Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

speeding   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet SpeedThey say that life’s most difficult tribulations also result in the greatest insights and wisdom once you’re through it. Let’s just say that purchasing a brand new laptop with Vista installed on it was one of my greatest tribulations to date.

So I’m taking this opportunity to share the wisdom that I’ve gained from that experience so that, possibly, I can save the next poor soul the trouble and heartache that I had to suffer through.

Am I being over-dramatic? Maybe. But what you have to understand is that at the very center of my livelihood is the Internet. I earn income, learn and unwind all on the Internet. When I lose that connection to the virtual world – I’m not a happy camper.

Rewind several months to the day when I purchased a new, shiny Sony Vaio laptop. I brought it home, excitedly opened up the box and turned it on, expecting the brand new laptop with a build-in wireless ethernet card to instantly sense my home network and connect almost completely automatically. Unfortunately, it sensed nothing. Many hours later, after an unmentionable amount of coffee consumed, I finally had my new Vista laptop on the Internet and screaming.

To save MUO readers out there who find themselves in this situation countless hours of aggravation, I’d like to offer the most important lessons I learned about Vista during this ordeal. Earlier, Aseem offered applications you can install that will improve your PC performance. However, I’d like to present the top five ways you can tweak Vista itself to get your Internet connection working, and increase your overall Internet speed.

The Most Important Vista Internet Speed Tweaks – Once You Can Connect

New technology is fabulous when it works, but I was quite disgusted to learn that Microsoft implemented IPv6 on Vista and upon install it is set as the default. The silly part is that it simply doesn’t work well with devices that still utilize the IPv4 protocol – and to assume that most home networks are fully upgraded to the IPv6 protocol is a faulty approach to setting defaults.

Many people upgrade their PCs and laptops long before they consider replacing that old outdated router that’s been sitting in the basement for five years and still works perfectly. So, when they bring home that shiny new laptop with Vista installed, guess what – the laptop and the router simply refuse to talk.

So, if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in this situation – the very first thing you should do before we can even get started speeding up the Internet, is to disable IPv6 so that you can at least get on the Internet in the first place. Here’s how it works.

First, go to Start -> Network -> Network and Sharing Center, and then click on “Manage Network Connections.”

tweak1   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

In this screen, you’ll likely have a wireless connection displaying that it can’t connect to any network. Right-click on that icon and select “Properties.”

tweak2   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

You’ll discover both IPv6 and IPv4 enabled. Go ahead and uncheck the box for IPv6 and click “OK.” You’ll need to reboot your computer, but afterwards if the protocol incompatibility was your problem (and it very likely was), you’ll find that your computer can now communicate fine with the router. Maybe. There is one other complication Microsoft introduced into Vista just to encourage you that much more to upgrade your router – it’s something called “autotuning,” and it’s also the next Vista tweak.

Vista Connection Tweak #2 – Autotuning

This is another case where the cutting edge technological advances being enabled on Microsoft’s operating system by default is a recipe for disaster for users who have older networks and older network devices (specifically older routers). Vista comes installed and enabled with something called “Receive Window Auto-Tuning.”

On advanced networks, it’s actually a pretty cool technology where the transfer of data is monitored and Vista automatically “tunes” the TCP window field to optimize packet transfer. Older routers simply do not “play nice” when it comes to that kind of window resizing. This spells trouble for home users who don’t know the difference between a packet of data and a packet of sugar. What was Microsoft thinking?

Luckily – there’s a way for you, the home user, to turn this default feature off as well. First, click on “Start” and type “cmd” and right-click on the command icon. You’ll see the following window.

tweak3   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

Click on “Run as Administrator.”  Then, in the command box, type “netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled” which will disable autotuning.

tweak4   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

Now that you’ve got your new Vista finally communicating with your router (hopefully), you’re ready to tweak Vista even more in order to dramatically boost the Internet speed.

Vista Tweak #3 To Increase Internet Speed – Take Back Your Bandwidth

Another unnecessary default setting that Vista (and actually XP as well) comes with is a 20% “reserve” of your available bandwidth in order to accommodate certain applications like Windows Update. This tweak is a pretty common one most old-school users of XP already know – it’s not at all detrimental and you can immediately gain 20% of your bandwidth back, increasing Internet performance significantly.

This is called the QoS Reserve Bandwidth Limit, and to reduce this on any version of Vista you need to edit the registry.

Go to Start and type “regedit“. You may have to deal with the UAC, unless you’ve read Sharninder’s advice on how to speed up your Vista by turning it off! In Regedit, navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

tweak5   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

Right-click on Windows and create a new key called “Psched“, then right click on the right and create a new “DWORD” entry. Name it “NonBestEffortLimit” and set the value to zero to disable reserve bandwidth.

Vista Tweak #4 – Modify Your Browser For Optimum Speed

Believe it or not, not only is your Vista operating system not configured by default to blaze the Internet as fast as possible, but neither is your Internet browser! These instructions include how to increase your browsing speed on Firefox and IE.

First, in Firefox type, “about:config” into the address bar (and ignore any warnings).  In the filter field, type “network” and scroll down to “network.http.pipelining” and set it to TRUE, and set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” from 4 to anything from 8 to 12.

tweak7   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

I use Firefox almost exclusively, and this one change increased my page-load time by what felt like a factor of 50%. Of course, there’s a similar tweak for Internet Explorer as well, but you have to edit the registry. As before, go to Start and type “regedit.”

tweak8   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Internet Settings” and find “MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server” and “MaxConnectionsPerServer.” Set these to at least 10, or a little higher if you would like. You should also see an increase in performance for IE after making this change as well.

Vista Tweak #5 – Increase DNS Cache

This tweak is one that anyone should do anyway, as it can significantly save time while surfing the web, especially if you tend to visit the same sites often. What the DNS cache does is store information retrieved from the nameservers (IP information) so that the next time you visit the same site, your browser doesn’t have to waste time retrieving the same information from the DNS servers.

You can optimize this by increasing the size of your DNS cache.  This is another registry edit – so go back in there (Start and type “regedit“) and navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters” and then right click on the white space at the right and add four DWORD values: CacheHashTableBucketSize, CacheHashTableSize, MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit and MaxSOACacheEntryTtlLimit.

tweak9   Top 5 Vista Tweaks to Increase Internet Speed

After checking a list of sites for the optimum setting for these values, the consensus seems to be decimal settings of CacheHashTableBucketSize to 1, CacheHashTableSize to 384, MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit to 64000 and MaxSOACacheEntryTtlLimit to 301.Of course, instead of using those old DNS servers, why not use OpenDNS?  When you’re done making all of the changes above, restart your computer and when it boots back up you’ll find yourself with a Vista PC that screams on the Internet.

Did these Vista tweaks increase your Internet speed? Do you know any other cool tweaks for Vista that work even better? Share your insight in the comments section below.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

92 Comments -

0 votes

Noah

Switch to a fast browser. Chrome or Opera are the ones to go for.

0 votes

PienaZupa

The QoS-tweak thing has been proven as fail. What QoS does, it can reserve 20% of the bandwidth for some essential system services, but only does so when it needs to. It doesn’t eat 20% of bandwidth, and disabling it won’t make your connection 20% faster. On the contrary – disabling QoS might break all those essential services that really need that bandwidth.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Thanks – could you provide a link that “proves” it fails? Here are some that confirm. BTW..I wouldn’t call VOIP apps or windows update “essential”.

- http://www.msfn.org/board/lofiversion/index.php/t6687.html
(Several readers there said they did the tweak and confirmed it works)
- http://www.exbii.com/showthread.php?t=308924
-http://v2.tlab404.com/articles/detail.asp?iFaq=221&iType=16

Whether it’s essential is debatable, but based on feedback from throughout the net it appears the 20% hack does help with Internet opening up your broadband (it did for me as well).

0 votes

WaruiKoohii

Ryan, VoIP is essential if you’re using it.

Do you like it when your cell phone drops calls, or when the connection starts to break up while you’re trying to have an important conversation? Didn’t think so. Why would it be okay for VoIP to do this, then?

Very few applications actually use QoS (Windows Update not being among them, which is worth mentioning as you made that claim further down the page). There is no tangible benefit to disabling it. It has been an old wives tale since WinXP.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Dube actually has an accent mark over the “e” – it’s French so it’s correctly pronounced “Dub-aye”…once you get into high school you’ll learn all about it in French class.

0 votes

Bryan

man – i’ve always respected makeuseof and the information they give, but this information about the QoS is utterly and completely false. a simple google search proves it’s an old wives tale. this is disappointing. going forward i will consider other tips from makeuseof as suspect too and will be less likely to recommend your blog.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Thanks for your input Bryan – could you offer a few links from your “simple Google search”? I’d be interested in reading such proof – might even post a follow-up called “top 5 Internet speed tweak myths” – but so far I’ve only seen evidence that it works.

0 votes
0 votes

pitchpatch

From the linked Microsoft-authored support article:

“By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20 percent 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.”

So programs can reserve an aggregate total of 20%, but if they’re not USING the reserved bandwidth then it’s still available for all other programs. Myth busted.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Your link proves that if you leave it set up this way, while you’re browsing the Internet, other applications (such as windows update) can eat up 20% of your bandwidth. See my response a little bit below. As far as I’m concerned, when I’m browsing the net, I want 100% of my bandwidth. If I want a Windows update I’ll enable it when I don’t need that bandwidth anymore. But I suppose that’s a user preference.

0 votes

lilricky

So, if you setup Windows update in that way, basically turning it off and running Windows Update manually, doing that “tweak” doesn’t actually help increase your internet speed. Seems like an old wives’ tale to me.

0 votes

CH

#4 says to set the decimal value of CacheHashTableSize to 384 but your image shows that you’ve set the hexadecimal value to 384. Which is the correct one? Thanks!

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey CH – thank you for catching that. When you type in the value it defaults to Hex and I quickly entered the value without changing it. The correct setting is 384 DECIMAL – in fact I had to go back and change it so that it had the right setting! Thanks for catching that!

0 votes

Michelle

so this means the the Picture is the wrong setting Correct?
(I had changed mine to match the Picture..)

Can you maybe please post a picture with the correct settings? I don’t want to change something in the registry on accident.
Thanks

0 votes

Bill Mitchell

To prove the QoS I draw your attention to this:

“Correction of some incorrect claims about Windows XP QoS support
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. The information in the “Clarification about QoS in end computers that are Running Windows XP” (or newer) section correctly describes the behavior of Windows XP systems.”

Source: Microsoft Knowledge Base Article ID: 316666 formally filed under Q316666 – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316666

We’ll wait as you make the correction in your article.

0 votes

Edwin

To change the Firefox settings, it’s much easier to use the
Tweak Firefox addon:

bitstorm.org/extensions/tweak/

0 votes

catester

Oh no, not this again. The “QoS Myth” and the “Penny Brown is missing hoax” just keep coming around and around again. Here’s what Microsoft has to say:

Correction of some incorrect claims about Windows XP QoS support
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. The information in the “Clarification about QoS in end computers that are Running Windows XP” section correctly describes the behavior of Windows XP systems.

You’ll find that at the bottom of this KB article:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q316666

0 votes

Ryan Dube

From the Microsoft site you provided:

“One hundred percent 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.”

This means that unless you disable it, Microsoft or any other such software app can (and will) take and use up to 20% of your bandwidth. It is not a myth – you’ve just proven that it’s possible. Even the blogger quoted above that repeats that he believes it’s a myth quotes Microsoft stating that applications can reserve 20%, and if they ARE actively using it – then the application you’re using (such as your Internet browser) will lose that bandwidth.

I really wasn’t aware that I was walking into a huge geeky debate – and I hate it when this happens – but now that I’m here, in all honesty I still see removing the ability of any application to “reserve” 20% of bandwidth as a smart idea. As far as it increasing Internet speed 20% – I didn’t write that. I wrote that this tweak will increase your bandwidth by 20%, and if you have any applications that are actively using the reserve, it will.

Anyway, thanks for your comments guys – and I’m sorry I stepped into this debate – I had no idea it was a sore point for so many folks.

0 votes

WaruiKoohii

Ryan, please have an understanding of how QoS works before you automatically dismiss everything that others have to say.

Let’s use a simple example to start. You have two Internet browsers (from different companies, to make things easy). You download an equally large file from an equally fast server on both browsers. Each download gets 50% of the bandwidth, and quickly saturates your pipe. Even worse is if you’re, say, uploading some large videos to Youtube.

If you were to try to use an upstream and downstream sensitive (not intensive, but sensitive)app such as Skype, then you’re going to get frequent drop outs. Probably not a connection failure, as Skype is fairly resilient, but you’re going to have a tough time understanding the person on the other end. If Skype were QoS enabled, and QoS was enabled on the computer, the quality of the call would be significantly greater. And, since it’s only 20% of your available bandwidth, you’re not really going to notice much difference in performance. Indeed, if you weren’t aware of it, you probably wouldn’t notice.

Now, here’s something else you probably don’t know. A vast majority of consumer routers also use QoS! It doesn’t matter if it’s enabled on the computer, the router is assigning priority to different packets all by itself.

0 votes

areapal

Does this work for windows vista ?

0 votes

SadistiX

does this work for windows 7?

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey SadistiX – I’m not sure yet, but I’ll let you know this month once I do the Vista to Windows 7 upgrade! :)

0 votes

Jason

Ryan, how can we block your articles from this otherwise great site?

0 votes

Suck it.

I think more to the point how do we block your stupid comments from this article?

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Do like I do – ignore them. Oops.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Not sure if you can block articles but you can certainly subscribe to them, for example any readers out there who are interested can specifically subscribe to my MUO articles with my feed.. Thanks for providing the opportunity for me to share it with all of our readers. ;)

0 votes

Aibek

hey Ryan, that was a good one ! ;-)

0 votes

Lars Lurker

Microsoft is doing the right thing to make v6 default making sure the Internet will continue to work when no more v4 addresses are available since only 10% of them are left and will be totally depleted in less than two years. your recommendation to disable IPv6 is silly and lacks total knowledge of how the Internet works. Go and do some reading before you call yourself a tweaker.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Lars – I personally experienced IPv6 causing the problem with older Linksys routers, and I saw disabling it fix the problem. I don’t disagree with you that enabling the functionality in newer operating systems to use the newer protocol is a good idea, but until more of the world upgrades their networks to v6, it shouldn’t be enabled by default.

Or at the very least newbie users should be made aware of how they can easily disable it and get their brand spanking new computer to talk to their old router.

0 votes

Salamaner

Jason, I believe at least 4 of those 5 tweaks are correct. I really don’t think your comment was necessary.

0 votes

CoolGoose

The only thing that I find annoying is the damn IPv6 disable.

0 votes

teocomi

CacheHashTableSize value is different from the one in the image posted (that is exadecimal).. which one is correct?
thanks

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Ignore the image and follow the instructions I wrote – all settings should be decimal. Thanks teocomi! I’ll work with the editor to replace that image.

0 votes

r3dux

Jeez.. The “QoS steals my bandwidth” thing just won’t die, will it?

Tweak #3 is misleading and plain incorrect.

Otherwise, good work.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Thanks r3dux – yes, you’re right it is misleading because I think it leads readers to believe the tweak will increase speed 20%, which is definitely not the case (and if anyone believes that – it IS A MYTH). The tweak will not increase your speed 20%, it will only prevent apps from reserving your bandwidth and stealing it from your Internet browsing (albeit temporarily at times).

Thanks again.

0 votes

Uoykcuf

Okay, so apperently the QoS thing is false, but I just applied the ‘tweak’. How to unapply it now? Is it safe to just delete te reg key that I added?

0 votes

Ryan Dube

It’s not false, it just won’t increase your Internet speed tremendously. If the tweak worries you, go ahead and delete the key that you just added – just be careful to only delete that key! Thanks for your comment.

0 votes

Uoykcuf

Ok thanks,

The rests of the tweaks were very usefull, especially the IPv6 thing, that stopped vista from randomnly loosing internet connection with my wireless router!

0 votes

Guillaume

I read all the comments and links provided for the QoS tweak / myth, and I’m still not at all convinced it’s only a myth. Granted, Windows only claims this 20% of your bandwidth when an “essential” service requests it. But nowhere I found a definitive list of these essential services. What if Windows was reclaiming this 20% ALL THE TIME?
For my part, I disabled it. I don’t need Windows to decide for me what is essential or not. When I want to use windows update, I decide not to use my bandwidth.

0 votes

God

“What if Windows was reclaiming this 20% ALL THE TIME?”

It is not. Learn a bit of networking. Take a few packet captures and you will see. It actually rarely uses it. You can disable it if you want but its pretty much a waste of time. I have no clue why MS has anything to do with QOS inside their OS. Most routers and WAN accelerators handle all of the QOS on larger networks and QOS is next to pointless at home unless you want your VOIP or something similar to always have a certain percentage of bandwidth no mater what your doing.

0 votes

Paul

Just having IPv6 installed prevents you from accessing the Internet? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

0 votes

Wobble

Can you update this article for Windows 7 please.

0 votes

Jack Nankivell

Tip 1# for increasing internet speed.

1) Uninstall Vista.
2) Install Linux.

Done.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey Jack – you know, when I was having laptop connection issues and it came down to IPv6 and my old router, a few of the MUO writers gave me the same advice that you have here…lol.

Every day Linux is looking more and more tempting.

0 votes

Chethan

Good Post… Please Keep up The Good Work!

0 votes

Me

Wow, just wow. The only useful thing here were the browser tweaks.

#1) IPv6 doesn’t PREVENT any sort of connection. There is a few obscure situations where it COULD cause an issue, but I don’t think anybody is using Active Directory synchronization on their personal computer.

#2) The receive window tuning is meant to keep the NIC from being overwhelmed by traffic on the wire. In a high traffic volume situation, this is crucial to better network performance. In a low volume situation, it’s rarely invoked. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TCP_tuning

#3) QoS allows time-sensitive traffic (VOIP, video, etc) to be given priority while bandwidth usage is high or nearly maxed out.

I have to admit, this article could have been so much more. I was hoping for a well written article including things like tweaking your MTU for DSL or Cable, tweaking your QoS settings to get better VOIP/Video performance, etc. That would have been a decent article.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hello “me” – thanks for your comments.

You wrote: “#1) IPv6 doesn’t PREVENT any sort of connection. There is a few obscure situations where it COULD cause an issue, but I don’t think anybody is using Active Directory synchronization on their personal computer.”

IPv6 **CAN** prevent a connection if there’s a conflict with your router running old firmware – did you read the comments above?

You Wrote: “#2) The receive window tuning is meant to keep the NIC from being overwhelmed by traffic on the wire. In a high traffic volume situation, this is crucial to better network performance. In a low volume situation, it’s rarely invoked. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TCP_tuning

Wikipedia? For one example where it can cause a proble, From Citrix support center: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX114908

“Title: The Receive Window Auto-Tuning Feature in Windows Vista Causes Intermittent Timeouts in the WANScaler UI

Resolution: If you must use Windows Vista, disable Receive Window Auto-Tuning before accessing the WANScaler UI.

The following commands can disable, enable, or show the Receive Window Auto-Tuning setting in Windows Vista. No restart in Windows Vista is required for the commands to take effect. To disable Receive Window Auto-Tuning, issue the following command:”

**Readers: It is absolutely NOT crucial to better network performance in a standard in-home network**

You Wrote: “#3) QoS allows time-sensitive traffic (VOIP, video, etc) to be given priority while bandwidth usage is high or nearly maxed out.”

If users need their VOIP to have higher bandwidth priority, then I agree they should keep the QoS setting at the 20% default. However if they’re looking to give their browsing experience the highest bandwidth priority, then removing the 20% reserve will give IE and Firefox (pick your browser) screaming.

0 votes

Brandon Shepherd

I like the http.pipelining one, that was really what I was looking for.

Also:

DUGG IT. wh00t.

0 votes

GrimReeper

In regards to http pipelining.

http://www.mozilla.org/projects/netlib/http/pipelining-faq.html

How many requests should be pipelined?
“A longer pipeline can actually cause user-perceived delays if earlier requests take a long time to complete.”
“A web browser probably doesn’t want a very long pipeline for the reasons mentioned above. 2 may be an appropriate value, but this remains to be tested.”

0 votes

Robomaster

Wow – These really work! I had previously done some of these, but never heard of most of the registry tips. Okay, I gotta go restart my laptop and see how fast it goes.

0 votes

Rohan

Wait – you haven’t restarted your laptop and the tips have already worked?

0 votes

Anonymous

Good work, Ryan. Ignore the angry trolls. Their anonymity gives them the guts to at like jackasses, I’m sure they’re all nice in person though. Here’s a web-based test you can run from Microsoft that will confirm whether or not your router is compatable with the autotuning feature:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/using/tools/igd/default.mspx

0 votes

slosuenos

Disabling IPv6 on Windows 7 will break the Homegroup feature. I believe disabling IPv6 on Vista could degrade Vista’s ability to interact with Windows 7 Homegroups.

Don’t disable IPv6 unless its absolutely necessary…

0 votes

Craig

Completely agree with Me’s post, disabling IPv6 should have no bearing on being able to connect. I find this tweak very dubious. I will say disabling autotuning is something that may need to be done based on your equipment (i.e. old routers) in order to be able to even connect. Otherwise, it shouldn’t have an impact on browsing speed, especially with newer equipment. And again, beating a dead horse, disabling QoS reserve is ill-advised in my opinion, and obviously with a lot of others as well. Otherwise, good tips on pipelining and tweaking DNS cache.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Some advice from Windows Vista forums on IPv6 (note second paragraph):

“In a nutshell? Overhead and compatibility.

If you have some older devices, the IPv4-IPv6 translators and compatibility may not exist or not function properly and can lead to some issues.

IMHO, why run it if you don’t need it. I don’t run AppleTalk and such for the same reasons

In any case, as mentioned above, Vista now provides the option to uncheck it instead of removing all the software, so it is a no-brainer to disable and re-enable if desired.

This is a big improvement over the days when windows would rebuild entire network stacks everytime you made a change and a simple removal and readding of a network feature could lead to corruptions and communications problems.

It is common for DHCP to fail if you have a IPv4-IPv6 issue on your network or device.

Why? Remember the old and true advice: “Remove any unused drivers”

I would and do remove it, but in the end, it is up to you

- JC”

Thanks for the positive comments guys – I was really blown away by the issues I saw when running Vista and an older Linksys router – so just wanted to provide this article for some guidance for those poor folks who find themselves in the same circumstances where they can’t connect and there’s absolutely no site out there that offers a solution. Aside from the cynics above – if this article can help even one user who comes along because they can’t connect to their old Linksys, they disable IPv6 and it resolves the issue (like it did for me), then I’m happy.

0 votes
0 votes

Ryan Dube

That’s impressive, so you know without a doubt that the issues were related to the router firmware being out of date – and you don’t even know the model or firmware version that was I had originally running in the first place, or the highest firmware upgrade that’s available for that version, and you’re 100% certain that the upgraded firmware of every router in existence has no issues with IPv6… Amazing.

0 votes

$200 Laptops

Good post and provocative information. Stayed away from all but the Firefox : http pipelining tweak, which seems to give a little boost. I would only be trying one of these at a time, to be safe.

0 votes

Tom

Thank you Ryan for taking the time to list a few simple tweaks that have potential to make web browsing a more efficient experience. The user environment leads to different results, as can be expected, depending on the computer system and its vast amount of varying hardware and software configurations.
Some people here apparently feel threatened by your web presence. This is great work, excellent visuals and you’ve handled the snarks with an appropriate professionalism. Thanks again.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Thanks Tom! Appreciate your kind words!

0 votes

Alec Hosterman

Tip #6: Chuck your PC out the window and go buy a Mac. ’nuff said.

0 votes

Phlow

Oh that’s real helpful there Alec. Ryan this is a great article, but the comments are just as educational. Maybe you should include some details on the QOS debate in the article, as well as making sure people with new network equipment aren’t disabling their IPv6 and auto-tuning thinking it’ll make their speed faster. It seems like the first two tricks (disabling IPv6 and autotuning) will help with connectivity much more than they will speed, so maybe they belong in a different article?

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey Phlow – thanks, that’s a very good point. Writing up the first two tweaks definitely had a different purpose (to fix/troubleshoot the same sort of connection issues with an older router as I was having) and the last three were purely performance. So you’re right, could definitely have been two separate articles.

0 votes

geeknik

Disabling IPv6 if you’re not using it won’t give you any gains. It doesn’t hurt anything to leave it on.

The QOS tweak is a myth: http://gameshogun.ws/tech/the_myth_that_is_called_the_qos_20_bandw

The network pipelining tweak in Firefox *can* cause problems, as per Mozilla, but even if you overlook that, your post is still wrong because the limit is hardcoded at 8, so setting it to 10 or 12 won’t do you any good. And it’s really not going to speed up your internet speed. http://www.mozilla.org/projects/netlib/http/pipelining-faq.html

Increasing your DNS cache with your tweak is worthless if you don’t tell people how to NOT cache bad DNS requests. Just use openDNS and leave your DNS settings in the registry alone. :)

0 votes

Jay

This article is missing the TcpAck registry changes to improve latency in Vista. I’d consider that one more important than any of this other stuff.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Cool – that’s true Jay, thanks for pointing it out, maybe another topic for a future article.

0 votes

Garbage2

So you’ve constructed a myth to disprove: “yes, you’re right it is misleading because I think it leads readers to believe the tweak will increase speed 20%”

The real myth is that it actually provides any increase in performance. Unless you have a dial-up connection to the internet, it’s certainly not going to affect browsing speed. Even with slow connections, you might be slowing down page loads by forcing DNS requests to wait for other data.

I think, the other problem is that if you use any software that actually makes use of QoS, it probably does for a good reason (VoIP, games), and they’re performance could actually be hurt by disabling this feature.

Also, about disabling IPv6: The problems associated with it occur so rarely that it’s probably a BAD idea to suggest everyone do it.

0 votes

Garbage2

What I forgot to mention is that.

1. This bandwidth is available to any application unless the specific application which requested QoS priority is actually actively using it. (ie. sending data).

2. If you have any applications using the QoS and sending/receiving data they’ll be using the bandwidth anyway, thus you’re not going to be gaining back any bandwidth anyway.

3. I believe something that hasn’t been addressed yet is that unless people have Internet connections as fast as their Ethernet or WiFi, changing this value isn’t going to do a damn thing.

0 votes

jaysin

you should consider putting a warning about making some of these changes on laptops. While compatibility with older routers etc might be an issue at home making those changes on a system that connects to many different networks could cause even more issues then it resolves.

0 votes

joan

sigh.

solutions to fix compatibility /= performance tweaks

0 votes

rawb

This article is full of terrible advice. The QoS thing has been shot down multiple times and it’s still in the article, and disabling IPv6 is just silly. For that matter, changing the number of http requests and connections per server is just going to increase the CPU overhead because you’re switching around a bunch of extra threads. You might see a webpage load a few tenths of a second faster on a multi core environment but for the majority of users it’ll slow things down by a few tenths instead. Also, as another poster already mentioned, you didn’t even cover the TcpAck and TcpNoDelay tweaks that actually do reduce latency.

It’s one thing for a tech-savvy individual to change these settings with a full understanding of the risks and effects but to present this as something the average user should do to improve their computer is just dangerous. You’re going to break something for somebody.

0 votes

MerryMarjie

I’m always impressed with MakeUseOf and the articles, and the comments are very worthwhile to read. I suspect that the people who follow this site cover a broad range of personal computer experience and thus digest the articles for their level of expertise, following through on advice they deem applicable to their situation. A newbie is unlikely to make registry changes with abandon, and if that happens, the responsibility should be personal, not projected.

Mr. Dube has written a great column for which he has obviously done research, and his comments are truly viable, opinions not withstanding. I discovered the “Ipv6 trick” months ago when I faced a nightmare in networking a Vista and XP computer and had to Google day and night to find solutions. You see, I’m a granny who has had to learn computers from the bottom up, without the luxury of education classes, and through studying and determination, I believe I’m at least an intermediate user. I appreciate every column I read here.

Thank you, Mr. Dube. Please know you have helped.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Thanks MerryMarjie – I appreciate your positive feedback, more than you could know! lol… I look forward to interacting with more of our older/mature readership like yourself.

0 votes

gordon

Ryan,
Thanks for your article.

I am trying to follow the logic of the QoS
discussion.
It seems that if you disable
the 20% reserve and have only one application
using the bandwidth, then you get can use
100% (not 80%) of the bandwidth.
Isn’t that correct?

Maybe a followup article that encapsulates
the QoS discussion?
gordon

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey Gordon, thanks for your comment.

Yes – you understand correctly. The irony is that if you click on the links above that multiple commentators offered from Microsoft to prove the “myth” – it explains what you’re asking perfectly where the blogger at the link quotes Microsoft. I’ve highlighted the important points.

“As in Windows 2000, programs can take advantage of QoS through the QoS APIs in Windows XP. One hundred percent 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 percent 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.”

If you leave QoS enabled – you can use 100% of the bandwidth as long as the other apps are not actively using the priority bandwidth. If they are using it – then *you* can’t – they have bandwidth priority.

And you’re right – it looks like this would be quite a topic for another article!

0 votes

Dev

How do you reverse point number 3. I am having problems after doing it?

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey Dev – you can delete the registry value that you added in that step

0 votes

Dacker

I’m sorry to say that applying these tweaks to Vista Home Premium and Firefox 3.5.3 made my speed worse. Some websites crawled and I’ve also had numerous problems with images not loading.

0 votes

Ryan Dube

Hey Dacker, thanks for your feedback. To deal with the image issue, you may have set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests too high – reduce it back closer to 4 if you have to.

0 votes

Dacker

For completeness, I probably should have said in my post that I’ve been using OpenDNS for a couple years.

I had network.http.pipelining.maxrequests set to 10.

I’ve reverted everything back to the stock settings. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

0 votes

Boston Mark

After doing a ton of reading on how to increase web-browsing speed using Vista, Dacker’s post is by far the quick, easy, and best tweak. Just set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests set to 10 and use OpenDNS. And that’s it…problem solved! This fixed my sometimes excruciatingly slow browser page loads and my high-speed connection is now truly HIGH-SPEED! Don’t waste your time with registry hacks. You only need to do these 2 incredibly simple things and you’ll be fine.

0 votes

MikeVertx

this is not worth the time.

moving on

0 votes

website

Any of the below would do the trick:

- Downgrade to Windows XP
- Upgrade to OpenSUSE
- Upgrade to Fedora
- Upgrade to Mint
- Upgrade to Ubuntu

0 votes

Nick

hey Ryan, thanks for your great post, quick question. For the regedit files… you chose 32-bit… since my computer is 64-bit should i choose 64-bit?
thanks, NN

0 votes

Michelle

Ryan……….. Please help. I want to know the answer to this also as I have Vista 64 bit as well.

Anyone know?

Thanks

0 votes

Andrew

Oh Yeah!
Increased 2 kb/s

0 votes

Emz

This is great. Thanks for the info my internet now screams.

0 votes

jack

i am a network enginner
as i concern
bandwidth availability is base on network design
where
70% is more on protocol communication
and 30% is available one for us to surfing, download, bla bla
thankx

0 votes

Syngensmyth

Connecting to a wireless router with a strong signal and not having internet connection is a problem with Vista and Windows7 for some reason. I have not yet had disabling IPv6 work but it’s worth a try. When the problem occurs, usually in some hotel etc., I never do get connected.

But at home new drivers for the NIC sometimes works. New firmware for the router sometimes works. We can all agree how maddening it is. It is a Black Art, this wifi connectivity, and nothing works every time.

Thanks for the Firefox tweak reminder. Pageload increase noticeable. I have new setup and forgot to tweak that.

0 votes

rome109

i want to remove all vista tweaks but what do i put into cmd if i want to reenabe the auto tuning

0 votes

sat

hey there are no above registry files in vista premium……wat 2 do….help

0 votes

Daniel

Another way to increase internet speed is to use Internet Cyclone. You can find more info at http://www.jordysoft.com