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Do you ever get messages from your browser that indicate it's unable to load a page? If so, it's possible that you're having DNS issues. But that's assuming that the problem remains if you're using ethernet cable, rather than wireless. Did you ever test that type of connection to the router to see if it eliminated the problem?
MelRaff, I have not tested the connection to find if it is a DNS issue. What is the process?
abhl_col, I test on both: speedtest's and verizon's. Results are usually about the same and I post both results.
I haven't braved the Christmas crowds yet at BestBuy to pick up the cable but will soon. Like I said in the original post, the problem is sporadic, but presently it is more consistent. The weather is also currently rainy and windy. It may be a only a coincidence, but is there a way to find if it is the connection outside the house?
Well, I think there are two things that would help narrow down what's going on.
First is to try a cable connection to the router, instead of wireless. If the problem goes away, then it's almost surely centered on the wireless connection, and you can start figuring out what might be interfering with it or going wrong with it. If it continues with a cable connection, then the problem is more likely to be either the router or a problem between the router and the internet (such as a DNS issue).
The second thing that could help narrow down the problem is the EXACT symptom. Does the browser always connect properly, just slower sometimes than others? Is it simply a difference in the speed test results from one time to another? Or do you get actual error messages on the browser? If the last, what browser and what messages, exactly?
By the way, if you don't have an ethernet cable, you can get one at just about any hardware store. No need to fight your way into and out of Best Buy.
Thanks for the tip on obtaining the cable. I'll certainly visit a hardware store first. In the meantime, the symptom is as follows:
While surfing, the experience is what you'd expect: it downloads some images normally and then the page simply hangs while it downloads the rest at 1/10 the speed or slower. In some cases, it times out.
I will be getting the cable this week. Let me know if there is anything I left out.
It was the wireless half. I ran it hardwired with no problem for a week. I then turned off Verizon's wireless off and connected my Apple Airport. I've had no problem for three weeks and consistently receive at 20-25mbps. I must say, however, I'm not too keen on being forced to use their router. Clearly it is an inferior product to the airpot. The option is nice -- and the price is right -- but I don't like that I must. I don't know what havoc (if any) this will cause with Firewalls, but so far I'm fine.
Thanks to everyone that offered suggestion and troubleshooting tips.