Improving Windows 7 Ethernet Performance

Computers running Windows 7 PRO and HOME PREMIUM may have difficulty achieving full 1-Gig speed tests, even over a wired Ethernet connection. This article is intended to help you optimize Windows 7 to achieve the highest speed test results. 

We suggest the following 3 primary optimizations:

  • Disable Windows Bandwidth Throttling (system reservation) 
  • Disable MMCSS (Multimedia Class Scheduler Service)
  • Disable any software based firewall/security features

First a word of caution. If you are not comfortable editing your registry, stop now. Deleting or changing the wrong key can cause your computer to fail to boot or stop some programs from working. The registry is holds all settings for your computer. It details where everything is located and what options it uses to run. Please be VERY careful when changing the registry keys. One wrong move in the registry will make your computer inoperable. 

If at any point my directions do not line up with what you are seeing, DO NOT GO FURTHER. We do not want you to corrupt your registry!

  1. Click the start button, type “regedit” into the search box and hit enter.
  2. First off, lets back up your registry. Click “File” at the top and click “Export”. Select “All” under “Export Range” at the bottom of the screen. Name the file and save it somewhere. Now you can restore your registry if something goes wrong.
  3. On the left you will see a few folders. Click the arrow next to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”
  4. Click the arrow next to “SYSTEM”
  5. Click the arrow next to “CurrentControlSet”
  6. Click the arrow next to “Services”
  7. Click the arrow next to “LanmanWorkstation”
  8. Click on the “Parameters” folder.
  9. On the right, you may or may not see an entry called “DisableBandwidthThrottling”. 9a. If you do see this entry, double click it, change the value to 1, then hit “OK”. 9b. If you do NOT see this entry, Click “Edit” at the top, hover over “New” then click “DWORD (32-bit) Value”. Name this new value “DisableBandwidthThrottling” then double click it and set the value data to “1” and hit “OK”
  10. At this point, we are done with this entry. Collapse all open folders by clicking the arrow next to the folders that you opened. When you are done, you will see the 5 main folders from when we opened this program.
  11. Click the arrow next to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”
  12. Click the arrow next to “SYSTEM”
  13. Click the arrow next to “CurrentControlSet”
  14. Click the arrow next to “Services”
  15. Click on the folder that says “Audiosrv”
  16. Listed on the right will be an entry that says “DependOnService”. Double click that entry.
  17. Remove the line that says “MMCSS” and hit “OK”. It will give you an error message, ignore it.
  18. Close the Registry Editor.
  19. Click the start button and type “services.msc” into the search box and press enter.
  20. Find the service that says “Multimedia Class Scheduler” and double click it.
  21. Next to “Startup type:” choose “Disabled” from the drop down and hit apply, then hit “OK”
  22. Close the Services window and restart your computer.

Next, disable all Antivirus software, turn off the Windows firewall and disable any other third party network / virus /firewall software you installed on your computer.

It appears that rate limiters are only in Windows 7 in the home premium and Professional versions. Our tests using Ultimate works fine without changing anything in the registry. Another solution would be to upgrade to Windows 10 since it is a free upgrade for all windows 7-8 users.

Once you have rebooted your computer with the new settings, open Internet Explorer and go to the website http://www.speedtest.net 

From the map, hover over the Chicago area and select any of the following test points: Server Central, Host-Engine or Comcast. 

It is not safe to run your computer without a firewall or virus scanner, so please re-enable those features after you finish the speed test process.

 

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