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Optimize Your Computer For Faster Internet

Dec 11, 2013

1. Eliminate needless programs.

Your Internet connection requires memory to be able to be at the speed you are paying for. If your computer is bogged down by programs you don't need, your connection will be slower. Close programs you aren't using.

2. Do a virus and spyware scan.

Viruses and spyware also use up memory which can contribute to a connection appearing slow. Run a thorough or complete scan of each even if you have it on and scanning. A regular scan will catch additional items. (See below if you need either of these programs for free virus and spyware scanning programs.)

3. Make sure you aren’t running two firewalls.

These will interfere with each other and, in addition to posing security problems, also reduce your web performance. In particular, if you use Windows but have downloaded or purchased a separate firewall, double-check that you aren’t also running Windows Firewall (which is turned on as a default). Go to Search > Windows Firewall and, if necessary, hit Change Settings to turn it off.

4. Check your free space.

If your hard drive is nearly full, take files you don't use often and either burns them to CD or DVD, place them on an external hard drive, or delete them. Your computer uses free hard drive space as virtual memory, so a full hard drive will slow down your computer and your connection.

5. Run a disk defragmentation.

This should be done once every two weeks. It will improve your overall performance which can only help your Internet connection.

6. Consider a computer upgrade.

An older computer may not have the power to make use of many things on the Internet now. Even something as simple as a RAM (Random Access Memory) upgrade could help, but if your computer is more than five years old, it may be time to consider getting a newer model OR using a different operating system. Rolling back to an older Windows version such as Windows XP or trying out various Linux distributions, this often breaths life into an old computer. You can even get an OS that can boot directly to a browser if its the main thing you use it for (xPud, browserLinux, slitaz, etc)!

7. Turn off your computer every night.

Leaving your computer in standby mode without turning it on and off completely every day or so will tie up memory and can soon slow down your Internet speed.

Extra Tips

Even if your virus scanner provides spyware scanning, you should still have a separate spyware scanning program.

Keep your virus and spyware scans up to date. Out-of-date definitions do no good and new things can be added almost daily. Always update before running a scan and when downloading a new program.

Check your ISP bill statement and determine if it's KB (kilobytes) or Kb (kilobits). The difference between the two is that there are 1024 bytes in a KB, and 8192 bits in a KB.

Do not run more than one virus scan at a time. Multiple virus scanning programs will merely interfere with each other and cause viruses to slip by.

Be wary of supposed spyware cleaners and other programs that boast to improve performance. Many of these do not work and could well contain spyware or impede performance. Always do research on a program before downloading it. Check a reputable website for reviews (not testimonials) from other users.

Be careful when closing off programs. Some programs are required for the running of other programs. If you aren't sure, search the name in your search engine to find out what it is or seek expert advice.

Do not try to download any "speed boosters" for your connection. Most of these do not work, and if anything, may even slow down your connection more. You should conduct the online bandwidth tests for a couple of days in a row and at different times, as their bandwidth (or your bandwidth) could have been tied up. Find your "average" connection speed and work from that.

If you have a spyware-infected computer, changing browsers will not solve your problem.