Improve Internet Speed:

Three of the busiest buzz words in the computer industry are smaller, cheaper, and faster.  The first computers would have dwarfed the computer you use today, if it didn’t dwarf your entire house!  Advanced technologies have certainly made computers smaller and that’s made them more affordable to a larger market, too.

The everyday computer user must rely on the manufacturers and developers to address the desire for smaller and cheaper.  They also fret over the need for faster processing times, too, but the end user (you) can influence computer speed, too.

The most obvious starting point in the quest to improve internet speed is to compare speeds between the internet service providers (ISPs) who service your area.  Different technologies produce different processing speeds so take your need for speed to the ISP that advertises the fastest service.

Dial-up service hooks your computer to your telephone line using a phone cord.  It’s the slowest means possible for connecting to the internet; so slow it is rapidly becoming obsolete as the internet picks up speed.  Chances are your local phone company also offers internet service using a more advanced technology, such as cable, DSL, or satellite service, that provides access at faster speeds.

Cable, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), and satellite internet services are much, much faster than dial-up but speeds vary according to geographic location, local population using the same service, and the capabilities of the individual ISP servicing your home.

Not all service types are available everywhere so it may be nice to do some comparison shopping but it also might not be possible, if there’s only one service in your area.  Regardless of ISP, you can help speed things up yourself.

Be aware also that the advertised connection speed may not be the actual connection speed you’ll use.  Modems and telephone lines can slow transmission if they’re not compatible with your ISP.  Using the computer during peak hours, when lots of other people are on the internet, too, can slow transmission rates.

Reduce screen clutter – Data comes constantly streaming through to the windows on your PC.  Close any extra windows not in use to divert all available bandwidth to just the page(s) you’re actually using while eliminating the waste of sending data to windows not being read.

Use the latest driver – A driver is a computer program that allows the ISP to communicate effectively with your computer.  Upgrades are constantly being developed so check with your ISP’s website to locate and download any upgraded drivers that run your internet service.

Use the latest version of your computer’s operating system (OS) – Software programs are also being constantly updated.  Most upgrades improve speed and many of them are free for the download.  Go to the home page of your computer company and search for downloads available for your computer.

Empty the cache – Go from the ‘start’ button at the lower left of your computer and follow the ‘settings’ and ‘my computer’ links to the cache settings.  The cache is a collection of data from internet pages you frequent.  Having this data stored in a cache on your computer speeds things up but too much data in your cache file can slow things down, especially when the cache is full of data from websites you rarely access.  Empty the cache and be prepared for slower page opening the first time you access your favorite sites again but know they’ll open much faster the next time, once the data is cached again.

Remove unused software programs – Computers come with many software programs (applications) already installed and ready to use.  Some of this stuff never gets used but your computer designates a certain amount of memory space to manipulate the program when and if you should ever decide to use the application.  You may have an app for whatever that is but if you don’t use it, lose it.  It’s slowing you down.

Get more RAM (Random Access Memory) – Don’t want to uninstall any applications?  Keep them all but think about getting more memory modules for your computer.  Data storage is only part of what a computer does.  Each program requires some RAM wiggle room to maneuver data so make sure there’s at least as much RAM as storage space.  Make sure your computer has elbow room, not just wiggle room.

Smaller, cheaper, faster – most of it must be left in the hands of the developers but our daily computer habits can and do affect speed.  The best ways to speed things along are to keep every app, including your OS, up to date and to keep computer clutter to a minimum.

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