Speeding up your internet connection

Originally written 4/7/04 Updated 9/19/07

Howdy one and all and a great big welcome to this weeks edition of The Weekly Geek. In this weeks fun filled and exciting edition I want to go over a few ways to speed up your internet connection. Everyone wants more speed from their internet connection, this weekly let’s go over one way to do that.

To test how fast you are connecting to the internet you can run a few programs and or links. Document all three sets of results, then perform the tweaks below and retest.

  1. www.Bandwidthplace.com/speedtest
  2. www.Dslreports.com/stest
  3. http://Us.mcafee.com/root/speedometer.asp

First of all, we are not going to use “Accelerator” programs that are available. I have used a few with mixed results and in the mix there were too many pitfalls. There are also “Download Accelerator” programs that only help when you are downloading information off of the internet, I have had decent results overall, and I will discuss these later.

There are two connection ways to increase speed, the first is to go from dial-up (the phone line) to high speed (Cable, Satellite or DSL) and the second is to get on board with the “high speed” dial-up like Juno’s “Speedband”. The latter only speeds up compressed pictures coming to your computer, not downloads or text and video so it is of minimal use but it is better than the standard dial-up and with Juno it is $14.95 per month while the slow AOL connection is $24.95 per month (these prices were from April 2004). September 2007 Juno is running a 12 month special of $9.95 per month.

Besides spending more, or less money (I pay $19.99 24.99 per month for DSL and could get a slower version for $14.95 per month) there are settings inside the different versions of Windows and internet browsers that will help with your internet connection speed.

The Windows setting are called TCP settings and the default set by your system is efficient, however here we go for optimized.

What we are going to do is increase the number of “data streams” that your browser can draw from. Browsers usually only draw two streams or less from the internet connection. This should enable you to browse much faster.

To begin:

  • Make sure all programs are closed and then click “Start | Run”.
  • Next type “regedit” in the run box, without the quotes and click OK.
  • Now backup your Registry by making sure “My Computer” is highlighted, Then select “File | Export”
  • Under the new windows “Save in” make sure “Local Disk C:” is selected
  • Under “Export Range” at the bottom, make sure the “All” radio button is selected
  • Under the file name type one in. I use the type of backup and date – RegBU100207 for Registry BackUp on October 2nd, 2007
  • Finally select the “Save” button.

To continue,

  • Expand the left hand column “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” then “Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion” by clicking on the plus signs on the left side of the screen.
  • Click on “Internet Settings” to view its contents.
  • Check the right-hand column for the following two lines (values): “MaxConnectionsPerServer” and “MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server” (that is per and the number one followed by an underscore and the number zero).
  • If these values are present,right-click on the first value (MaxConnectionsPerServer),
  • select Modify from the drop-down menu,
  • click Decimal, and set the Value data field to 10.
  • Repeat this process for the second value (MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server).
  • If these lines (values) are not listed, right-click on the white region of Regedit’s right-hand column,
  • click “New”, and then click “DWORD Value”.
  • Type in “MaxConnectionsPerServer” for the name of the new DWORD Value and press Enter.
  • The new value should now appear in Regedit’s right-hand column.
  • Right-click the new value and click on “Modify”.
  • Click “Decimal” and set the Value Data field to “10”, then click OK.
  • using MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server as the new DWORD Value name instead of MaxConnectionsPerServer and also enter “10” in the data field.
  • You are done.

Close the Registry and re open Internet Explorer to test you internet speed.

Another tweak involves the use or non use of a proxy server. If you use high speed internet (cable or DSL) and do not use a “Proxy Server” then you should make sure this feature is turned off. With Internet Explorer open choose “Tools | Internet Options”. Select the “Connections” tab. Click “LAN Settings”. Deselect the check box labeled “Automatically detect settings”. Choose OK two times to close the dialog box and save your selection. Note: If Automatically detect settings is not marked, then you can just click Cancel. Now try to connect to the internet, if it will not connect you needed the proxy settings for one reason or another, go back and re check the box.

Note: I no longer use any download accelerator for downloading. Opera and FireFox have their own download mechanisms which have met or exceeded the add-on programs that I was using when this article was originally written.

Well, we have gone over using faster internet connections and how to do a little tweaking on your computer, next I want to cover “Download Accelerators”. There are more than a fistful of these programs, I can tell you from my personal testing that there are only a few that make a difference, also the biggest difference is on faster connections so with a dial-up you will see a less “dramatic” result but they are still worth the use. I use the following accelerators “Download Accelerator Plus” by Speedbit, “Fresh Download Manager” by Fresh Devices. Over the last month (April 2004) I have also been playing with “Star Download” and “Leechget”, both seem to be fine. Just download these programs, click on the installation file (leechget.exe for example) and follow the Wizard reading carefully BEFORE clicking the Next button.

Stay tuned next week for the next exciting and fun filled edition of The Weekly Geek. Until next time, keep your firewall up to date and have a Trojan free week.