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Top Windows Vista Internet Speed Tweaks

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Eric Stallsworth•updated: 11/4/2009

If you’re unhappy with the current internet connectivity using a Windows Vista OS, the following Vista internet speed tweaks can help you a great deal in significantly improving the internet speed and in turn enhancing your web browsing experience within few minutes.

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    Overview

    Slow internet connectivity may be a result of number of reasons such as a resource-consuming anti-virus, old DNS servers, presence of viruses, spyware, malware and other malicious programs on the system and a host of other reasons. So, some of the major issues are discussed upon, in this article.

    Your ISP may claim lightening fast speeds, but the bitter reality is that you’ll face a bottleneck on internet speed with age-old DNS servers. Don’t worry, you don’t need to rent or buy a DNS server of your own, as there are open source DNS servers available at your disposal. OpenDNS is one of the best free DNS server that enhances your web browsing experience and gives you additional controls such as setting preferences, barring selected websites, and more.

    The below-mentioned Vista internet speed tweaks can help you in boosting up the speed of your terribly slow internet connection or improving the speed of moderate connections.

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    Get Rid of Bulky Anti-Virus and Security Programs

    Remember, anti-viruses, firewalls and other security programs can considerably decrease the internet speed, especially if you’re using Windows Vista OS.

    In particular, Norton 2006, 2007, 2008 and all the latest versions of McAfee anti-virus protection programs are known to seriously hamper your network speeds. So, you may want to get rid of them and install lighter and efficient security programs like Avira, or AVG.

    Note: This tweak will not only improve internet speed but also overall performance of the system, because programs like McAfee, Norton, Symantec and the likes of them are pretty heavy on system resources too! Hence, they slow down the system as a whole, and it is ideal to get rid of them.

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    Miscellaneous Tweaks

    You may start off with a complete scan of your system, and updating your drivers. Next, you should disable firewalls (if any) and test your internet speed without enabling any kind of port filtering. Now, delete cookies, temporary internet files and clear history.

    It is expected that with these simple steps your internet speed should increase significantly, provided there aren’t any other issues that may be slowing down your internet speed.

    Sometimes, media players or software like iTunes, uTorrent, and the likes of them may initiate lot of data transfer process in the background, which may terribly hamper your browsing experience.

    Furthermore, Phishing Filter may also cause slow-down in internet speed, so just disable it and see the difference. You may also perform a system defrag to clean the PC. There are many more things that you can do, in order to boost up your internet speed.

    Note: These tweaks are quite generic, but following all the steps will definitely enhance your browsing experience to a good extent.

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    Wireless Tweaks

    If you can get a wired internet connection then there could be nothing better than that! But, when you use a wireless router, you must be careful about the inter-operability of the OS, and the router.

    By default, IPv6 has been set as default on Vista, but same is not the case with older wireless routers implemented with IPv4 protocol. So, there’s a mismatch resulting in trouble. You can follow these simple steps to resolve the issue –

    Start -> Network -> Network and Sharing Center -> “Manage Network Connections.”

    You should be able to find a wireless connection that isn’t able to connect to any network – right-click -> select “Properties.”

    Here you should see both IPv6 and IPv4 options enabled – so it is time to uncheck IPv6, click OK and reboot!

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    Use the Reserve Bandwidth

    You may not be aware of the fact that 20% of your available bandwidth has kept secured as “reserve” by Microsoft to be able to accommodate certain applications like Windows Updates.

    The reserve bandwidth is known as Quality of Service reserve, or QoS Reserve Bandwidth Limit. This can be adjusted by editing the registry entries, here’s what you need to do

    Go to Start -> type “regedit“-> navigate to path: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows”

    Now, create a new key by right clicking, and name it as “Psched“. On the right side right click once more and create a new “DWORD” entry, and save it as “NonBestEffortLimit”. Set its value to zero and exit.

    By following these steps, the reserve bandwidth is made available for regular usage, which will in turn boost up your internet connectivity and improve the browsing speed.

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    More Help

    You may also want to take a look at some of the good Vista tweaks to enhance its performance.

    To tweak with Vista network settings refer to this link

    Turning off excess security features can also help -- so refer to this article, which covers details of the process.