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I am new and I just installed Ubuntu on my desktop. Do I have to install drivers for my modem for it to download fast? Because the download speed I am getting is really slow compared to my mac.

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What kind of download? Browser pages opening? Torrents? Download of an ISO? –  Rinzwind Oct 26 '12 at 12:13

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Drivers are the programs to make communication between your System and device. Ubuntu is so powerful that it automatically recognize modems so you don't need to install extra driver for it and main thing is that Your internet connection speed doesn't depends on modem driver.

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Do I have to install drivers for my modem for it to download fast?

No. Either Ubuntu has the driver for a piece hardware or it does not. If it works (but slowly) it means the driver is supported. In general, nowadays, no extra installation is required for modems.

Because the download speed I am getting is really slow compared to my mac.

In case we are talking about torrents.

Check your router and confirm that you opended the ports required for bittorrent for your machine. If these are not open you will probably get very low to no download speed.

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Internet speed depends on RAM(fine if 2 gb) and CPU speed. Also, if u r opening many web pages, or running multiple applications at the same time, it can slow down or hang.
Anyway, to check ur internet speed, close all the web pages and applications, open ur browser and run http://www.testinternetspeed.org

If u r using usb modem, check if the usb port does not contain dust particles.

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Since the OP is not having trouble on Mac, this is not related to intermnet speed. –  hexafraction Oct 26 '12 at 11:24

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