TweakHound - Tweaking Windows 7
Internet & Network Tweaks
Internet Explorer 8
Increase Max Connections
Why: This tweak may be able to increase your page
loads and possibly your download speed.
Why not: Too many connections could possibly
get you banned or disconnected from web sites (and others may limit your
This tweak may be able to increase your page loads and possibly your download
1 - Folks were in such a hurry to post this tweak when ie8 came out that the
vast majority of places are using the wrong registry keys, making their
so-called tweak useless. (most were trying to use the old 1/2 open connections
2 - Every post I've seen seems to mention that 10 is the max for this setting.
Other than the fact that that is the number that Microsoft suggest you use I do
not know where this came from as I've seen no Microsoft documentation to suggest
this is the max. So, I tested the vales 10, 16, 24, and 50 under both XP and
Vista. Under Vista I was able to establish 10 and 16 connections but not 24 or
50. Under XP I was able to establish 10, and 16. Under the setting of 24 and 50
I was able to max out at 20. Now there can be a variety of reasons for this
which are too in depth for this article. Today in real world browsing and
downloading, I don't know that you'll se a difference after 10 connections which
is what the below tool sets it at. I'm going to set mine at 16. Keep in mind
that too many connections could possibly get you banned or disconnected from web
sites (and others may limit your number).
If you want to do a quick test yourself try this link and hit refresh several
times to hit your max:
See here for the default settings and more info:
Connectivity Enhancements in Internet Explorer 8
The easy way:
Go here and click on the Fix It icon:
How do I
configure Internet Explorer to download more than two files at one time?
Clicking on that icon will download the file EnableTenIEDownloadSessions.msi.
Double-click it to run it.
This changes adds the following to the registry (I know because I monitored it):
The hard way:
Below are the registry keys. You'll notice it is different than the one above
(decimal value of 16 vs. 10 above)
Put the menu bar back up top and remove the search pane.
Why: User preference.
Why not: Can't think of a reason not to!
First you have to have the bar visible. Go to View
Toolbars > check Menu bar.
The 2 keys below must be added manually or via a reg file.
Put the menu bar up top:
Remove the Search pane:
I've put these all in a text file for you below. It is called
ie8maxconnections.txt. To make it a registry file simply rename it to a file
with a .reg extension.
i.e. - ie8maxconnections.reg .
Right-click on this link an click "save link as" or "save target as".
Adblock Plus - Ad / pop-up blocker
View - adds right-click and other options to view a web page in Internet
NoScript - This is a security add-on but some folks don't like the hassle.
Tweak Network - Careful with this sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.
For most folks Firefox runs just fine as-is.
There are many good Add-ons for Firefox. Some speed things up, some add
functionality, others add neat little features like weather info. I would only
urge you to limit what add-ons you use to stuff you really want or need. Loading
too many add-ons can hinder performance.
Can speed browsing.
You may need/desire this functionality in
Open Firefox > in the address bar type about:config > scroll
down to the line: network.dns.disableIPv6 , double-click it
to change its value to true.
Disable Automatic Image Resizing
Images larger than your screen can make
web page views erratic.
Open Firefox > in the address bar type about:config > scroll
down to the line: browser.enable_automatic_image_resizing ,
double-click it to change its value to false.
Remove the Search pane
You'll have to manually go to your search
Open Firefox > go to View > Toolbars > Customize. click (and
hold) in the search box and drag it into the Customize
For me, my benchmarks have shown that Windows 7
out-of-the-box is equally as fast as XP and Linux that have
been tweaked. To date I've not found a single tweak for
Windows 7 that speeds up actual networking or downloading
from the net. Any tweaks here should be done separately from
So why tweak it? The tweaks here are designed to cut down on
network chatter and to secure your box (see
here for an example of the chatter I'm talking about
Let me make this clear though. I've seen no network
performance improvement using these tweaks and I do not
believe any home users will. These settings do not cover
Services, for those see the Services section of this guide.
Possible settings to disable:
Client for Microsoft Networks
This IS the Workstation Service. This service is complex and
third party applications may depend on this being there.
Disabling this is often recommended for SERVER hardening.
Essential if networked.
If you are going to disable this I highly recommend:
Doing this tweak completely separate from all other actions,
disabling this, File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft
Networks, rebooting and checking all your applications and
Very advanced users may also want to block the associated
ports via the firewall.
Unneeded for the home user, (and in truth is unused in most
File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
Needed if you connect to another computer or vice versa.
(see Client for Microsoft Networks above)
Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)
For many users this is an essential component. HomeGroup,
VPN, DirectAccess and other parts of the operating system
You should keep ipv6 enabled even if your ISP doesn't
provide ipv6 connectivity yet.
"The Argument against Disabling IPv6
It is unfortunate that some organizations disable IPv6 on
their computers running Windows Vista or Windows Server
2008, where it is installed and enabled by default. Many
disable IPv6-based on the assumption that they are not
running any applications or services that use it. Others
might disable it because of a misperception that having both
IPv4 and IPv6 enabled effectively doubles their DNS and Web
traffic. This is not true.
From Microsoft's perspective, IPv6 is a mandatory part of
the Windows operating system and it is enabled and included
in standard Windows service and application testing during
the operating system development process. Because Windows
was designed specifically with IPv6 present, Microsoft does
not perform any testing to determine the effects of
disabling IPv6. If IPv6 is disabled on Windows Vista,
Windows Server 2008, or later versions, some components will
not function. Moreover, applications that you might not
think are using IPv6 such as Remote Assistance, HomeGroup,
DirectAccess, and Windows Mail could be.
Therefore, Microsoft recommends that you leave IPv6
enabled, even if you do not have an IPv6-enabled network,
either native or tunneled. By leaving IPv6 enabled, you do
not disable IPv6-only applications and services (for
example, HomeGroup in Windows 7 and DirectAccess in Windows
7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are IPv6-only) and your hosts
can take advantage of IPv6-enhanced connectivity."
Support for IPv6 in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7
Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver & Link-Layer Topology
Basically this enables the pretty little Network Map in
Vista and Windows 7.
From what I've observed these protocols are basically
inactive until you or someone on your network tries to view
the network map.
There are 2 problems with the Network Map.
The first is that it only works from Vista and Windows 7 so
it is useless on XP machines (put they can be seen if you
install the LLTD Responder for XP).
The second problem is that it ain't perfect: see
Troubleshoot problems with computers not appearing on the
*I'm told there is an update that allows Xboxes to be seen
Example of the Windows 7 Network Map
I've divided the tweaks into 3 separate categories.
Pick the category that applies to you and make your window
look the same as the one in that category.
Note - unchecking these items does not uninstall them, it
unbinds them from that specific connection.
Access Network Connection Properties
To get there:
Right-click on the Network icon
system tray and choose
Open Network and Sharing Center
> click on Change
> choose the Local Area
and/or Wireless Network Connection
right-click and choose Properties
To get there faster press the Windows
keys and type ncpa.cpl
the Local Area Connection
Wireless Network Connection
, right-click and choose
*Tip - Yes, you can configure each connection differently!
*Tip - While your here, if you aren't going to use one of
the connections, disable it (right-click > Disable). On my
laptop I disable the Wireless connection while at home
because I network it via Ethernet. When needed I just come
back here and enable it.
Networked, Sharing (no network map)
If you want the Network Map then leave the Link-Layer
Not Networked, For Advanced Users Only
Windows 7 Firewall
This is just a basic overview. Advanced discussion of the
Windows 7 Firewall would be an article in itself.
"A firewall is software or hardware that checks information
coming from the Internet or a network, and then either
blocks it or allows it to pass through to your computer,
depending on your firewall settings."
Firewall: frequently asked questions
You should always be behind a hardware firewall. At home
this is usually your ISP supplied router.
Open Windows Firewall settings > press the Windows
keys > type
( Control Panel, view large icons > Windows Firewall).
You shouldn't muck with too many things here unless you
understand what you are doing.
Check to see how your firewall is doing on the internet:
> read up on what the test does then click
button > click on All Service Ports
Example of Shields Up results.
Links you should check out:
What's New in Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
(aimed at Advanced Users / IT)
Microsoft Online Safety
(aimed at Home Users)
(aimed at Advanced Users / IT)
Other Network Tweaks
Uninstall Remote Differential Compression
This is unneeded in a home network. In Vista
problems were associated with this feature.
Can't think of a reason not to!
Go to Start Orb
> Control Panel
> Uninstall a program
> Turn Windows Features on or of
Deselect (uncheck), Remote Differential Compression. Click
OK and then reboot if prompted.
MSDN - Remote Differential Compression
Disable Vista Auto-Tuning
Please read Notes below first!
*These are run from the command prompt. Start > Run (or
press the Windows+R keys)> type cmd, hit Enter > copy/paste
command, hit Enter.
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal
You can also use
It for this issue
(ignore different OS warning, settings
are the same for Windows 7).
Notes - There are any number of variables that can have an
effect on your network speed. Some (usually older) network
equipment can't do Window Tuning. Some download methods /
programs (torrent etc.) may also have issues with Windows
Tuning. I DO NOT use this tweak.
Networking Features in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista
the Receive Window Auto-Tuning feature for HTTP traffic on
Windows Vista-based computers