Speed Up Your Internet Connection with TCP Optimization

A photo of someone passing through a train tunnel at a high speed.
Speed up your internet with a TCP optimizer.
Source: Unsplash

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the backbone of how the internet establishes and continues an internet network-based conversation. This is a conversation where two applications talk to each other; in other words, they exchange data. TCP also defines how computers send packets of data amongst themselves. You might find that, as a user, your ISP provides down speeds at 100Mbs. That said, when you run a speed test, you’ll see you’re only getting 70Mbs down instead of 100Mbs. You can resolve this using TCP optimization. 

In this article, I’ll explain what TCP is and how it works. I’ll also list the best practices for TCP optimization. Let’s learn more about TCP first!

What Is TCP and How Does It Work?

TCP is the protocol controlling the connection between two devices exchanging data. It regulates the process of breaking down application data into packets. In addition, TCP sends and receives packets and manages the flow of the data packets. Finally, it handles dropped packets by resending them. TCP will also “check in” on the status of the received packets. Let’s go a step further now and understand the meaning behind TCP optimization.

What Is TCP optimization?

TCP optimization is a process where you manually configure and tune up your TCP settings. You can also download a TCP optimizer to automatically set your TCP settings to their optimal settings. In essence, this optimization allows you to increase your internet speed. In addition, TCP optimization is specific to certain use cases, like improving traffic performance on long connections. These connections could be transcontinental connections or satellite communications systems. You can also use TCP optimization to speed up SaaS applications. 

3 Best Practices of TCP Optimization

An image of a computer screen with a speed dial next to it. The computer screen has videos on the screen that are waiting to be downloaded.
Learn the 3 TCP Optimization best practices!
Source: Pixabay

To increase the speed of your network, you can implement several best practices. Below, I’ll go through the 3 best practices of TCP optimization. 

1. Decrease Time to Hit the Free Bandwidth

TCP optimization reduces the time it takes to reach the available bandwidth. To do this, you must split the latency between the subscriber and internet networks. You can then optimize TCP performance on both ends. Under normal conditions, the TCP settings are a slower ramp-up to find the available network capacity. Decreasing that ramp-up time will allow you to get your speeds up. 

2. Preserve Your Available Bandwidth 

If you already have sufficient bandwidth under your control, you should do what you can to keep it. That way, you can also keep your network speed up. Normally, the TCP will adjust based on what’s happening on the network. Adjusting your TCP settings to maintain your bandwidth will ensure that your transmission rates don’t decrease. In return, this helps to resolve latency issues. 

3. Manage Packet Loss on Enterprise Networks

Larger networks deal with the overcrowding of resources and having to resend packets. Consequently, this results in a slow checksum and resending process. Thus, you’ll have to optimize it in your TCP settings. When you do, the recovery process will be much faster. 

Let’s jump into some tips on optimizing your TCP in the next section. 

Tips to Optimize Your TCP

If you want to increase your internet speed, you might consider downloading a TCP optimizer. Most of them are direct optimizers that ask you to set your desired speed yourself

That said, it can’t be higher than what you have coming in from your ISP. The automated program will work its magic, though, to keep your speed higher than it would normally be without the TCP optimizer.

For Windows users, you can also manually change your TCP settings. Check out this Microsoft guide to help you with that. In addition, if you‘re a networking guru, you can go to an advanced or custom tab to modify individual settings to get the desired effect. 

Final Words

TCP is the backbone of internet-based communication. TCP can be slow due to the maintenance of the secure connection and packet-loss prevention. That said, it’s there for a good reason. If you feel your internet or network is slow, you can optimize your TCP connection to make it run faster. 

In this article, I’ve discussed  TCP and its optimization. I also introduced some of the best practices for TCP optimization. These best practices included decreasing the time to hit available bandwidth, preserving your available bandwidth, and managing packet loss. Keep in mind that TCP optimization can’t give you speeds faster than your ISP. But it can still be helpful when you’re looking for a way to speed up your internet. 

Want to dig deeper? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below. 

FAQ

What are other kinds of TCP/IP?

You’ll come across many other common TCP/IP application protocols. You already know one: Hypertext Transfer Protocol HTTP! Some other protocols are Domain Name System (DNS), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Interactive Mail Access Protocol (IMAP), Post Office Protocol POP, etc. 

What is the primary function of TCP?

TCP controls, with a protocol, the exchange of data over the internet between two devices. This happens by providing end-to-end communications with a connection. TCP also sets forth the rules on how applications break down, address, transmit, route, and receive data. It is the primary connection of the internet. 

How does TCP work with IP to transmit data?

TCP/IP is a two-layered program. The higher-level layer (TCP) breaks down the data into packets and transmits them over the internet. The receiving computer’s TCP then takes those data packets and reassembles them back into the original form. On the other hand, the lower-level layer IP checks addresses and ensures the connection is between the correct devices

How does more than one TCP application communicate at the same time?

A computer may have a Telnet server listening for packets on TCP port 23 while an FTP server listens for packets on TCP port 21. A DNS server will also listen for packets on port 53. TCP then examines the port number in each received frame and uses it to determine which server gets the data. 

What is UDP?

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) provides an unreliable packetized data transfer service between endpoints on the internet. UDP depends on IP to move packets around the network on its behalf. UDP doesn’t guarantee to deliver the data to the destination. It also doesn’t guarantee the delivery of data packets to the destination in the order they were sent by the source. In addition, UDP doesn’t guarantee the delivery of one copy of the data to the destination.

Resources

IBM: Tuning TCP/IP Settings

Learn how to tune your TCP/IP settings for clients and servers with this IBM guide.  

Microsoft: TCP/IP Documentation 

Read the docs from Microsoft on TCP/IP.

TechGenix: Article on the Top 5 Network Security Tools

Discover the top 5 network security tools for your company. 

TechGenix: Article on Network Security

Learn how network security is essential for your company. 

TechGenix: Article on WAN Optimization

Discover how WAN optimization is an effective solution for your SMBs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top