For some reason, the Windows XP Professional ships with a new networking service called Quality of Service (QoS) enabled by default, even though this service is of use only in large corporate networks. At home and in smaller offices QoS is best left disabled, and doing so will speed up networking operations up to 20%. Confusingly, turning off QoS in Networking Properties will not actually free up the lost bandwidth. Instead, you must load up the Local Group Policy Editor and tweak some settings to get QoS out of your system for good.
Here's how you do it. Open the Start Menu, and choose Run, then type gpedit.msc in the text box and hit ENTER. This will load the Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE). Once the LGPE is loaded, expand the following nodes in the left tree view:
Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Network
Then, select the QoS Packet Scheduler entry, and double-click the setting titled "limit reservable bandwidth," found on the right side of the window. On the Setting tab of the Limit reservable bandwidth Properties dialog, select the Enabled option. Then enter 0 in the Bandwidth limit (%) combo-box. Click OK, then exit the LGPE. No reboot is required to enable this change.
Note: If you look at the properties dialog for your network connection(s), you should still see the QoS Packet Scheduler listed on the General tab. If this item is not present, QoS is still taking up 20% of your bandwidth! You need the packet scheduler installed to ensure that no bandwidth is allocated.
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This was first published in January 2002