Most of the people today have very high speed internet connections, but if you have a slower connection like DSL or even dial-up, then you would want to squeeze every bit out of your internet connection. Some of the commercial utilities like iolo System Mechanic have a tool that boasts to boost your internet speed. But you can achieve the same by using a free tool called Dr. TCP. Using Dr. TCP you can optimize the MTU settings for your connection type.
MTU is the acronym for maximum transmission unit, which is the largest size of bytes that can pass through your Windows’ TCP layer. If your MTU setting is too small or too large for your internet connection type, then its performance would suffer. Optimal MTU is different for different kinds of internet connections. Using Dr. TCP you can easily change the MTU value and bring the most out of your internet connection.
Dr. TCP is a useful windows utility that can modify your TCP stack. It can change many advanced settings, which should be tweaked only by the advanced users and it is recommended that you do not touch anything else but the adapter MTU setting. You can download Dr. TCP from the DSL Reports website. Dr. TCP is a portable program which works for all versions of Windows. After the download is finished, just extract it to a folder and run DRTCP.exe to launch Dr. TCP.
In the Dr. TCP window, select your network adapter from the drop-down list in the Adapter Settings section. Make sure that you are using this adapter for making connection to the internet. Most people do not have more than one physical network adapters, but some software like Virtual PC, Virtual Box etc. may install virtual network adapters – so be careful in choosing your network adapter. You can see your computer’s manual to see what brand and model of physical network adapter you have.
The next step is to change the default MTU value for your network adapter. As previously stated, this MTU value varies for different kinds of internet connections. If you have an always-on connection like DSL or cable, then set the MTU to be 1500. If you are using an PPPoE connection (PPP over Ethernet), then set the MTU to 1492. If you are still using a dial-up connection, then set the MTU to 576. Finally, click on the Save button to save the settings. You will need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.
So if you think that you are not getting the internet speed you are paying for, then your first step would to use Dr. TCP to optimize the MTU value. You can download Dr. TCP from DSL Reports website at http://www.dslreports.com/drtcp.