Internet speed problems

On Sunday I called the ISP and told them my internet speed was 0.8Mbps (via On Monday I had 5.12Mbps for about four hours, then it returned to the 0.8Mbps. Today, the technicians came to the house. They measured the speed of the cable to be 7.1Mbps. They changed the modem, and then I had 5.2Mbps. Went out to eat and when I returned it is back to 0.8Mbps. Do I need another modem? Or is the problem elsewhere?

It’s possible your replacement modem could also be defective, but it’s much more likely the problem is elsewhere. Here are some other things to check:

*I apologize in advance if some of this seems condescending. Feel free to ignore the parts that aren’t relevant to you *
[li]are you using an unsecured wireless router? (If so neighbors could be sharing your internet connection and taking all your bandwidth)[/li][li] Similar to above, are there other people using internet in your house (especially teens or young adults (20’s) that tend to be heavy bandwidth users?[/li][li] Is something on your computer chewing up your bandwidth? Some apps can be very chatty.[/li][li]Your machine could be infected with malware, making it part of a botnet doing the bidding of some hacker collective (usually sending spam, or flooding target servers with traffic, either of which will dramatically slow your connection)[/li][li] The speedtest site itself could be experiencing sporadically heavy traffic which would give you skewed results[/li][li] A lot of people in your neighborhood could be heavy internet users and since the network between your house and the cable company is shared you’d all get lower speeds if everybody did internet-intensive tasks at once (same size bandwidth pie, just cut into many more slices)[/li][/ol]

Finally, start keeping track of what times you get lower speeds, and what you’re doing at that time (so tech support can say “yeah, that shouldn’t be killing your bandwidth this badly”). Hopefully a pattern will emerge that you can use to find the source of the problem.

Also check the outlet where the modem is placed in. If its like the pace 4111n (if you have AT&T DSL) the wireless on these wireless gateways can be finicky with their power source. That can effect wireless (mostly) and sometimes can reset your device out of the blue.

If I could do it all again, I’d get a separate wireless router and have it hooked up to a regular modem and plug both of them in into a UPS so if something is wrong, it would be less likely that anything in your house is affecting the modem power wise.

(Bonus points: Get a home run installation for DSL, saves many problems as your modem would be directly connected to your phone box. Disregard all of my advice if you have cable. I have shitty DSL and no other alternative. :smack: )

I’m thinking malware unless the second cable modem also had an unsecure wireless AP.

Does this happen at specific times? Better or worse at others? I’m looking for a pattern.

Thank you all for your replies. Yes, I have a DSL. No land phone and the wire goes directly into the modem.

I don’t think it is malware. I have a MacBookPro with Avast protection. But, how can I check?

The first time the speed was better (on Monday) no technician came to the house. So, I suppose they did something in the office. After a few hours, it was back to 0.8Mbps. I don’t remember if I closed the monitor.

When the technicians arrived, the speed of the DSL was 7.1Mbps. At the computer, was reading 0.8Mbps. They changed the modem and it was 5.12Mbps at the computer. I closed the monitor (didn’t shut down) and when I returned from lunch, it was back to 0.8Mbps

When the techs changed the modem, they gave me its new name and password. I checked my internet connection and it was linked to the previous modem, which is no longer in the house. I checked the new modem address (name) and waalaa, I have speed! So, why does the computer think the old modem is here?