The Internet has now become a part and parcel of the contemporary world, connecting a multitude of wired and wireless devices defying geographical barriers in near real-time speeds. Though the evolving communication technology boasts of high speed transfer of data, voices, and images; the average consumer is still being plagued by multiple connectivity issues.
This is very much the case with home users, who are usually seen waiting for the web pages to show up on their computer screens. A slow Internet connection may not have anything to do with the network at all. There could be a host of problems right on the system that could slow down speed of the machine itself, the net connectivity also being affected in the process.
Here are a few tips that can help improve web connectivity to enhance the web browsing experience.
Upgrade Outdated Hardware and Software
An outdated, but still functional personal computer may not really match up to the Internet speeds of the current generation. Increasing the RAM capacity and the hard disk space, improved graphics cards as well as latest network cards may be valuable additions that could improve the speed of the Internet connection considerably. However, it is wise to compare the costs involved before planning any kind of upgrade. It is also important that the software on the computer is upgraded on a regular basis.
Although anti-virus software do cause a resource strain on the PC, it is advisable to have an appropriate latest light-weight version installed to detect and clean viruses and malware, which may cause connectivity issues.
Limit Background Applications
Also limit the number of applications running in the background while connecting to the Internet, as these applications vie for the local resources, thereby slowing down the system to some extent. Several start-up processes stay active until the system is shut down, though not in use.
Opt for Caches
Cached content does make an impact on the Internet speeds as a copy of the content is stored locally on the system during the process. It basically means that the browser will fetch the web page from the Internet only if the content of the page has been updated, since it was last accessed from a given system. Effectiveness of the cache depends on the disk space available on the system and also the kind of details that need to be cached.
Choose Fast Browsers
The selection of Internet browsers too makes some bit of difference in the overall Internet connection speeds, with Google Chrome and Firefox proving to be the faster browsers than the more conventional, Internet Explorer. Limited add-ons and tool bars to meet the basic browsing requirements not only avoid the clutter on the screen but it also improves the speed. Several active tabs within a single browser instance or multiple browser windows are also bound to slow down the connectivity speeds.
Clearing temporary Internet files, browsing history and downloads on a regular basis is bound to speed up browsing, as the browser will now be set to its default setting, without having to build in user preferences into its settings.
Limit Automatic Updates
Almost all applications or software now offer automatic updates to help users keep pace with the latest software releases, and enjoy the benefits of defect fixes or new features. Any such setting will automatically run an update in the background while the system is connected to the Internet, causing the other connections from the machine to slow down a great deal. Opting for manual installation can save precious bandwidth for more critical tasks on hand.
Depending on the exact use of the Internet, selectively disabling flash will also improve web connectivity speeds. The above mentioned tips only help to optimise the use of existing bandwidth and will in no way increase the available bandwidth!
Lastly, do carry out a speed test and contact the ISP, if the speeds do not match the promised performance levels.
Nathan Morgan has been an IT professional for 14 years.