Increase the Speed of Your Internet Connection

speedtest03   Increase the Speed of Your Internet Connection Does your ISP deliver the speed you pay for? It’s rather easy to test your broadband internet speed. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one, ISPs usually promise an “up to” speed, so you can’t expect top performance at all times, that’s part of the deal. During high traffic times your ISP will suffer from high loads and will certainly not be able to deliver the maximum speed. Thus you’d best perform different speed tests at different time points, to see whether you ever reach the top speed. Also, when running a speed test, make sure no other applications are using the internet, else the result will not be accurate.

Speedtest.net is a good place to test your internet speed. They operate through servers all over the world, so you can connect to a server near you, which increases the accuracy of your result.

speedtest01   Increase the Speed of Your Internet Connection

As you may realize, your internet speed does not only depend on your ISP, it also depends on the hardware and software used on your end of the line. If you are using hardware provided by your ISP, there shouldn’t be a problem. The bottleneck for speed often sits in the connecting computer.

Here are a few tips to Increase the Speed of Your Internet Connection

speedtest02   Increase the Speed of Your Internet Connection

(1) Connecting Port

This may seem obvious, but you should connect to the internet though an ethernet port, rather than a serial, parallel or USB port. If ethernet is not an option, it may be advisable to update your hardware.

(2) Enough RAM

Make sure your system memory can handle the load! If you want to browse fast, you will need to close other applications in case your RAM is maxed out.

(3) Fast Browser

Mozilla based browsers generally are among the fastest browsers, while still being comfortable to use. Whichever open source browser you pick, make sure you don’t overload it with extensions or addons, those will just slow your browser down dramatically. On the other hand, if speed and RAM are not an issue, go for the luxury!

Also there are a number of tweaks and addons to increase the speed of your browser.

(4) Increase Speed under Windows XP Pro

Windows XP Professional reserves 20% of your bandwidth for services like updates or spyware checks. If you would like to exploit this reserve, do the following:

    1. Click [Windows] + [R] and type gpedit.msc in the Run window.
    2. Under Computer Configuration expand the Administrative Templates.
    3. Go to Network and click the QoS Packet Scheduler tab.
    4. Double-click on Limit Reservable Bandwidth and enable it.
    5. Finally change the Bandwidth limit to 0% and click Apply.
    6. Reboot your computer and enjoy.

(5) Tweak Tools

There are a number of programs that promise to increase your internet speed. They may work, they may not. They all apply a number of changes to optimize your network settings. Whether or not they will really improve your internet speed or which one will work the best for you greatly depends on your system, hence it’s difficult to recommend an application.

For further reading I will refer you to a set of articles found on About.com. Start with DSL and Cable Broadband Speed Tweaks and work your way through the links at the bottom.

Which tools and tweaks worked best for you?

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18 Comments -

Womble

No. 4 is an internet myth that I thought died out years ago!

The 20% isn’t reserved it’s taken if and when it’s required for O/S tasks.

QoS is also employed by many routers to ensure everybody on the network gets a share.

Stephen

Most programs that promise faster speeds dont speed it up fast enough to justify downloading it (maybe one or two seconds I have noticed).

great article though.

Peter

The amount of RAM you have and the browser you use have ABSOLUTELY NO effect on the speed your ISP provides. It may have an effect on your perceived browsing experience, but not on the actual throughput.

Most of these tips are only addressing perceived speed. There is very little you can do if your ISP is providing poor service or throttling your connection.

Daniel

@Womble,
Yes, that is a MAJOR MAJOR myth that has been snuffed out but people still believe it. Even in the APC Magazine they said that it’s a BS claim. Even Microsoft have a link on their website degunking the claim.

@Peter,
Absolutely right. I second your statements.

Jason Mayoff

@Peter, there may be nothing you can do about the speed your ISP provides, but I know from experience how slow the internet can feel on a slow machine. My computer at the office is a P4 with 384M ram. That thing is slow and pages are slow to load on it, expecially pages with lots of Flash on them.

Tina

@Peter: You’re right, but isn’t that the point? Does it matter what your ISP provides if you cannot enjoy it because your computer is too damn slow.

@Womble & Daniel: Yes, I guess it is a myth, I apologize for falling for it.
In fact I did scan several articles and comments where users reported a measurable speed increase after applying this tweak. On the other hand, this may have been an artifact or merely due to a fresh reboot.
I should have looked into it a lot more. Here’s an article that clarifies the situation: http://tech.gameshogun.ws/technews/the_myth_that_is_called_the_qos_20_bandw

Ruel Bobet

Any OS X tips on the same issue?

This’ll Help

You forgot one… Change the DNS server you’re using to one of the OpenDNS (opendns.com) servers ( 208.67.222.222, or 208.67.220.220) The DNS servers for many ISPs are terrible, but OpenDNS is quite fast (and free, too).

Womble

OpenDNS is great isn’t it!

Jitendra Vyas

Hi womble you are absolutely right

Myth – “Disabling QoS will free up the 20% bandwidth reserved by QoS.”

Reality – “There have been claims in various published technical articles and newsgroup postings that Windows XP always reserves 20 percent of the available bandwidth for QoS. These claims are incorrect. As in Windows 2000, programs can take advantage of QoS through the QoS APIs in Windows XP. 100% of the network bandwidth is available to be shared by all programs unless a program specifically requests priority bandwidth. This “reserved” bandwidth is still available to other programs unless the requesting program is sending data. By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20% of the underlying link speed on each interface on an end computer. If the program that reserved the bandwidth is not sending sufficient data to use it, the unused part of the reserved bandwidth is available for other data flows on the same host.”
– Microsoft Knowledge Base – http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q316666

Womble

Excellent post.

Ritwick Saikia

Hi everyone, well i don’t know about ne1 else but i use dataone adsl broadband over pppoe here in India and boy if i use the no. 4 tip there is a substantial speed increase which i can easily verify because my download speed increases by upto 150kbps. Don’t know ne technical side of it but on my config it just works. if i disable it again the speed reduces. OK gotta run, lots 2 dnload

Mackenzie

If you are using hardware provided by your ISP, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Not true. The cable modem / firewall Verizon supplies is only 10Mb. Even if you pay for 50Mb to come to your house, as soon as it hits that cable modem they gave you, it bottlenecks to 10Mb. Great, isn’t it? You can get around it by having them turn on your ethernet jack, and then you do all your stuff through that ethernet jack. The trouble is, you can’t use both the ethernet jack and the coaxial cable. And you can’t use your cable cards for your TiVo or their DVR boxes if you’re not using the coaxial cable because they do all their authorization for those devices through there. So, yeah, using Verizon’s supplied hardware will wreck your speeds, and if you use any services other than plain FiOS from them, there’s nothing you can do about it.

beatforex

No. 4 is still working.
Several times I test my internet speed with or without that gpedit.msc, and I experienced a little raise of my speed with that tweak…I don’t know, but I preferly to let this stay…no loss for me right?

And if you want really get a good boost for your internet speed, just use : FullSpeed Internet Broadband or Modem Booster 5. They all amazing, especially FullSpeed IB…trust me! I have use it until now.

0p4c1ty

The speed of your RAM does NOT affect the speed of your internet connection, i my self have two computers, one with 256 RAM and the other with 4Gigs i see no difference in the dl or ul speeds…

Tina

Technically that’s true.

However, if your computer is too busy rendering a website while another program eats up all its RAM, it does hamper the speed in which you can enjoy the internet.

People these days don’t just do one thing at a time with their computers. They use them to chat, watch videos, listen to music, write, edit images, convert files and surf the internet for information ALL at the SAME time. So increasing the RAM can indirectly increase the speed with which websites load.

Devicepedia

I tried to Increase Speed under Windows XP Pro, but i cant find the Limit Reservable Bandwidth under the QoS Packet Scheduler tab :(

Duda

Mozilla is not the fastest browser, Opera is the fastest :D