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How to Improve Your Internet Connection Speed

Even if you have the fastest Internet service on the planet, it's not going to make a difference if your Internet connection is having problems. Whether your access has slowed down or lost connectivity completely, there are a few things you can try yourself to fix it before calling in for a service call - which can take days or weeks.

What causes slow Internet speed? There are numerous factors affecting your connection speed.

The bandwidth your ISP is giving you, any congestion factor, the server load on the web site you're accessing, your local computer networks settings, your web browser settings, and other variables, including spyware which can attach itself to your Internet processes.

Obviously, you don't have control over all of the factors. However, adjusting the settings on your computer can have a significant impact on your speed. Most of these settings are locked or hidden within Windows, but they can be fully optimized with an Internet optimizer.

No Internet Connection. Having Trouble Finding That Site?

Having trouble - There is no Internet connection

Poorly optimized settings is a major cause of Internet connection problems. If you're having trouble connecting, keep reading to learn how to solve those stubborn connection problems, timeouts, and slow sluggish speed.

Learn How to Increase Internet Speed

Improve your Internet speed using our easy steps. You'll speed up Internet surfing, download speeds, and accelerate your overall online performance with our helpful guide.

Step 1

Speed up Internet in Windows 10, 8, and 7

How to use the Windows Internet Notification Icon to...
"Diagnose and Repair" and "Troubleshoot problems"

Do you have the "Internet Notification Icon" displayed at the bottom right of your computer screen near the clock? If not, you are missing out on being able to easily speedup a slow Internet connection with the "Diagnose and repair" option within Windows XP/ Vista and "Troubleshoot problems" within Windows 10, 8, and 7.

It's also a valuable tool to keep you informed as to how well your Internet connection is working and whether or not your computer is accessing the Internet - great for catching spyware and viruses in the act. In Windows XP/Vista, the blue animation within the icon signifies Internet activity.

Internet Notification Icon

Repair Internet errors and speedup with the Internet Notification Icon.
Windows 10, 8, 7 - Use your mouse to hover over the time/date at the bottom right of your computer screen. Then right-click and select "Customize notification icons".

If "Network" is listed, choose "Show icon and notifications" - The Internet icon should now appear.

If "Network" is not listed, click on "Turn system icons on or off" at the lower left of the window, then select "On" for Network and click "OK". Now choose "Show icon and notifications" - The Internet icon should now appear.

Windows Vista - Use your mouse to hover over the Windows logo button at the bottom left of your computer screen. Then right-click and select "Properties". Click on the "Notification Area" tab. Within the "System icons" section, place a check within the box next to Network. The Internet icon should now appear.

Windows XP - Click the Windows "Start" button at the bottom left of your computer screen. Then select "Control Panel" and open "Network Connections", then hover your pointer over either "Local Area Connection" (if you have a wired connection) or "Wireless Network Connection" (if you are using wireless) then right-click and select "Properties".

When the property box opens, make sure there are checks in both of the two boxes near the bottom that read "Show icon in notification area when connected" and "Notify me when this connection has limited or no connectivity". The Internet icon should now appear in the task bar next to your system clock.

Speedup Internet with the "Diagnose and Repair" (in XP and Vista)
or "Troubleshoot problems" (within Windows 10, 8, and 7)

Many times an Internet connection will stop working completely or slowly crawl with intermittent pauses and overall sluggish behavior. This can sometimes be solved with this simple and easy fix.

Windows XP and Vista, "Diagnose and Repair" - Hover your mouse pointer over to the Internet notification icon at the bottom right of your screen and right-click, then select "Diagnose and Repair". Windows will perform a check and will attempt an Internet connection repair if needed.

Windows 10, 8, and 7, "Troubleshoot problems" - Hover your mouse pointer over to the Internet notification icon at the bottom right of your screen and right-click, then select "Troubleshoot problems". Windows will perform a check and will attempt an Internet connection repair if needed.

If this repair does not fix and speed up your connection, at least you have gained a valuable tool with the Internet notification icon. You can use it to monitor Internet access (XP and Vista) and easily view whether your connection is on or lost (XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10). Please continue to the rest of the steps in this article for other options that may help you improve your Internet speed.

Step 2

Accelerate Performance with Browser Updates

Regardless of the Internet browser you prefer, keeping it up to date will keep it as safe as possible from Spyware attacks and malicious code. Also the updated browser version may contain new speed enhancements to help you accelerate Internet surfing.

Many users turn off automatic updates because they want to have full control of programs accessing the Internet (like me) and often forget (that's me again) to update their browser on a regular basis. Here's how to update some of the common web browsers - Yes, I just updated mine and it was in dire need.

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer - Updates are included within "Windows Update". When you update Windows (we hope you do this automatically or at least check often) the Internet Explorer (IE) updates and/or new IE versions will be available.

Firefox - Select "Help", then choose " Check for Updates".

Google Chrome - Hover over and click the "Wrench" icon, then select "About Google Chrome". Your version number will be displayed along with an option to update Google Chrome manually.

If your browser is not listed, simply visit the browser's web site to locate the updating instructions or use your browser's "update" or "help" feature.

Step 3

Speedup by Cleaning Up Toolbars and Extensions

If you want to speedup Internet speed to the maximum... make sure your Internet browser is clean of unnecessary toolbars, plugins, or extensions.

Whenever you install software, demos, and other programs, there may be an automatically checked option that gives the software permission to install a toolbar within your Internet browser. Many users do not even notice the option and end up with a potentially speed-zapping toolbar.

Why do companies want to place toolbars on your PC? Some of the reasons may include... to track and record your web travels for commercial purposes, to display ads, or to keep a constant easy access link to their site within a prime area of your browser.

Not all toolbars are bad, some actually help you find information faster and may actually be helpful to your particular needs. Uninstall at your own discretion and if your not sure about a particular toolbar or extension, simply search your favorite search engine to see if you actually need the service provided. Check if there have been any complaints about Spyware, Internet speed reductions, or other problems.

Below, we show you how to disable and/or uninstall toolbars and extensions from within your browser in section 3a, while section 3b will show you how to uninstall toolbars completely from Windows.

Please note: Internet Explorer does not give you the option to uninstall from the browser. Since IE is integrated with Windows, you will need to use Windows uninstall programs and features to remove toolbars.

Important: Remember to check your favorite search engine for information on each toolbar, extension, or plug-in to make sure you are NOT removing something you actually use and want within your browser. Adobe's Flash Player and Microsoft's Silverlight are 2 plug-ins worth keeping since many web sites use them. When dealing with extensions and add-ons, the safest approach is to disable first, then simply re-enable if you experience any problems.

3a - Remove Toolbars from your Web Browser

Please note: "Disable" does NOT uninstall anything from your PC, although it will stop the program from running unless it is rogue Spyware (see Step 4 below).

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer - (Disable only - see section 3b to uninstall) Click "Tools", then select "Manage Add-ons". Make sure the menu on the left is on "Toolbars and Extensions", then click on any toolbar or extension listed to bring up the "disable or enable" function.

Firefox - Click "Tools", then select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" at the top menu. Click on any extension to be given the the option to "Disable" or "Uninstall".
Now move over click "Plugins" and select any plugin to get the option to "Disable". These may need to be uninstalled through Windows (see 3b below) if you want them completely off your PC.

Google Chrome - Click the "Wrench" icon, then select "Extensions". Simply click on the extension's "Disable" or "Uninstall" link.

If your browser is not listed, simply visit the browser's web site to locate the instructions to disable toolbars and extensions or use your browser's "help" feature.

3b - Remove Toolbars and browser extensions from Windows

Open your Windows "Control Panel" (Bottom left of screen - click "Start", then select "Control Panel")

Open the "Programs and Features" (Vista and 7) or the "Add or Remove Programs" (XP) and click the toolbar you would like to uninstall.

Next, click the uninstall button and if you're asked to remove saved personal settings etc., or if you wish to remove the program completely, select yes if you never plan to use the program again. If you have come to this point, you probable want a complete removal of the program... if that's not the case - see above (3a) to disable instead.

Step 4

Spyware and Viruses cause slow Internet Speed

If you surf the Internet, you may have spyware regardless of how careful you are about the web sites you visit and the files you download. Of course, dragging around any Spyware can slow your Internet speed to a crawl. Check for speed-reducing Spyware and Viruses with the various free deep scans available.

Warning: Running more than one Anti-Spyware and/or Anti-Virus program at the same time may lead to undesirable results such as your computer freezing.

Windows Defender - Already included with Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista, it is an excellent Anti-Spyware program. To find it, simply click your "Start" button (lower left of your screen) and search for "Windows Defender". Open it, then click "Check for Updates" if available and then use the "Scan" button to select a "Full Scan". The Spyware scanning process may take awhile. Use the recommended suggestions if something is found.

Free Online Virus / Spyware Scan - If you don't want to use Windows Defender or you just want a second and third opinion, here's a free online Virus and Spyware scan at the time of writing. If any infections are shown at the end of the scan, don't panic - sometimes false-positives will show up.

Run the name of the stated infection file through your favorite search engine to see what other people have discussed about it. Then you will be in a better position to determine if it really is something to be concerned with.

Trend Micro "HouseCall" Free Online Virus Scan.

Other Internet Help

All types of Internet connections can slow down for what appears to be no apparent reason. Just a few of the causes include misconfiguring your Internet settings through manual tweaking or by simply installing new software that changes things without your knowledge. An Internet optimizer program can bring back your online connection settings, while providing a serious jolt to speed up your Internet faster than before.

Author: SpeedupNewSpeedupNew (a collaborative effort by our team)
All of our writers have over a decade of experience reviewing software, tweaking, and just flat out enjoying their computers. We treasure our PC's just like you do. We're here to help you get the most out of your computer.

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