Saturday, December 19, 2009, AM | 1 Comment
If you are running a small business online, you probably have broadband access to the Internet. You are paying big bucks for it. Sometimes, you come across a bottleneck when you try to download a website. That could be no fault of your own. The reason is you have no control over external website servers. They may have a lesser bandwidth than needed. Still, there are things you can do to somewhat speed up the download of a website at your end.
First of all know your speed
There are websites that will test the speed of your broadband. A drawback is that the speed-testing website may be at a huge distance from you. For example, you are here in the United States and the testing server is in some place like Australia. The information could come through satellite which is a lot slower than land or sea lines. Again, the lines may be fiber optics or copper or coax cable for that matter. Also, check your package bandwidth with your ISP.
A fiber line has a lot more channels than copper or cable so by default you have a lot less chances of a bottleneck. So, for a small business or individuals, I would not advise to spend a lot of money on testing your broadband connection. Ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if they provide such a service. Usually, their testing server would be a lot closer to you than others.
In any case, here are a few website that will test your connection.
- http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ has servers in California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, State of Washington, Texas and Washington D.C. Select the one closest to you.
- http://reviews.cnet.com/internet-speed-test/. After you click, on the left side, fill out the options you have with your ISP and click GO.
- http://bandwidthplace.com/. After you click, then Start. This server is located in Texas.
- http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest. After you click, then select the closest server to you.
I have tested each one and they all give different results for upload and download speed. You try them and see what you get.
Check the source – your computer
When surfing the Internet, you are downloading websites. Some are simple and do not require extra processing power at your end. However, most websites are loaded with a variety of graphics images. Not only will you need a faster CPU but more memory on your computer motherboard. A Web page is loaded into your computer’s memory. If there is not enough memory, some data is saved as a swap file on the hard drive. This can really slow things down, especially if you are running multiple applications.
Check your computer operating system manual for minimum CPU speed, memory, hard disk etc. Unless you play online games, you probably do not need a separate video card. The one that came with your computer is just good enough.
Clean the cache
The by-product, when you keep downloading a variety of websites, consists of temporary files, cookies, offline website data and such. You should frequently clean up your cache, browsing history, saved forms etc. unless for some reasons you need them. The cache should be cleaned up more often so that you always download a fresh copy of the website.
To clear cache in:
- Internet Explorer
Click Tools and Internet Options. On the General tab, click Delete Files (place a check mark next to Delete all offline content) and Clear History.
Click Edit and Preferences. Under Navigator, find History. Click Clear History. Under Advanced, click Cache. Click Clear Disk Cache.
- Apple Safari
Click Safari and Empty Cache. Reboot the computer.
Click Tools, Private data and check mark the options you want to delete and Click private data now.
Tweaking your settings might help
Your computer may not be tuned properly to take full advantage of your full connection speed. For those with high speed connections (faster cable networks, FiOS, etc), tuning your TCP (Transfer Control Protocol) stack is necessary if you wish to fully utilize the available bandwidth in one single download.
http://www.dslreports.com/tweaks tweak tester will monitor a test download and then suggest which settings you should modify, and why. Before changing any of your settings, I recommend you read the FAQ on the program at their website.
Another website that might help you in tweaking your operating system settings is http://www.pctipsbox.com/tweakui-for-vista-x64-too/. But before you do anything, try to understand their description of it and see what they do and why.
In a Nutshell
If you are still experiencing unusually slow speeds, you might have to call in an expert. Your ISP’s small-business tech support might have to come to your office to evaluate the situation. There may be an internal hardware issue (your router, modem, networking wires, etc.) causing the creeping service. The Internet is a system of countless networks. When delays occur, more often it may not be your fault.