First if you are planning on getting a new wireless router 802.11b or g, forget it, get the 802.11n models if you can afford it instead. You can never be upto date and if your planning on transferring data within your own network aswell then 802.11n gear is what you need.
Now if you already have a 802.11b/g router, dont worry, if you have problems with signal strength or get cutoff intermittently, the first thing to try is moving the router. Best spot is at the highest most central point of your house (unless you live in the basement).
Remember, the signal needs to travel through walls, metal, interference form other wireless devices and the signal can get week easily. So now you tried moving the router around, still not much of an improvement? Try a Range Extender or replace the small original antenna on your router with a high-gain antenna replacement which is cost effective.
Ensure if possible that your PC or Notebook connecting to the router is using the same wireless version, meaning if you buy a 802.11n model router, your laptop or PC should have a 802.11n adapter in it otherwise your going to default to a lower speed.
If you find that the location isnt the issue, try change channels in your router’s firewall configuration screen. You’ll find a “Wireless Channel” setting in the wireless configuration portion of your router. Most routers default to channel 6, or 11, but if your neighbors are all on channel 6, then you might be seeing slow speed and lower range due to interference. Try one of the other channels (start with 3, 1, and 11) to see if you get a better signal with them.
Sample router config screens from D-Link and LinkSys
Here is a list of tweaks for your Web Browser:
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For IE7 performance tweaks click here
Here is a list of free speed test providers:
Speedtest.net Global Broadband Speed Test
Dslreports.com Speed Tests
CNET Bandwidth Meter
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