Vista Tweak #3 To Increase Internet Speed – Take Back Your Bandwidth

Another unnecessary default setting that Vista (and actually XP as well) comes with is a 20% “reserve” of your available bandwidth in order to accommodate certain applications like Windows Update. This tweak is a pretty common one most old-school users of XP already know – it’s not at all detrimental and you can immediately gain 20% of your bandwidth back, increasing Internet performance significantly.

This is called the QoS Reserve Bandwidth Limit, and to reduce this on any version of Vista you need to edit the registry.

Go to Start and type “regedit“. You may have to deal with the UAC, unless you’ve read Sharninder’s advice on how to speed up your Vista by turning it off! In Regedit, navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\ Windows”

Right-click on Windows and create a new key called “Psched“, then right click on the right and create a new “DWORD” entry. Name it “NonBestEffortLimit” and set the value to zero to disable reserve bandwidth.

Vista Tweak #4 – Modify Your Browser For Optimum Speed

Believe it or not, not only is your Vista operating system not configured by default to blaze the Internet as fast as possible, but neither is your Internet browser! These instructions include how to increase your browsing speed on Firefox and IE.

First, in Firefox type, “about:config” into the address bar (and ignore any warnings). In the filter field, type “network” and scroll down to “network.http.pipelining” and set it to TRUE, and set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” from 4 to anything from 8 to 12.

I use Firefox almost exclusively, and this one change increased my page-load time by what felt like a factor of 50%. Of course, there’s a similar tweak for Internet Explorer as well, but you have to edit the registry. As before, go to Start and type “regedit.”

Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Cu rrent Version\Internet Settings” and find “MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server” and “MaxConnectionsPerServer.” Set these to at least 10, or a little higher if you would like. You should also see an increase in performance for IE after making this change as well.

Vista Tweak #5 – Increase DNS Cache

This tweak is one that anyone should do anyway, as it can significantly save time while surfing the web, especially if you tend to visit the same sites often. What the DNS cache does is store information retrieved from the nameservers (IP information) so that the next time you visit the same site, your browser doesn’t have to waste time retrieving the same information from the DNS servers.

You can optimize this by increasing the size of your DNS cache. This is another registry edit – so go back in there (Start and type “regedit“) and navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Ser vices\Dnscache\Parameters” and then right click on the white space at the right and add four DWORD values: CacheHashTableBucketSize, CacheHashTableSize, MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit and MaxSOACacheEntryTtlLimit

After checking a list of sites for the optimum setting for these values, the consensus seems to be decimal settings of CacheHashTableBucketSize to 1, CacheHashTableSize to 384, MaxCacheEntryTtlLimit to 64000 and MaxSOACacheEntryTtlLimit to 301.Of course, instead of using those old DNS servers, why not use OpenDNS? When you’re done making all of the changes above, restart your computer and when it boots back up you’ll find yourself with a Vista PC that screams on the Internet.

Did these Vista tweaks increase your Internet speed? Do you know any other cool tweaks for Vista that work even better? Share your insight in the comments.