TCP Optimizer is a free program that provides 1-click acceleration of your internet connection through optimizing your internet registry settings.
The first question on many people’s minds whenever they hear of a program that purports to do something like this is invariably whether or not it is for real.
The short answer to this question is yes; for the long answer, you can see the results below of my tests that I conducted with various TCP Optimizer settings.
There are 2 ways to use this program: if you are well versed with the different registry settings you can certainly perform your own custom tweaks across dozens of settings (go here for an explanation of all of these). For most of us, however, TCP Optimizer will automatically find out optimal settings based on one (or two) user inputs, as follows:
- Connection speed slider: adjust this depending on what the maximum speed of your internet connection as advertised by your internet provider.
- Network adapter selection: if you are using wireless make sure to set this to your wireless adapter; otherwise leave it alone.
- That’s it. Click on the ’optimal settings’ radio button and then apply.
The tests: I tested my connection speed using the SG Speed Test provided by speedguide.net. These tests provide a list of known, controlled servers from which the speedtest downloads/uploads test data. Here’s how I did these:
- I picked one of the servers and stuck with it for all of my tests.
- I chose to download 1 megs worth of test data and upload 512K (the max for each) for all tests.
- The first thing I did was run WinsockXP. I figured it will re-set internet registry entries to their default values; in any case it provided a baseline that I could always go back to. I will refer to this setting as baseline.
- Baseline results: 3033 kbps down; 1659 kbps up; 57 times faster than 56k dialup.
- First test: set at 6000 kbps: wireless adapter, then optimized.
- First test results: 3278 kbps down; 1730 kbps up; 62 times faster than 56k dialup. (An 8% download speed increase).
Although the results above showed an 8% download speed increase over the baseline, it struck me as very strange that I would optimize for 6000 kpbs and get a result ov 3278 kbps. I decided to optimize again, same as the first test except I would set it to a kbps speed closer to the 3000 kbps that I’m actually getting. I went with 4000 kbps.
- Second test: set at 4000 kbps: wireless adapter, then optimized.
- Second test results: 3548 kbps down;1732 kbps up; 67 times faster than 56k dialup. (Almost 16% download speed increase, and a 4.4% increase in upload speed over baseline).
- TCP Optimizer can result in a significant increase in your download speed. You can check your internet speed before and after using SG Speed Test.
- It is a small, no-install easy to use program. In fact I chose this over another free optimizer (Cablenut) because the latter is more complicated compared with the simplicity of TCP Optimizer.
- Note that TCP Optimizer will backup and restore your registry on demand and on before each optimization. You can easily revert back to the pre-optimizatiton settings if you need to.
- While there are a number of programs that purport to perform this function, TCP Optimizer has been around for a long time and is offered from a website that is an authority on internet speed and optimization issues.
- I highly recommend it.
Version tested: 2.0.3
Compatibility: Windows 9x/ME/2K/XP/XP-SP2/2k3. No info on Vista.