I’ve been experiencing intermittently high rates of packet loss on my home network for a while now.
After much troubleshooting and swapping of spare routers, I eventually figured out that the problem was with my ‘house server’, a Dell Vostro 200 running Ubuntu Linux. Apparently, the on-board ethernet interface was defective. While it still worked, it was the source of the packet loss. I unplugged the the cable between it and the router, and the packet-loss problem instantly went away.
After determining that the cable itself was not the problem, I ordered a new ethernet card, an Intel PWLA8391GT PRO/1000 GT PCI Network Adapter from Amazon for a little under $40 USD. I’m happy to report that I installed it, turned the server back on, and it just worked. Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (Precise Pangolin) required no configuration, and no additional driver installation.
So, if you need a new or additional network card for Dell Vostro 200, I highly recommend the Intel Pro/100 GT.