Problems Downloading Content from Server(s)

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MWE66

I run ol2003 and ol2007 on four different computers: 3 lap tops and 1 desktop. The number of profiles on each computer is different because I have a lot of email accounts and different computers are used in different ways. But there are a half dozen accounts (profiles) that are common to all computers. Computers are synced so that the user files (including pst files) are identical on all computers.
A: Dell 9100 desktop purchased in 2005 running ol2003 under WinXP
B: Dell M4300 laptop, purchased in 2008 running ol2003 under WinXP
C: Samsung laptop, purchased in 2011 running ol2007 under Win7
D: Toshiba laptop, purchased in 2013 running ol2007 under Win8.1

All setups are for POP3

Approximately 3 years ago I noticed that the time it took to download incoming mail was increasing and often did not happen until timeout occurred. This is true for all the laptops but not the desktop; for the desktop, downloads are what I would consider normal.

When receiving new mail on one of the laptops, one of the following will happen:
  • About 20% of the time download is “normal”
  • About 20% of the time download starts but the rate is 32B per 4 or 5 seconds; at some point the download speed jumps to “normal”
  • The rest of the time the System times out with an indication that the server is not responding. Time outs are set to 1 minute. Experimenting with other timeout periods did not change things. The solution is to rerequest “Send/Receive” until it works which can often take 10 minutes.

This problem is not limited to a particular network. The laptops run on several different physical networks over the course of the year. The server responses are the same for all networks. Does not seem to matter if the laptops are wirelessly connected to the modem or hard wired to the modem Since the problem remains the same regardless of service provider, physical network or connection type, I have to conclude that the problem is at my end. I have been using Outlook since 1995 so I know it quite well. I do not believe this to be an Outlook configuration problem, but I have talked with both ISP reps and ESP (email service provider) reps with no success; they point to Outlook problems.
 
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