Paying for broadband service and then struggling with a sluggish connection is a very frustrating experience. It?s also a common one, as any broadband expert will tell you. The most common question they field is, how do I increase Internet speed? What?s interesting, however, is that the solutions tend to be local. So before calling your provider for a service call, try these 10 local steps to increasing speed on the Internet.
1. Protect against viruses.
Install antivirus software. If you own Windows, you can install Microsoft Security Essentials free. Keep it active and updated, and this will prevent sluggishness caused by malicious code.
2. Protect against spyware.
Spyware isn?t as malicious as viruses are, but it can be just as detrimental to Internet speed and more so in some cases. Microsoft Windows Defender is a free program that monitors your computer, protects against threats and can even remove existing threats. Since browsers are the primary source of spyware, Defender monitors as you surf as well but without interfering with surf speed.
3. Increase the browser cache.
Whenever a browser fetches a webpage, it stores images and other resources in the cache. If those items are already in the cache, the page loads and displays faster. Most browser caches are small by default, so you can greatly improve speed over a large array of sites by increasing this capacity.
4. Disable graphics and other features while browsing.
As a temporary solution, disable graphics and other advanced features, including browser plugins. This will reduce necessary bandwidth, so pages will load and perform faster and smoother.
5. When sending emails, reduce signature sizes, and use Contact Groups.
Most users who experience Internet speed problems experience them worst when sending emails. Keep email sizes as small as possible by avoid images and large signatures. If sending many emails, use Contact Groups or a comparable feature because this reduces bandwidth overhead for each individual email.
6. Clear disk space.
When hard drives are at or near capacity, they do not perform efficiently. For optimal performance, you should maintain at least 10% free space, but the more the better. Clear disk space in order to get below that threshold. If you struggle to do so, consider upgrading to a larger drive.
7. Maintain healthy drives.
When using mechanical hard drives, use a CHKDSK utility regularly to find and repair errors. If your HDD is S.M.A.R.T. capable, log into your BIOS regularly and check the status reports.
8. Maximize disk access.
Regularly uninstall applications you no longer need. Run a disk defragmenter on a regular basis. It is best to use one that runs automatically when it senses that the computer is idle.
9. Upgrade your operating system and all drivers.
Always upgrade to the newest drivers and versions of applications as they become available. This is especially true when it comes to your OS. Modern apps accessing outdated functions can cause sluggishness across the board.
10. Add memory or use ReadyBoost.
Along with the upgrade the OS and upgrading/cleaning your hard drives, you may want to upgrade your memory. Opening the case can be a scary proposition for some, so ReadyBoost is an alternative that allows you to use a USB flash card to boost system memory.
About Author: This is a guest post by Ralph Johnson, who writes for Broad Band Expert where you can find great deals on internet tv phone.