Do you have a Dell computer? Does it seem to have a slower Wi-Fi connection than the rest of your devices? It can be caused by this simple but mostly unknown problem. Once you know this, it’s easy to find and fix slow download speeds on your Dell.
This is a perfect example of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Believe it or not, the SmartByte service was meant to improve your experience on the web. SmartByte Telemetry, also known as the SmartByte Network Service, is built by Rivet Networks to give higher priority to activities that require more bandwidth over your Wi-Fi. Yes, the Rivet Networks that made Killer Wireless. Intel now owns it.
The idea is that if you’re streaming video while checking Facebook or Instagram, SmartByte will give more bandwidth to video, since regular web apps don’t require that much. At least that was the theory.
Sometimes SmartByte is only installed as a service and driver. However, if you have a Dell Inspiron, G3, G5, or G7, you may have the SmartByte app or the Dell Cinemastream app. Both use the SmartByte driver and service.
If slower Wi-Fi speeds don’t interest you, SmartByte also has issues caused by: dropping User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packages in Windows 11, version 21H2, according to Microsoft. They say it was solved by the KB5006674 update in October 2021 so check if you have it.
Dell still distributes SmartByte and says it works with Windows 11. You would think that the latest version fixes this issue as it has been an issue since about 2017. Apparently they didn’t fix it.
Dell Knowledge Base articles are as new as of January 2022 how to fix network performance issues, and they point to SmartByte. So no, updating SmartByte doesn’t necessarily fix the slow speed issue.
While Dell recommends updating SmartByte, it’s highly unlikely to improve things. There are two choices. One is to disable SmartByte and the other is to remove SmartByte completely. Before you do either, run an internet speed test and save the results. When you are done disabling or uninstalling SmartByte, run another internet speed test and compare it to the previous results.
If the second is better, then SmartBytes was a problem. If the second is the same or worse, then something else is causing the delay. You need to find out why your download speed is slow.
Why should we disable SmartByte instead of removing it completely? SmartByte may work for you under certain circumstances. maybe you think so Zoom Meetings work better with SmartByte, but it makes streaming 4K video even worse. Or maybe you just want to make sure SmartByte is the real cause of your Wi-Fi speed issues.
- Select the Get started menu and search for Services† Open Services when you find it.
- Find the SmartByte maintenance. This can be done quickly by clicking a service once and then typing smartbyte. To stop only the SmartByte service, select it and then select Stop the service in the service description area or the stop button in the toolbar.
- To disable SmartByte, double click on it and the SmartByte Service Features window opens.
- change the Startup type from automatically until Handicapped† Then select the Stop button in the Service Status section, if not already stopped. Select Okay to close the window.
- The SmartByte service status is now cleared and the Startup type is Handicapped†
Check your internet speed and compare it with before. If it’s higher, there’s a good chance SmartByte is the problem. You may want to remove SmartByte completely.
Did Disabling SmartByte Improve Your Download Speeds? If so, consider uninstalling SmartByte. It’s easy.
- Right click on the Start menu or use the key combination To win † X† In the menu that opens, select Apps and Features†
- In the Apps and Features window, start typing smartbytein the search field. All apps that use SmartBytes are listed as results. In this case it is SmartByte Drivers and Services and the SmartByte app. You may also see the CinemaStream app.
- Select one of the apps with a single click and then select remove† It will ask for confirmation. Select remove again.
- Another warning may display a warning that the computer must be restarted after removal. Select Okay to continue and when the uninstall is complete, restart your computer.
This method of removing SmartByte is more for the old-fashioned techie. Some of us still do everything through the Control Panel
- Select the Get started menu and start typing check to find the Control panel† Once found, open it.
- In the Control panelselect the Programs and Features choice.
- In the Programs and Features window, search and select SmartByte Drivers and Servicesand then select remove†
- You will be asked if you are sure you want to uninstall SmartByte Drivers and Services. Select Yes†
- The uninstallation starts and it goes fast.
Once the progress bar window disappears, SmartByte Drivers and Services will be removed. Check this by seeing that it is no longer in the list of programs in the Programs and Features window. It’s also not in Services.
SmartByte consists of a service and a driver, and you know that getting rid of services and drivers can cause problems. In this case, no, it won’t cause any problems. SmartByte is just a utility. Below you can see that all our network drivers are still there. Yours might look a little different.
The drivers for your Wi-Fi and everything else will remain intact and no damage will be done. Some users have even reported that other issues with their Dell PC have been resolved. People’s problems with VPNs, FTP and Windows crashes have stopped. However, if you think that uninstalling SmartByte caused problems, you can reinstall it.
It seems simple, but there was a more than 25% increase in download and upload speeds based on our before and after speed tests.
We are curious how much removing SmartByte helped you. Let us know in the comments. If you know someone with a Dell who has speed issues, send them this article.