My cable internet connection is running slow


Today my cable internet connection started getting squirrely - It suddenly takes a loooonnnng time to load a page, and I frequently get the message "can't find server" or something to that effect. I can view most pages, though slowly, but it is nearly impossible to get the browser to load my hotmail. And when I finally do manage to get to my email after several tries, I have not been able to send an email out without getting the can't find server message. (I generally use IE for that, since hotmail is not compatible with Netscape).

I have checked thoroughly for viruses and worms, taken everything but three programs out of the load at startup lineup, and turned the cable modem off and on a couple of times. No help.

Yesterday my computer was freezing up a great deal, but that seems to be better today. I know there's a software conflict somewhere, but don't know how to figure it out. For now, I'd just like to be able to get the cable problem figured out.

Thanks for your help. This is a good website and a GREAT service!



This question was answered on October 29, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Update your system files using Windows Update

In Windows XP Home Edition, you must be logged on as a computer administrator to install components or modify Automatic Updates settings In Windows XP Professional, you must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.

Windows Update is a catalog of items such as drivers, security fixes, critical updates, the latest Help files, and Internet products that you can download to keep your computer up-to-date.

Open Windows Update in Help and Support Center

On the Windows Update home page, click Scan for updates

Click Yes when prompted to install any required software or device drivers


Windows Update scans your computer for outdated system files and lets you replace them with the most recent versions

Set up a firewall

The Internet is a necessity for many people today but it also opens the door to unwanted communications That's why — as a first line of defence — you should consider a firewall as a necessity.

Software firewalls, such as the Microsoft Internet Connection Firewall built into Windows XP Professional, protect only the computer they're running on A good backup defence to hardware firewalls, software firewalls on their own cannot protect your entire network To enable a firewall on a machine running Windows XP:

Click Start

Click Control Panel

Double-click Network Connections then right click on the connection you use for Internet access

Select Properties, then click the Advanced tab

Select Protect My Computer and network by preventing access to the Internet

Click OK

If you don't have Windows XP, you can purchase a commercial software firewall such as McAfee's or Symantec's.

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Posted by gilbert of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 29, 2004