Slow Wireless Connection but desktop is fast
I'm going to give all details I can think of for my setup as I am having frustrating issues that make me want to throw my laptop at the wall. My laptop internet speed is slow 80% of the time while the desktop is fine (see below for full details).
Laptop: Pentium III - 500 mhz - 256k RAM
Desktop: Pentium II - 500 mhz - 586k RAM
Windows XP with all current security updates
Primary browser is Opera 7.54 but occasionally use IE 6.02
Comcast Cable Connection with Linksys 802.11g router (WKPC54G)
ZoneAlarm firewall, Norton Anti-Virus (updated and run frequently)
Run SpyBot S&D + Adware often (never get anything but DSO exploit in Spybot)
The desktop has the cable modem hooked to it via the Linksys router. I have a laptop with a Linksys card which I use about 15 feet away from the desktop/router. There are no walls in between. 85% of the time my singal strength is Excellent with 54 Mbps. I can see one other wireless network which I assume is a neighbor. I can't/don't want to connect to it, but I can see it if I look at 'View Wireless Networks'. They must be a little ways away, because the signal strength is only about 50%.
The problem is with speed when surfing the net. Sometimes it is nice and fast...pages load fast and files download quickly...at least at the equivalent of when I was just using the desktop connected to the cable modem. At other random times though, it gets slow and takes pages several seconds to minutes to sometimes they don't even load. This happens with both Opera and IE and no matter which sites I am visiting. I've tried many sites and have the same sporadic problems. Sometimes it happens in the middle of the day, sometimes at night, weekends, holidays, doesn't matter. There is no time pattern I can see. Also, this has happened from about the 2nd day I had the wireless setup.
One possibility I thought it could be due to is net congestion, but the thing is, I tried using the internet on the desktop and it cruises along fine, loading pages in miliseconds.
The other thing is when downloading a large file (about 10 MB or more) the laptop will freeze. I have to pull out the wireless card and immediately it's unfrozen. I put the card back in, it reconnects and I'm back in business...but it will most likely happen again if I continue downloading the same file. Again, this happens with all different kinds of file types and websites. And again, the same sites/downloads work fine on the desktop.
Please...can someone help me. It's driving me insane as I have tried doing RegCleans, defragment, changing channels for the wi-fi, etc. I have tried everything I can think of - although not a computer expert, for the most part I usually know what I am doing and am able to fix things even if it takes a while.