Power Cycle Your High Speed Modem
If you have a DMTS High Speed (DSL) modem and experience any problems surfing or e-mailing, turn off your modem for 30 seconds, then turn it back on. Some modem models have an on/off switch; others need to be unplugged, then plug it back in.
If you have a home networking router, you should turn it off after your modem powers down. Wait until your modem has restarted before you turn your router back on.
Even if you’re not having any problems with your connection, you should still follow the steps above and turn your modem on and off (plus your router, if you have one) at least once a month (for maintenance purposes).
Check your phone filters
If there’s noise on your telephone line or your Internet connection seems slow or erratic, make sure you have correctly installed filters between your phones (and other devices) and your wall jacks.
You must use filters for every device you connect to a telephone jack, such as phones, answering machines, fax machines, satellite receivers and caller ID devices.
The only exception to this rule is your modem: there should NOT be a filter between your modem and phone jack.
Keep your anti-virus software and operating system up-to-date
Viruses, worms and spyware can use your computer and Internet connection without your knowledge, altering the way you surf or e-mail–from changing your home page to reducing your Internet speed to a crawl. Be sure to regularly scan your computer for viruses. Even consider installing anti-spyware software as well. This will help keep your Internet connection safe and reliable.
Keeping your computer up-to-date helps protect it against hackers and makes sure it’s optimized for the Internet.
Get free updates (called service packs) on Microsoft’s web site to keep your computer secure and running smoothly. You can even set up Windows XP to update your system automatically. Mac OS alerts you to update your computer automatically.