2 hours to download 192 MB OSX update?!?

HarryWarden

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2012
593
96
Updating my Mom's 2012 MBA that is on Mountain Lion. It's currently downloading a 192 MB update and has an estimated completion time of 2 hours! I checked my internet speed via an online speed test and it's showing the normal speed I usually get so what's the problem?
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,022
11,940
Updating my Mom's 2012 MBA that is on Mountain Lion. It's currently downloading a 192 MB update and has an estimated completion time of 2 hours! I checked my internet speed via an online speed test and it's showing the normal speed I usually get so what's the problem?
Two things there.

First.. Your "test" is being done from your router out to whatever site is performing the test. That has nothing to do with the bandwidth your mother's MBA uses. Unless it is hardwire connected to your router (read: USB to Ethernet adapter), the MBA is limited to the max speed that could be pushed over WiFi. I believe the MBA is still using 802.11b or 802.11g (someone correct me if it is 802.11n), and if so, the max throughput you're going to get is 54Mbps. Hardwired, you may get 100Mbps to 1Gbps, depending on the speed of your router. So downloads are going to be slower on WiFi.

Second, since there are so many different routes to get to where the download file resides, did you ever stop to think that there may be lag or trouble on one of the hops your connection goes through? If I'm driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and there is an accident at Barstow that has traffic restricted to one lane, you're going to feel lag all the way back to Los Angeles. Same thing with the internet. Try running a traceroute from your home to wherever the download is coming from and see if you have any issues in your route to the file.

BL.
 

HarryWarden

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2012
593
96
So I tried a hardwired Ethernet connection and now it is downloading blazingly fast. Does that point to a problem with my wi-fi or the wi-fi in the laptop?
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,022
11,940
So I tried a hardwired Ethernet connection and now it is downloading blazingly fast. Does that point to a problem with my wi-fi or the wi-fi in the laptop?
Neither. WiFi will always be slower than being directly connected over Ethernet. you can get faster speeds going through that cable than you could over the air. WiFi is best for portability and being mobile than being as fast as a desktop.

So if you want bigger downloads to run faster, you'll want to jack a cable into it. If you want to be mobile, WiFi is better.

BL.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,888
901
Manchester, UK
Apples servers busy? Took me an hour to get the 10.9.4 update yesterday, a file that size would usually download in a couple of minutes for me...
 
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