How to "speed up" dial-up internet

Yes, there are still dial-up users in the world!  Affordable high-speed internet is not yet available for many people, especially in rural areas, so we use dial-up for internet access.

Here are some basic tips to help you make the most of your dial-up internet connection.

Check your connection speed

The first thing to do after connecting to the internet is to check your connection speed. You won't get anywhere if you're connected at 4.8 Kbps.

There are several ways to check your connection speed. One way is to double-click on the internet connection icon (the one you double-clicked on to connect to the internet). The Internet Status box will come up, check the speed. Make sure it's not at 4.8 or something ridiculous. If it's lower than it should be, disconnect and reconnect until you get a decent speed.  This may take several tries!

Internet Status

(About as good as it gets around here.)

No Streaming Video

You will never be able to use youtube or any other streaming video on dial-up, so just put that out of your mind.

Use tabbed browsing

Tabbed browsing is a very useful tool for dial-up internet users.  You can have your email open in one tab while loading another website in a new tab.  You can have more than one tab open. Switch between them by clicking on the tabs at the top of the screen.

Instead of just clicking on a link to open a website, hold the Ctrl button on your keyboard down and click on the link (Ctrl-click), or right-click on the link and choose "Open in new Tab".  You can continue to read the page you're on while the new page is loading, and then switch to the new tab.

If you're doing a search for something, open links from the search engine in a new tab, then the search page is still open and you can easily get back to it by clicking on its tab.

Practice using this page! Ctrl-click on any link to open in a new tab (or right-click, Open in a new Tab) and switch back and forth between tabs.

Use a faster browser

A browser is the name for the program you use to surf the web. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari are all browsers. There are many more browsers available, but these are the most popular.

As of this writing, Internet Explorer is the slowest browser and its also prone to the most security vulnerabilites, I don't recommend using it, except you must use it for Windows/Microsoft Updates. Internet Explorer 9 is now in beta and will supposedly be much faster, however it will be available only for Windows 7 and Vista, not Windows XP users.

Browser Download sites:

Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
Opera
Safari
Internet Explorer

If you don't know how to download, save, and install a program, go here.

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