Now lets have a look at your software, and this is where the fun starts. A lot of internet users eyes tend to glaze over when you start talking about browsers, firewalls and spyware, so I will keep this as simple as possible. A greater majority of internet users have Microsofts Internet Explorer installed as their browser program (for surfing the net) and often have no idea that other browser programs are available to them.
A good place to start is by checking all of your broadband connection hardware. Sometimes something as simple as a faulty cable can knock the wind out of your broadband sails. Your broadband router or modem should be connected as close as possible to the socket where the broadband connection enters your home, the shorter the cable, the faster the connection speed. Increases of up to 3Mbps can be achieved by using a shorter cable.
Most spyware, pop-ups and trojan programs that interfere with and slow down your computer system are tailored specifically for Internet Explorer, so switching to an alternative browser program like Mozillas Firefox can solve a lot of those issues for you. Scanning with tools like Stephen Goulds Cleanup to get rid of unwanted cookies and files, and Advanced WindowsCare V2 Personal which helps you to manage which programs start automatically when windows boots up, are both alternatives to changing your web browsing program.
Firewalls can be a mixed blessing too. On one hand they protect your system from a whole host of very real threats to your computer system, but if installed incorrectly or if the wrong settings are selected, they can really hamper your broadband speed. If in doubt check the suggested settings in the help feature of the firewall or on their website. Keeping your computer free of unwanted data and programs and using the error-checking and defragmentation features (Right click on your C Drive in My Computer and select Properties, then Tools) to optimise your computers running speed, will all help with a smoother broadband connection.
Have you ever wondered if you are getting the fastest broadband speeds you are entitled to? In most cases performing a broadband speed test will show that your ISP is doing the right thing by you, and you may need to look a little closer to home for things that might be slowing you down.
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