There are many performance pitfalls out there that can slow down your network. Fr om poor hardware configurations to incompatible software, these items can make even the most modern computer feel like it's stuck in quicksand. Below you'll find a listing of the most common slowdown problems that networks face and what you can do to prevent them. With a few simple steps, you can make sure that your network remains running optimally at all times.
Hard Drive Usage

Your computer's hard drive has a limited number of space, and even the largest of hard drives can fill up very quickly. If you have more than 80% of your hard drive filled with data, your computer and thus other computers on the network it is linked to will have trouble accessing that data. This will cause severe slowdown. Downloading files from the Internet also takes up more temporary space than the actual program itself, meaning that even if you think you are under this lim it you might be causing temporary slowdown by accessing large files. Avoid this problem by storing data on network drives instead of individual computers that have less space, and expand your network space regularly to keep free space.

Poor Server Hardware

Your server is your network's lifeblood, and using outdated hardware can cripple all the computers linked on the network. Whether it is an outdated processor, a system that just needs cleaning, or even low quality cables, your physical equipment can cause problems. You can avoid these problems by being sure to upgrade your server hardware at least once every two years. You should also make sure to give your server regular cleanings and maintenance. Just the process of removing dust and cleaning connections can speed up the transfer of information. Finally, never underestimate the importance of high quality cables. Better cables transfer data faster, and this prevents network slowdown.

Outdated Drivers

Just as you should always make sure to keep the most recent equipment on hand, you should also make sure that the software component of that equipment is up to date. Hardware devices that plug into personal computers and servers all rely on software drivers that tell the computer how they should interact. When new hardware is installed, this can cause some conflicts. Whenever you install a new piece of equipment or a major new software program, you should make sure to check your device drivers and ensure that they are up to date. Doing this regularly will help you eliminate performance problems that might be caused by conflicting hardware or simply drivers that are past their expiration.

Unoptimized Configuration Settings

The configuration settings on your network can also cause some performance problems. These settings tell a network how memory usage should work and what programs have priority in terms of hardware access. A mistake in your network configuration settings could have computers on the network accessing information in a less than optimal way, and this in turn can wreak havoc with your network. If you experience slowdown, especially if it is shortly after you have installed some new hardware or software, check your network and computer settings. Try tweaking them a little bit and seeing what happens. Most of the time, you will find that a minor change will drastically improve your performance.

Disrupted System Clock

Not many people realize exactly how many different programs rely on a computer's system clock. When you link multiple computers together, that means that a large variance in system clocks can disrupt many things. Radically changing the system clock can disrupt the cooperation between machines and sometimes change system settings, which will affect the way other hardware affects your network's performance. You can avoid these problems by limiting the installation of programs that will affect system BIOS, which may alter a computer's internal clock. You should also make sure that you keep your hardware up to date, as the biggest reason for clock problems stems from battery failure on old systems.

The bottom line when it comes to keeping your performance at the top of the line, you need to be vigilant with your network and both the hardware and software that gets installed on a regular basis. You should also make sure to perform standard system maintenance and updates on a regular basis so you don't run into configuration problems or incompatible settings. By staying alert and being ready to make adjustments when you need them, you will keep your network running very smoothly at all times.

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