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Wireless Communication Technology

Blogs Home >> Wireless Communication Technology >> 'Boost Your Broadband Speeds'
Boost Your Broadband Speeds

Broadband Connections and Windows Computers
Every computer that ships with Windows can be "tweaked" to improve performance on broadband internet connections. The default settings for Windows is tuned for dialup, NOT for broadband.

This will benefit you whether you're using a cable, DSL, or Sprint's Mobile Broadband service. EVERY computer can boost its speeds with this tweak.

Before we go through those steps with you, you should run some speed tests to make sure our tips and suggestions provide a boost in speed. And although we've always seen improvements in performance, we have to say that you should follow these suggestions at your own risk. We can't be held responsible if this causes problems for you. This will benefit all versions of Windows PRIOR to Vista. Vista no longer uses the Registy to manage this feature and instead is tuned automatically.

With that said, this is a safe tweak if you follow the instructions, and if your computer hasn't been tweaked already, you will improve your speeds, so let's get started. Go to http://www.dslreports.com . This site covers more than just "DSL", but issues with all types of broadband connections. They are not associated with any Internet Service Provider. They offer free tools, forums and more for broadband users. You can set up a free account with them and keep a history of your speed tests. The free account is not necessary, but it is handy. We're going to direct you to a couple of tools that you'll use first.

Speed Tests:
Click the "tools" link in their menu, then click "Speed Tests". On the next page choose the "Flash 8 plugin based speed test". If you don't have Flash installed, they'll give you a link to download it. Flash is used in a LOT of websites so we suggest you install it if you don't have it already (and it's free).

Once you're on the Flash Speed Test page you'll see a list of possible servers that you can use to test your connection. Choose the one that's nearest to you and has user slots available. Click on that server and start your test. Don't use any other internet services while you're testing your speed (i.e., don't surf other sites in the background, don't check email, etc.). That will begin your speed test with a handy speedometer.

There are three performance item results:
1. Latency - Time in milliseconds between your clicked request and a response from the server.
2. Download Speed
3. Upload Speed

Make a note of the results. If you opened an account with DSLReports.com and are logged in, your results will be stored for your review later.

Run it again! You'll notice that there are variations between the 1st and 2nd reports. This will always be the case. We like to run three reports and take the average and suggest you do the same.

Now you have a good idea of your current average speeds.

Tweak Test:
Click the "Tools" menu, and this time choose "Tweak Test". This will lead to a test page that requires Java. If you don't have Java installed, follow the link they provide to install the "SUN" version of Java (better and safer than the Microsoft version). When the tool is ready, it'll display a "Start" button. Click that to begin the test. The test takes about 20 seconds. When it's complete, the "Results" button will become active, so click on it. On the next screen provide info on your connection. For Sprint's mobile broadband, choose "wireless" on the first box. "3100" in the second box, your Operating System, and "Normal" Connection. Then click "Recommend".

The results page will show a lot of info. You should also print this page for reference. Now focus on the "Notes and Recommendations" box. If your computer would benefit from a "tweak", the recommended "RWIN" changes will be displayed there...usually two numbers (a low and high setting) will be suggested. If your computer is already tuned for broadband, the response will say, "Looking good", and you shouldn't make any changes.

Otherwise, below that recommendation you'll find a link to "Dr TCP", a free standalone application that does not require any installation. Click that link, then select the "exe" download. Download and save DrTCP to your desktop.

Close your internet connection and other applications. Launch Dr TCP from your desktop. Select your Sprint "adapter" in the drop down box. If the "TCP Receive Window" box is blank, that means your computer is set to Windows default setting (for dialup), and that's what you want to change. Enter the first recommended setting from the tweak test. If the test recommended changing your "MTU", change that in DrTCP as well. Don't change any other settings unless you know what you're doing. Click Save and Exit. Reboot your computer. Connect to the internet, go back to DSLReports.com, and run another set of Speed Tests, and record your results. You should see some improvement in speed.

If you're happy with the results, you're done! If you want to try to improve speeds even more, try the next recommended RWIN setting by repeating the steps...disconnect from the internet, close applications, launch Dr. TCP, make the change, reboot, then test your speeds again. If they suggest changes to your MTU settings, you can make that change in DrTCP as well.

We see positive results from this 99% of the time. And remember this benefits you on ANY broadband connection. Most people simply don't know about this performance tweak, so if you want to impress your friends and family, tell them about your visit to the "Doctor", then pass this along to them.

Hungry for more? There are copious data on tweaking in the FAQ page, including how to revert back to default settings, if you ran into problems:
http://www.dslreports.com/faq/tweaks.

Best of luck with your broadband connection!

Posted on Friday, Nov 16, 2007 2007 11:52:21 by Jerry Asher
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