Internet Connection Slow?

This information may help you if you are using IE 7 or IE 8

The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.
Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support.

I don't know anyone who thinks that their Internet connection is as fast as they would like it to be.  Additionally, things may start to crawl for no apparent reason whatsoever.  Things do go wrong, and perhaps it is not your issue at all.  The following is information may be just what you need.

Three of the most common types of internet connection services are dial-up, DSL and cable.  Cable is the fastest with DSL in 2nd place and dial-up the slowest.  Some people have no choice because of service availability, so you have whatever you have.

Regardless of what type of service you are using, there are a few things that are certain.  The first is that, no matter what the number your service says you are getting, you are generally receiving around 80 to 90% of that number on a consistent basis.  You want to be sure that you are using the best/most affordable equipment you can. 

If you are using dial-up, check your phone wiring.  If it is old, deteriorating or you hear crackling on your phone, your modem will be slowed by these conditions.

The dreaded spyware, virus and their friends can significantly affect the speed of your PC (Macs too!).  Add-on programs, memory, hard disk space and programs that are currently running are offenders too.  So, if you have 3 games, a word processor and fun screen saver going, you are not getting the speed you could.

How often do you scan for problems?  Once a week?  Once a month?  Frankly, if you are on the Net a lot, everyday is not too often.

Spyware, the very bane of our computers, slows your browser by monitoring your Net use and/or keystrokes.  If multiple spyware are present, you are having multiple slow down activities.  That spyware is trying to find ways to get you to purchase their sponsor's products and the data collected is used to entice you over and over again.  Big Brother may not be watching, but the Big Corporations are!

Propagation is often the objective of a virus.  Some of them can drain computer power and Net bandwidth as if they are a diva at a rock concert!  You will never see any apparent indication that they are running.  Use a reputable antivirus program, keep it updated and make sure that your Firewall is always enabled.

Occasionally, you may need to download a file that you know to be safe, but the firewall will reject.  It does not mean (but could mean) that the program is unsafe.  Firewalls are looking for a number of things, not the least of which is a document which has the extension of ".exe" which is a red flag for your program.  You can turn off your firewall for a few minutes, but be sure it is back in place once your download is completed.  Make no mistake; a firewall needs to be in place at all times.  You may have an antivirus program such as Norton or McAfee.  In this case, two firewalls are not better than one.  Two firewalls may cause conflict and one needs to be disabled in favor of the more powerful one. 

Don't forget those toolbars that are so convenient, they could be slowing you down.  Make sure that you really need that game toolbar because it may be a real speed offender.  You can disable the add-ons for a session and determine if they are an issue.  Add-ons can be disabled temporarily or permanently.  Use the Tool icon on the Menu Bar and select (NEVER HIT - there is too much violence in the world already) Manage Add-ons to enable/disable items.

Every webpage you view is downloaded to memory.  It is saved to a temporary disk file.  Again, multiple, especially a large number of open webpages decreases your efficiency.  Remember that when you are doing a disk clean up, you have the option to delete temporary files from the Net.  You want to do that not just for the space, but many of the webpages you visit are dynamic which means they are constantly changing.  Therefore, the temp file is often obsolete anyway.

Popular websites will have delays, especially at peak periods.  If a website recently received some high volume exposure, like a TV spot, it can be a nightmare beyond your control.  Peak periods vary by your location.  For instance, when school lets out, usage increases. 

When a new virus breaks out, it can slow down your Net connection. 

If you are using a wireless network (Wi-Fi), you are subject to a number of issues including where the modem is located relative to the computer itself.  Frequencies of a cell phone can interfere with that connection as well. 

These are just a few of the outside influences that change your speed.  It is not just something that can be changed by a wave of a wand.  Be patient, but if you feel there is something more to be done, you can do some of the following:

  • Contact your Internet Service Provider. Occasionally, they can reset your connection and it can be a big difference.
  • Make sure your Antivirus and Antispyware are up to date. Most of them have an ‘automatic' update link, and I recommend that you check to see that it is still checked.
  • Keep doing your Defrag and Disk Clean and remove the Recycle Bin, Temporary Files and any other items that are removable.

Thanks for taking the time to read my Blog, I do appreciate it!  If you are thinking about starting (or are in the business) an income from your embroidery, please check this out:   

If you wish you have had more training for your computer skills, you will find my Tips and Tricks to be invaluable to you!

Best wishes to you and yours, Pat

Comments (2) -

Thank you for this invaluable info!  I had heard of most of it, but there are some pointers I hadn't heard of.

thecomputerist 3/6/2010 7:21:28 PM

Sherry- Thanks for responding.

I often find that a refresher of information will help all of us, including me.

Getting the most out of your pc is important to me and I try to find the best of the tips available.


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