I have done some extensive testing on my Windows 8.1 Tablet downloads speeds and its extremely slow. The download speeds vary greatly from second to second; it will achieve 50kb/sec then the next second jump to 30kb/sec then back to 40kb/sec and continue this erratic behaviour. *It also looses connection or experiences very slow speeds when you move more than 5 metres from the Wireless Router.

Is there anything others have done to improve/fix download speeds on their Windows 8.1 tablets? By inspecting the hardware specs below; could the cause be the hardware or is it a software issue? *See my note about how our previous tablet and laptop also experienced these issues but resolved them itself.

Some important information:

  • I have tested the download performance of my tablet against another tablet (with half the RAM) and a Laptop.
  • All devices are on the same network
  • All devices use wireless connections to download
  • I am in Australia where our internet speeds are terrible. So a good/great download speed is anything over 500kb/second. My ISP is Telstra BigPond.
  • An interesting thing to be aware of is that the Laptop and the other tablet also suffered the same symptoms when we first got them; ie, weak wifi strength and slow speeds. Eventually the problems ceased (for the tablet - after about 6 mnths). Maybe the router or wifi adapters learns? Or maybe Windows Updates fix the problems?
  • My tablet seems to always be using 99% of the Disk or 99% of the CPU even though I am not doing anything.

Windows 8.1 Phoenix Technologies (this is my tablet that has slow download speeds)
Operating System: Windows 8.1 - 64 Bit
Processor: Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz
Wireless Adapter: Qualcomm Atheros AR9002WB-1NG Wireless Network Adapter
Downloading 400mb Video File: Average 112kb / second

Acer Iconia Tablet
Operating System: Windows 8.1 - 32 Bit
Processor: Intel Atom 1.8 GHz
Wireless Adapter: Broadcom 802.1.1abgn Wireless SDIO Adapter
Downloading exact same 400mb Video File: Average 750kb / second

HP Pavillion Laptop
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium - 64 Bit
Processor: Intel Core I3 2.4 GHz
Wireless Adapter: Ralink RT5390 802.11b/g/n Wifi Adapter
Downloading exact same 400mb Video File: Average 790kb / second

Whats your opinion of the cause? Device Hardware? Operating System? Router? ISP?