WiFi is Very Slow on One Laptop; Blazing Fast on Another

Darius Bieber

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Title pretty much says it all.

More details:

I have two laptops. One is an HP DV7 with pretty much the maximum specs you could order from HP four years ago. 16GB Ram, i7 Processor, etc. I guess the important info for this question is that I have a Ralink RT5390R 802.11/g/n Wifi Adapter.

Since this Laptop is 17", it stays in my room and I don't carry it across campus. I have a Dell 14" laptop with relatively low specs but it has an SSD so it's somewhat fast. i3 process and 8GB RAM.

So the real question. My dorm room is pretty small. So I'm testing these laptops in the same area. My HP's WiFi is annoyingly slow. YouTube videos barely load. I get disconnected from online games often. I often get disconnected from the Internet altogether. "DNS Probe" error or "Unable to connect to the Internet" error on Chrome. Yet, my iPhone and my Dell have the University's blazing fast 100MB/s connection.

I haven't dropped my HP, hell it's in way better condition than my Dell. I already followed another Thread's suggestion of resetting my Wireless Adapter Drivers via the Command Prompt. The internet was decent for a little bit, then it got back to the disconnections and painfully slow loading times.


Any help would be greatly appreciated! And let me know if you need more information than I have given,

Thanks in advance!
 
Right-click the wifi icon in the task manger (lower right, next to the clock). Open Network and Sharing Center. Click your WiFi name next to "Connection". Tell us what the popup says about IPv4/IPv6, the network name, speed, and signal quality. Do this on both the Dell and HP.
 

Darius Bieber

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Thank you for your reply! Here is a screen shot of the window you requested.


My HP (slow WiFi)





My Dell

 
Try disabling IPv6 on the HP. Sometimes it causes problems similar to what you're describing, with the computer getting schizophrenia trying to decide if it should use IPv4 or IPv6. Click the Properties button in the pic, and uncheck IPv6. (You will have to re-enable it if you ever connect to an IPv6-only network. But there aren't many of those around yet.)

Were these laptops in the same location when you took the pictures? The lower signal strength on the HP could indicate a loose or disconnected antenna, which would also cause the symptoms you describe.

The 72 Mbps on both suggests they're both connection at 802.11n speeds. The only other possibility I can think of is that the HP is limited to the 2.4 GHz band, while the Dell and your other devices are connecting at 5 GHz. Usually that shows up as a different connection speed though.

Also check HP's website to see if there are any updated network drivers for your laptop.
 

Darius Bieber

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Thanks again for your reply and help.

I have unchecked the IPv6 and so far it hasn't been much help. It took me several minutes just to load the page to reply to you.

I guess it seems as if my Wireless Adapter or an Antenna is malfunctioning or loose. These screenshots were taken when the laptops were less than 3 feet from each other.
 
Well, there's still the possibility that this is an Internet problem, not a hardware problem.

Can you try rebooting the HP into safe mode with networking, and see if it's still slow? There's also the possibility you've got malware which has set up your internet connection to go through a proxy (a slow overseas one) for the purposes of stealing your passwords.

Another way to test would be to share a folder on another computer, and try copying a large file from that folder to your Dell, then to your HP. If the copy to the HP goes a lot slower, that would suggest a hardware problem. If the copy to the HP goes at about the same speed, that would suggest an Internet settings problem.
 

Darius Bieber

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Thanks again for your continued help. I'll try booting my laptop into Safe Mode with Networking next.

I guess I should add that I continuously receive a "ERR_NETWORK_CHANGE_" message constantly in Chrome..
 
That is... concerning. Not necessarily a bad sign, but could be.

Can you open device manager (win+x, device manager) and list what network adapters you have? Also, right-click your wifi card on the list and pick "update driver software". See if there are any new drivers out there.
 

Darius Bieber

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Here are my Network Adapters:



And there are no updates available:

 
That's what I thought. The TAP Windows Adapter V9 is commonly used by VPN software. It's a way of piping your Internet traffic through another computer, originally developed so you can use that computer remotely. Do you have some sort of VPN or anonymizing software installed? Your Internet connection is probably being piped through it, which is why everything is so slow.

Best case, you installed it yourself and accidentally left it on, and all you need to do is turn it off.

Worst case, some malware installed it and has been spying on all your Internet activity. After you remove it, you need to go and change all your website passwords.
 

Darius Bieber

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Both my laptops have CyberGhost installed, a VPN service. I checked my Dell, and it also has TAP listed under Network Adapters. I uninstalled the TAP from the Control Panel and my internet is still having problems.
 

Darius Bieber

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I apologize for the late reply. I did a file sharing and my HP was considerably slower. Mostly due to the fact of the constant disconnection errors such as "ERROR DNS PROBE" or "STARTING DNS PROBE". Which causes constant "No Internet" issues with a Yellow Exclamation point on my WiFi Signal indicator in the status bar.
 
That would suggest it's a hardware problem. A google search says this is a common issue with this particular wifi card.

https://www.google.com/search?q=rt5390r+disconnects&oq=rt5390r+disconnects

You can try some of the fixes suggested in those links (the one claiming it's due to overheating is intriguing). But the oldest problem reports are from 2012, and if the latest driver hasn't fixed it maybe nothing can. You may want to consider replacing the wifi card in the laptop with a different one. They are only about $25 and not that difficult to replace. I would avoid the Intel AC7260 - that one has had a lot of connection problems as well.
 

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