Weekly quickTIP

Violate Internet Standards with IE

Give IE the boost it needs with this handy little trick that can increase the number of simultaneous downloads.

If you're like me, you're constantly downloading things off the Internet. Whether that downloading be for personal use or to help with administering your network, Internet Explorer can be your greatest friend in finding and obtaining the critical files and applications you need.

However with Internet Explorer there is one limitation that's always bugged me. If I'm trying to download a large number of files from a particular site, IE is limited to bringing down only two at a time. As you try to download the third, IE will wait to give you the destination box until one of the other two completes. If you're trying to bring down a large number of files, sometimes IE's internal timeout can cause the queued connections to break.

This isn't a new trick, but it's one that can help improve your downloading when using native IE. Take a look at Microsoft Knowledge Base article 282402. This article explains how you can “violate Internet standards” -- specifically RFC 2068 -- with IE by increasing the maximum number of simultaneous downloads. Don't tell the Internet standards police!

Do this by navigating to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings and setting the decimal DWORD value for MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server and MaxConnectionsPerServer to a different value for the maximum number of simultaneous downloads you need.

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Other download manager tools exist to help you do this more efficiently. One of my favorites is FlashGet. But the little trick from the KB article is great for those times when you just want to have a little more oomph from our old friend Internet Explorer.

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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