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Cable/DSL Tweak Guide (Page 2/5)

Posted: September 17, 2000
Written by: Dustin "TimmyC" Jones

What Can I Do?

Unlike old fashioned dial-up modems, there isn't a whole lot you can do to increase the speed of your cable connection. There are tweaks that make enough of a difference though. One of the single most important ones is tweaking the way your Cable connection sends the data/packets back and forth. You may have heard of things like MTU, RWin, TTL, MaxMSS, and more. If you have no clue what they are or what they do, I have made some short definitions:

MTU: Maximum Transmission Unit; MTU is the largest packet of data that can be sent at one time on the network. Raising it will allow to send more at once, but also can cause fragmentation of that data if the size requirement is not met.

RWIN: Receive Window; How much data can be sent out before the other server sends a response.

TTL: Time to Live; The total number of hops that a packet will be allowed to take.

MSS: Max segment guide; This is the largest size of a TCP send that Winsock will accept. This is set automatically though, so don't fret this.

If you are new to this whole thing, there are a plethora of great programs out there that will automatically set the best values for your connection. There are also a bunch of great 'patches' created by which will do the same thing. For starting, I would suggest either a program or patch, it doesn't really matter since they both do just about the same thing. Some of the most popular programs are:

Intelli Dial-Up
Smartalec Smartplay
(Thanks Tweakfiles!)

But if a fancy program doesn't float your boat, there are the alternative speedguide patches which come in Windows 95, 98 and 2000 flavors. If you are using windows 98, use the file. You can get them here.

Editor's Note: I highly recommend downloading the @home speed patch from the cable patches section at, even if you do not have @home!

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