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Strange MTU-ish problem

I'm presently away from home, in Italy,
using an alice.it (Telecom Italia's broadband service) ADSL modem.

This works fine, except when googling, or using wget.
When I start a search, I only get half a page of links,
even though I am told there are several million hits.
Again, I just tried downloading a 750k PDF file;
it downloaded 6%, and then hung.

The behaviour is the same using WiFi or ethernet.

What is galling is that there is no such problem with Windows XP,
while the Linux problem occurs both on my Thinkpad T43
and on my grand-daughter's EeePC (running Xandros).

I tried changing the MTU with "ifconfig eth1 mtu 1492"
but this did not seem to improve matters.
(I tried various bigger and smaller mtu's.)

I found with ipconfig under windows
that fragmentation occurred with packet length > 1464
(I didn't find an equivalent Fedora application),
so on adding 28 for the header as advised,
I got the figure of 1492.

It's a slightly theoretical problem,
as I am going home soon,
and anyway can always google under Windows if necessary.
But I would be interested to know the cause,
and if possible a cure.

Incidentally, as far as I could see from the web-page,
it is not possible to change the MTU of the modem.

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