My Toshiba Satellite has Windows 7, SP 1. My ISP is Verizon Wireless that
recently increased their speed from 3G to 4G, supposedly 10 times faster. When
connected to the internet the modem light is green, 4G, but as soon as
communication starts, it changes to purple, 3G. Is the problem the ISP and out
of my control or the computer where I could so something to improve the speed?
Verizon checked the modem and says it’s working OK.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #69, I look at the reasons why a Verizon modem may not be getting the
expected 4G connection.
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Slow connection speed
The short answer is actually, “Probably neither.”
The answer is probably more along the lines of: you may be in an area with
4G coverage, but it may not be a strong enough signal to actually support
The way that cellular systems work is that they will give you 4G in an area
that has 4G coverage – if your signal is strong enough. In other words, if
you’re close enough to the cell towers, if you’ve got three, four, or five bars, whatever,
then you pretty much are guaranteed of getting 4G service.
If you’re in a situation like that, where you’re actually connecting, and
you know you are connected with lots of bars, and you’re near a cell tower –
then it is the ISP’s issue.
I would say that it is Verizon’s issue, in this case, if you’re not actually
getting a full 4G connection.
But on the other hand, it’s absolutely the expectation that if it cannot
establish a 4G connection (because there’s too much noise on the signal;
there’s too much interference from nearby radios or electrical devices or what
not), then it definitely knows to fall back to 3G – which is apparently an
easier connection to get because it’s at that slower speed.
Signal strength or interference
It’s very possible that it’s a signal strength issue or that it’s an
There’s little you can do about that, other than move to some place where
you get a better signal. But if that’s not the case, if you’re in an area where
you know that other devices are getting good and strong 4G connections, I would
absolutely talk to Verizon again.
I do not know of any setting on your computer that should affect this. This
is all about your account with your ISP and the signal and the connection
between that modem and the ISP. To Windows, all it’s seeing is data coming from
that modem so there’s not really much that Windows itself can do.
End of Answercast #69 Back to –