All those programs do, are use simple tricks to give the impresson of increased speed. They'll do things like set up a caching DNS server to help speed up the initial phases of loading a website, reduce the quality of images to cut down their size and thus how much you download, but they don't really increase anything.
Quite frankly, the only way to increase your bandwidth is to buy a faster service from someone. A 56K modem will always be limited to 56K speeds for example, and no amount of software is going to change that. If I were you, I'd save the $9/mo you're paying for an essentially worthless service, and consider putting it towards a faster connection. Maybe even look into DSL instead of cable. Since DSL is dedicated bandwidth, unlike cable, it can often seem much faster. And really, if you get into the technical details of how cable internet works, you understand why it tends to be so slow, and further understand that it's always going to be that way.
I have a strange question. I purchased a product called Active Speed by www.ascentive.com. It is supposed to speed up your internet speed upto 400 times. I have cable modem through comcast. I pay $8.95/mo for active speed. How can I tell if really speeds up my bandwidth? Thanks.