Friday, February 21, 2020

Interesting Virus?

My wife's PC and my phone run and report 50 Mbps download.  My PC reports typically about 3.7.  It appears that some virus is stealing my bandwidth for who knows what nefarious purpose.  (Nt the only person to have run into this.)  AVG and MalwareBytes find nothing.  GeekSquad online could not find it because it was impairing their remote ability.  I have an appointment with GeekSquad in Nampa Saturday.  Not having to work through my crippled Internet connection may help.

In TaskManager, I  looked at Ethernet usage tab, and folund no anomalies.  A well-hidden virus, of course, will not show up.  GeekSquad attempted to download and run the eset antivirus program, but it failed to download.  I was able to download it, and I am waiting for it to finish downloading its updates (which is happening VERY slowly).  Any of you have this same experience?

Apparently not what it appears.  At BestBuy, no loss of bandwidth.  My office seems less than optimal; my cell phone reports 19.4 Mbps compared to 2.6 on my PC.  At the router, my PC get a very respectable 50.  My wife has a newer Lenovo farther from the router, and gets 50.  Is it just that my older PC does not have a sensitive enough wifi receiver?  I tried using a wifi repeater, and the results were even worse.  I hate to buy a new PC, with the unavoidable reinstalling of software, only to find out it has some other cause.

Found it: my wife's PC's wifi is ac, mine is a/b/g/n.  I am guessing that there are ac wifi USB devices. Found one in the garage: 10.83.  Still not wonderful, but it explains the problem. Connected to the repeater: 12.85.  Now 16.7.  I ordered an ac1200 Mbps USB.


  1. How sure are you it isn't the hardware? I've seen adapters go south and throttle connections too many times. I'd throw in a different adapter, disable the others, and see if I got similar results. And, of course, check to make sure your drivers are up to date, etc.

    You also might try running the free version of pingPlotter ( to see how the connection between your PC and your router is behaving. I love that tool for debugging just where the connection gets slow -- it's very useful when you have to call out your ISP for congestion.

  2. It is your is Windows, right? :>)

  3. Nope. Only thing I can think of is stuff like N vs AC or 2.4GHz vs 5GHz wifi connections. My router's in my living room and if I'm in my bedroom, the 2.4GHz connection is noticeably slower than the 5GHz connection (like 40-80Mbps vs nearly 200).

    Oh--once I accidentally disconnected the wifi antenna from my desktop and it cut the signal strength so much I was only getting 3-5Mbps. I don't know if this would apply to you or not.

  4. You need a firewall, and not just the "protection" supplied by your cable modem.

    Try creating a new bootable read-only system volume, run the PC with that, and see what your bandwidth is. Also, get a packet sniffer tool such as Wireshark. Run it on your known good PC to see what the other PC is sending and receiving.

    I wouldn't trust Geek Squad to find a full-grown moose in a closet. I've heard too many stories of grossly incompetent work by them. (It's not universal, just frequent.)

  5. You can get oversized wifi antennae to go to USB wifi adapters, too. I bought a USB adapter with a small antenna and put a bigger one on it, and it increases signal strength dramatically, especially when there are walls between it and the router.

    This one's for 2.4GHz, but there are 5Ghz ones, too.

  6. Rick: What I ordered has a 5DBi atenna, but still a good suggestion. Rabbit ears helped with VHF!