Computer Slowness: Apparent or Real?
Posted on: November 4th, 2011
I found out that there’s considerable confusion on determining whether a computer is slow, and why it appears to be that way. This article is a little bit of a troubleshooting 101 and could benefit anyone.The most common mistake, I encounter is confusing the internet connection speed with the actual speed of the computer. I can understand that, because most people use computer almost exclusively to browse the internet and work with emails.
How to tell these two apart?
First, take a look at the speed with which the computer starts up. If your computer takes more than 2-3 minutes from pressing the power button to getting to your desktop and being responsive to click, then your computer is overloaded to some degree. It might need more RAM (memory), and/or clean-up of the installed programs and startup items. Also in some cases a failing hard drive makes the computer move slower than molasses.
The next thing is to get rid of the toolbars on your internet browser. These are the number one reason for slow browser operation and faulty operation or error messages. The best is to uninstalled them. I generally use CCleaner (http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/). We have a whole article on that subject: Unnecessary and Unwanted Toolbars
If your computer starts up in a timely manner & you got rid of the toolbars then you can run an internet connection speed test which will tell you right away if your internet connection speed is good or not. Here are 3 of them that I’ve used in the past:
Also, you can just do a search for “connection speed test” in your favorite search engine to get more places.
What are the acceptable speed values?
For a so-called high speed internet connection (DSL, U-verse, Cable) the download speed has to be at least 1.5MBit/sec and the upload speed 200Kbit/sec (0.2Mbit/sec). If you are getting values less than these than your connection speed is unacceptable. If you are using cable (Comcast, Brighthouse, etc) then you should have much higher values. In the case of too slow connection speed you should contact your internet service provider and complain to them about the slow connection speed. They should investigate and correct the issues (usually some noise in the wires outside) which result in low speeds.
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