Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bandwidth speed tests help you get most from the Web

Are you getting the Web connection speed you're paying for? Two bandwidth speed test Web sites that I've found helpful are and The download speed represents your service level with your Internet service provider. If your speed is significantly lower than what you expected and you're connected to your router with a cable, then contact your ISP. It can test your line to make sure it is what it is supposed to be. If you have a wireless connection, it could be that the default transmission channel is not optimal. Typical channels used for wireless are 1, 6 and 11. Sometimes one wireless channel is clearer than the others. You can change your router's wireless channel through its configuration page through your browser at the special address of and retest to see if your signal strength improves. Your ISP's technical support can also help you through these procedures if you are not comfortable. Your computer will automatically detect the new channel.

I want to buy some hardware that will turn my PC into a DVR. I easily run out of space on my cable set-top box DVR. What do I need to do?

This is actually not that difficult to do. DVR capability is built into Vista Home Premium with Windows Media Center. You will need to purchase a TV tuner: either a PCI card or a USB device. One such vendor is Once your hardware is installed and you connect your video cable feed, run Windows Media Center. When WMC opens, scroll down to Tasks and then over to Settings. Click Settings and then TV. Click "Set Up TV Signal." You will be guided through the remaining steps.

I am running Windows XP Professional and Outlook Express. All of my e-mails have three to four vertical blue lines to the left of the body of the e-mail. When I forward e-mail, I cannot remove the blue lines without deleting the message. Any idea how to solve this dilemma?

The easiest way to get rid of this and any other formatting is as follows: After you click Forward, from the menubar click Format, Plain Text. This should get rid of the indentation lines.

When we are in Florida, I enjoy reading your paper. I now follow items of interest online. However, I cannot find your column.

You can find the Solutions column online at

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Bandwidth speed tests help you get most from the Web 07/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 11:42am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  2. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).
  3. Irma roughs up endangered snail kites, birds that help us gauge the Everglades' health


    Hurricane Irma was as rough on some wildlife as it was on the humans. Audubon of Florida reported Thursday that the storm destroyed all 44 nests around Lake Okeechobee built by the endangered Everglades snail kite, a bird considered crucial to the River of Grass ecosystem.

    Hurricane Irma destroyed 44 snail kite nests, capping off a poor mating season for the endangered species, which is seen as an important barometer of the health of the Florida Everglades. Their off-center beaks allow them to probe inside the spiral shells of the native apple snails. But the snails' population has dropped as the Everglades has changed. [MAC STONE | Audubon of Florida]
  4. New center opens in Tampa to help those with missing, damaged limbs


    TAMPA — Justin Lansford, his service dog Gabe by his side, smiled broadly Thursday as he imagined the future of a sprawling, resource center for people who need artificial limbs and those interested in helping them.

    Justin Lansford, 27, lost his left leg above the knee in Afghanistan. He was one of dozens of people attending the opening of the Veterans International Institute of Orthotics & Prosthetics in Tampa on Thursday. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. Still worried about family, Tampa Bay Puerto Ricans ramp up relief effort


    TAMPA — Brenda Irizarry is worried.

    Brenda Irizarry of Tampa, while agonizing over the status of family in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, is helping lead an effort to collect and send supplies to the island. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times