Windows 8 Internet Connection so slow- how to manage?
January 20, 2014 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I have DSL internet connection. But upon purchasing a new laptop this past month, and trying to work with Windows 8 - I feel that my internet connection has become very slow using the mozilla browser, or the internet explorer browser. I have tried using also the opera browser and it's still slower. I read on the internet to try to configure my computer to my adaptor connections to allow my internet speed to run faster. But there are too many forums and too many people saying to do xyz or abc. I have a DELL computer, and Windows 8, along with Windows Office professional 2013. If anyone can direct me to how to get to my control panel to configure a faster internet connection that would be greatly appreciated. One thing I read was to do a run: with Windows + R and to type in "gpedit.msc" but that command isn't recognized on my computer. Please help! Thanks in advance for any advice.
posted by proficiency101 to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
GPEdit is the Group Policy Editor; you might be able to load it by typing in that name in the run/search box (I'm thinking of Win7 here, but there must be an equivalent in 8).

You may also be able to load through the MMC, the Microsoft Management Console (Winkey+R, "mmc"), and then add a snap-in, and select Group Police Editor. Details here.

Group Policy is a great tool for locking down or unlocking various features and accesses, but it's rather powerful; any advice you get for making changes, you should research on additional sites. (Just a modicum of paranoia here; people are most likely trying to help you.)

Try a program like NetLimiter 3 (there's a free trial) and it will show you what speed your network adapter is actually getting. If you're on Wifi, update your drivers (through dell) for your Wifi/WLAN network adapter. You'll need your Machine's unique Dell ID service number.

If you're using WiFi, there's a possibility that someone else is using your WiFi-- consider accessing your router and seeing clients are connected to it when it's slow. The router will detect the hardware address ("MAC Address," for Machine Address Code, nothing particularly apple-flavored) of all connected machines, and also issue all connected machines IP addresses. How many networked devices do you have? (Don't forget networked TVs, Blurays, set-top boxes, phones, tablets, streaming servers, whatever you have around.)
posted by Sunburnt at 6:34 PM on January 20, 2014

Do you have another computer that you can try on your internet connection? Are you using a wireless or DSL router, or are you connecting straight to the modem? There's a non-zero chance that this might have nothing to do with anything you need to change on your network adapter or whatever.
posted by Sequence at 7:12 PM on January 20, 2014

I can't help with the internet slowdown (could be your wifi card? maybe check with using a wired connection and compare), but not all editions of Windows 8 have the group policy editor; you have to have at least Windows 8 Pro.
posted by bluefly at 7:19 PM on January 20, 2014

If anyone can direct me to how to get to my control panel to configure a faster internet connection that would be greatly appreciated.

This part jumped out at me. I'm not "IT" enough to know how to diagnose your connectivity problems, but if you're having general "I can't find anything on my computer because Windows 8 is bonkers!" problems, try downloading and installing Classic Shell (it's free). It gives you back your desktop+regular links to things like your Control Panel, Network Connections, etc, which may help you tinker around with your system settings rather than pull your hair out just trying to find your system settings. Good luck!
posted by coast99 at 7:55 PM on January 20, 2014

In general, settings can only help your speed minimally. There are many other factors involved.

- Connection speed from your ISP. If this has changed, or is based on something that fluctuates a lot (3G/4G or Satellite) this could be part of it.

- If it's still technically fast, but "feels" slow, it may have more to do with the computer's resources being low. Make sure that if you have any new browser add-ons or toolbars, or other third-party software you don't recognize, that you remove it. A lot of software bundles toolbars and browser malware (like the Ask toolbar, Conduit search, MyWebSearch, WhiteSmoke, ScorpionSaver, Sendori, and others). Malware/adware will slow down the browser itself, making things feel slow, even on fast connections. A good piece of software to run is Malwarebytes to help scan and clean things up.

- Other network users. If many others are using the network, you're sharing the speeds, so their downloads and uploads can affect yours.

- Check your signal as well. It's possible the new laptop has a weaker wireless card and isn't getting the same range as your previous one. A wireless driver update may help or being physically closer to the router.

- Check your actual connection speed (still affected by other people or on-going downloads) by going somewhere like (ignore the ads and only focus on the map in the middle - start the test and check your results). If your results are anywhere in the 3mbps or higher range for download (typical low-mid DSL speeds), your web browsing should feel pretty fast. If it's lower, especially less than 1mbps, there's likely a real speed problem there if you're paying for a much higher speed.

- Reboot your modem/router. This will refresh various settings and caches in these devices that may provide a refreshed connection to your ISP.

- Without seeing it in person or remotely, we can only guess what the cause could be. It's a very complex issue with a lot of possibilities.
posted by kup0 at 9:05 PM on January 23, 2014

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