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Old 01-13-2010, 05:28 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Default Pls help with perplexing network problem

Hello, I am really at my wits' end with this very perplexing and long-lasting problem.

I have a Dell notebook inspiron E1505 notebook with a Dell wireless 1390 w-lan minicard. The computer is about 3 years old. I have comcast wireless internet with a linksys gateway.

About a year ago, I started to have problems with my internet connectivity only on this notebook, but not on several other computers that we have tried out on the same network. I've tried various other notebooks, a dell desktop, a macbook, and an acer netbook, and they all work fine. I did a clean re-install of XP and updated the wireless card driver, but the problem was exactly the same as before.

The behavior is this: the connection functions reasonably well for normal surfing. But when streaming audio or video or downloading large files, it stops streaming/downloading after about 30 seconds. On youtube, for example -- the video will start to buffer and will play normally, but the download stops after 30 seconds. Also, I use gmail, and I often have my brower pointed at my gmail box for long periods of time. It looks like I am constantly losing connection with gmail and then reconnecting, again about every 30 seconds to a minute.

The second problem behavior has to do with websites that use forms. For example, a database search might work after a few seconds, or it might just completely hang up indefinitely.

I have the same problems on both firefox and IE 8.

I tried the computer out on my next door neighbor's comcast wireless network. It was hard to tell, but it might have been a bit better than at home. But the problems were still there.

This morning I was checking the site monitor on my wireless card to see if maybe I should switch channels. [I did and it didn't help] I noticed that there was an unsecured wi-fi connection in my neighborhood, so I thought I would just give that a try and see if it made any difference. I connected to this open access point, but the signal was too low to do anything, so I switched back to my own home network. And suddenly the problem was solved, and my internet connection was perfect for the rest of the day.

Rebooted the computer -- problem was back.

Switched to the other access point and then back to my own network -- connection works.

I've tried both Dell and Comcast help resources -- no one can figure it out. They both say "our part works -- it must be the other side that's the problem."

Any thoughts? I can't switch back and forth to another open connection every day, even if I could count on it always being there.

Thanks for reading.
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