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5 ways to improve download speed

Envision a scenario where you are stuck in a major traffic jam and becoming increasingly disgruntled about your predicament. The cars are moving intermittently where you may speed up for a few minutes but then you abruptly return again to gridlockville. You then spot an alternate route where everything is clear sailing with no disruptions in sight. You yearn to be using this motorway instead of your own but you are not quite sure how to navigate to this route.

Doesn’t this situation above represent how it feels when you are experiencing inconsistent or snail pace download speeds? This how-to-guide suggests five ways to amend the registry or command prompt in Windows to increase productivity and efficency of your downloads.

Caution: Before making any changes to the Windows registry it is important to make a back up copy in case your system crashes or becomes unstable after the registry has been edited. The simplest way to back up the registry is by creating a System Restore point which allows you to restore the Registry to its state prior to any edits being made.

Increase IRPStackSize

IRPStackSize (I/O Request Packet Stack Size) is a parameter that specifies the number of 36 byte stack locations in I/O request packets that are used by the operating system. If you increase the size of the IRPStackSize then your computer would be able to receive more data (as a consequence, faster download speeds!). The usual configuration in most systems is 15 IRPs in its network stack, although this can be increased to 50 (maximum). Perform the following steps to increase the IRP:

Click Start – type regedit. When Registry Editor opens navigate to:

‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters’

Right click on the right hand side window and click New – DWORD (32 bit).

Increase IRPStackSize 1

Right click ‘IRPStackSize’ and select Modify. Amend the value to 50 and Click Ok.

Increase IRPStackSize 2

Disable Windows Scaling heuristics

For Windows 7 and Vista, TCP auto tuning feature is enabled by default. TCP auto-tuning can cause websites to open at a significantly reduced speed as the feature does not operate effectively with a number of web servers. It is possible to amend your TCP auto tuning user settings, however, Windows has the authority to automatically change or override your settings.

When this action is performed, the “netsh int tcp show global” command displays the following message:

** The above autotuninglevel setting is the result of Windows Scaling heuristics

overriding any local/policy configuration on at least one profile.**

You can enforce your user-setings TCP Window auto-tuning level in either Registry Editor or CMD:

 

Registry:

Click Start – type ‘regedit’. In Registry Editor, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters

Right click on EnableWSD and select Modify. Set the value to ‘0′ and click OK.

Disable Windows Heuristics 1

Note: If you want to restore TCP auto-tuning to default settings set the value to ‘1‘.

 

CMD:

Click on Start – type ‘CMD’ – right click it and select ‘Run as Administrator’. When the Command Prompt is open, type the following command:

netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled.

Disable Windows Heuristics 2

Exit the Command Prompt and restart your computer to ensure changes take effect.

Note:

If you want to restore TCP Window auto-tuning level to default settings type the following command:

netsh int tcp set heuristics default

If you want to allow Windows 7 the ability to automatically amend your user settings type the following command:

netsh int tcp set heuristics enabled

 

Direct Cache Access (DCA)

NETDMA 2.0 Direct cache access support is provided in Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server. Direct Cache Access (DCA) allows a capable I/O device, such as a network controller, to indicate that destination data is targeted for a CPU cache. DCA effectively improves application response times by minimising cache misses and memory bandwith requirement in high bandwith environments. The I/O device, system chipset and CPU are required to support DCA in order for it to function.

You can enable DCA via Registry Editor or CMD:

Registry:

Click Start – type ‘regedit’. In Registry Editor, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters

Right-click on the right hand side window and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value called “EnableDCA”.

DCA enabled 1

Right click on EnableDCA and select Modify. Set the value to ‘1‘ and click OK.

DCA Enabled 2

CMD:

Click on Start – type ‘CMD’ – right click it and select ‘Run as Administrator’. When the Command Prompt is open, type the following command:

netsh int tcp set global dca=enabled

DCA Enabled 3

Note:

If you want to restore DCA to default state (disabled) type the following command:

netsh int tcp set global dca=disabled

 

Increase MaxUserPort

MaxUserPort is the highest port number the operating system can choose when an available port is requested by a Windows application. It is designed to limit the number of dynamic ports available to TCP/IP applications for connections through the Internet and on your local network. Windows sets the default MaxUserPort to range from 1024 to 5000 but this potentially can be increased to 65534. If you increase the number of ports available, then the process of a program (such as an internet browser) to locate a port is expedited.
To amend the MaxUserPort value perform the following steps:

Click Start – type ‘regedit’. In Registry Editor, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters

Right click on the right hand side window and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value called “MaxUserPort”.

Right click on MaxUserPort and select Modify. Set the value to ‘65534‘ and click OK.

Increase MaxUserPort 1

Default Time to Live

Time to Live (TTL) is a process that informs a network router whether an Internet Protocol (IP) packet has reached its lifespan limit while attempting delivery of data. If the TTL value of the IP packet has been reached then it is discarded. For example, if the TTL value is 35, Windows will wait 35 seconds for the ‘transaction’ to complete before discarding the IP packet. If the TTL value is too small (under 32) then IP packets are at a greater chance of being removed before their target is reached. If the TTL value is too large (over 128) then your computer will lag considerably as more time is spent for an IP packet to reach its destination. Therefore, it is suggested that when amending the TTL value to keep it in between the range of 32 to 128.

Click Start – type ‘regedit’. In Registry Editor, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters

Right click on the right hand side window and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value called “DefaultTTL”.

Right click on DefaultTTL and select Modify. Set the value to 64 (recommended) and click OK.

Default TTL 1

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