Why is the 'Net sometimes slow?

You might as well ask why the 896 North exit off I-95 is backed up before a football game or why it can take forever to drive from Smith Hall to the Deer Park at class change!

It's really a matter of traffic and capacity. If people are trying to move more information than the network has been designed to handle, traffic grinds to a halt.

Over the course of any day, there are normal "rush hours" on the net, just like there are normal rush hours on the highways, roads, and dining halls. However, just as two cars stopped on North College Avenue so their occupants can chat during class change can really make your blood boil, so there are ways that people abuse the privilege of using one of the best campus networks in the country.

It turns out that most of what you do on the Internet takes up very little of our network's capacity. When you look at a web page or send an e-mail message, you generate a quick burst of network activity, but within seconds, your stuff is done and someone else is using the network.

The BIG problem is bandwidth hogs! If your computer is continually uploading or downloading files, you are hogging the 'Net! Others can't use it! Traffic backs up! Tempers flare! Homework gets turned in Late!

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How can I reduce my use of the 'Net?