If you're stuck on dial-up, you probably are open to anything to make it go a little faster. More and more websites now play colorful flash programs and stream audio and video clips that are sometimes impossible for dial-up to load—or at least not any time soon. Here are a few things that may help you maximize your online experience.
Minimize surfing. Keep your browsing to one, maybe two windows at a time. While your email homepage is loading, you can log into your bank account or read a news article. Depending on what you are trying to do, one window may work better. Close any tabs and pages that you are not using to avoid using any unnecessary bandwidth.
Use shortcuts. Create favorites or bookmarks of the pages you visit frequently to minimize extra clicks and load times. Some welcome screens and advertisements give you a "skip" or "close" link so you don't have to sit through it every time. Click the stop button at the top of the browser if don't need the whole page. If you see the link of the page you want, you don't need the rest of the website to load before clicking the link.
Manage necessary updates. Your anti-virus or Window's updates programs will automatically download updates as soon as you connect to the Internet everyday—unless you have changed the settings. Schedule updates at a time that you aren't trying to view web pages, or connect to the Internet half an hour before you are ready to start using it to give the updates a chance to finish.
Eliminate unneeded processes. Some programs like Windows Messenger or a weather forecaster are often set to automatically connect every time you go online. You can change the options in these programs not to start until you prompt them to connect to avoid using bandwidth to start programs you won't be using.
Download later. When you're checking your email, you don't want to compete with the bandwidth it takes to download a program or large update. Save the file to a location you will be able to find later. Let large downloads run overnight or when you're away from home, then install them later. If possible, save large downloads to a flash drive or directly to your laptop while you're at the library or a coffee shop with free wireless service. This will take much less time and can be transferred to your home computer later. Read more about ways to improve downloading on dial-up.
Clear browser data. For every web page you open, your Internet browser saves files, cookies, history, etc. These enable you to click on the forward and back button, or save data you enter on a form or log-in page. Eventually, your browser can get bogged down with all that saved information. You should clear your stored files, cookies, and history every six weeks or months, depending on how much you surf on a daily basis. If you use Internet Explorer, click Tools, then Internet Options. You will see the options to delete stored data here. If you are using Firefox, click Tools, then Clear Private Data.
Try a new browser. If you are like the majority of Internet users, you probably surf the web with Internet Explorer. There are many other browsers to choose from. Most of them free to download and are compatible with most websites. Each browser has different compression and page loading technology that may be faster for you. Some browsers come with accelerators and other features that would be helpful to you. The three most popular browsers next to IE are Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome, and Opera. Each of these are free downloads and their website has helpful information to get the most out of them.
There are other changes to your computer and hardware that can improve your connection speed. Check with your local computer technician for ways to get the computer itself to run faster or call your ISP provider for suggestions, equipment, or upgrades that can affect your surfing speed.
Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, Copper.net.
Copper.net is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at www.copper.net! Check out my blog for more articles!