9 – Fine-tune your MTU settings
One of the more technical obstacles to broadband clipping along at its expected rate is a setting called the maximum transmission unit (MTU). When your PC requests data from certain websites, they use Path MTU Discovery to check what size packets to send back to your computer. If the site can’t check what size packets to send, it reverts to the default of 1500, but if any of the gateways or routers along the path have a smaller MTU the data packet will be dropped.
You can tweak the MTU settings on both your PC and your router, but you must ensure you use the same figure on both. Kitz.co.uk provides a clear guide on how to adjust these. Both Kitz and Zen Internet recommend dialling the MTU down to 1458. Zen’s MTU support page says values of 1478, 1468 and 1430 have also worked well.
The free SG TCP Optimizer will determine the optimal MTU and other settings for your XP machine. Make sure you back up the Registry first.