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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two quick clicks within Win7's Advanced sharing settings can boost LAN throughput by as much as 12%.

I wrote the free (no subscription required) "Top Story" in this week's WindowsSecrets.com newsletter:
One of the oddest glitches I've encountered with Microsoft's newest OS is erratic local-networking performance. Occasionally and for no obvious reason, a Win7 LAN connection will slow to a crawl — giving you that less-than-nostalgic feeling that you've gone back to a dial-up connection.

The problem seems completely random; I've never been able to reliably reproduce it. But I've seen the problem enough to know it's not some figment of my imagination. And even when everything's operating normally, I've had a sneaking suspicion that my Win7 networking is running slower than it should.

Trust me; I'm not alone in this belief. Do a quick search on the phrase win7 slow network and you'll see what I mean.

I've always suspected that the prime suspect in Win7's sometimes-sluggish network speed is the OS's HomeGroup feature, which is enabled by default. A homegroup is a kind of self-configuring workgroup that automatically sets up file- and device-sharing between Win7 machines on a local network.

But all of this was speculation — an educated guess. The only sure way to know was through testing.

So, I cooked up a series of tests and found that changing just 2 settings in Win7 takes the brakes off its LAN performance, speeding throughput by about 12%. The change is free, nondestructive, reversible, and only takes about 30 seconds!

Give it a try!



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