at least "802.11n" or "802.11ac" the laptop is likely not the problem (or at least, it has theoretically fast enough hardware). However, getting 80 from a wired ethernet connection isn't exactly blazing, unless somehow your router only supports 100mbit ethernet, or if "80" is MByte not Mbit, then it's perfectly reasonable.

4) Is it your personal laptop or a work-provided machine? Some corporate IT will load up a machine with enough firewall/security software to choke a horse.
The router just says "Spectrum" on it. I don't see a brand or anything else.

I just tested using fast.com and I got 6.8 mbps. But like I said it doesn't seem that slow. SoSH loaded up almost instantly.
 

glennhoffmania

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Go here, enter your service tag ID and make sure you have the latest drivers and firmware for your machine.

Better yet, go here and download Support Assist, run it and see what it has to say about updates for you specific machine.
It's running now. So far it says driver and download updates are available. I assume I should update.

Another thing that may or may not be relevant- the hard disk always seems to be running. It's never silent. I looked into this issue too and I followed some of the tips but nothing seemed to work. So unless it's a problem I'm not going to keep screwing with it since it doesn't bother me.
 

Rudi Fingers

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It's running now. So far it says driver and download updates are available. I assume I should update.

Another thing that may or may not be relevant- the hard disk always seems to be running. It's never silent. I looked into this issue too and I followed some of the tips but nothing seemed to work. So unless it's a problem I'm not going to keep screwing with it since it doesn't bother me.
Agreed that your wireless hardware is not the issue - it supports 802.11ac, which is more than fast enough to take advantage of your wireless bandwidth.

Mid-range Dell laptops, once you get the drivers and BIOS updated (via LoweTek's link), are generally pretty solid machines. But especially when they're new, there are lots of thermal and driver issues for the laptop engineers to resolve...

...so I'm saying that driver updates might resolve the speed or disk issues.
 

cgori

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I also concur that the underlying laptop wireless hardware should support a nice fast connection.

The hard drive running constantly may be due to updates not applied / being prepared (either from Dell or general Windows updates from Microsoft). It will also impact the battery life, as you might imagine.

Another cause might be that it is running low on memory / swapping to the hard drive, though I sorta doubt this.
 

glennhoffmania

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I actually ran malwarebytes yesterday and it found nothing. I updated all of the drivers, rebooted, and fast.com said it's 6.5 mbps. I'm completely stumped. At the same time I went to fast.com on my phone and got 240. But web pages are loading pretty much instantly so I don't see how I'm only at 6.5. Any other thoughts?
 

gtmtnbiker

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I actually ran malwarebytes yesterday and it found nothing. I updated all of the drivers, rebooted, and fast.com said it's 6.5 mbps. I'm completely stumped. At the same time I went to fast.com on my phone and got 240. But web pages are loading pretty much instantly so I don't see how I'm only at 6.5. Any other thoughts?
Can you try a different laptop to see what you get? Or bring it to someone's house and try their router. Compare your numbers with what they get.

Also see if you can login to your router admin page to see which radio your laptop is connected to.
 

glennhoffmania

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Can you try a different laptop to see what you get? Or bring it to someone's house and try their router. Compare your numbers with what they get.

Also see if you can login to your router admin page to see which radio your laptop is connected to.
That's beyond my capabilities. But I went to network settings and saw this:

SSID: MySpectrumWiFi30-5G
Protocol: 802.11ac
Security type: WPA2-Personal
Network band: 5 GHz
Network channel: 149
IPv6 address: 2604:2000:1382:497d::97e
2604:2000:1382:497d:cc49:523:24fd:d7dd
IPv4 address: 192.168.1.4
IPv4 DNS servers: 192.168.1.1
DNS suffix search list: home
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Description: Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
Driver version: 19.51.12.3
Physical address (MAC): 70-1C-E7-DD-E3-ED

Does that answer any of the questions? I just rebooted the modem and router but nothing changed.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Have you tried using speedtest or another instead?

I'd love to say it's a driver issue, but if you're getting that terrible of speeds on wired and wireless, it's not likely a single driver issue.

My other thought is what are you using for DNS servers? For example Comcast's DNS servers are terrible. I'd try setting your DNS servers to 8.8.8.8 or 4.4.4.4 and see if it helps.
 

glennhoffmania

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Yeah I've tried three different speed tests and they're all consistent with both my phone and my computer. I'm not very computer literate so I'm not sure how to change DNS servers. After I test it out tonight on my neighbor's network I'm probably just going to call Spectrum. I didn't change anything on my computer and the problem only started after they swapped the modem and router. Could it be related to which channel the router is set to? Honestly if I never ran a speed test I may not have even noticed. It's doesn't take more than a second to load any web page and streaming works fine. I only tested it because they told me to after the repairs were finished.
 

YouKantBeSerious

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I might have missed it but I assume you are running Win 10. If so I found that disabling RSC as described in this post fixes issues with Dell Intel WiFi drivers. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-networking/wifi-issues-with-creators-update/4a20ba4f-33dc-4397-9823-e12dcb2607ba?auth=1

Steps to disable Rsc using Microsoft's automated tool:
1) Download the ".diagcab" file located here:
https://aka.ms/diag_cssemerg11005
2) Run it, and let it see if it can determine the problem and fix it.
3) Re-test your wireless internet connection.
 

glennhoffmania

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I might have missed it but I assume you are running Win 10. If so I found that disabling RSC as described in this post fixes issues with Dell Intel WiFi drivers. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-networking/wifi-issues-with-creators-update/4a20ba4f-33dc-4397-9823-e12dcb2607ba?auth=1

Steps to disable Rsc using Microsoft's automated tool:
1) Download the ".diagcab" file located here:
https://aka.ms/diag_cssemerg11005
2) Run it, and let it see if it can determine the problem and fix it.
3) Re-test your wireless internet connection.
Is there a chance this could screw something up? And if so is it reversible?

I just tested on another network and got about 40mbps. So it seems that something is wrong with both my network and my computer.
 

glennhoffmania

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Your question is a good one, and if you are seeing poor,performance on your phone, making a change to your computer doesn’t seem likely to help.
My phone and tablet are great. They're flying. I called Spectrum last night and they said that the signal and speed look great from their end. She reset the router and I still got speeds of around 6 or 7 on my computer. I'm totally stumped.
 

YouKantBeSerious

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Is there a chance this could screw something up? And if so is it reversible?

I just tested on another network and got about 40mbps. So it seems that something is wrong with both my network and my computer.

If you download the hotfix and install you won’t screw anything up at all. All the hotfix is doing is disabling RSC. You can reverse this by enabling it. I do not know if there is a hotfix for it but with a few commandlets in powershell it is easy to do. You will not see any negative impact by disabling RSC.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Is there a chance this could screw something up? And if so is it reversible?

I just tested on another network and got about 40mbps. So it seems that something is wrong with both my network and my computer.
If I recall correctly, you are getting poor networking performance with wired & wireless for your computer. I think that rules out the WiFi. Can you try a neighbor/friend's laptop at your house?

That's beyond my capabilities. But I went to network settings and saw this:

SSID: MySpectrumWiFi30-5G
Protocol: 802.11ac
Security type: WPA2-Personal
Network band: 5 GHz
Network channel: 149
IPv6 address: 2604:2000:1382:497d::97e
2604:2000:1382:497d:cc49:523:24fd:d7dd
IPv4 address: 192.168.1.4
IPv4 DNS servers: 192.168.1.1
DNS suffix search list: home
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Description: Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
Driver version: 19.51.12.3
Physical address (MAC): 70-1C-E7-DD-E3-ED
I was actually suggesting that you connect to the router maintenance page to see which devices are on which radio. But if you're getting poor performance on wired as well as wireless, then forget about checking this page. It's likely the computer or the router. Maybe there's some sort of throttling happening on the router due to QoS (quality of service) setting.
 

glennhoffmania

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Let me know if that does the trick. I’ll be happy to drill down further if that doesn’t.
Well I ran it, it said it found "Error 11005", it fixed it, but the speed didn't change at all.

If I recall correctly, you are getting poor networking performance with wired & wireless for your computer. I think that rules out the WiFi. Can you try a neighbor/friend's laptop at your house?



I was actually suggesting that you connect to the router maintenance page to see which devices are on which radio. But if you're getting poor performance on wired as well as wireless, then forget about checking this page. It's likely the computer or the router. Maybe there's some sort of throttling happening on the router due to QoS (quality of service) setting.
Yeah I'll try another laptop next. I think you're right- it's something to do with my computer. It was slow on two networks plus plugged in, and everything else on my network gets really high speeds. The problem is I have no idea what the issue is since I've changed nothing on my computer. It must be a Windows or McAfee update or something, right?

Would deleting the network from my available networks list, rebooting, and letting it find the network again do anything? I just read a post in which someone recommended that.
 
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Max Power

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Well I ran it, it said it found "Error 11005", it fixed it, but the speed didn't change at all.


Yeah I'll try another laptop next. I think you're right- it's something to do with my computer. It was slow on two networks plus plugged in, and everything else on my network gets really high speeds. The problem is I have no idea what the issue is since I've changed nothing on my computer. It must be a Windows or McAfee update or something, right?

Would deleting the network from my available networks list, rebooting, and letting it find the network again do anything? I just read a post in which someone recommended that.
If it's slow plugged in with a network cable, the root cause is not your wireless adapter. I'd remove McAfee entirely and see how it works. That can definitely slow things down.
 

glennhoffmania

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I don't mean this to sound snarky, but isn't deleting my anti-virus software kind of risky?
 

gtmtnbiker

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I don't mean this to sound snarky, but isn't deleting my anti-virus software kind of risky?
I think he meant temporarily to see if it makes a difference.

You said that your laptop is much faster at your neighbor’s house but not yours, right? So I don’t think it is the AV causing the issue. Do you know if your neighbor has the same internet provider? Is he using the same router?
 

glennhoffmania

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Yeah same internet provider. My building only has spectrum. The other night I did turn off the firewall and nothing changed. I'll try turning off McAfee and see what happens. I've had McAfee for years and never had a problem. Is it known to slow everything down?
 

gtmtnbiker

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Yeah same internet provider. My building only has spectrum. The other night I did turn off the firewall and nothing changed. I'll try turning off McAfee and see what happens. I've had McAfee for years and never had a problem. Is it known to slow everything down?
I don’t think the firewall or McAfee would cause the slowdown. Do have a neighbor check your router with their laptop to see what kind of speed they get.
 

charlieoscar

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You said that they replaced the modem and router. Given all the things you have tried, I would think the problem might lie there. It's been my experience that you are apt to get a used/refurbished unit when there is a swap.
 

glennhoffmania

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Thanks guys. I've pretty much tried everything except connecting another laptop to my network. I'll do that out of curiosity. The weird thing is that my computer still seems fine despite the slow speed tests- maybe a little bit slower. I read that the latest Windows 10 updates have caused some problems. Given that my other devices test very well that may be the answer, although I don't know how to resolve that until there's another update that fixes it.

If anyone ever hears anything about some Windows fix I'd appreciate it.
 

glennhoffmania

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Bumping this for a new issue. I got my router and modem issue resolved and they've worked fine for months. All of the sudden a couple of weeks ago my computer started losing connection. It doesn't happen for any other device. Randomly my computer will say it's not connected and no networks are available. I live in an apartment building so there are usually about 20 different networks within range, so the issue definitely seems to be something with my computer. After about a minute it automatically reconnects and everything is fine.

I've rebooted the modem and router, I've updated my drivers, I've tested other devices during these short outages and they're all fine. The computer isn't very old and otherwise works perfectly fine. Any ideas what could be causing this and what may fix it?
 

gtmtnbiker

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Are you using the built-in WiFi for your laptop? How old is the computer? You might want to get a new WiFi USB adapter supporting the latest protocol. My wife’s laptop was like this until I replaced her WiFi.
 

glennhoffmania

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Yes, I'm using the built-in wifi. It's about 2 years old. I'm pretty computer dumb so can you please explain the wifi usb adapter issue? Is that something you just buy and plug in?

For what it's worth this is what I posted a while back when someone asked what radio types were supported:

Ok so my laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series. When I do the command prompt thing I get this for radio types:

802.11b 802.11g 802.11n 802.11a 802.11ac
 

Saints Rest

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So I've been having some Wifi issues at home. The setup:
  • Apple AirPort Extreme Wifi
  • Optimum Cable Modem (I don't know the exact make and model as I'm not home ATM)
  • MacBook Air
  • iPhone X
  • The first three things are about 5-6 years old; the phone is less than a year old.
So the laptop shows full bars on the Wifi icon while my iPhone will show one, maybe two bars, sitting in the same room at the same time. As such, the phone seems to be operating pretty slowly doing internet things. It also means that I end up out of WiFi range in places in my house or just outside where I used to have no problem.

I tend to put my phone on Airplane mode, just running WiFi when I am home, but even this will wear out the battery remarkably fast when the phone is not in use. This latter problem reminds me of how a cellphone battery will burn thru pretty fast when you are in low-cell service areas. Is the same thing potentially an issue when the WiFi connection is weak?

Is the problem with my phone, with the AirPort, or with Optimum?
 

cgori

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So I've been having some Wifi issues at home. The setup:
  • Apple AirPort Extreme Wifi
  • Optimum Cable Modem (I don't know the exact make and model as I'm not home ATM)
  • MacBook Air
  • iPhone X
  • The first three things are about 5-6 years old; the phone is less than a year old.
So the laptop shows full bars on the Wifi icon while my iPhone will show one, maybe two bars, sitting in the same room at the same time. As such, the phone seems to be operating pretty slowly doing internet things. It also means that I end up out of WiFi range in places in my house or just outside where I used to have no problem.

I tend to put my phone on Airplane mode, just running WiFi when I am home, but even this will wear out the battery remarkably fast when the phone is not in use. This latter problem reminds me of how a cellphone battery will burn thru pretty fast when you are in low-cell service areas. Is the same thing potentially an issue when the WiFi connection is weak?

Is the problem with my phone, with the AirPort, or with Optimum?
Probably the phone, possibly the airport, unlikely the optimum.

Go to speedtest.net on the phone, get the result. Then repeat on the laptop (connected by wifi). If you have a way to connect it by ethernet (hardwire), do that and run speedtest again, but that's not crucial.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Yes, I'm using the built-in wifi. It's about 2 years old. I'm pretty computer dumb so can you please explain the wifi usb adapter issue? Is that something you just buy and plug in?

For what it's worth this is what I posted a while back when someone asked what radio types were supported:

Ok so my laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series. When I do the command prompt thing I get this for radio types:

802.11b 802.11g 802.11n 802.11a 802.11ac
Yes, it's something you buy and plugin. Here's an example of one.
View: https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-1200Mbps-TECHKEY-Wireless-Network-300Mbps/dp/B07J65G9DD/


The other thing you can do is to ensure that you have the latest wifi driver for your laptop. But sometimes the vendor do not use the latest drivers and you can get newer ones from the chipset manufacturer's website. First, see if you can identify the wifi chipset you're using in your laptop.
 

glennhoffmania

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Yes, it's something you buy and plugin. Here's an example of one.
View: https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-1200Mbps-TECHKEY-Wireless-Network-300Mbps/dp/B07J65G9DD/


The other thing you can do is to ensure that you have the latest wifi driver for your laptop. But sometimes the vendor do not use the latest drivers and you can get newer ones from the chipset manufacturer's website. First, see if you can identify the wifi chipset you're using in your laptop.
Thanks. So two observations over the last few days. First I read about a setting that allows the computer to put the wifi to sleep to save power. I unchecked that. I've lost connection once or twice since then but not nearly as often as before. So that may have helped but it wasn't the whole issue.

Now all of the sudden my computer doesn't auto connect to my network when I turn it on. I was told to forget the network and then reconnect. I did that last night and I'll see if it fixes it today. Not a big deal since I can always manually connect but it's weird that this started all of the sudden.

I've updated all of the drivers but I'll check out that article and see if there's something else I can update.

Thanks for the tips.