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Sunday, April 8, 2012

How to Maximize the Speed of Your Internet Connection

This article describes how to speed up your Internet connection without use of web accelerators, and is geared towards Windows and Internet Explorer.


  1. 1
    Check to see if faster internet connections are in your area. Fiber optic and cable internet tend to be faster than DSL and Dial-Up.

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  2. 2
    Do some basic maintenance on your PCRun Disk Defrag, a scan disk, a virus scan, a malware scan, and clear your recycle bin. An unusually slow Internet connection experience is often the only sign that your computer is infected with viruses or other malware. Delete old files and temporary files. Never allow the free space on your C: drive to be less than 10% of the total size or twice the installed RAM (which ever is larger). A well maintained PC will operate much better than a PC that has never had any maintenance. Google or your local computer repair store should be able to help you with this if you don't know how or you can use any good system cleaner and PC optimizer tool for free such as [ Registry Cleaner and Wise Disk Cleaner] or purchase something.
  3. 3
    Reset Your Home Network. Sometimes restarting (or unplugging and replugging the electric power on) your home network or your router -- if you have one -- will drastically increase the speed of your connection.
  4. 4
    Check your home network equipment in general. If you have multiple computers sharing a connection, make sure all the computers are physically connected to a router or switch, and not just to a hub. Hubs are "dumb", low-level equipment, while routers are capable of prioritizing and directing traffic effectively.
  5. 5
    Optimize your cache or temporary Internet files. These files improve your Internet connection performance by not downloading the same file over and over. When a web site puts their logo graphic on every page your computer only downloads a new one when it changes.
    • Caution: If you delete the temporary files (graphics and such), they must be downloaded again when you go to that site. If you disable the cache (loaded software, data), then it must be downloaded every time you view the page that uses it. This can be fixed by opening Internet Explorer, clicking on "Tools" at the top and choosing "Internet Options". On the General tab, click the "Settings" button next to Temporary Internet Files. Set a check mark for newer versions to handle downloading new versions "Automatically". Set the amount of disk space to use to 2% of your total harddisk size or 512 MB, which ever is smaller. On Firefox, click "Tools" then "Options," and go to the privacy tab. Then click on the Cache tab within this to set it to automatic.
  6. 6
    If you are using a Wireless router, make sure it doesn't conflict with a cordless phone or wireless camera. Wireless routers come in three varieties; 802.11 b, g, and n (2.4Ghz) or 802.11 a (5.8Ghz) If you are using a 2.4Ghz Cordless phone and 2.4Ghz Wireless router then your Internet connection speed will slow while you use the cordless phone. The same is true of wireless security cameras. Check on your phone and camera, if it's 900Mhz then it's fine. If it says 2.4Ghz or 5.8Ghz then it could be the cause of your slow connection speed while they're in use.
  7. 7
    Call your Internet service provider (ISP). Sometimes you just have bad service. They can usually tell if your connection is substandard without having a technician come to your home. Just be nice and ask.
  8. 8
    Upgrade your computer. If your computer is slow, it doesn't matter how fast your Internet connection is, the whole thing will just seem slow. You can only access the Internet as fast as your PC will allow you to.
  9. 9
    Upgrade your router/firewall equipment. Specifically, look into any speed specifications (many older routers are not capable of transmitting to/from the internet faster than 10 Mbps, even though the local ports transmit in 100 Mbps). Also, older routers may be underpowered, so that even though the theoretical speed is 10 Mbps, the processor on the router is too weak to reach maximum speed.
  10. 10
    Upgrade your router firmware. Check the manufacturer's web site for firmware downloads for your router. Compare this with your version, and upgrade if necessary. Most routers have web interfaces for managing this, check for any labels on your router specifying default address, username and password.
  11. 11
    Replace your old cable modem. Any solid-state electronics will degrade over time due to accumulated heat damage. Your broadband modem will have a harder and harder time 'concentrating' on maintaining a good connection as it gets older (signal to noise ratios will go down, and the number of resend requests for the same packet will go up). An after-market cable modem as opposed to a cable-company modem will frequently offer a better connection.
  12. 12
    Often your connection speed is slow because other programs are using it. To test if other programs, such as anti-virus and other updates, are accessing the Internet without your knowing, Click Start, Click Run. Type "cmd" (without quotes). Type "netstat -b 5 > activity.txt". After a minute or so, hold down Ctrl and press C. This has created a file with a list of all programs using your Internet connection. Type activity.txt to open the file and view the program list.
  13. 13
    Try pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete simultaneously and open up the Task Manager. Go to the process menu and close those processes that may be stealing your valuable bandwidth. (NOTE: Closing processes with unknown filenames may cause known programs to not function properly). There is a column with the User Name, and if that is "System", you'd better leave it alone until you stop using the program that needs it. But if the User is your own login name, then it is not crucial to the operating system, but may be needed by other programs, however you may experiment. Often the system will not allow closing of -- or will reopen -- needed system programs.
  14. 14
    After you have tried some of this try your connection again and see if it's running any faster. If it is better you may need to close those extras each time you restart your system until you set the startup list to not open them anymore.
  15. 15
    Check to see somebody else is using the internet on your home network. If somebody is downloading a lot of media from the internet, such as watching video or downloading large files, the host computer is using a lot of bandwidth and the other computers are using the remaining bandwidth.
  16. 16
    If you are using satelite internet, your internet connection might be altered because of wind (vibrations) and electrical activity in/among clouds, heavy snow, or rain and lightning, static, or other electrical interference.

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  • Call your ISP and have them verify all of your TCP/IP settings if you are concerned. Ask them to verify that your Proxy settings are correct.
  • Don't expect dial up or moderate speed service to be fast. The Internet is primarily geared towards Broadband Connections, which is about 512kbs or higher Sometimes, you have to wait a little.
  • Download programs that make browsing faster:

    • is a browser inside of a browser that loads web pages without the images.
    • Firefox and Opera both have options to disable images.
    • In Firefox, you can also use extensions such as NoScript that let you block scripts and plug-ins that would otherwise slow things down a lot.
    • If you are using Internet Explorer or Firefox, try downloading Google Web Accelerator. It is meant to speed up broadband connections, but it can also slow your Internet connection. Try enabling it and disabling it and see when your Internet connection runs faster.
    • If you are using Firefox, download the Fasterfox extension and Firetune.
    • Reduce the amount of programs running that use your Internet connection (Instant Messengers, RSS Feeders, and MS Applications set to send Internet data)
    • Google Accessible is designed to search pages in order of how clean they are of junk. This will bring up pages that are usually not only easy to read, but are quick to load.
  • Upgrade your RAM by getting more and/or faster memory. This will not only improve your regular computer use, but it will affect the speed of your Internet connection because your computer works faster.
  • Use the Stop button to stop loading pages once you've gotten or seen what you want.
  • Some times malware on your computer can eat up your bandwidth. Make sure you have an up-to-date malware protection program.
  • Most Internet Providers have flaky DNS servers (no citation necessary, it's a given) - so, instead of using those provided by your ISP, switch your DNS servers to use those of OpenDNS. OpenDNS is far faster, and more reliable, simply using and as your domain name servers will speed up most flaky DNS problems (may even speed up your networking since OpenDNS has large caches).
  • Look into running your own local DNS server on your network. Some newer routers may include their own nameserver, otherwise, check into's FastCache program, it works great to hold commonly accessed domain names in the "cache" so that the IP addresses do not have to be looked up everytime you navigate to a new page.
  • Keep current, updated anti-spyware, anti-virus and firewall programs, but you can have too many toolbars trying to verify and block the same sites. This may interfere with each other, creating conflicts. Use trusted download sites such as,,, and,, and such which do a scan/check for problems in programs before posting them. Use the well-known sites for utility, shareware and freeware, then the programs are very likely to be safe, free programs.
  • Avoid offbrand, lesser known, free-/share-ware software download-sites which "might be good", but should be checked, as best you can, as unknown ones might contain "unwanted or bad add-ons" such as viruses that may damage computers and disrupt software:
    • Advertising-ware (adware),
    • Spyware-trackers (often just report clicks on ads to get paid, or popup their own ads for selling something), or
    • Contain untrusted tracking-cookies,
    • Backdoor/trojan (hidden) programs, that could steal account info, identity.

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