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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Computer question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

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Hi, I make no statements concerning my knowledge of computers. I'm a moron.

I was wondering if there is a reason when I try to watch videos they run a few seconds, stop, run a few more, stop and buffer(?), run, etc. I have a Dell Latitude D600 with plenty of memory and run DSL but I'm sure the source is many miles away as I live in a very rural area. When I look at my connection it says excellent and my Mpbs (?) is pretty much always 54. I am always running Norton security. That is about all I know. Is there something I should be doing to rev this up? I'd appreciate any advice given in plain English that a moron (me) can understand.

I'm hitting the road for a couple days so y'all take care.
Justin Style
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Inner circle
2010 Posts

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I can't answer your computer question but I would like to say have a safe trip on the road!
Daegs
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USA
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Your 54 Mb/s(Mega-Bit Per Second) is the bandwith available between your laptop and the wireless node.

The bandwith between the wireless node and the internet may be much less, so much less than it is below what is needed to stream the video. It might be a bottleneck.

If the wireless node is only getting 240k/s to the internet, then it doesn't matter how high your connection is to the wireless node(54Mb/s) because you can only grab that 240k/s.

Furthermore, if there is more than one user on the wireless node, then you are sharing that limited bandwidth.

Generally speaking, the highest bandwidth you are going to get in a residential area is 4mb-10mb/s, so as long as the wireless connection is above that, it won't be your problem.

If this is free, then you can't really complain, but if you are paying for the access then look up your terms of service contract. if you are paying for a certain bandwith and they are unable to provide it, that needs to get fixed.
Slartibartfast
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Loyal user
Southern Illinois
230 Posts

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Google "broadband speed test" and select a few to run. These will tell you what the actual throughput you are getting through the interweb tubes. Run some a couple of different ones to get an average.
If you can pull it off in a biker bar without being violated by a corn dog, more power to you.
-- Gwyd, the Unusual

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Borack
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Regular user
Tampa Bay
109 Posts

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First get rid of Norton it is bloatware and is sucking your resources dry...As Slartibartfast suggested, go to Broadband Speed Test..(After stopping NOrton from running !!)
mistermagic
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currently N Carolina
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Try disabling Norton and see if that helps. You can always re-enable it. DSL should be enough for your average Youtube video, but you should still do the speed test. If the buffering is still there you can always pause the video and wait for it to load and then play it.

Also, make sure you have enough free space on your hard drive for temporary files. Make sure you don't have too many programs running in your taskbar (those little icons by the clock).
I'll soon be ending all of my posts with "nuff said."
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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Thank you, I'll try disabling the norton when I know something is safe. I don't surf the web so I am not likely to wander into a virus place. Thanks folks.
MagiClyde
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Columbus, Ohio
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First of all, Daegs is correct. I knew you were wireless when you mentioned the 54Mb/s (that means 54 Million bits of data each second) being transmitted between your computer and the wireless modem/router that you have for your dsl connection. Whenever testing an internet connection, I always recommend running it with an ethernet cable as wireless is not nearly as reliable as many people think. The further you are away from the modem/router, the more unreliable that connection can become.

Having troubleshot many dsl connections over the phone with customers, I can tell you that there can be many causes for your problem. Internet connections on DSL can range from as slow as 750 thousand bits per second (750kb/s) to as high as 7.1Mb/s. The two biggest things that determine this are the speed of the service you ordered and your distance from the phone company's central office to dictate how fast a connection you CAN get. The general rule is that the further you are from the central office, the slower the connection you can get.

You did not say what operating system you had on your computer or how much memory you had installed. Yes, a security suite program CAN cause slow throughput issues, but a bigger concern is how many programs you actually have running in the background on your computer, how much memory those programs are eating up, and how labor intensive they are on the CPU (Central Processing Unit (the "INTEL" inside)). To find this out, if it is a windows based computer, hit the Ctrl,Alt,Delete buttons at the same time on your keyboard and then let go of them. This should bring up something called the Task Manager. Once in Task Manager, the number of processes, or computer programs, actually running on your computer will be in the lower left corner in the gray area. Ideally, this number should really not be much more than 40. Next to it is the cpu usage. This number should never stay anywhere near 100%. Normal should be anywhere from 0% to, perhaps, 15%. A little higher is ok, but once again, the higher this number, the more it will make your computer work and slow down anything that you may be trying to do. Finally, in the performance tab, with Windows XP at any rate, there should be an area showing physical memory. A good amount of total memory for XP, in my opinion, is about 500MB (500 Million Bytes) and up. 260MB is just barely enough to work the OS in my opinion /

To test your internet speed, one site I refer my customers to is http://www.speedtest.net . Another is infospeed.verizon.net . Both should give you a pretty good idea of how fast your connection is.

Of course, all of this means nothing of there is a problem either at the source of the video transmission or a hiccup at one of the internet transfer points along the way, neither of which you can do anything about.

If, on the other hand, the problem is on your end, two simple things to try would be to either power off your computer and modem/router, wait 30 seconds, then power up the modem/router first, wait for the lights to come back on, then turn on the computer. A slightly more drastic solution would be to find the reset button on your modem/router and hold it in for 30 seconds. Of course, this would set your modem/router back to its default settings, so any special settings would be lost when you did this.

If you have any questions about anything I've said in the above, please don't hesitate to ask.


Posted: Mar 7, 2009 11:42pm
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Hey, magicsanta, did we at least help you with your problem?
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
MagiClyde
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Special user
Columbus, Ohio
871 Posts

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Hey, magicsanta, did we at least help you with your problem?
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

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Yes and no, the advice was sound but I coudln't get the scan done because something from Windows needed to load and I ran it for hours and it didn't load. I'm a lost cause.
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