My Passport reduces Internet connection speed by 1/2 or more

My Passport 2TB connected by USB to Surface Pro 4 reduces my Internet (wireless connection to router) by 1/2 or more as measured with I have checked this repeatedly and it is completely reproducible. Any suggestions as to the cause and remedy?


Possibly this?

This should not happen with any PC that has a drive connected to it. As for why it is happening, it could be that drive is emanating spurious RF noise that is interfering with the PC Wi-Fi.

Do you have a USB port on other side of PC you can try? Do you have a longer USB cable you can attach to get dive farther away? Do you have another drive you can attach to see if things change?

Seems to be the reason. The Surface Pro has only one USB port so not many options. It seems like the noise can come from the drive, the cable o the USB socket so using longer cable would not necessarily fix it. I tried some foil around the drive and cable and there was some improvement in the connection speed but not completely resolved. Other resolution will be to see if I can switch to 5 GHz on my wifi router - looking into that.

Thanks for the lead.


I completely blew by Tony’s post the first time reading this post on my rush down to the Reply button, because I “knew” the issue. I had dealt with it many times as an ET in the USAF too many years ago. Heck, back then I repaired RF equipment like radar, etc… Sure glad I saw Tony’s post tonight. That paper confirms the diagnosis.

Let’s come up with a solution that helps. Aluminum foil wrap is one I have used in the past, and to be very effective the foil needs to be grounded, meaning attaching a light gauge wire to foil and metal on a PC (that’s encased in plastic)! Before doing that, just use the foil wrap if it is helping some.

Here’s a way to effectively use a longer USB cable, but it’s not directly attached to PC. Use a USB3 hub. By plugging drive into hub you can get the connector and drive farther away from PC with hub’s cable that directly attaches to PC. If you do not have a hub, and with only one port on laptop, you need one anyway, and here is another good reason for one. Wife and I each needed one when we got our new HP laptops a couple of years ago. Here is a link at Amazon for what we bought there for two laptops. The Plugable company that designs them is a Seattle company and I liked what I read at their website as well. Here is the link:

Plugable 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub

Let us know the outcome of this adventure. Good luck.

Thanks for the response and suggestions. I actually am using a Kensington 3.0 4-port hub that adds about 8 inches to the length of the connecting cable. The Intel paper states that the RF can come from the cable in which case having a longer cable may not help except if the Passport drive itself is the largest culprit. The paper also recommends shielding the USB port internally but I have no idea if Microsoft has done that with the Surface Pro. Not that I can do anything about that, but will wander over to MS Forum and see if I can find out. My wireless hub does not have ability to switch to 5 GHz so can’t try that option at present. I’m travelling for the next 3 weeks; when I get home I have a docking station and also can switch to 5 GHz so will experiment further and post updates.