How to Monitor Network Activity and Speed up Your Machine’s Connection

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Leo, my wife and I share a laptop, using Windows and connected to a satellite. The ISP limits our bandwidth. Recently, we received a message that we were using too much: about 150 MB during one recent hour. We do not run any videos, such as YouTube. We just browse some and use email.

Leo, my download speed is abysmal. I should be getting more than enough speed from my internet connection to watch videos non-stop, and yet stop and start and stop and start is exactly what they do. I suspect something else is downloading or something, but I can’t figure out what.

Is there any program which could monitor Internet activity and let me know what’s running?

Yes, there is.

Both of these problems are quite common, and it’s quite frustrating when they arise. With the amount of information now being stored and/or delivered over the internet, our connections are being stressed more than ever.

The technique I’ll describe uses a free tool called Process Monitor. I suspect it’ll be perfect for this problem. While it’s a little geeky, this extremely powerful tool can be used to diagnose many issues, and runs in all versions of Windows from XP to the most recent.

I’ll walk you through how to set it up for this scenario.

Read moreHow to Monitor Network Activity and Speed up Your Machine’s Connection

Will buying a new modem/router increase my internet speed?

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I run a laptop with Vista SP2, Home Premium, with IE 9 on a wireless home network. I contract with my ISP for a DSL throughput of 1.2 to 1.5 megabits per second. We live in a rural area and that’s the fastest service available. Recently, using various speed tests, my speed has been falling below 1.2 megabits for considerable periods of time.

Monitoring my modem/router, the connect speed that it displays varies: 640/640, 1024/640, 1596/800. In addressing my slow speeds, my ISP insists that my three-year old modem/router needs replacement. I’m willing to do it if that will correct the problem, but my thinking is there’s nothing wrong with my existing modem/router. Aren’t the connection speeds that it displays a result of the line configuration settings originating with my ISP? Am I going to the expense of buying a newer modem/router they recommend only to end up with the situation unchanged?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to confirm what is happening. It could be the router, the line configuration, or other things like wire deterioration (which actually happened to me).

Let’s begin by looking at a few things.

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Does Opening Multiple Tabs Affect My Network Speed?

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I’m an IT web manager where I work. We now have a new guy that opens 50 plus tabs in Google Chrome. Since he’s shown up, things on our network have slowed down considerably. Logic would dictate cause and effect.

Now, I know from seeing other posts on your site about people asking about having lots of tabs open and it doesn’t affect the network as much as the individual computer. But when somebody has 50 tabs open, say half of them are running JavaScript, different codecs, codes, heck some flash, some JAVA,  that’s all gotta slow things down, right? I’m not talking 20, I’m talking 50 open all the time. Now I know you can disable updating if you know how in Chrome; I’m a Firefox guy, myself. Less data mining the better. What do you think? I’d love your input.

The best answer that I can offer is… maybe.

I’ve talked about having lots of tabs open in the past. Without a doubt, it can definitely impact the speed of your PC. The network, on the other hand, is possible, but a little less clear.

Read moreDoes Opening Multiple Tabs Affect My Network Speed?