iChat Bandwidth Limited by Comcast - help

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Jopling, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Jopling macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #1
    Ive been calling comcast over and over telling them that they have been throttling my internet's upload speed to the mid 40kbps range and they tell me no they havent. Finally they have been exposed in the past week, but they claim it is only to bit torrent traffic. This is not the case. I cant video chat for more than a minute or two before my internet gets throttled and the other person cant see me. The same goes for file transfers to a remote server for my graphic design stuff. Does anyone know a work around for this? Maybe changing the outgoing ports for iChat? How would I go about doing this?
     
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #2
    40KBps or kbps...

    40KBps would be normal for a home cable connection. Comcast does increase your upload to around 120KBps for short bursts, but then it gradually throttles back to your normal 40-50KBps speed.

    Are you on a wireless connection? That could explain the bad connection after a minute or two... Try hooking up your computer directly to your cable modem; no router, no hubs, just straight up.

    Comcast does throttle bittorrent, but I've never had a problem with file transfers or iChat.

    One solution might be to pay for Comcast's 8mbps connection. You get 100KBps uploads as a norm.
     
  3. Jopling thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2004
    #3
    I am getting 40... about ten times less of what I should have. My download speeds are completely normal.
     
  4. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #4
    Again, are you talking about KBps or kbps. They are totally different. I seriously doubt you are getting 40kbps because that is dial-up speed.

    What site are you using to test this? Try http://speakeasy.net/speedtest.
     
  5. Jopling thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #5
    I'm supposed to be getting at leasst 137.5 KB says the speed test, but ichat says I am only getting 40KB after 2 min when i am monitoring though activity monitor. 80KB is required for a 1-1 video chat.
     
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    Again, as I alluded to in my first post, Comcast gives you a "bonus" upload that they call Powerboost for the first 10-20 seconds of an upload/download. After that it goes back to your original speed. If you are only paying for a normal 6.0mbps connection, then your sustained upload speed is 40KBps.

    If you want a faster sustained upload, pay for a better connection like their 8mbps service which is $10/mo more.
     
  7. ViperDesign macrumors 6502a

    ViperDesign

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    The Plus speed tier will give you 8000/768. But with the plus you get the boost speeds so any speed test will not show you the correct speed.
     
  8. mrarmbar22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #8
    Jopling is right. Its Kbps... not KBps. The same is happening to me as well. I have the upgraded comcast package and the advertised download speed is 8 mbps. This is due to the bit torrent issue. I have also called comcast and each and every time they play dumb and tell me to call Apple. I have called apple and we have walked through every step possible.

    Because of the powerboost, I am able to connect for roughly 25 secs before I lose the picture and audio. I really must say that I am sick of comcast and the only solution that I have heard it to switch ISP's.
     
  9. mrarmbar22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #9
    That is correct, I cannot get an accurate speed test due to the power boost. I simply can't find a test with a large enough file. I really don't see how this is fair. Comcast is preventing me from preforming my daily task due to the throttle of bandwith. I do not pirate files but still am being punished. I can't wait for the new verizon to get to my area here in Chicago. Until then I guess I need to switch to ATT DSL :mad:
     
  10. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #10
    Its not that I agree with Comcast limiting Bittorrent bandwidth, but iChat operates nothing like Bittorrent. Its pretty easy to figure out when someone is connected to a Bittorrent stream and those packets (should) look nothing like streaming audio to the servers.

    I think perhaps the issue might be that iChat starts out with such a high bandwidth available and then it is cut down pretty quickly. It might "choke" iChat out before its able to adjust. Either way, since theres no way to disable the Power Boost I don't know how you can fix it. All I know is that I'm on the Comcast 8.0mbps plan here and have no issues...
     
  11. mrarmbar22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #11
    I completely understand what you are saying. I was looking in the other forums and it appears that this problem is happening almost exclusively with comcast. I wish I had your luck, the 8.0mbps is not getting it done for me.

    Also, the Bittorrent stream is getting all of the focus but people that have had comcast used to have no issues. Now it seems to be happening to everyone I speak to. They could be limiting the P2P connections.
     
  12. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Florida, USA
    #12
    Its very unfortunate how their new policies are affecting users. Hopefully if enough people complain/cancel they will back down.
     
  13. Jopling thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2004
    #13
    I dropped comcast and switched to Verizon fios. I get Flawless upload speeds now and its cheaper and my download speeds actually go at what is advertised. It is also cheaper.
     
  14. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #14
    Oh, well if you had Fios available you probably should have done that even if you weren't having problems!

    Enjoy your new connection :D
     
  15. sonictonic macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 25, 2006
    Location:
    Central Coast, California
    #15
    That's a great option. IF it's an AVAILABLE option. :rolleyes:
     
  16. deboni macrumors member

    deboni

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    #16
    Me, too

    I've been complaining to Comcast about their interference with iChat traffic for about a year, now. Their telephone support staff know nothing about it. Their email support staff say simply that Comcast does not support iChat. The technicians that visited my house replaced EVERYthing from the curb to the computer. I get VERY good speedtest results - sometimes as high as 20 megabits per second. And yet the problem persists. When I try to videochat from California to my father in Florida or my nephew in Indiana - both Comcast subscribers - we can set our watches by the precise timing with with our sessions work properly. At one minute, things start to degrade, until finally things freeze up completely. Given what I've measured, myself, and what I've seen on CNN and in the papers (AP, one week ago), I am convinced that Comcast is purposely (a) ignoring the problem, or (b) actively causing it, so as to eliminate or reduce the competition to their VOIP product. MANY folks on other forums, both here and elsewhere, are reporting this exact set of symptoms, and also stating that as of one year ago, iChat used to work fine via Comcast's network connections.

    The internet should be usage-neutral. Commercial concerns that wont accept that should not be supported by continuing custom from those offended by their practices. I personally cannot wait for a reasonable alternative. I've had DSL, and would not like to have to return to it, but AT&T's U-Verse service, or Verizon's FiOS would suit me fine. As SOON as either of then or something like them becomes available, I will be sending Comcast a letter informing them of my opinions. I urge all affected or concerned others to do likewise.
     
  17. Decrepit macrumors 65816

    Decrepit

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    #17
    It took my town 3 years to get DSL after EVERY other town surrounding me had it.

    We won't see FIOS until the year 2075 out here.
     
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    Open iChat. Go to the Video screen. You can set a bandwidth limit there, so that iChat won't be confused as to how much is actually available for its usage.
     
  19. Jopling thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2004
    #19
    There isnt a bandwidth cap low enough to go with the speeds I was getting with comcast.
     
  20. asoke macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #20
    Hello All, I am new to the Forum but have read a few posts and like the information, thank you. Regarding Comcast and their " sandvine " throttling I found a way around it. It's by using a VPN, it bypasses the port they use and allows you to have the full speed of the connection. I don't use IChat but I'm sure it will prevent the issues described above.

    Here are a few VPN companies, I currently use Strongvpn and have no problems.

    http://www.strongvpn.com
    http://www.vpnaccounts.com
    http://www.bananahosting.com
     
  21. nhrider macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    #21
    Comcast iChat issues

    I recently discovered this forum. When I first bought my Mac in Aug 07, I had no issues with iChat on my Comcast. But, after reading your thread, I recall having a recent upgrade w/ Comcast. Which is probably why I'm having the same 25 second to a minute connection time, then all turns to junk.

    However, as I type this, I hard wired connected on verizon dsl, and still have the same issues. Yet, my boyfriend says he has 100% video and audio. He can see and hear me, but all I get is gibberish.

    So, I checked my bandwidth setting options. These are my limits that i can select manually:
    100, 200, or 500 kbps, and 1 & 2 Mbps. I know nothing about this. Are
    these all still too high to use with iChat on my Comcast account?

    I may try a VPN route. I use VPN at my job.

    Thanks everyone~

    Frustrated in soon to be snowy again NH! Please let me have a snow day tomorrow~:rolleyes:
     
  22. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #22
    If what you see is gibberish, that means that its his connection thats bad, not yours.
     
  23. nhrider macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    #23
    Hi, thanks for your quick response. Here's what we tried:

    As an experiment, I plugged my Mac into a friend's Verizon DSL and tried iChat. Then in the menu under Video, then Connection Doctor, I see stats of audio/video levels start out strong, then quickly crash and/or fluctuate between 0 - 26%. HE sees 100% signals on both. He is on broadband (i think Comcast, an hour away).

    So, the stats that I'm looking at on my Mac are his and not my own? And he is seeing mine? If that's the case, then I solved things on my end w/ a DSL connection.

    But, at home, where I use my iChat the most, I have Comcast. We both see the same drop and fluctuating stats in Connection Doctor. What do I do from home w/ my Comcast connection? Change my bandwidth settings? Use a VPN? We would both need to make those changes, right?

    Sorry for all the questions. I am still a very new Mac user! :D

    Thanks again~
     
  24. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #24
    I honestly haven't played with the connection doctor enough to know whose connection its reporting on, but in general, if what you see if garbled, thats because the other person's upload isn't stable. Your connection wouldn't be the problem if you see the other person garbled because the download capacity of any broadband connection greatly exceeds the upload capacity.

    Make sure both computers are on wired connections and try resetting both cable modems.

    You could try manually forcing the connection speed on both to be 200kbps or 500kbps and see if one of them works for you. But apart from that, I honestly don't know what else can be done.
     
  25. delcerros macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #25
    I was lucky to get here, as im having a lot of trouble with my connection speed. Thats why im asking for your help. I've been having issues for some days now, and every comcast speed test i do, offers different results. I am really lost here. cheers and thanks in advance.
     

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