Expectations are set. We expect to turn on the water facet and have water flow out. We expect to flip the light switch and have the light come on. We also, expect to click on a link in the Internet browser, and get results instantaneously. The dissatisfied expectation is most troublesome when we have experienced surfing delights, but now our surfing is more like a dog paddle. And no one likes to click and wait.
There are three primary areas to analyze when beginning to troubleshoot Internet performance. One is the speed of the Internet Service. The second is Toolbar Add-ons. And the third also relates to Add-on applications, and their out-of-date status.
When analyzing low Internet performance it is good to look at the actual service provider and the speed of data transfer. Not all provider services are the same. Speed of the service largely depends on the options from the provider and the technology used to get the Internet to the computer. Your service provider should be able to troubleshoot any line problems.
The second area to analyze is in Toolbar Add-ons. It seems to be common practice to install toolbars to enhance the Internet experience. Admittedly, there are nice features within these toolbars. But they also provide features or functions that could be conflicting with other toolbars or other services running on a system.
Some toolbars act as spyware, tracking Internet site visits. And however the Toolbar publishers choose to market it, you need to understand this activity will use resources from the system. This understanding will aid you in analyzing the toolbar’s value. If there are multiple toolbars doing the same kind of tracking task, an anti-virus program performing checks on this activity, or perhaps even the same work. One can image the extra work being performed and the amount of resources being challenged. It looks something like putting three small children in a room and telling them they will get an ice cream cone, if they each sweep the floor. Did I mention there is only one broom? Yikes.
If you want to remove the toolbar so it no longer displays, but you don’t want to uninstall it. The quick process is to select Tools, then Toolbar. Removing the checkmark next to the selection, will remove it from the icon bar, a check mark will return it to the bar. Nothing is being uninstalled by doing this step. Keep in mind, the Add-on may still be performing it functions even if the bar is no longer displayed. This is not helpful in troubleshooting a performance problem.
It is possible to disable/enable toolbars under the Manage Add-ons option found from the IE Tools option. Select the Add-on by clicking on it. The Setting should now show the current status of the Add-on. Click on the Enable/Disable radio button to change the setting. Being able to run the browser without Add-ons, is an easy and helpful tool when trying to diagnose a performance issue.
On the other hand, uninstalling a toolbar can be more involved, depending on the Add-on publisher. Most will have to be uninstalled from within the Control Panel. Selecting the Control Panel from the Start button should lead to an area that will show either System Maintenance, and/or Add Remove Programs. Removing the program under the Add/Remove Program option is usually simple. The toolbar may have to be disabled before it can be uninstalled. The Publisher should provide instructions if they are different from this.
While analyzing the Add-ons under Manage Add-ons, make note of other Add-ons. It could be that after applying Internet Explorer updates from Microsoft, other Add-ons will become out-of-date. One example is Java, if the application does not have the automatic update feature turned on, then the application might be using an older version of the software. Updating Add-ons can improve performance by resolving conflicts in outdated applications. Each Add-on publisher provides updates differently. Most will generally provide updates from within the application. Update options can usually be found under the Help menu option, but sometimes it is on the Tool menu.
If you are having difficulty keeping all of the Add-on software current, some loss of function might have to be sacrificed in order to improve the performance of Internet Explorer. Software advancement is a truly great thing, but sometime costly. Since Microsoft updates Internet Explorer via automatic download, it is possible to encounter a conflict with an Add-on at any time. When troubleshooting, you might not think of an Add-on that has been running great for months, or even years, as being the source of the problems. This understandably, means troubleshooting becomes even more troublesome. Disabling, or even uninstalling an Add-on because it is obsolete or outdated, might be the only option if you want to end the incompatibility of the products and get back to those days of delightful surfing.
Sources: Internet World Stats Reports http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm