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Thread: A serious question about expectations

  1. #1
    Regular Member Old Fart's Avatar
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    A serious question about expectations

    I see a lot of posts in these forums regarding "Why aren't I getting the speed advertised". I am a SysAdmin for a small ISP in Jacksonville Florida, so I do speak with knowledge of the subject.

    The only true test of how fast your connection to your ISP is is to download a file from their servers, assuming that they have no cap on speeds from their fileservers. i.e. We host a shareware download server with the authorized free distributions of items such as Netscape, CuteFTP, WSFTP, etc.

    Downloading from that server, which is not MUXed or throttled, to my home machine on our bridged 1.5x256 aDSL I have recieved at 191KBps. Doing the math, I was pulling all but the packet overhead of the T-1 connection that circuit has between the telco and my office. Granted, at the time, we had few customers on that particular circuit at the time, but theres my baseline.

    I am concerned that people are expecting this type of speed from any ftp or download fileserver they connect to. This is simply not going to be the case. In most instances, the fileservers are MUXed or throttled so that no one thread may exceed a specified bandwidth cap when pulling from them. For example, a lot of the most popular download sites throttle you to somewhere around 128KBps or less. Some are designed to only allow downloads of 64K or less. Remember, those people running 'comegetmyfiles.com' have to pay someone for the bandwidth they use too.

    The other main factor in the 'speed' equation is internet latency. Unless you use a program such as VisualRoute, or some other trace tool, it is hard to see and understand Internet latency and how that might affect your connection and throughput. The WWW will simply never be able to operate as fast and flawlessly as your local LAN

    Hope this clears up some misconceptions. If it creates more, well, what is life without challenges?
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    Dr Tweak mnosteele52's Avatar
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    I agree except for the part about downloading a file from your own ISPs servers. The problem with that is when do you ever download a file from them - practically never. I agree that the speed tests are not that accurate that is why I suggest doing many and getting an average so you have something to go by and latency is another touchy subject, latency can rise tremendously when downloading a large file as compared to just pinging a site. The way I figure it most people want web surfing to be fast so if they use a RWIN that is based on a lower latency pages will load faster and your large downloads won't suffer much if at all, like you said most ftp servers aren't going to give you maximum bandwidth anyway. Anyway nice post with some good info.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Old Fart's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mnosteele52
    I agree except for the part about downloading a file from your own ISPs servers. The problem with that is when do you ever download a file from them - practically never.
    My point in saying that is that beyond the 'net side if your ISP's gateway, neither they or you can affect the perceived or actual speed of your connection. My contract with UUNet says I damn well better see <60 milliseconds to any other UUNet hop. But off their backbone? no guarantees.

    Your 'caps' as they are referred to here on the board are only valid between you and your ISP. In my case I have a good test, as the fileserver I downloaded from is physically 8 feet from my Cisco, on the same subnet etc.

    Past that ISP gateway, your packets are on their own.

    Oh, hehe, I download files from my ISP on a daily basis
    I have all the money I'll ever need...... if I die by 4 this afternoon - Groucho Marx

    When I think of those whom I respect the most, you are there.....serving them drinks.

    Expectations Vs. Reality
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  4. #4
    Regular Member MtCableman's Avatar
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    Too bad more people can't or won't understand that. They will still take DSL speed test as a serious test for their Internet speed. There are too many variables that affect the speed tests from the WWW. Speed tests from the ISP servers are the correct way to go.


    Great Post!!
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  5. #5
    Resident Rodent Randy's Avatar
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    its kind of a what you get is wher you it from thing and dlding from your isp will always be according to speed expected> exept when your neighbour who share the same node is uploading pron avi's then u have to call tech support and say wtf is wrg here.

    i think we are at the mercy of the $ and i think that maybe general dlding speeds with cable and dsl speeds will slow down soon... until we get foc.

    I was going to post a link to that thread, but the SG search results for "bullsh|t" were too numerous

    sometimes you have to think outside the box to get inside the box .

  6. #6
    Resident Rodent Randy's Avatar
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    * slams beer*

    I was going to post a link to that thread, but the SG search results for "bullsh|t" were too numerous

    sometimes you have to think outside the box to get inside the box .

  7. #7
    Regular Member Old Fart's Avatar
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    Randy, DSL doesn't work that way. You are on a separate circuit from Bob next door to the telco. His Grokster/Kaaza/Limewire infected machine sharing porn files and uploading his hat size to skumbukketmarketing.com doesn't affect you at all.
    Last edited by Old Fart; 06-21-02 at 02:52 PM.
    I have all the money I'll ever need...... if I die by 4 this afternoon - Groucho Marx

    When I think of those whom I respect the most, you are there.....serving them drinks.

    Expectations Vs. Reality
    Run a web-based antivirus scan
    HELP!! I have a virus, how do I get rid of it????
    Minimum permissions REQUIRED for running IIS5

  8. #8
    I'm White wee96's Avatar
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    I beg to differ...all the DSL users in one area have to centrally connect to the telco, right? AFTER that point, is when the bandwidth is shared, right?

    Originally posted by Old Fart
    Randy, DSL doesn't work that way. You are on a separate circuit from Bob next door to the telco. His Grokster/Kaaza/Limewire infected machine sharing porn files and uploading his hat size to skumbukketmarketing.com doesn't affect you at all.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Old Fart's Avatar
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    Nope, wee96, all DSL lines are separate wires till they reach the central office, where they are aggregated onto the access circuit.

    The access circuit is part of the CO to CO backbone, and is not going to limit your speed.
    I have all the money I'll ever need...... if I die by 4 this afternoon - Groucho Marx

    When I think of those whom I respect the most, you are there.....serving them drinks.

    Expectations Vs. Reality
    Run a web-based antivirus scan
    HELP!! I have a virus, how do I get rid of it????
    Minimum permissions REQUIRED for running IIS5

  10. #10
    Elite Member Norm's Avatar
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    This is a good post Old Fart. I think most of the regular members agree, and know these things to be true.

    It's too bad that this thread will eventually disappear from the 1st page in this forum, and become lost in the archives like so many other good posts. Like so many other informative posts, this will have to be repeated from time to time for the new members that join up looking for answers.

    Thanks for posting.

    Norm

  11. #11
    Regular Member Old Fart's Avatar
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    Wouldn't bother me a bit if Kip or one of the other mods rebranded this as their post and locked it up top.

    Not about the pats on the back, I just like to help when I can.
    I have all the money I'll ever need...... if I die by 4 this afternoon - Groucho Marx

    When I think of those whom I respect the most, you are there.....serving them drinks.

    Expectations Vs. Reality
    Run a web-based antivirus scan
    HELP!! I have a virus, how do I get rid of it????
    Minimum permissions REQUIRED for running IIS5

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