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Thread: Download Speed

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    Download Speed

    My pc is connected wireless to a BT home hub. The wireless connection status says 54Mbps. myspeed.visualware.com tells me that my broadband connection speed is 1400 kbps. Where would I need to start looking to find out why when downloading a file from the internet the transfer rate is only 8.0KB/Sec?

    Regards

    Graeme

  2. #2
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    Re: Download Speed

    Download speed depends on many other things, as well as your connection to your ISP.

    Start by measuring the speed to a few fast servers, I use these ones, and since you are based in London these will probably be good for you too.
    <UL><LI>http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html
    <LI>http://speedtest.net/
    <LI>http://www.speedtest.bbmax.co.uk/
    <LI>http://download.bethere.co.uk/downloadMeter.html[/list]Also remember that 8KB/sec is equivalent to about 80Kb/s

    The capital B is Bytes, the small b is bits, although there are only 8 bits in a byte I usually multiple by 10 to allow for overheads that it is impossible to eliminate (packet headers etc).

    StuartR

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    Re: Download Speed

    StewartR

    Thanks for that.

    Here's my results:

    http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html
    1038 Kbps
    http://speedtest.net/
    1651 Kbps (875 Kbps first try!)
    http://www.speedtest.bbmax.co.uk/
    1225 Kbps
    http://download.bethere.co.uk/downloadMeter.html
    1377 Kbps

    Quite a variation. Speedtest.net gave a much slower result first try and I've downloaded a 6MB file at 30 KB/s (dropping from an initial 50 KB/s to 27KB/s) since my original post.

    Maybe I have a dodgy phone line?

    Regards

    Graeme

  4. #4
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    Re: Download Speed

    The variability is nothing to worry about, the results depend on a lot of factors. They show that your maximum download speed is in the range of 800-1600 Kb (kilobits) per second, or 100-200 KB (kilobytes) per second.

    But the actual download speed of files also depends on the upload speed of the server and of how busy it is. Many servers have only moderate upload speeds, and if there are several requests at the same time, that upload speed has to be shared among them. 30 KB per second is not unusual, and it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a problem with your connection, more likely that there is a bottleneck on the other end.

  5. #5
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    Re: Download Speed

    Since you say your broadband connection is rated at 1400 kbps, these seem like perfectly reasonable results to me. I think that your broadband connection is working fine.

    As Hans says, the speed variation is absolutely normal, and nothing to worry about.

    The download speed for your file is almost certainly caused by a bottleneck at the server, have you tried downloading from a variety of different sites?

    StuartR

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    Re: Download Speed

    Thanks for the information.

    The figure 1400kbps is the result of another speed test. The BT Broadband advertising quotes 8Mb as a download speed. After testing my line BT informed me that they could give me a maximum speed of 4Mb. The actual speed I'm getting probably matches what the small print says! I'll have to move nearer to the BT sub-station or switch to cable.

    Regards

    Graeme

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    Re: Download Speed

    I switched to cable a couple of years ago and have never regretted the move! It is so nice to have pages load rapidly especially pictures! You would enjoy the speed! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

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    Re: Download Speed

    I've heard lots of horror stories about cable in the UK.

    Depending on where Graeme lives in London, he can probably get ADSL2+ service from a company such as Be. I achieve a measured 12Mbps download speed, which is quite fast enough for anything I want to do.

    StuartR

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    Re: Download Speed

    Golly Stuart, I hadn't realized that cable would be a problem? I had a few choices since cable can be offered through satellite dishes but that was more expensive for me. I wanted to stay away from the telephone line if I could because of the distance of the signal. I hope that Graeme has excellent service no matter which way he choses to go.


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

  10. #10
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    Re: Download Speed

    I suspect that this varies greatly by location and cable company.

    Some of the UK cable companies have far too many subscribers sharing the same bandwidth, and have unreliable servers for DHCP, DNS etc. They tend to compete on price rather than service.

    StuartR

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    Re: Download Speed

    Thanks for your interest.

    The cable here is Virgin Media. We considered it when we moved in last February but our TV ariel was knackered so we replaced it for 150 which steered us towards the TV freeview route instead of cable.

    BT sign you up for 18 months. So I'll stay with what I've got for another year or so then look around.

    Regards

    Graeme

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    Re: Download Speed

    You should also bear in mind what contention ratio you have - something that is not always well publicised. If you have a contention ratio of 50:1 and your browsing coincides with the 49 others you 'share' your connection with, you could be looking at (say) 4MB/50....

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