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Slow Web Page Loading

You can diagnose if a web site is slow, your connection is slow, or your computer is slow.

When your browser is loading a page, the logo at the top of the window flashes to indicate the download is in progress, and statistics describing how the transfer is progressing are displayed on the bottom window border.

A page of text takes on average about a 1,000 characters or bytes. A graphic is on average about 10,000 characters, or 10 KB, and can be up to 100 KB or more. Therefore, pictures take an order of magnitude more space than text, and take longer to download.

For comparison purposes, the number of seconds it takes to download data of various sizes with Internet connections of various speeds is shown in the table below.


Time in Seconds


Modem
56 kbps


ISDN
128 kbps


T1
1.544 Mbps


DSL
5 Mbps

Text
1000 B


0.143


0.0625


0.00518


0.0016

Text/Picture
10 KB


1.43


0.625


0.0518


0.016

Picture
100 KB


14.3


6.25


0.518


0.16

Audio/Video
1 MB


142


62.5


5.18


1.6

Application
10 MB


1428


625


51.8


16

If you find that page loading is taking longer than it should even for text pages, consider the following possibilities:

  • Site slow. If just one site is slow, then there is nothing you can do about it because the site itself is the cause.
  • Connection slow. If all sites are slow, and it happens more at certain times of the day, then your Internet Service Provider or the Internet itself are slowing down under higher loads. Try using the ping and traceroute programs to diagnose the connections to various sites. If the delays are excessive on all sites then the cause is likely your Internet Service Provider, because even under very heavy loads the Internet backbone usually continues to provide good performance.
  • Browser slow. There are no known browser configurations that can slow normal operation, although some can be configured to not download images, which can speed up operation on slow connections.
  • Computer slow. If all sites are slow all the time, even for the speed of your Internet connection, then you should check and make sure that you have the proper modem configuration, hardware connections, driver and connection installations, and other options. You can check with your Internet Service Provider for correct connection settings. If you are hearing a lot of disk activity during the times that the response is slow, you may need to defragment your disk, or you may need more RAM memory, which is often one of the best ways to speed up a computer.
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