Top 9 Ways To “Speed Up” Your Surfing & Computing
It seems like fast never quite rates fast enough.
No matter how quickly something moves, especially on the Internet, it could always move faster. Email, web surfing, downloading files (legally of course), none of them ever go as quickly as we want or expect.
Well, let me do my part to perpetuate this microwave oven mentality (why must popcorn take 3 minutes instead of 2?) by giving you some tips and hints for making your online experiences and overall computing as fast as possible (even on a dial up connection).
** Hit The Accelerator **
Sensing a need for faster Internet access in markets where broadband cable or DSL can’t or won’t go, Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) like NetZero offer Internet “accelerators.”
Using a system of caches, compression schemes, and other technology to double or even triple your dial-up connection speeds, Internet accelerators can save you hours spent waiting for simple web pages to appear in your browser.
Though they won’t work for everyone in every single situation, check out www.netzero.com, www.propel.com and www.slipstreamdata.com for more information.
** Clean Up Your Hard Drive **
Often a messy hard drive can contribute to slow online experiences. Perform a “Disk Cleanup” and a “Defrag” (available by clicking Start, Accessories, then System Tools) to clean out the garbage files on your hard drive that slow your system down considerably.
This will help when running offline applications too.
** Get More RAM **
RAM (Random Access Memory) allows your computer to process data more quickly without writing and reading from the hard drive.
Ask any nerd and they’ll tell you straight out, “You can NEVER have too much RAM!” RAM costs so little now that virtually anyone can afford to add more memory without a big hit to their wallet.
** Avoid Time Wasters ** Speeding up your surfing doesn’t just mean pulling the maximum amount of data through your phone line until it melts!
It also means avoiding things that suck your time up and leave you sitting twiddling your thumbs instead of getting things done.
Make the most of your time online with these time-saving tips:
Use Google – Search giant, Google.com, consistently returns relevant search results in minimum time.
Sure, big search engines like Dogpile.com and AskJeeves.com query multiple search engines, but the time spent waiting for and then wading through those results rarely makes it worth the occasional extra result.
Avoid Instant Messenger – “Heresy! I must have my instant messenger” you cry! Keep a log of how much time gets spent mindlessly chatting on the IM instead of doing something important. If you must IM, do it in moderation.
Filter Spam – Use a program to filter your spam instead of wading through it by hand. Even if you only get 25 spam messages a day (I’d love to be you) and only spend 10 seconds on each message, at the end of a year that comes out to over 30 hours wasted on spam!
Filter your email messages before you take the time to download them to your machine and you’ll love the spare time that magically comes your way.
** Slow Mouse? **
When I flick my wrist I expect that mouse to hop from one side of the screen to the other like the house was on fire!
A slow mouse can steal seconds of precious time that add up to hours of frustration over weeks and months.
If you suffer from a “slow mouse,” click Start then “Control Panel” then “Mouse”.
Then you’ll see a tab that says “Pointer Options” or “Motion” (or something similar) and you can adjust the slider left or right to increase or decrease the speed of your mouse’s movement across the screen.
** Use Windows Keyboard Shortcuts **
Windows has a number of nifty keyboard combinations that most people don’t know about, but can save you incredible amounts of time, energy, effort and frustration. Ctrl+Z – I call this the “panic button.”
Hold down the “Ctrl” key and hit the letter Z and you can often undo the last action you took in Windows.
This comes in especially handy when you’ve deleted something (like a term paper or 500 word article) and want it back.
If you accidentally do something wrong, STOP hitting keys immediately and do Ctrl+Z to undo what you just did.
Windows Key+D – Ever wonder what the little “flag” key is on the keyboard next to “Alt?” (I sure have wondered.)
Well, it turns out that little key has some cool uses.
Hold down Windows Key+D and you can minimize all the open windows on your desktop.
Very handy when you keep many programs running and need to hit your desktop in a hurry. Windows Key+F – allows you to search for any file on your computer immediately.
It will amaze you how much faster you can get things done just by understanding how to save little bits of time here and there using shortcuts, tools and better ways of doing things.