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Windows 8 Slow Web Browsing on Chrome, Firefox, IE? Win 7 Faster!?

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Last response: in Windows 8
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December 1, 2012 6:28:26 PM

A couple of weeks ago I installed Windows 8 (fresh install from scratch, not an update) on my computer. I do a lot of web browsing and over the last couple of weeks I've been using Windows 8, I could swear the web browsing wasn't as fast at it used to be on Windows 7.

I then noticed I was having major issues bringing up my router's control panel (ASUS RT-N56U) so thinking it was my router I upgraded the firmware. Turned out, the Avast Anti-Virus I was running has issues with Windows 8. I removed AVAST and turned on Windows Defender (which in Windows 8 is also an anti-virus program now referred to MSE - Miscrosoft Security Essentials). MSE has gotten fairly good reviews so I decided to use it, for maximum compatibility with Windows 8.

However, although the router control panel would now come up okay, browsing still seemed to not be quite as fast as it used to be. I sat down at the old 5-year old Dell Desktop next to me that is running Windows 7, both computers were connected to the router via Gigabit Ethernet. I tested network speeds with Speedtest.net to make sure they were both getting the same Internet speeds (which they were.) I found a couple 'heavy' web pages to test:

www.epicurious.com (home page)
sports.yahoo.com (home page)

The browsing was MUCH faster on the Windows 7 machine!! So I decided to do more of a controlled test.

The Samsung Notebook is a Series 6 Core i5 with 6GB RAM and 64GB SSD running Win 8 Pro 64-bit. Windows Experience score of 5.9. Windows Defender (MSE) Anti-Virus. Windows Firewall Turned OFF!

The Dell Desktop is Intel Q8200 with 6GB RAM and a 5400RPM HD running Win 7 32-bit (not sure why 64-bit didn't install, sort of strange but oh well). It had a Windows Experience score of 3.6. Avast Anti-Virus. Windows Firewall turned OFF. Windows Defender turned OFF.

I went into Windows Task Manager on both computers and ended most if not all tasks that were not critical to the system and no other programs except the browsers were running.

I removed all plug-ins and add-ons from Chrome except the Page Load Time extension plug-in which can be downloaded here:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/page-load-tim...

I also tested on FireFox using this add-on:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/apptelem...

On the Windows 8 Machine I also tested with Internet Explorer 10 - unfortunately I couldn't find a page load speed monitor for it that would work so I could only do an informal visual+verbal count, stopping when I saw the page stop X in the URL bar change to the reload symbol indicating the page had completed loading.

On both test pages I refreshed the pages at least 10 times and averaged the scores. I looked at the page load speed monitor result but I also did a visual+verbal count out loud until I saw the page stopped loading objects.

The results were astounding (and very frustrating/disappointing because otherwise I really like Windows 8 as the OS in general seems better/faster than Windows 7 for multitasking)

Here's the results:

Windows 8 + Fast Machine + Chrome 23.0.1271.95 m on epicurious.com: ~ 3.5 sec load counter / ~ 5.5 sec visual/verbal count

Windows 7 + Slow Machine + Chrome 23.0.1271.95 m on epicurious.com: ~ 2 sec avg / ~ 3.5 sec avg visual/verbal count

Windows 8 Fast machine + Chrome on sports.yahoo.com: 5 sec avg / 5 sec avg

Windows 7 Slow machine + Chrome on sports.yahoo.com: 2.5 sec / 3 sec

Windows 8 Fast machine + FireFox on epicurious com: 4.5 sec / 4.5 sec

Windows 7 Slow machine + Firefox on epicurious.com: 2.5 sec / 3 sec

Windows 8 Fast machine + FireFox on sports.yahoo com: 5.25 sec / 5 sec

Windows 7 Slow machine + Firefox on sports.yahoo.com: 2.5 sec / 3 sec

Windows 8 Fast machine + Internet Explorer 10 on epicurious.com: ~ 5 sec visual/verbal count

Windows 8 Fast machine + Internet Explorer 10 on sports.yahoo.com: ~ 6 sec visual/verbal count

(I didn't bother testing IE 10 on the Win 7 machine)

It is clear, that something in Windows 8 is causing the browsers to load web pages 30-50% slower. If you have a very fast Internet connection (like me - 35 mbit/s download and 6 mbit/s upload) in regular use, the difference may not be that noticeable to the "casual user" as the difference between as a 3 sec and a 5 sec page load speed are both fairly fast for these two sites.

But it you have many sites open at once and are multi-tasking and clicking lots of links hours at a time, it IS noticeable. Downright depressing when you compare it to a Windows 7 machine especially considering the specs on the Win 8 machine are much better hardware wise! If anything the Windows 8 machines should be faster.

Now I know a some people are going to be skeptical about my findings or give suggestions as to something that may be wrong with my particular PC. Obviously every PC is different, having different configurations, apps loaded, processes running, etc. But in my 25+ years in the Tech Industry my gut is telling me there's something not right with Windows 8 and it is just a matter of time until enough people complain to Microsoft about it to get their attention to find the cause of the issue and fix it.

HERE'S A COUPLE IMPORTANT POINTS WHY MY GUT IS TELLING ME IT IS A WINDOWS 8 ISSUE:

* I tried the tests on Windows 8 with Windows Defender (MSE) turned OFF, Firewall turned OFF. No anti-virus programs running. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE.

** I made sure the drivers for both my Ethernet and Wi-Fi Networking were the latest drivers. They are the on-board Intel 82579M Gigabit Ethernet and Centrino 6230 Wireless.

*** Running the tests on Wifi instead of Ethernet ALSO MADE NO DIFFERENCE.

The facts seem to point to something in the Windows 8 Operating System is slowing things down. I wish I knew what it was as I feel so frustrated that this new powerful Samsung Core i5 notebook running Windows 8 has slower web browsing than than 5-year old Windows 7 Dell Desktop sitting across from me.

I have seen many other posts about Chrome running slowly on Windows 8. It isn't just Chrome!

*** I would encourage others to run these tests as I would at least like to be 99% confident that I don't have some hardware or driver issue. ***

Other's having same issues:

https://productforums.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/chrome/KV_TPd6Ehdg

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...


http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2006876

http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/941163
a b * Windows 8
December 1, 2012 6:45:24 PM

Good work on testing.
I have no answers for you, but I will follow the discussion.

For what it is worth, I got frustrated with the response time to Tom's and tried different things.
One which made all the difference in the world was to install a tracking protection add on to IE9:
Name IE Tracker Protection List from Abine
Status Enabled
Address http://www.abine.com/tpl/abineielist.txt

I think by eliminating unnecessary links to various add and tracking web sites, my response time has improved dramatically.

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December 1, 2012 7:54:20 PM

geofelt said:
Good work on testing.
I have no answers for you, but I will follow the discussion.

For what it is worth, I got frustrated with the response time to Tom's and tried different things.
One which made all the difference in the world was to install a tracking protection add on to IE9:
Name IE Tracker Protection List from Abine
Status Enabled
Address http://www.abine.com/tpl/abineielist.txt

I think by eliminating unnecessary links to various add and tracking web sites, my response time has improved dramatically.


Yep, Tom's is particularly bad due to all the ads and tracking loading. It's an even better example probably than the other two of a site that will really show you the load difference.

I'm going to just see if I can boot into a Network Only Safe Mode of some sorts on Win 8 to REALLY try to get it stripped down. My inclination is that even though I've tried the latest Ethernet drivers from both Samsung and straight from Intel, the latter which specifically states Windows 8 compatibility, I'm guessing there must be some sort of bug in the way Win 8 handles Internet traffic or the drivers really isn't 100% optimized for Windows 8 like it should be. Still a pure guess though.
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December 2, 2012 4:35:17 PM

I've done more troubleshooting. Have not determined the cause but have more interesting information.

** If I boot into Safe Mode, the problem is not there. sports.yahoo.com loads in about 2 second - did about 20 refreshes.

** Whatever is causing it, it is one of the last things to load into memory. If I login right away, load the browser and go to sports.yahoo.com (or any site for that matter) the load speed is fast like my Wini 7 machine, ~ 2 seconds for that Yahoo site. But after 30-60 seconds it all the sudden goes from 2 sec load times to 4 sec. Refreshing dozens and dozens of times. If after boot, I wait a few minutes to login, it is slow right away.

In Safe Mode, I logged every process and service that was running. So then I booted normally and manually ended any process or service that was not running in Safe Mode. This did NOT fix the problem, the load time was still slow. There were 4 services that weren't running in Safe Mode that I couldn't stop:

wudfsvc Windows - User mode Driver Framework Service
Task Scheduler Servioce
SamSS
AppInfo

I also tried disabling a few devices in device manager like the Acronis (backup) device and the wifi device. Made no difference.

I also of course in Task Manager > Startup disabled ALL startup programs. No change.

So the question remains, what is Safe Mode NOT loading that normal mode IS loading that is causing the noticeable slow down in web browsing?

I need to find a utility that will log everything that is loaded in the order it was loaded and ideally how many seconds into the boot it is loaded. Then I might be able to figure it out.

Oh and yes, once again, I did disable Windows Defender but it makes no difference. Even Safe Mode loads Windows Defender.

Help!
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Best solution

December 4, 2012 12:07:49 AM

10 hours of wasted time later starting and stopping, enabling and disabling services, drivers, etc.

It was the Power Management! Power Plan was set to Power Saver mode! Why it takes about 3 minutes after boot for it to effect the browsing is beyond me. Sure threw me a curve ball and I've been around the block a few times on PC issues over the past 15-20 years!
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January 18, 2013 1:07:49 AM

I got a new Dell with Windows 8 last month (Dec. 2012), so I did not upgrade my OS on another computer and I'm having the same problem. Firefox, Chrome, IE....all extremely slow. My browsing was much faster with Windows XP Professional and I had 3 gigs of RAM then versus the 6 gigs I have now. I checked the Power Options and it is not set to Power Saver.
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January 30, 2013 6:38:46 PM

JakFak said:
I got a new Dell with Windows 8 last month (Dec. 2012), so I did not upgrade my OS on another computer and I'm having the same problem. Firefox, Chrome, IE....all extremely slow. My browsing was much faster with Windows XP Professional and I had 3 gigs of RAM then versus the 6 gigs I have now. I checked the Power Options and it is not set to Power Saver.


I also got a new higher end ultrabook from Dell with Windows 8. I ran a 1.2G download that took 4 hours. I ran the same download on my old windows 7 laptop that is falling apart and it took 11 minutes. I ran speed tests, etc. I even had Dell take control of my ultrabook-they changed the settings somewhat and it now take 2.5 hours to download instead of 4. They finally told me that there is nothing else they can do, just wait for MS updates to fix it. I am going to ask them to send me Windows 7-I use this computer for my work (I am a consultant) and the slow internet and downloads is a showstopper. Last trip I made for work, I took both computers so I could at least function.

Any help or ideas - let me know! It is not the power setting, nor is it the security.
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a b * Windows 8
January 30, 2013 7:26:54 PM

Why u bringing over a month old post

My be your computer, I've done side by side testing with this, all cases windows 8 won, I tested load times with IE, firefox, chrome, wargames,. If this was a windows wide problem I'd get the same output, not only me but others in sites like PCworld, xcpus, and even in toms testing concluded win 8 to be matched or faster then its predecessors. I'd say its got to do with power features. I have seen power in laps to be an issue in win 8


Head over to PCmag

Without further ado, my results are presented in the table that follows:

Head over to pcworld
head over to pcmark
all test show 8 to be on top
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February 3, 2013 4:52:58 AM

Seems like some anti virus programs do not play well with Win 8.
I has Trend Micro on my laptop which worked fine in Win 7.
Finallly tried disabling in and enabling Windows Defender and now all browsing (IE10, Firefox) are back to normal.

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February 4, 2013 12:51:14 PM

consultant1027 said:
A couple of weeks ago I installed Windows 8 (fresh install from scratch, not an update) on my computer. I do a lot of web browsing and over the last couple of weeks I've been using Windows 8, I could swear the web browsing wasn't as fast at it used to be on Windows 7.

I then noticed I was having major issues bringing up my router's control panel (ASUS RT-N56U) so thinking it was my router I upgraded the firmware. Turned out, the Avast Anti-Virus I was running has issues with Windows 8. I removed AVAST and turned on Windows Defender (which in Windows 8 is also an anti-virus program now referred to MSE - Miscrosoft Security Essentials). MSE has gotten fairly good reviews so I decided to use it, for maximum compatibility with Windows 8.

However, although the router control panel would now come up okay, browsing still seemed to not be quite as fast as it used to be. I sat down at the old 5-year old Dell Desktop next to me that is running Windows 7, both computers were connected to the router via Gigabit Ethernet. I tested network speeds with Speedtest.net to make sure they were both getting the same Internet speeds (which they were.) I found a couple 'heavy' web pages to test:

www.epicurious.com (home page)
sports.yahoo.com (home page)

The browsing was MUCH faster on the Windows 7 machine!! So I decided to do more of a controlled test.

The Samsung Notebook is a Series 6 Core i5 with 6GB RAM and 64GB SSD running Win 8 Pro 64-bit. Windows Experience score of 5.9. Windows Defender (MSE) Anti-Virus. Windows Firewall Turned OFF!

The Dell Desktop is Intel Q8200 with 6GB RAM and a 5400RPM HD running Win 7 32-bit (not sure why 64-bit didn't install, sort of strange but oh well). It had a Windows Experience score of 3.6. Avast Anti-Virus. Windows Firewall turned OFF. Windows Defender turned OFF.

I went into Windows Task Manager on both computers and ended most if not all tasks that were not critical to the system and no other programs except the browsers were running.

I removed all plug-ins and add-ons from Chrome except the Page Load Time extension plug-in which can be downloaded here:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/page-load-tim...

I also tested on FireFox using this add-on:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/apptelem...

On the Windows 8 Machine I also tested with Internet Explorer 10 - unfortunately I couldn't find a page load speed monitor for it that would work so I could only do an informal visual+verbal count, stopping when I saw the page stop X in the URL bar change to the reload symbol indicating the page had completed loading.

On both test pages I refreshed the pages at least 10 times and averaged the scores. I looked at the page load speed monitor result but I also did a visual+verbal count out loud until I saw the page stopped loading objects.

The results were astounding (and very frustrating/disappointing because otherwise I really like Windows 8 as the OS in general seems better/faster than Windows 7 for multitasking)

Here's the results:

Windows 8 + Fast Machine + Chrome 23.0.1271.95 m on epicurious.com: ~ 3.5 sec load counter / ~ 5.5 sec visual/verbal count

Windows 7 + Slow Machine + Chrome 23.0.1271.95 m on epicurious.com: ~ 2 sec avg / ~ 3.5 sec avg visual/verbal count

Windows 8 Fast machine + Chrome on sports.yahoo.com: 5 sec avg / 5 sec avg

Windows 7 Slow machine + Chrome on sports.yahoo.com: 2.5 sec / 3 sec

Windows 8 Fast machine + FireFox on epicurious com: 4.5 sec / 4.5 sec

Windows 7 Slow machine + Firefox on epicurious.com: 2.5 sec / 3 sec

Windows 8 Fast machine + FireFox on sports.yahoo com: 5.25 sec / 5 sec

Windows 7 Slow machine + Firefox on sports.yahoo.com: 2.5 sec / 3 sec

Windows 8 Fast machine + Internet Explorer 10 on epicurious.com: ~ 5 sec visual/verbal count

Windows 8 Fast machine + Internet Explorer 10 on sports.yahoo.com: ~ 6 sec visual/verbal count

(I didn't bother testing IE 10 on the Win 7 machine)

It is clear, that something in Windows 8 is causing the browsers to load web pages 30-50% slower. If you have a very fast Internet connection (like me - 35 mbit/s download and 6 mbit/s upload) in regular use, the difference may not be that noticeable to the "casual user" as the difference between as a 3 sec and a 5 sec page load speed are both fairly fast for these two sites.

But it you have many sites open at once and are multi-tasking and clicking lots of links hours at a time, it IS noticeable. Downright depressing when you compare it to a Windows 7 machine especially considering the specs on the Win 8 machine are much better hardware wise! If anything the Windows 8 machines should be faster.

Now I know a some people are going to be skeptical about my findings or give suggestions as to something that may be wrong with my particular PC. Obviously every PC is different, having different configurations, apps loaded, processes running, etc. But in my 25+ years in the Tech Industry my gut is telling me there's something not right with Windows 8 and it is just a matter of time until enough people complain to Microsoft about it to get their attention to find the cause of the issue and fix it.

HERE'S A COUPLE IMPORTANT POINTS WHY MY GUT IS TELLING ME IT IS A WINDOWS 8 ISSUE:

* I tried the tests on Windows 8 with Windows Defender (MSE) turned OFF, Firewall turned OFF. No anti-virus programs running. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE.

** I made sure the drivers for both my Ethernet and Wi-Fi Networking were the latest drivers. They are the on-board Intel 82579M Gigabit Ethernet and Centrino 6230 Wireless.

*** Running the tests on Wifi instead of Ethernet ALSO MADE NO DIFFERENCE.

The facts seem to point to something in the Windows 8 Operating System is slowing things down. I wish I knew what it was as I feel so frustrated that this new powerful Samsung Core i5 notebook running Windows 8 has slower web browsing than than 5-year old Windows 7 Dell Desktop sitting across from me.

I have seen many other posts about Chrome running slowly on Windows 8. It isn't just Chrome!

*** I would encourage others to run these tests as I would at least like to be 99% confident that I don't have some hardware or driver issue. ***

Other's having same issues:

https://productforums.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/chrome/KV_TPd6Ehdg

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...


http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2006876

http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/941163


Try this out. It worked for me.

http://articles.pubarticles.com/how-to-speed-up-windows...
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February 22, 2013 1:03:38 AM

alimalik04 said:
Try this out. It worked for me.

http://articles.pubarticles.com/how-to-speed-up-windows...


Yes I Bought three new window 8 Dell Computers for my office and I've discovered the same low web browser issues also...slow speeds on a very fast connection. Bought the Dell Cons Warranty for $300 for One year and spent hours with Dell remotely controlling all three of my New PC's and they said there is nothing that can be done until the rest of the world can catch up to Windows 8....

I put Avast on all of the PC's and they removed it all and the results were the same so ....whoever said it was an avast thing is wrong. Something in Windows 8 is slowing it down because I to have all browsers Chrom Firefox opera and explorer and they are act like they have a virus....some web programs will not work at all.
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March 17, 2013 5:37:31 PM

Have been having the same issues with win 8 . It goes down to some hdds access issues in my opinion. Windows 7 flys on the very same hdds that I tried win8 with fresh installs. In the beginning i started to think my hdds suddenly were going bad for no reason. Moved back to win7 and won't think of win8 until sp1 comes out. Will throw some ssds soon. I am very eager to test performance with ssd on win8 compared to win7. for now regular hdd and win8 is a big NO GO.
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March 30, 2013 11:34:21 AM

If you are using codsnnectify, that is the problem. I had the same problem, i stopped connectify and closed the program. Internet was back to win7 standar
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