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Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato
PLEASE - Do not give control of your computer to ANYONE unless you are absolutely certain who they are! For more information see our Self Help > Scams!
New to computers?
Our updated index may be useful.
New to computers? Our updated index may be useful.
In this newsletter
- Internet speed issues?
Common complaint these days.
But let's see if it's actually slow Internet. Maybe it's just a slow computer, not the Internet. Do some speed testing. http://speedtest.xfinity.com/ or search Google for speed test. You should test out within about 15% of what you pay for, but if not, keep reading. It still may not be your Internet Service Provider's (ISP) fault...
Downloads tests under 6 Mb will certainly be problematic especially with multiple devices connected, during large downloads or streaming videos. While service is getting better in rural areas, there are still a lot of under developed areas. Other than complaining to the provider, there's nothing you can do about that problem.
Upload speeds are always a fraction of download. Rural, expect 4 Mb or less. Some areas still less than 2 Mb.
Often we find performance issues are the fault of the computer, so first:
- Does the computer take a long time to initially start up?
- When clicking on an application icon, does it take too long for app(s) to open?
- Take a long time when going from one website to another?
If so, maybe it is the computer! Try cleaning things up before calling your provider. See our Clean it up page.
Other computer related to consider:
- Maybe it's infected.
- You have excessive CPU activity.
- You have excessive hard drive activity.
- You have a McAfee Antivirus problem or another misbehaving application (see MSConfig).
- You have Microsoft's EMET.
- There are Browser add-ons/extensions causing problems.
After eliminating computer problems, perhaps you really do have an Internet issue.
Do you have another computer or other devices also on the Internet? Maybe they are constantly drawing on your bandwidth. Try shutting those off and retesting the speed.
From this this CNet article.
You're being throttled by your carrier. This is increasingly common with the reinvention of "unlimited" data plans with fine print to read. If you exceed a certain amount in a single billing cycle, your carrier reserves the right to throttle your speeds until the next billing month.
Interference, in most cases, is out of your hands. Many electronics around your house, such as Bluetooth devices, smart home gadgets and even microwaves, operate around the same 2.4GHz frequency as your router.
You have an outdated plan that delivers slow speeds. If you haven't changed your service for a few years, call your internet service provider and check that you're on the best plan for your personal needs.
From our January '15 newsletter:
We recently had a computer in the shop that was causing all of the other computers on the customer's network to run slow. Initially we though it was infected but after some testing we found Dropbox was the culprit! So if you are using some sort of online sharing or backup system, you may want to check the application's options for time of day and/or bandwidth adjustments.
For Dropbox, we changed the bandwidth settings to limited. 50k download and 50k upload which resolved the problem. In Window's system tray, right click Dropbox, click the "gear" then select preferences. In that window you will see the bandwidth options.
For other file sharing apps, look through the menu (options, settings or preferences) for a similar bandwidth setting.
Long ago we discussed changing your computer or router DNS settings away from the provider to an independent. We have always recommended Google's DNS, but after reading this ZDNet article, we're giving CloudFlare's DNS settings a whirl. So far we're not sure about any speed increase but we just changed so we'll give it time.
IPv4: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
- Old/outdated modems or routers.
- Phone line/network wiring issues.
Avoid temptation! If you soak a device in liquid, turn it off and allow it to dry overnight, maybe with a little help from a non-heated air supply. If the liquid is something other than water, you will probably will have other problems.
Even the almighty Google gets tricked and hosts bad site links on occasion! The article.
Don't open/work on files the reside on flash drives. They fail just like all other drives and when they do, recovery is much more difficult than from mechanical drives. Instead of working directly on that type of media, copy the file of interest to your Desktop. Edit, save then copy back to the flash drive.
If you use Family Tree, are having odd problems and it is a Dell computer, uninstall Dell Backup/Restore. Thanks, Jill
YouTube shooting incident. Apparently not the gun manufacturer's fault this time, now it the Internet. (OMG!)
Leaving you with
From Al Lowe
The furniture store keeps calling me, asking me to come back. But all I wanted was that one night stand.
HP has multiple items with the same serial number? How stupid! In this section rather than opinion as we find this ridiculously funny.
Thanks for all the help over these years, Jeff...