Reduced internet bandwidth are often caused by a congested router. When your home router is congested (this happens when incoming packet buffers get full) it drops packets which causes your bandwitdh to suffer. Windows Vista has a hidden feature to help clear up the congestion in your home router. The Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) not only clears the congestion, it also helps in speeding up downloads and improve the reliability of data transfer when your router isn’t congested.By default this feature is turned of because not all routers support it. If it is not compatible with your router and you turn it on it will only create problems that may worsen your connection's problem. So the question is, how do we know if our router supports ECN? The answer begins with logging into Windows Vista as administrator and running ECN. Go to www.microsoft.com/windows/using/tools/igd/default.mspx
and agree with the terms. After you agree with the terms you will be askd to install an ActiveX control. Install it. After following the prompts for installing the software a new page will appear. Click "Start test". The test will take several minutes and then you will see the result screen. The result screen will have hundreds of words and many paragraphs so you only need to find the Traffic Congestion Test section and see if the word "Supported is there and there is a check mark beside it. If it is supported you may turn on ECN.
How to turn on ECN? Run an elevated command prompt by typing cmd at the Search box and pressing Ctrl-Shift-Enter. Then at the command line, type this command :netsh interface tcp set global ecncapability=enabled
The command prompt will respond with an OK. ECN will now be enabled. If you notice a degradation in performance, you can turn off ECN by typing this command at an elevated command prompt and pressing Enter:netsh interface tcp set global ecncapability=disabled
Labels: Networking, Windows Vista