Please help!!!

I am a complete computer novice. I am enjoying using the internet but I am having problems when downloading. The only way I can get anywhere is by rubbing the mouse vigorously on the mat!! Yes, I know it sounds silly but that is the only way that I can download mail and even then a short note can take ten minutes to download. I have a Sony Cybershot camera but to send an image downline has taken 45 minutes of vigorous activity! What is wrong and what can be done? I am a retired widow and cannot afford the telephone bills. Yes, we in the U.K. have to pay for all phone calls, even local ones.
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First of all check your modem. If it's anything less that 56k, you can definitely improve the speed by getting a 56k modem. It's worth it, not too expensive these days.
If it's already 56k modem, there will be other things to investigate. things like, the modem maximum speed setting(from Control Panel/ modems/ properties), try setting it to a higher speed, or your Internet Service Provider, try other free ISP.
That's for a start.
There is an IRQ conflict between your mouse and the modem.  Try pluggin the modem in the second serial port.  After that, go into Start:Settings:Modems.  Select your modem and click on Properties.  Change the COM port from 1 to 2 or vice versa as applicable.

Hopefully this will work, let me know if not.

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