Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
A number of steps have increased the internet speeds of an older computer; we look at a few more tweaks to get it in top shape.
Leo, I'm the gentleman who needed help with a very slow internet access due to slow download and upload speeds. I downloaded Process Explorer as you suggested and found that my software firewall, Zone Alarm, was hogging so much that I had little virtual memory left. So I uninstalled it; disabling did not help. I immediately got virtually all of the upload and download speed I was paying for.
My first question is: because I have a new encrypted router, do I need Zone Alarm or any other software firewall?
My second question is: I found another program, Spybot Search and Destroy that was very active with the signature "teatimer.exe" and it is at right at the top of the queue. I hesitate to uninstall that program but it is a hog. What do you suggest? I'll continue to look further but my up/down experience is now much better thanks to you.
In this excerpt from Answercast #31, I take another look at an old machine that has been well maintained, but was losing its internet speed.
Well, I'm very glad to hear that things are speeding up for you – that's great news!
So... Zone Alarm:
Software firewalls in addition to a router are somewhat controversial. However, my recommendation is that you don't need one.
I don't run with a firewall enabled on any of my PCs here at home because everything's behind a router. So, I think you can safely live without Zone Alarm.
I have a couple of articles on, "Do you need an outbound firewall?" which is essentially the only additional thing that a software firewall would get you that a router wouldn't.
Nine times out of ten, or 99 times out of a 100 even, I really don't think that's something most people need. In a case like what you've described, I really think you would be fine without a software firewall at all.
Especially, like I said, as long you're behind a router.
As for the second question, you're right; Spybot Search and Destroy is quite a reputable program and teatimer is its real-time monitoring tool.
The only other thing I might suggest is to go ahead and uninstall Spybot, but make sure to install something else.
Now I don't know what anti-virus tool you're using. What I typically suggest for people these days is to run Microsoft Security Essentials.
That is both an anti-virus and anti-spyware tool. It would essentially remove the need for something like Spybot.
But again, it would also be redundant with whatever anti-virus program you're running. So I'm hesitant to say "Yes, you should do that" without knowing the full story.
You do lose a little bit of functionality; a little bit of Spybot's real-time protection; but that may be a trade-off you'd want to consider if the performance hit is big enough.
The alternative that I would then suggest would be to make sure that you've got Spybot doing regular scheduled scans; to make up for the fact that it may not be checking things as they happen.
So, sounds like you've got things working better.
You don't need the firewall.
We can tweak Spybot a little,
Or we can replace it.
And, I'm very glad to hear that you're now getting the internet
upload/download speed that you're paying for. That's great news.
End of Answercast #31 – Back to Audio Segment