Slow internet connection at work - solved.

Posted on 2008-07-27 09:15:20

Since September/October last year, I suffered from a very bad internet connection at work. My colleagues had a snappy connection, but mine was very slow, in particular when resolving DNS names, which could take up to half a minute. Interestingly, this problem didn’t occur when using the nslookup command line utility.

The service desk didn’t want to help me because I have IE7 and Firefox installed: the only supported browser is IE6. Even if I uninstall IE7 (and thus revert to IE6) they won’t support it, because IE7 might have left traces (not an unreasonable assumption). Still, not a good thing if the problem would actually be in the network rather than the PC.

Last week, I finally figured out what was causing the slowdowns: somehow a “microsoft proxy client” had managed to find its way onto my computer around 2006. And the period when I started having problems was exactly the period when I changed to my current computer. Anyway, after digging through the install files, I discovered that most of the proxy client files were dated 1997. That would’ve been around the time of Win98. I’m actually surprised that it “works” on XP.

Anyway, after uninstalling the thing (and confirming with a colleague that he didn’t have it on his PC), I’m enjoying a fast internet service at work again!

[edit] Addendum:
Two other colleagues also had the same problem, which was also solved by removing the proxy client. As it turns out, around October last year there was a change in proxy-land: the old proxy was turned off and everyone was supposed to be using the new one (which had already been in service for over a year). The proxy client tried to contact the old proxy, which led to timeouts and thus 30-second waits.

Posted in: Work