Clean up your Computer to Improve Internet Performance

Published 13/04/2005 13:25   |    Updated 25/03/2009 16:38
Can Viruses and Spyware affect the speed of my Internet connection?

Your computer system – and particularly the software you run – is one common cause for broadband slowdown. The culprits all download data in the background, whether they are malicious interlopers or programs you've willingly installed.  


The health of your computer can affect your Internet connection. Spyware and viruses can definitely cause problems, but your Internet connection speed can also be affected by add-on programs, the amount of memory the computer has, hard disk space and condition, and the programs that are running.


Two of the most frequent causes of poor Internet performance are spyware and viruses. Spyware can slow your system by interfering with your browser and monopolizing your Internet connection. Spyware monitors your Internet use and keystrokes, which adds delays. The problem is compounded when there are multiple spyware programs running at the same time. If the problem is severe enough, you can lose connectivity altogether. To get your Internet performance back, you should regularly run an anti-spyware program to clean out any spyware infestation.


Computer viruses can also cause poor Internet performance. When a virus infects a computer, it installs computer code which will attempt to propagate itself, usually by sending copies of itself through email. Some viruses can multiply at the rate of hundreds of email messages per minute, which leaves little computing power and Internet connection bandwidth for anything else. Viruses often do not give any obvious indication that they are running, so it is best to run your antivirus software at all times.


Like all computer programs, Internet Explorer requires a certain amount of computing power, memory, and disk space to run efficiently. Every webpage you view is first downloaded to memory and then saved to temporary disk files. Running another program that is using lots of memory and computing power can compete with Internet Explorer and cause delays. If you find your Internet connection running slowly and you have other programs running, try closing them. If you want to run several programs, consider increasing the memory you have on your computer.


Low disk space can also cause performance problems. You can increase your disk space by deleting Internet Explorer's temporary files. To learn how to delete temporary files, see this Microsoft guide: Delete webpage history.



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