How to Improve Your Download Speeds on a Windows 7 Laptop If You Are Like Me and Are Stupid About Computers

03/06/2012 By Shawn Burns

When I bought my new laptop a few months ago, I was very, very happy with how fast it performed tasks that caused my older, XP-running computer fits. I could edit photos, play crazy, graphics-heavy games, and have more than one program open at a time. MORE THAN ONE!

But for some reason I couldn’t download files at anything like the speed I was used to getting on my old system. My router was the same, my broadband provider was the same, my speedtests were all coming out fine, but when I would go to download things (or load videos to stream), my laptop would take forever. A 50mb file would take ten minutes. Downloading podcast episodes into iTunes was best done in the background while I wasn’t paying attention.

Last night I finally got sick of it. I was trying to watch a video on Amazon and it was just cutting in and out, then stopping altogether. What the hell, laptop?

Googling around I saw a whole host of solutions to a Windows 7 slow connection speed problem. I tried a couple of them, but they didn’t seem to have any effect on my speed. (And I should note, my other laptops and connected devices all still had great speeds, but they weren’t running Windows 7). Then I saw this one:

1. Change your wireless router’s security setting to WEP.

That was it. For some reason, my Windows 7 laptop hated the wireless security setting I had. I do not know much about computers, or networking, or why one mode is preferred to others, and if my neighbours want to steal my wireless signal and this somehow makes it easier for them, I kind of don’t care.

Because it just took me 6 seconds to download a 50mb file.

Problem solved.