numerous causes of slow downs
Lots of things can slow down browsing. Some are easier to deal with then others.
1. One person suggested Ccleaner. Great idea, can clean up messes that slow down a PC.
2. Someone suggested trying out speedtest.net. This and related sites tell you about your connection. If the numbers you get even on your antique PC don't match up to what you are paying for there are lots of things to you need to check, that I'll mention.
3. Your cable modem - sometimes they need to be rebooted. I've seen a reboot make sluggish browsing go away. If this happens a lot, or doesn't help at all, you may need a replacement. I use Cablevision's 'boost' service. Theoreticlly it worked with my old modem; reality is that it didn't. The swap to a new model did wonders. And right now I may need a new one myself; the current one is rather flaky at times. Also, check your connections from where the cable line hits the house right through to the cable modem. Cheap cable, bad connections, too much splitting, and too low a signal level (which the admin page of the cable modem may be able to tell you).
4. Router problems. Ethernet cable problems. Using wifi and you are too far from the router. And some routers lose speed over time as heat from venting problems fries it. I was having piles of wireless problems despite an expensive wireless N router - replaced several weeks ago. Lot less trouble since. Also, you may have the wrong wired or wireless settings. And with wifi, the wireless adaptor even in a new laptop can be a piece of junk. Or fried. Or something failed on a laptop mobo where as a result the wifi card no longer works.
5. You do have an antique computer and OS. Depending on how slow it is, it may not be able to keep up with today's complex web sites.
6. Defrag your hard drive regularly (preferably after cleaning it). You can use the built in MS defrag, or get a freebee like SmartDefrag (my favorite).
7. Consider what you use for AV. NIS brought my antique desktop to a screeching halt, usually after it had been installed for several weeks. Removing it restored normal browsing, and reinstalling gave several weeks of ok performance. Problem is that with XP I don't know if I'd trust the built in firewall, but I do for Win 7 (which I run even on my antique). I use Microsoft's MSE for AV needs and except during a scan and right after startup it is pretty light. And there are other choices for decent AV and firewall software for free.
8. Consider, depending on what your PC has in it, going to Win 7, preferably a clean installation. You have 3 gb of ram; that's enough. If it can run 64 bit, go to Win 7 64 bit. This can help. If it will take more ram, add it.
9. Clean out every bit of junk software, and anything you no longer need.
Please try out speedtest.net, and ask your cable service what you are actually paying for. Do some of the basic cleanup and defragging and testing and report back to us.
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