5 Ways to Improve Downloading on Dial-up

by Hannah Miller 17. August 2009 23:29

Dial-up has considerably less bandwidth (uploading and downloading capacity) than broadband. Noise and static on the phone lines could cause a drop the connection without warning. These two issues cause the most problems with downloads. Here are some tips that may help improve your download speeds and avoid having to start them over:

Save the file, don't run. When you click on a link to download a file, you are prompted to run or save the file. Run means you want the file to immediately open the installation wizard after the download is complete. Save means you want to put the file on your computer and run the installation later. When you click save, you will have the option to save it to a certain folder or location. Choose an easy place you'll remember, like right on your desktop, in the “Save in” box. Then click “Save” again.

If you save the installation file, you can rerun it if you have problems installing the software. This will save the time you would spend re-downloading. Also, you will know where the file is saved, so that means you don't have to sit in front of the computer watching it download. The file will be waiting for you when you return to your computer and you can install it then.

Download when you're not surfing. Try to minimize your online activity during a download. If you try to download while you are browsing online, your bandwidth has to be shared between the two or more processes, and both tasks will operate more slowly. You may want to wait until you are finished surfing to start a download. You can let you connection run overnight or while you are doing chores in the house.

Check for automatically updating programs. If you look in your system tray (the bottom right section where your clock is displayed), you will see icons of programs currently running on your computer. If you hover over or click on these icons, you may see that Windows updates or a software, firewall, or anti-virus program is downloading updates from the Internet. Updates are usually necessary but they also use up your bandwidth and slow your download time. You can stop the update temporarily so your file downloads faster. You may also need to check for programs running unnecessarily so you can end that process altogether. Ask a local technician for help with this step.

Restart your session before a download. Some dial-up services limit the maximum time you can be online. Your online sessions can also be dropped after some time because of static or line noise. Disconnect and reconnect to the Internet just before a big download to minimize the chances of getting disconnected before it completes.

Get a download manager. This program will keep track of your downloads and allow you to start where you left off if you accidentally get disconnected during a large download. You can download a free download manager from download.com.

There are some downloads that are just not feasible on dial up. Most files over 60 MB would take too long to download on dial-up, or wouldn't download at all because of maximum session limits and common disconnect problems.

If you have access to a broadband connection, you can save larger downloads to a flash drive or memory card and install it later on your computer. Be sure to specify to save it to your flash drive! There are several places where you can access broadband Internet for short periods of time. More coffee shops and restaurants now have free wireless Internet you could access with your laptop. Public libraries usually offer computer stations with a broadband connection and wireless service for laptops.


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! 

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for Copper.net - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for Copper.net since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to hmiller@copper.net.

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