Recently my machine was bogged down by some strange network performance issues. Everything about the network connection looked fine and contacted both our ISP and Microsoft’s support teams yielded no result. Our quest to find a solution sent us deep into the dark corners of Windows 10 (Registry, GPedit, etc.), and turns out that was all for not. The system was acting a lot like some quality of service rule had not been updated since we had upgraded our internet connection.
However, after weeks of research and frustration, we finally found an insignificant looking support article from on MicroStar International’s website (better known by us PC gamers as MSI). The culprit was a piece of software called SmartByte. This is a piece of third-party software developed by Rivet Networks and installed on all newer Dell computers to prioritize multimedia traffic (Netflix, YouTube, etc.). Little did we know that, despite there not being any media running at the time, SmartByte was continually throttling all system traffic, decreasing our network performance by as much as 600%. Long story short, if it is on your system, remove it. The benefit of this software as compared to its effects makes it an abysmal choice to have on your system.
So how do you remove it?
Fortunately, removing bloatware from your Windows machine has never been easier than now. If you want to remove the software from your system (and any other software for that matter), just search “remove” in the hot bar, and select “add or remove programs.”
Then search through the list, find SmartByte in the S section, and remove it. Congratulations, your internet speed will now act like it should.
Update as of 03/12/2019:
We would like to take a moment to give a shout out to Rivet Networks for tackling this problem head on, and offering a hot fix for this issue. Feel free to try the fix in the comments below and let us (and more importantly THEM) know how it works!