Differences in downloading speed are often not noticeable when performing basic tasks such as web surfing and reading e-mail, but is apparent when downloading larger files such as music, software programs and online video. Several potential ways exist to increase download speed without changing your Internet service.
General Steps to Improve Download Speed
1: Limit traffic on your network. Computers that are a part of a network or LAN that connects to the Internet using a router share the same Internet bandwidth. If another computer on the network completes Web-based tasks at the same time, it uses this shared bandwidth. Shutting off all the other computers on the network ensures that no other computer is leeching bandwidth in the background.
2: Download one file at a time. If you run several different processes that require network bandwidth on your computer, the download speed of each process is compromised as it competes for bandwidth. For instance, if you download updates from Windows and then open a browser and download a video online, the download speed of both files are slower.
3: Update your network adapter's driver software. Click "Start," right click "Computer" click "Manage," "Device Manager," double click "Network Adapters," right click your network adapter and click "Update Driver Software." Out-of-date drivers can cause network adapters to perform below current standards.
4: Use a different web browser. Different web browsers function faster than others when running certain websites and downloading files. Many major web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox are free to download and use.
Turn off Reserved Bandwidth in Windows XP
5: Click "Start," "Run" type "gpedit.msc" into the run text field and press "Enter." The Group Policy window will appear.
6: Open "Computer Configuration," "Administrative Templates," "Network," "QOS Packet Scheduler," right click "Limit Reservable bandwidth" and click "Properties."
7: Select "Enabled," change "Bandwidth limit %" to zero, click "OK" and then restart your computer. Windows XP Pro is set to reserve bandwidth of system processes and turning off this feature can improve download speeds.