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Speed is the currency of PC efficiency so let’s talk about speed. How do you know that your connection isn’t good? When your computer speed becomes sluggish or when the Internet connection is too slow or when the system is simply not functioning properly, it is clear that your PC is ailing. And many times that actually CAN be tracked back to your internet connection. The Internet is crucial to work. Many people work on the Internet or use it for work related purposes.

If you live or die on the internet – sort of like companies like ours, a bad connection itself can cause a major work slowdown. Remember that speed in connectivity is of great relevance in today’s world of competitive work scenarios. If you do rely on your connection speed for work, I really recommend that you shell out the extra few bucks and get more speed. We upload and download a lot of large files since we do web development, and sitting here watching some of those fat files transfer… I shudder to imagine what it would have been like to watch that happen a few short years ago.

Thankfully, gone are the days when the best we could get was ohhh… a 14.4k modem. Watching ice cubes freeze was quicker. Actually I remember using a 300 BAUD modem. Talk about yikes. Enough about truly slow connections speeds. From our logs here at Lizardwebs, we know that most people DO use cable modems these days. Consequently, web designers and developers have felt a little more leeway creating fatter pages with more and more graphics and network intensive functionality – Flash presentations, graphical sliders rotating images across your screen and lots of pics. Oh yes, LOTS of pics.

Yeah, it’s not actually a COMPUTER problem

When you hit one of these pages and your computer chokes, people many times figure it is their computer and call us. While we love to help people out with these issues, many times, it comes down to what websites people are actually viewing in their internet browser. Someone sitting with a 6 core screaming processor that barely ticks under most conditions should NOT have to worry about the root of their problem being the computer.

You could consider opting for cable as it is outstanding in terms of service. I can’t say that I particularly love Time Warner the company, but I do love the speed that their cable modem service offers.  On the DSL side, AT&T is offering their UVerse digital service to home customers these days and we have heard great things about it. Either way, many times the root of problems lies in one’s computer internet connection. Either of the above solutions would definitely improve your Internet service and speed it up nicely.

So let’s look at the network connection. A great place to test that out is over at SpeakEasy.net. Just select a close by server for the best speed. Then pick one on the OTHER coast. Interesting to see how location CAN affect your speed. And remember when you’re hitting many of these websites, they are NOT in the next town over. If you really want to see something interesting, open up a command prompt window and type in

tracert yahoo.com

. This actually will send data packets to your destination and tell you how long it’s taking from jump to jump. Do a quick check on the “tracert” command to see what all those things mean, but you can pretty quickly tell that there ARE latencies from hop to hop. Sometimes you will see some LARGE numbers in there – particularly on that site that you happened to be viewing when you decided your computer needed help.

A couple other improvements to think about

If you’ve ruled out your internet connection speed… Here are some other good points to help move your pc experience/enjoyment factor along:

You can purchase a good keyboard or get yourself a more efficient mouse to help you directly.  If you have an old ball roller mouse and are having to continually shake it and pick it up and jig it around – you’re wasting time.  They sell laser mice for 10 bucks. Spend it.  If you have a broken keyboard – ditto on the price. And go ahead and spend it. There is such a major annoyance if you have a flaky keyboard.  You’re always wondering if the letter you just typed actually took and you lose a whole lot of typing speed. And of course, if you do have a weak key that often misses, you end up having to backspace to clean it up.  Time waster.

I personally prefer the Logitech wireless “couch mouse” – the M515.  Love the freewheeling scroll feature on it.  Allows me to spin through a long Excel document or web page with a quick flick of the finger. Great functionality, great feel and GREAT battery life!  And of course, no cord.  A cord is just so intrusive with a mouse.  IF you sit at a desk like I do (and you’re not working on a kitchen counter), the keyboard cable is not a problem usually.

With these tips, go ahead with confidence and get these parts of your computing experience back in line!