Strange LAN issue identified

My home router is a dlink dsl-g604t, a couple of years old but its worked OK. Lately I’d noticed that copying files between my HTPC and desktop was atrociously slow, 2MB per second at best. Both are wired to the router. The router also has a Linksys VOIP ATA connected and one free socket that used to connect to a DVR.

I connected my laptop to the free socket and it had no problem hitting at least 8MB/s to both the HTPC and the desktop. What was going on?!

I then discovered it – whilst the laptop was plugged in *and* on, transfers were great. Switch it off or unplug it (from either end) and transfers dropped. With the laptop plugged in and the ATA unplugged instead, same problem. Same with them both unplugged, no matter what sockets I used for the HTPC/desktop.

So then I tried plugging in the DVR. Once again, good transfers all round. So… it seems all 4 ports of the dlink have to be populated *and* active for the network to run smoothly. I’m sure it never used to be this way, maybe something is broke in it.

Thinking its time to get a gigabit switch anyway.