Windows XP: Increase Your Cable Modem or DSL Speed

Posted August 24, 2004 by mikejc in Windows networking

XP Users, want to increase your cable modem or DSL speed? After completing this tweak, you can enjoy the increased responsivness of IE, faster page loading, and a connection speed boost. These instructions pertain to broadband cable connections on stand alone machines with Windows XP Professional. This might also work on XP Home Edition. It will probably work with networked machines as well, but I have not tried it in that configuration. This tech-recipe is for Windows XP only. It does not work on Win2000.


I use 3 Com cards, so I do not know how the following tweak works on others at this point. It does not involve editing the registry. This tweak assumes that you have allowed Windows XP create a connection on install for your cable modem/NIC combination and that your connection has tcp/ip – QoS – file and print sharing – and client for Microsoft networks, only, installed. It also assumes that Windows XP will detect your NIC and has in-box drivers for it. If it does not, do not try this.

In the My Network Places properties (Right click on the Desktop icon, and choose Properties.), highlight the connection. Then at the menu bar, choose AdvancedAdvanced Settings. Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK.

From the Windows XP CD in the support directory from the support cab, extract the file netcap.exe, and place it in a directory on your hard drive or even in the root of your C:\ drive.
Next, open up a command prompt window, and change directories to where you put netcap.exe. Then type netcap/?. It will list some commands that are available for netcap, and a netmon driver will be installed. At the bottom, you will see your adapters. You should see two of them if you are using a 3Com card. One will be for LAN, and the other will be for WAN.

Next, type netcap/Remove. This will remove the netmon driver.
Open up control panel / system / dev man, and look at your network adapters. You should now see two of them. One will have a yellow ! on it. Right click on the one without the yellow !, and choose uninstall. You are now uninstalling your network adapter. Xontinue with the uninstall. Do not restart yet.

Check your connection properties to make sure that no connection exists. If you get a wizard, just cancel out of it.

Now re-start the machine.

After re-start, go to your connection properties again. You should have a new connection called “Local area connection 2.” Highlight the connection. Then at the menu bar, choose Advanced. Then choose Advanced Settings. Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK.

Choose connection properties and uncheck the QOS box

Re-start the machine

After restart, enjoy the increased responsivness of IE, faster page loading, and a connection speed boost.

Why does it work? It seems that Windows XP, in its zeal to make sure every base is covered, installs two separate versions of the NIC card. It includes one you do not normally see in any properties. Remember the netcap/? command above, showing two different adapters? The LAN is the one you see. The invisible one loads everything down, and it is like you are running two separate cards together, sharing a connection among two cards. This method breaks this “bond” and allows the NIC to run un-hindered.

mike cabalin

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