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How to Improve Internet Speed

Speed Up Your Browser and Compact Your Mail

Don’t know about you, but there is one particular thing that annoys me big time. That’s a slow and unresponsive browser.  I just hate it when the browser takes ages to load a page even on a high-speed fiber optic connection or worse - freezes on me. I’m sure you hate it as much as I do. Thankfully, it is possible to make your Web browser faster and more responsive with a handful of simple tweaks.

Internet Explorer

To tell you the truth, I was so annoyed with Internet Explorer that I had to ditch it long ago and start using Mozilla Firefox as my default browser. However, I still use Internet Explorer for websites that don’t work with Firefox or Chrome very well (yes, there still are lame sites like that). Thankfully, the newer versions of IE are better than the previous ones, and they can be tweaked and customized for better performance and usability.  So, let’s start tweaking!

Set your homepage to blank

If you don’t always use a specific page when you open your browser, it’s best to set it to blank. This will ensure that your browser snaps open. To change your homepage, go to ToolsInternet Options, find the item that refers to Homepage and select Use blank.

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Manage your cache

Just like any other browser, Internet Explorer makes heavy use of the cache. The cache is where your browser stores Temporary Internet Files. These files get downloaded to your computer when you visit Web pages and are supposed to speed up browsing whenever you visit the same website in the future. Anyway, that’s the theory. The reality is a bit harsher. While the cache is designed to speed up browsing, it can actually do quite the opposite and slow down Internet Explorer. On top of that, a bloated cache can take up tons of your disk space, which will decrease overall computer performance.

I’ve already described how to clean the cache in the PC cleanup chapter but here is a quick reminder:

1.       Open Internet Explorer and press Ctrl+Shift+Del
2.       Check the relevant checkboxes. I recommend selecting Temporary Internet Files, Cookies and History. Deleting cookies and browsing history will help you protect your privacy by removing sensitive information about your computer usage. It will also free up some additional space:
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3.       Click on the Delete button
4.       Close the browser

You can also configure Internet Explorer to delete Temporary Internet Files automatically every time you close the browser. This handy option is very easily enabled:

1.       Open Internet Explorer and click on the Tools button and select Internet Options

Windows 7:
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Windows XP:
increase internet speed
2.       Navigate to the Advanced tab
3.       Find the Settings list and scroll down to the Security section
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4.       Check the Empty Temporary Internet Files Folder When Browser is Closed option
5.       Click OK and you’re done


Decrease the size of your cache

By default, your Internet Explorer cache is too large. Decreasing its size will help you speed up your browser. Here is how it’s done:

1.       Click on the Tools button and go to Internet Options

Windows 7:
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Windows XP:
how to speed up internet connection
2.       Now go to the General tab
3.       Under Browsing history, click on the Settings button
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4.       In the window that appears, set the disk space to something like 50MB. Technically, you can set the cache size to as low as 8MB, but that will make the cache useless.
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5.       Click OK to apply the changes


Speed up your email client

Do you use an email client, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird? If you do, then you know how slow and unresponsive it can become. This usually happens because the email files (like Outlook PST files) get bloated and start taking up too much space. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to make your email client faster and more responsive.

The easiest way to decrease your PST file is to clear the Deleted Items folder (Trash in Thunderbird). To do that, simply right-click on the Deleted Items folder in Outlook or the Trash folder in Thunderbird and select the relevant option. Alternatively you could open the Deleted Items folder, press Ctrl+A to highlight all messages and then press Del to delete them.

Another, and more efficient, way to speed up your email client is to compact some folders. Compacting data files will free up tons of space and make your email client work faster as a consequence. Here is how it’s done:

Microsoft Outlook:

Click the File tab on the Ribbon, then click on Info in the menu on the left-hand side of the window Click Account Settings, then Account Settings again to open the “Account Settings” dialog box
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Now click the Data Files tab Select the data file you want to compact (the file name should end with .pst) Click Settings and then click on the Compact Now button to compact the file
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Click OK to return to Data Files Repeat this for any other PST files you find

Mozilla Thunderbird:

Thunderbird makes it really easy to compact your mail folders. All you need to do is open Thunderbird,  click on File and then select Compact Folders.

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Limit reservable bandwidth

And last but not least, a simple trick to speed up your overall Internet connection:

1.       Open Group Policy by clicking on Start – Run and typing gpedit.msc
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2.       Now expand the Administrative Templates and expand the Network branches
3.       Click on QoS Packet Scheduler
4.       Double-click on Limit Reservable Bandwidth and select the Enabled radio button
5.       Change Bandwidth limit (%) to 0
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6.       Click Apply and click OK. Reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.


We’ve covered lots more Internet Explorer and Firefox speedup tips in our ebook “Turbo Windows – the Ultimate PC Speed Up Guide”. Download it for FREE now!

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