Xp pro and nothing in the back ground except XP
XP is software. Hardware, like your modem, hub, router, etc.
You can try and go online and find an online speed test to check out your connection. It won't tell you how "stable" your connection is, but it may help to isolate any problems. An easy and free one that I use at times is Time Warner's (there are tons of others out there). Make sure you do it more than once and try and figure out an average for yourself.
http://bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/ Just hit the grey button. Here's my results from right now... Speed
2.4 megabits per second
Communications 2.4 megabits per second Storage 288.1 kilobytes per second 1MB file download 3.6 seconds Subjective rating Great
I have a com21 cable modem. I got the modem before Comcast took over AT&t I ran the test and i have Communciations 3.8 megabits per second Storage 464.3kb/s 1MB file download 2.2 seconds Subjective rating AWESOME it is 11;46 at the time of post this may have affected the resutls
So are you using just the cable modem hooked straight to you machine? Do you have/run any firewall software? Are you plagued by spyware? If you aren't sure, it can't hurt to get something like Adaware and check. If you were running any sort of firewall, or running through any sort of router, I'd say check to see if your port is open for BFV. Port 15567
Padre's right on. In addition to Adaware, you may also be interested in Spybot Search and Destroy. Spybot will pick up on some things that Adaware doesn't... and Adaware will pick up on things that Spybot won't. Doesn't hurt to have and run both.
Make sure Anti-Virus and any software firewalls are deactivated, as Padre said. The port 15567 is the default to check on (make sure it's open if you're running BFV through a router) but some servers may use other ports. You can tell when you're looking at the server list and check out the server IP... right after the IP there will be a routed port address... and you'll have to have that one open too. This is rare, but it does happen.