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Make the most of high-speed internet

Optimize internet speed and performance with these 10 steps

Make the most of high-speed internet

High-speed internet access, such as a cable or DSL connection, has radically changed the way we use the web, allowing us to send and receive information over the internet faster than ever before.

However, you may find that getting hooked up to a high-speed internet connection only takes you halfway there–a high-speed connection alone won’t necessarily boost the speed of your web access.

If you bought a sports car with a top-of-the-line engine, you wouldn’t expect it to run at its maximum speed if its transmission were stuck in a low gear or its wheels weren’t properly aligned. Likewise, if the computer you use to connect to the internet isn’t up to the task, you may still find yourself frustrated by slow page loads and glitchy videos.

But before you spend money on a new PC, make sure that your existing equipment is properly set up to maximize the full potential of your internet connection. After making just a few simple changes, you may be surprised by the dramatic improvement in your internet performance.

Update settings

  • Get the latest browser updates. Your web browser is like an interpreter—it takes the raw data sent over your internet connection and then translates it into the words, images, sounds, and videos that you see on your computer screen. To be sure you’re getting the best “translation” possible, keep your browser current by downloading the most recent updates available. Most browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, regularly send out updates to their software.
  • Run NetBooster. System Mechanic’s NetBooster® reconfigures and fine-tunes your PC to suit your specific type of internet connection. It automatically enables the transfer of more data over the internet by customizing settings that affect internet connection speeds: all you have to do is enter some basic information about your internet setup, and NetBooster will do the rest. Read more abo houtw reconfiguring your settings can boost your internet speed.

Maintain system health

  • Run a full anti-malware scan of your PC. If you don’t have an anti-malware program installed, it’s critical that you get one—viruses and spyware are often the cause of web slowdowns. Not only do these malicious programs compromise the security of your personal information, they can also reconfigure your browser settings and install files that secretly leech bandwidth and slow connection speeds. Install an anti-malware program (like iolo System Shield®), keep it up-to-date, and run scans regularly.
  • Clean out your computer. With regular usage, a PC can quickly become filled with unneeded junk files, particularly from web browsing. And because of this clutter, performance suffers—useless items are wasting the critical memory and disk space needed by web browsers to run efficiently. Regular cleanings with System Mechanic’s PC Cleanup PowerTool™ will help eliminate this debris and keep your browser running clean and lean. Read more about the benefits of clearing out clutter and junk files.
  • Maintain your PC’s overall health. Over time, it’s common for PCs to become unstable and slow—and when your system slows down, your internet speed slows down as well. The causes of these problems can be wide-ranging: obsolete settings, fragmented drives, registry errors, hidden dangerous files, and more. To keep your system running at its fastest, enable System Mechanic’s ActiveCare®. This patented technology automatically and silently monitors your PC for the wide array of performance problems that creep up over time, and then fixes them before they can do any harm. Get more information on how ActiveCare maintains PC health behind-the-scenes.

Consider hardware and memory upgrades

    • Upgrade your RAM. Like all programs, browsers require a certain amount of RAM (random access memory) to run efficiently: when your PC is low on this memory, everything on your PC slows down. And unfortunately, computer vendors sometimes sell computers with less RAM than is needed in order to cut manufacturing costs. Adding more RAM to your computer can be a simple way to boost speed.

TIP: It’s also important to periodically defragment your PC’s memory. Memory fragmentation occurs over time, and when memory becomes highly fragmented, programs—including your web browser—don’t have enough memory to function properly. System Mechanic’s Memory Mechanic® reclaims valuable memory and can significantly improve PC and browser speeds. Read more about how memory defragmentation improves performance.

    • Check the quality of your router. Many people use a home network—multiple computers sharing a single internet connection—and it’s a wireless router that makes this possible. You should make sure you have a router that can keep up with the capabilities of your high-speed service. For example, if your broadband connection streams at 40Mbps but your router transfers data at a rate less than 40Mbps, consider upgrading. And in some cases, you may just need to update the software on the device (called “firmware”); firmware updates are often made available on the web site of router’s manufacturer.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: To check if the router may be the problem, try bypassing it to see if your internet runs faster without it. Connect one of your computers directly to the modem: if you see a noticeable difference, then the router is the likely culprit.

Break bad habits

Sometimes, making small changes to the way you use the internet can have a big effect on speed. Listed below are some common browsing habits that can slow your computer down. If you do any or all of these things on a regular basis, consider changing your ways in order to get back up to speed!

    • Don’t keep multiple browser windows open. While you may be tempted to keep multiple browser windows open for quick reference or multitasking, keeping too many of them going at once will slow down your internet performance. Instead, consider using the “tab” functions now available with browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox: you can switch back and forth quickly and easily between several different web sites without using a lot of extra memory.

    • Limit the number of add-ons. Browser add-ons, like toolbars that display the weather or offer advanced searching features, are designed to supplement your browser’s functionality. They can be fun, useful, and add a lot to your web browsing experience—but they also can add a lot of resource-hogging bloat. Large numbers of add-ons often lead to sluggish internet speeds and, in some cases, ‘buggy’ add-ons conflict with each other and result in the browser not responding at all. Consider which add-ons you really want, get rid of the rest, and be choosy when installing new ones.

TIP: Many software programs have optional browser add-ons as part of their installation—with the options selected by default—so be alert when installing programs and clear the check boxes next to any add-ons you don’t need.

    • Avoid running too many programs at the same time. If you’re browsing the internet while listening to music, editing a document, and chatting with a friend on IM, remember that all of these programs are using up a lot of valuable memory—and slowing your browser down. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, limit yourself to running only one or two programs at a time.

TIP: Some PC maintenance programs run system checks while you’re doing other tasks on
your PC, which takes up valuable resources and slows your computer’s performance. On the other hand, ActiveCare goes to work when your PC is on but not in use, giving you up-to-the-minute performance improvements without sacrificing speed.

iolo UptoSpeed

UpToSpeed™ is iolo's ongoing article series written by PC experts for everyday computer users. Each article is packed with easy tips and practical advice on the latest issues affecting computers to help you get the most out of your PC.






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