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Windows 7 Network is Slow

written by: •edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 10/19/2010

Windows 7 networks are supposed to be faster as the latest operating system offers several features to control it. However, some users may experience a slow Windows 7 network connection. This article tells you what to do when your Windows 7 network is slow.

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    Windows 7 Network is Slow - Turn off Remote Differential Compression

    If your Windows 7 network is slow, the first recommendation from most techs will be to turn off Remote Differential Compression on the machines using that network. This may or may not work for you as it is mainly a DLL installed feature and is necessary for certain applications to run. If you feel your Windows 7 network is slow, you may opt to turn off Remote Differential Compression. If turning off the feature really offers you better speed, then it works for you. For others, it may create problems such as some applications not functioning or crashing. In this case, you can again turn on the Remote Differential Compression to avoid these problems.

    Before proceeding to guide you through turning off Remote Differential Compression when your Windows 7 network is slow, you should know about the feature. As per MSDN, Remote Differential Compression (RDC) allows data to be synchronized with a remote source using compression techniques to minimize the amount of data sent across the network. This means that RDC actually helps you make better use of the network bandwidth. However, sometimes it may clash with other components so you may try to disable it to gain speed on a Windows 7 network. To turn off RDC on Windows 7 Network, follow these steps:

    1. Open Control Panel.
    2. Click on Programs and Features.
    3. In the Programs and Features window, click on Turn ON/OFF Windows Features.
    4. When the list populates, click on Remote Differential Compression to deselect it.
    5. Click OK.

    Reboot your computer and see if there is any change in the speed of the network. I also recommend you check if all the applications that you normally use on the network are functioning properly. If the results are positive, you have a faster network. If you think turning off RDC is creating problems, you can follow the same steps above to turn the feature back on.

    The following section offers a few more tips so that you can speed up Windows 7 network.

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    Tips to Speed up Windows 7 Network

    First, check the Network Interface Card (NIC) configuration and the Network port configuration to make sure that they are synchronized properly. Sometimes the Windows 7 network is slow because one of these components is ill-configured. Also, if the auto negotiation between the NIC and network switch doesn't work properly, the NIC may use different settings that will still allow data flow but restricts its rate. Thus, to speed up your Windows 7 Network, the NIC configuration and Network port configuration should always be in sync.

    Another thing to try is that you can also disable autotuning. This helps in saving time on DNS and network discovery. To disable autotuning in Windows 7, open the command prompt (type cmd in Run dialog). In the command prompt, type the following:

    Netsh interface TCP set global autotuning=disabled

    You can check if the autotuning is disabled by typing the following:

    Netsh interface TCP show global

    It should show the value of Receive Window Auto Tuning Level as Disabled.

    One final thing to try is to clear the DNS cache. To clear the DNS cache, type in IPCONFIG /FLUSHDNS in the command prompt.

    These are some tips that help when your Windows 7 network is slow. If you have any more suggestions or tips, please share it with others using the comments section below.