You’ve probably thought to yourself, “How fast is my Internet service? You’ve probably also wondered, “How can I make my Internet connection even faster than it already is without spending any money?”
Often, people are so happy with how much faster and convenient their new High Speed Internet is compared with old fashioned dial-up that they never think to make sure they’re getting all the speed they are paying for. I’m going to show you how to make sure you’re getting every ‘bit’ (pun intended) of Internet performance you’re paying for!
Help My Internet Connection!
We have prepared our own speed test for you to check your speeds. Then you can ask yourself, “Do I need my Internet connection to be faster?”
If you have a bill or contract agreement available from your cable provider, see what Internet speed you are paying for. There should be a reported upload speed (maximum speed at which data is sent) and a reported download speed (maximum speed of data being received). You can also call them to get this information.
Most speed tests will allow you to compare your tested speed against the state and national averages, as well as against other people with the same provider as you. Be sure to test your speed at different times of the day as well, and be aware that the results may vary quite a bit.
Now that you’ve determined your average Internet speed, here are four free things you can do to boost the speed of your Internet connection right now:
Make Firefox Pipeline: Start Firefox. On the address bar, type “about:config” without the quotes and hit enter. In the Search box, enter “network.http”, again without the quotes. You will be presented with a long list of configuration entries that start with “network.http.” Scroll through the list until you find the entry labeled “network.http.pipelining” and right click that entry. Select Toggle from the dropdown menu that appears. Next, look for “network.http.proxy.pipelining” and set that value to true. Finally, find “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” and right click the entry. In the dropdown menu that appears, select “Modify” and change the value to something between 30 and 50. These changes will make Firefox load even image-intensive web pages at least 100-percent faster.
Tell Firefox to quit delaying: By default, Firefox waits a second or two before acting on new information and requests for action. You can eliminate this delay by adding a configuration entry telling Firefox to delay for zero (0) seconds before processing any new information and requests. Right click anywhere in the open about:config window and select New Integer. Give it the name “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and give it a numerical value of zero (0). Your browser will not delay when processing requests.
TweakTester: By default, Windows sets something called the “Receive Window” (sometimes referred to as RWIN) to a value much too low for today’s modern High Speed Internet demands. By changing this low default value to a specified larger number, your Internet performance should improve. To determine what value your “Receive Window” should be, use the free Tweak Tester utility.
The tester utility loads automatically in the page. If you do not see the screen shown above, you may not have Java installed. (Java is free and easily installed.) Install Java then repeat this step.
Next, click “Start” on the Tweak Tester tool and wait while it sends data to your PC. Once complete, the “Results” button will become clickable. When this happens, please click the “Results” button.
The next screen is going to ask you what kind of High Speed Internet access you have (Cable, DSL, etc.), what download speed you are paying for, what operating system you use and what your connection type is. In the example below, we have selected “Cable” as our High Speed Internet service, 10 Mbps (megabits per second) as our speed, Windows XP as our operating system and our connection as normal.
You will be presented with three sets of results: Your Tweakable Settings, Test Download, and ICMP. Since the data is very technical, pass over it and look at box number 4: Notes and Recommendations. In the Notes and Recommendation box any specific changes the test finds as beneficial will be listed.
Item one, in our example above, recommends we choose an RWIN between 94900 and 251120. That requires a small, free program they offer called DRTCP. Click on the “download/use DRTCP” link to download it.
Run DRTCP and select your network card (not your dial-up modem or your 1394 adapter) from the drop down box located at the bottom of the DRTCP window under “Adapter Settings,” as shown in the example below.
Please note: If your cable modem is plugged directly into your PC with a USB cable, be sure to select your cable modem from the drop-down list instead.
Next, enter the highest recommended RWIN value next to “TCP Receive Window,” ensure that “Window Scaling” is set to “Yes” and then click the “Save” button, as shown in the example below.
A window will appear confirming your settings have been saved. Click OK, then close the DRTCP program and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
When your computer restarts, rerun the Tweak Tester again. You should see no recommendations this time.
Change Network DNS Settings: DNS stands for Domain Name Services and is a service that your computer requires in order to convert the easy to remember addresses we use for websites (such as DigitalLanding.com) to the IP numbers the Internet really uses. Normally, your system uses those provided by your ISP, but using the servers at openDNS.com is much better.
1. From Control Panel (Classic View/All Items) right click Network and select Properties
2. Next right click Internet Protocol and select Properties
3. Select “Use alternate DNS”
4. Input the following: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
5. Click Ok and Close
You should see a marked improvement after following these easy steps, and you can stop wondering, “How can I speed up my Internet connection!?!” The changes are permanent, unlike the air in your tires, so now you can focus on enjoying every ‘bit’ of High Speed Internet service that you are paying for!
Photo Credit: Éole