|"I find that hard to believe since I got upgraded from 1Mbps to 8Mbps just two weeks ago."|
Ping is not throughput. Keep that in mind. You can have a gigabit connection to your ISP, but if your ISP's network sucks, pings can be high.
"1. Which (in Windows) defaulprogram can I disconnect to boost my ping rate."
You can disable unneeded services, but to be honest, you're probably not going see a reduction in ping times.
Still not bad to disable stuff you don't need anyway.
Disable the following services...
Error Reporting Service
Help and Support
Human Interface Device Access
Machine Debug Manager
Network DDE DSDM
Routing and Remote Access
SSDP Discovery Service
Wireless Zero Configurator (unless you use it for a wifi nic)
"2. Will any tweaking in Norton give me positive effekt in pingcapasity."
The best tweak is get rid of it. Norton Security Suite is a piece of dog crap for security, and significantly reduces system performance. Replace with McAfee or Grisoft's AVG (even FreeAVG is fine), and good adware/spyware scanners such as Spybot Search and Destroy as well as Lavasoft's Ad-Aware Personal edition, both of which are free.
"3. Is there any Register tweaks
(I was thingking www.winguides.com/registry) that can make me a winner in my chase towards lower ping."
Try the above first.
"4. Could it be usefull to get an External hardware Firewall instead of my software?"
It IS useful. Good security is layered. You should for security reasons run both a SOHO NAT router with an SPI firewall AND a software firewall, even the built in Windows Firewall is good enough if you have the previously mentioned router. With an external router, unsolicited connection attempts are blocked before your computer even sees them, which helps reduce system resource consumption.
With that said, if there are tons of unsolicited connection attempts, even if the router blocks them before hitting your PC, they still consume bandwidth and can increase pings. That is part of the effective nature of a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
A software firewall is STILL necessary even with the router. Routers do not block ANY connection originating *FROM* your PC. For example, if your computer gets hit with a downloader trojan that goes out to the internet to download more malware on to your machine without your knowledge, a router won't do diddly squat to stop it. A software firewall however may be able to stop it. That's why I recommend even the built in Windows Firewall. No, it's not the best software firewall, but it is easy to manage, and does a decent job. Coupled with a router, a good anti-virus, and good anti-spyware/adware scanners, you're in good shape.
Recommended router: Linksys WRT54G - includes wifi with WPA support if you need wireless as well. Includes SPI firewall. If you don't need wireless, Netgear and Linksys both make good wired routers. If you do get the wifi router but don't need wifi now, make sure to disable the wireless access point.
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