cable modem speed

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by gernb, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. gernb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    #1
    signed on with earthlink cable modem service a few weeks back...works great so far, but i'm wondering why the download speed drops during downloads.

    just downloaded a 30 meg file from apple's quicktime site. Download started at 240KB/SEC but slowed to 70 KB/SEC by the time the file was done.

    What gives? any ideas...this is normal or not?
     
  2. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #2
    You are experiencing the nature of the beast for cable modems. The more people in your area that go online, the slower your connection will be.

    It could also be that the site picked up more traffic as your download progressed. Go to Speed411 and run the speed test. Run it at different times of day (as best you can) to get a better picture of when you will see the best speeds.
     
  3. gernb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, alpha. I understand the bit about sharing the bandwidth with other uses on the same loop of cable.

    But the slow down I'm talking about seems like something different. If I watch the file downloading in IE's download manager, I can see the transfer rate drop...usually from a start of around 200KB/sec to maybe around 70.

    Is this what people mean when they talk about ISPs capping bandwidth? Or is it also possible that a site may not be able to deliver a file as quickly as my connection is capable of and that's why it slow down?

    Just curious...in the spirit of making sure i'm getting what i'm paying for.
     
  4. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #4
    Well, what were you told for a speed range or max. speed??? If you see half the max speed promised by the ISP, then you are probably doing fairly well. Did you try the speed test at speed411 yet?

    I have Earthlink DSL and typically see speeds in the mid to upper 1900's from there (made it to 1999kbps once).

    The site may not be able to deliver a steady feed at the speed you can take. That is fairly common these days with all the people on high speed. I almost pity the poor bastards on dial-up... but then again, I really don't. :D
     
  5. firewire2001 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    i experience the same sort of problems... especially when uploading stuff... i think it has to do with capping and yer isp not wanting you hogging so much bandwith..

    btw: i have roadrunner.. by time warner cable..
     
  6. Promostyle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    You are experiencing what's called "bandwidth throttling". Your ISP is capping your d/l speed (as most "broadband" ISP's will do).

    I have the same prob. A movie will start at like 500k/sec for about a min., then slow to 125k.
     
  7. Tiauguinho macrumors 6502a

    Tiauguinho

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    What a Hell... I've got Cable here in Portugal and it has a maximum speed of 640Kbps per second. When I am Downloading anything in the Explorer the maximum speed that I got was 62KB per second against the 4,555 Bytes per second that I had when I was using dial up with my powerbook. Is it me our you guys have 10x the speed that I have?!?!?!?!?

    Can you please explain Alpha? Is this a good speed of download, or is it slow as a snail?
     
  8. crassusad44 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Location:
    Scandinavia
    #8
    Not sure if this speed meter is actually good. The most I got was 768 Kbit/s, which is far from what I'm at. When connected to fast servers, I top out just under 1 MB/s (like in one megabyte).
     
  9. Quark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    #9
    Download speed slowdown

    Background:
    I have had RoadRunner cable modem for a long time. I have tweaked the connect on my Windows machines to get the maximum download speed. When I connected my new iMac and the Airport2, the internet connection was already tweaked (well, at least as good as the Windows machine or better).

    Observations:
    What you are experiencing is perfectly normal - I don't care what anyone says about "capping" or sharing of bandwith. This simply is not the case. If you go to http://www.dslreports.com/tools you can test your download speed. I recommend running each test three times to get an average.

    I consistently hit a result number between 2200 and 2300. Not sure what that means, but according to the chart it is fast. When I download files, sometimes the same thing happens that you describe and sometimes it doesn't. What is happening is that there is a bottleneck somewhere on the Internet between the server and your computer. There is nothing you can do about it -- except for maybe one thing, get "Speed Download". What it does is requests the same file several times and then splits up the download of the same file across several connections. Thereby speeding up the download. There may be other tools to help with this.

    Another thing that you can do is go into the Preferences for IE and dig through all the options, you'll find one where you can set the maximum number of connections. Go ahead and max that out - I think it goes up to 8.

    Sorry to be so longwinded, but I think that you will be happier understanding the issue and ways to work around it. Also, this doesn't happen all the time, so don't sweat it. If it seems to be slowing way, way down - then cancel the download and try it again, sometimes this works like magic.

    Take care,
    Quark
     
  10. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #10
    Quark, not bad overall...

    With my DSL connection, I was told a max speed of 1.5Mbps when I signed on. I had some issues where it dropped to about 200kbps for more then a few days. I called Earthlink, and a few weeks later (after a few more calls) the issue was resolved. There was a fault somewhere in the line between me and the Earthlink servers (i.e. Verizon's land :rolleyes: ). I got a call one day at home from a Verizon tech that wanted me to check my speed. I did so, and it had jumped to about 1800kbps (~1.8Mb) for downloads. I was then told that they had fixed the lines, and becuase I had made noise about it, they had also increased my speeds (for no extra $/month). I now see [fairly consistant] download speeds in the 1.9Mbps-2Mbps range, sometimes a little higher. My upload has gone from 128kbps to 384kbps, not that I upload all that much, but it helps.

    The only time I see slowdowns online is when the site I am on has heavy traffic. Otherwise, it's all blazing fast. I also have my connections set to the maximum, and the cache set to either 1MB or 2MB (forget which, since the laptop is at home today).

    I have seen downloads that are at close to the max all the way through, then other times, it slows down, only to speed back up again (from heavy traffic coming and going).

    I've found speed411 to give more reliable speed testing, since not as many people use it, and they use a better file for testing. Every time I use the others, by the time the download speed registers, the file is already done. That's what happens when you only use a 640KB file. I think they need to use a 1MB or larger file for the testing.

    [side note]Damn, up to 3300 posts already... :D [/side note]
     
  11. DavPeanut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    #11
    I have comcast cable (it may not be available everywhere). I get 150 kb/sec. regularly. I know people who have gotten 750 kb/sec., but that was all at night.
     
  12. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #12
    150kbps is not all that much better then dial-up.

    When I was having the speed issue with my DSL connection, I checked around for alternate ISP's. Everyone else maxed out at 650kbps for the same money. IF I wanted to pay more, I could get a faster connection, but I was not going to spend more then what I am now.

    In my experience, Earthlink works with you to resolve issues. The tech I spoke with for my speed issue actually knew OS X, and how to use different parts to test the connection. On another occasion, my inbox was full on one of my addresses (I have six). The tech was able to delete the junk that I was getting, and then send the few email's I actually wanted to get to me. That was caused by the fact that I hadn't checked email in a few days, and it got loaded up with spam. Spam, spam, spam, spam and more spam... I don't like spam (or Spam even). :p :D
     
  13. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #13
    i've got Optusnet cable and depending on how many Optus users are online i can get up to 2MB/s. if the servers i'm downloading from are good, then the lowest i get is 500k/s. i've been on dial-up until about a couple of months ago when i got cable and it's amazing. can't beleive i put up with 56k for so long. but once i did get my moden up to 128k, but that fried it. cable is definitely better.
     
  14. menoinjun macrumors 6502a

    menoinjun

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    #14
    Are you kidding me? 3 times faster than dialup seems like a large improvement.

    As far as the dsl v. cable goes, dsl speeds are stable depending on how far you are from the box, and cable speeds depend on who else in on in the area. I'd much rather have a slower, stable speed than a fluxuating rate.

    I am averaging 300kbps down on my dsl line because of where I am, and it's still very very fast. Well worth the $46.95 a month.

    I would feel lucky to have 500kbps like some of you.

    -Pete
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #15
    Missing the Obvious

    I'm on cable now, and I get the same thing. It dropped when I was on dial-up, too. It happens to everyone. It has less to do with band-width capping and other users (which are also partially true) than with, well, that's just the way it is. Hard drive data transfer is the same way. It bursts at higher speed at first, then it slows down.

    I think what everyone is refering to is the fact that it slowed down so much. You should have a higher sustained transfer rate. And sometimes it can even speed up after awhile. I agree with going on at different times of the day and see what time is better. No matter what, (most of the time) it's better than dial-up.

    Long time lurker, only third time poster. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  16. gernb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    #16
    i guess what confuses me is that when i use the speed test at www.dslreports.com it tells me i have an "insanely" fast connection, topping out at around 2 megabits.

    But I never see this when I'm downloading files.

    i'm not too hung up on this, because what i've got now rocks compared to dial up...no question...it's definitely worth the 40 bucks a month.
     
  17. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

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    Dec 29, 2001
    Location:
    Sydney
  18. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #18

    Attached Files:

  19. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #19
    theres MB and then theres MB. so what the difference?



    is the correct term for cable and speeds etc Mega Bytes or Mega Bits? i know they are different things, but could someone help me out. i've forgotten all about it.:confused:
     
  20. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #20
    There is MB (MegaBytes, as in drive and memory sizes) and then there is Mb (Megabits). The Mb is what is used for connection speeds... even though they [sometimes] market it as MB. That is one reason why I am a stickler for correct capitalization when people are talking about either size or speed.
     
  21. job macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #21
    Re: Speed...

    I tried it and it seems pretty accurate. I got around the same figures as MacAztec for my Roadrunner Cable. I got 307.3 kb per sec for "storage."

    hitman
     

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