Tips, tricks, and advice for speeding up your PC. RSS 2.0
# Tuesday, 01 June 2010

Your internet connection has been crawling for weeks. You've done everything you can think of: you've checked for viruses and malware but your PC is as clean as an operating table. Your computer has the right amount of RAM for the stuff you do, and you've even disabled memory-hogging visual effects. But still, your favorite sites take forever to load, and sometimes the browser crashes.

Well, maybe it's not you – maybe it's your internet provider. To find out, you have to determine what your optimal speed should be, and then rule out that it's not your computer – or even the layout of your house – slowing things down.

Find your optimum performance

A simple way to find out if your connection is as fast as it should be is to use McAfee's free Internet Speedometer or the Internet Speed Test, which tracks how long it takes for your computer to send and receive information. Once you run the Speedometer, it shows on a dial how fast your connection is (in kilobytes) compared with typical speeds from different kinds of connections.

For instance, if you're using a 56K Modem, it should run at 40 KBPS (kilobytes per second). Anything less means you're not running as fast as you could be.

Confirm it's your connection

To rule out that it's your computer causing the problem, have another computer on your network run the Speedomoter. If it's also slow and you're using a wireless router, make sure nothing is in the way of the signal from the router to your computer. Doors and walls can interfere with the connection, so it's best to be in the same room as the access point. Even microwaves, cordless phones and other radiowave-emitting devices have been known to mess up wifi connections, so make sure they're turned off or not kept in the same area as your router.

Check network security

A slow internet connection can also be caused by bandwidth poaching. This usually happens with wireless users whose router isn't secure. If you don't have a password up, stop reading this and set up a password right now. Not only will you keep out poachers who are taking up your bandwidth, but you'll also be protecting your privacy: thieves like using insecure routers to get at people's financial information.

Call your ISP

If none of the above helps, you should call your ISP. Be sure to let them know you've gone through all the above steps and that nothing has worked. They should be able to help you do a traceroute and other diagnostics to see what exactly is happening with your connection. Note for dial-up users: sometimes a slow connection is caused by troubles in the phone line itself. If you've ever noticed excessive fuzz and crackling while making a call, the wires in your house could be old. You'll need to call your ISP or phone company to get the wires repaired or replaced.

Tuesday, 01 June 2010 11:27:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] -
slow internet | slow pc
# Saturday, 23 May 2009

Nothing's more frustrating than a slow internet connection. Sadly, there's often not much that can be done about it. A page that's slow to load usually indicates something wrong with its server, not yours, and experts say that at times of heavy virus activity – with malicious programs leaping from one machine to another – the whole internet can feel like it's crashing down.

Nonetheless, while you obviously can't fix the whole internet, there are a few things you can do on your end to keep your connection going as fast as possible:

5 Fixes for a Faster Internet Connection

1. If you're using wireless, make sure your router is password-protected

This is a no-brainer, but any time I turn on my Wi-Fi finder, I'm always stunned by how many people leave their routers unsecured. If your network isn't protected, you're losing precious bandwidth to any wandering wi-fi poacher. So before you do anything else, lock up your network with a password.

2. Break down redundant firewalls

The firewall is one of your best defenses against malicious programs. Yes, it can slow web browsing, but it's essential to have one up. However, you only need one. Often users unknowingly run both Windows firewall and their anti-virus program's firewall (such as Norton's). So, turn off one of those firewalls, and enjoy the speed boost.

3. Delete browsing history and saved cookies

When you surf the web, each page you visit is stored as a temporary file on your computer. Over time, these accumulate and take up disk space. If your computer is running out of disk space, this can cause browsing speed to slow down. So it's a good idea to clear out these files regularly.

If you're using Internet Explorer, simply go to Internet Options, and choose Delete Browsing History. A window will pop up. Check the box asking if you want to delete stored files, and your IE will be good as new.

If you have Firefox, go under Tools, and select Clear Private Data, then check off all the things you want deleted.

4. Remove physical obstacles

Wireless users should try to keep their computer near the access point, with few physical obstacles in the way, such as walls and doors. Devices such as microwaves and cordless phones that emit certain kinds of signals can also interfere with a wireless connection, so make sure they're not in the same room as your router and PC.

5. Switch browsers and remove add-ons

Internet Explorer is the default browser on Windows, so it's the default option of most Windows users. While recent upgrades have made it one of the more secure web-surfing programs, its many features make it also one of the more resource-hungry. If you really need speed you might want to consider switching to Firefox or Google's Chrome, which tend to do better in speed tests. Alternatively, you can remove some of the bells and whistles - the Yahoo Search Bar, among other things - that are such memory hogs.

To remove Internet Explorer add-ons, go to Tools, Internet Options, the Programs tab, and choose Manage add-ons. This opens a tool where you can see – and remove – all the extras that have been added it IE.

Saturday, 23 May 2009 18:21:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] -
clean your pc | hardware | slow internet | slow pc
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The opinions, suggestions, and recommendation expressed herein are personal opinions. Modifications to your computer, settings, hardware, and software can potentially be dangerous. Proceed at your own risk. We accept no liability for your actions and make no warrantees for the advice and opinions expressed on this site.

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