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How to Get More from Your Broadband Connection

last updated 28 November 2016

Not having sufficient memory to run the operating system and active applications, an underpowered processor or an outdated browser are just some possible reasons why users may experience below par broadband performance.

How to Get More from Your Broadband Connection

Make Sure Your PC Is Powerful Enough

PCs that are not properly configured can stop you from getting the most out of your broadband connection. Not having sufficient memory to run the operating system and active applications, an underpowered processor or an outdated browser are just some possible reasons why users may experience below par broadband performance.

Monitor the Consumption of Your PC Resources

Internet performance is dependent on the number of applications being launched and the processing load on their machines. Users should monitor the number of concurrent applications that are consuming bandwidth, memory and processing resources, and terminate those that are not needed for their current needs to improve performance. You can access Task Manager to monitor the consumption of your resources by pressing CONTROL + ALT + DEL keys simultaneously on Windows XP and Vista.

Modem/Router Configuration

Just as for PCs, modems/routers can also underperform if they are not properly configured. For example, if an outdated driver or firmware is used, the broadband performance may not be at the maximum possible. Some modems/routers also have enhanced capabilities such as Firewall protection, Web filtering/inspection, Dynamic DNS, Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and QoS Bandwidth Management. These applications impose a load on the router and may slow down your overall broadband connection. 

Wireless LAN Could Be Bottleneck

If you are connecting your PC to your router via a wired Ethernet cable, the 100 Mbps and above data transfer rate of the cable will not affect the overall throughput of your broadband line since the highest plan currently is at 100 Mbps. However, if you are making of Wi-Fi or wireless LAN to connect, the raw data rate of 11 Mbps, which can even drop down to 6 Mbps in actual data rate, may end up as a bottleneck to your broadband connection.

Updating and Protecting Your PC

PCs that have been infected by viruses or spyware can suffer from degradation in performance. It is important to keep your PC operating system updated so that known vulnerabilities have been patched and to have updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software running on your machine. 

Getting More From Your Broadband Connection

Due to the way the TCP protocol was designed, there is an upper limit to how much bandwidth a single TCP session can use. In the early Internet days, the upper limit was not of concern. Today however, there are many bandwidth-intensive applications which far exceed this TCP upper limit.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to the problem, which is to launch multiple TCP connections within the pipe. There are several methods for end-users to make use of multiple TCP connections like

  • Free Download Manager - www.freedownloadmanager.org/
  • Download Accelerator Plus - www.speedbit.com/
  • GetRight - www.getright.com/

There is also a growing class of multimedia rich applications that do not depend on TCP but use alternative transport protocol called the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). These applications include Video/Multimedia teleconferencing, IPTV broadcasts, real-time video and audio streaming and they are not be affected by the TCP limitation.

If you are a ... What to check Why
Mobile Broadband User Check that your mobile broadband dongle or mobile equipment has the capability to support broadband speeds higher than advertised speed of your broadband plan. If your equipment can only support say up to 7.2Mbps, your higher broadband speed (say 21Mbps plan) will still be limited to a maximum of 7.2Mbps due to the capabilities of your equipment.
Residential Fixed Broadband User Check that your computer hardware and software, including modem, have the capability to support broadband speeds higher than advertised speed of your broadband plan. Same as above.
If you are using a ... What to check Why
Wireless Router Check that the wireless protocol supports at least 802.11g or 802.11n and the router is able to support broadband speeds higher than the advertised speed of your broadband plan. Earlier versions of wireless protocols such as 802.11b can only achieve a maximum speed of 11Mbps, which is below the speeds of some of the advertised broadband plans.
Personal Computer or Laptop Ensure that your computer satisfies at least the minimal specification for the operating system and browser you are running. The minimal specifications only ensure that the personal computer or laptop has sufficient resources to run the operating system (e.g. Windows 7) and web browser.

Web browsers are memory (RAM) hungry applications and insufficient memory affects your web surfing experience as well.

Additional Support

Broadband subscribers may alternatively visit the technical support page of their respective service provider for more useful information on enhancing their broadband connections.

1. PacNet Broadband
http://sg.pacnet.com/internet/cable-broadband

2. SingNet Broadband
www.singnet.com.sg/technical/broadband

3. StarHub MaxOnline
www.starhub.com/support.html

Disclaimer: IMDA will not be held responsible for any fault or any technical issue that may arise from or in relation to any downloads of the above drivers. Please also kindly refer to the respective hardware product/application websites for the most updated drivers.