Probably one of the number one issues that is brought up to me is "Why is my internet so slow! It use to be so much faster!". Well dial-up or high-speed, everyone can be affected by internet "chug". So here are some quick recommendations and thoughts on how to keep your internet AND your computer running quickly and smoothly!
1) Confirm that the computer itself is operating at maximum efficiency. It is very common for computers, mainly those using the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, do become sluggish after as little as a few weeks of operation. This can make users think that their dial-up connection is extremely slow and can become an incentive to convert to a more expensive broadband connection. Sluggish computers are, of course, less noticeable with broadband.
2) Empty browser's caches and cookies, which are directories that the browser uses to retain copies of previously visited web pages. When these caches become very large, they can consume considerable space on a Hard Drive and thus slowing down your computer's operation, including its ability to displaying web pages.
**CCleaner is a free PC optimization tool. It combines a system cleaner that removes unused and temporary files from your system and also a fully featured registry cleaner! CCleaner allows Windows to run faster, more efficiently and gives you more hard disk space. The best part is that it's Small, Fast and Free!
*Here is a direct ink to it's download page: http://preview.tinyurl.com/bvtbj
*Here is a link to instructions on how to install and use CCleaner: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ngh4pc
3) Use a fast web browser. There are large differences in the speeds at which browsers render web pages; a browser is rendering when it's interpreting the web site's "geek" code and converting to a form which we see as a beautiful web page. The fastest is said to be closely between FireFox 3.5 and Google's Chrome web browser. Also, the newer the version of these browsers, generally the faster you'll go. Reason for this include improvements in coding and in how previously visited pages are stored in the browser cache. Internet Explorer should be avoided because it is the slowest of the major browsers, because it has inferior security and because it lacks other advanced features. FireFox and Chrome can be downloaded from the Internet at no cost and are available for use with most major operating systems.
*Here is a link to download FireFox: http://preview.tinyurl.com/y3prgo
*Here is a link to instructions on how to install FireFox: http://preview.tinyurl.com/5keeym
4) Use tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing is an innovation built into advanced browsers such as FireFox and Chrome that allows multiple pages to be opened at a time in which appear as different pages in a single web browser window. Each of these pages is easily accessible by clicking the appropriate tab along the top of the window. This can be much more convenient than having to open each page in a separate browser window when it is desired to have a number of pages open simultaneously. Furthermost, it can also speed up the web surfing by making it more convenient to be downloading other web pages while another page is being read.
5) Avoid unnecessary browser plug-ins, which are downloadable software that is designed to "add functionality" to your web browser. Plug-ins can substantially decrease web page rendering time because they allow additional data to be downloaded for many pages or is trying to consistently update "sibling" applications. Perhaps the most notorious example is Adobe Flash, which is used for moving images.
6) Turn off pop-up windows. These unrequested windows, which are usually used for advertisements, consumes bandwidth and can slow down the rendering of web pages. They are also a nuisance because the user has to click them to close them. The ability to turn off pop-up windows is a major feature of advanced browsers such as FireFox, Chrome and Safari; it was not available on Internet Explorer as of early 2006.
7) Turn off web page images. This is probably not desirable for most people, but for those who are interested solely in text, it can speed up the loading of web pages considerably, particularly those which contain numerous advertisements or other images. With the FireFox browser, for example, this is accomplished by clicking on the Edit menu to open the Preferences panel, clicking on the Web Features icon and then removing the check mark from the Load Images check box. Finally, click the OK button at the bottom of the panel.
8) The last and best solution is to optimize the performance of the computer itself. Several causes of sluggish performance are most notably caused by:
- A full, or nearly full, hard disk drive (HDD) & a lack of defragmentation.
- An older computer with a slow microprocessor with limited memory
- The presence of viruses or other malware in the system.
**Typically, the first of these is the easiest to correct; this can be accomplished by removing little-used files and programs. However, malware can be "in-the-wild" per-say for up two weeks or more before being identifiable by your Anti-virus software. So there is small possibility that there might be something in there that just can't be seen for found yet; worse case scenario of course.
Additional Software Recomendations:
Applocations were picked for the effeciency, effectivness and low impact on the user's system performance.
Avira’s AntiVir Personal Anti-Virus:
Avira AntiVir Personal - FREE Antivirus is a reliable free antivirus solution, that constantly and rapidly scans your computer for malicious programs (such as viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, hoaxes, worms, dialers etc.), monitoring every action executed by the user or by the operating system and being able to react promptly when a malicious program is detected. Avira AntiVir Personal is a comprehensive, easy to use antivirus program, designed to offer reliable free of charge virus protection.
Detects and removes Trojans, Worms, Spyware, and other malicious programs.
Repairs damage left by malware
Internet surfing tracks erased with TrackSweep
Incremental updates for faster downloads
Efficient computer resource footprint
Free software updates throughout license duration
Free support from worldwide security volunteer network
Safer Networking’s Spybot Search & Destroy:
Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is also absolutely free.
Why use this defragger instead of the standard Windows defragger?
Extremely easy to use.
Optimized for daily use.
Several strategies of disk optimization.
Directories are moved to the beginning of the disk.
Reclaims MFT reserved space after disk is full.
Maintains free spaces for temporary files.
Can defragment very full hard drives.
Can defragment very large files.
Can defragment individual directories and files.
Can be run automatically with the Windows Scheduler.
Can be used from the commandline (DOS).
Can be used as a screen saver.