Possible for ISP to throttle speed for specific sites?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by thatoneguy82, May 6, 2014.

  1. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #1
    Hi,

    So I've noticed lately that my downloads at a certain site has severely degraded (<100kb/sec). I thought it was just a fluke, so I tried again in a couple of days and still the same. Contacted the tech support of the site and they had me use some utility on their site to optimize the port at which I connected to(?) and that worked, somewhat but nowhere near where it used to be. I have Verizon FiOS 75Mbps/35Mbps, so it's fairly speedy. Downloads at other sites seem unaffected.

    Anyway, is it possible for an ISP to throttle certain websites? Or is there something else going on?

    Thanks.
     
  2. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    #2
    Short answer: yes, they can (and are) doing it.

    They might jot admit to it though.

    -t
     
  3. matty1551 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #3
    You could try going to the same site through a VPN and see if your speeds pop back up. Just make sure the VPN itself isn't causing you a slowdown.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Its possible, but it could be the site being slow. For instance, downloading updates from apple is typically slower then what my ISP provides.
     
  5. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #5
    yes its possible, but i have never heard of anyone doing it in the US

    download speeds will mostly depend on where you are getting the file from and their path back to you across the internet. verizon also has a lot of internal networks you have to traverse before you hit the internet
     
  6. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #6
    Well, here you go...

    Major Internet Service Providers Accused Of Throttling Customer Traffic

    "Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE:LVLT) connects ISPs like Comcast or Verizon to the rest of the Internet. The company charges that five major providers in the U.S. and one in Europe are purposely degrading the quality of Internet services like Netflix, slowing down services that require a great deal of data, in an attempt to collect fees for the substantial traffic they require. Their complaints echo Netflix’s claims that Comcast throttles traffic with intermediaries like Level 3 and Cogent."​
     
  7. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #7
    The amount of packet inspection, filtering and prioritization/deprioritization that can be (and likely is) done is simply staggering.

    If an ISP wanted to slow down traffic of a certain type from a certain customer to a certain service at a certain time of day, no problems, that's child's play for the equipment.

    Go googling for spec sheets for industrial strength routers and be prepared to get paranoid. I can foresee very personalized plans becoming available if net neutrality gets gutted.
     
  8. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #8

    Company blog posting from a company that just lost a huge customer and has done the same thing in the past itself
     
  9. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #9
    Well, that sucks. If this is indeed happening when I stream any media from my ATV/AmazonFTV, there seems to be no point in getting a "fast" connection. I don't think I can really tell if it is being throttled when streaming, but I've had no issues when viewing any media through iTunes/Hulu+/Netflix/HBO/etc. Sometimes, it does take longer than I would've to actually get "in" the app, but that's it.

    So, I guess now it's time to reconsider my speed package with VZFiOS. I have their 75/35($89.99), they also have 50/25(84.99) and 15/5($69.99). Price-wise, I don't think I'll benefit much if I do change, especially since the most significant price difference is going to 15/5.
     
  10. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #10

    There is a fairly long technical explanation why netflix may stutter and why itunes and hbo go usually dont stutter that has nothing to do with throttling
     
  11. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #11
    Throttling/packet shaping/stream shaping are indeed happening in the US.

    However, alent1234 is correct in that there are other reasons why some sites can exhibit poor performance while others are not impacted.

    It can be quite difficult to figure out if it's an innocent reason or throttling.

    Also understand that within the innocent reasons are willful neglect, where ISPs know full well that a certain service needs more bandwidth, but they don't address it. This gives them plausible deniability without spending any money.

    Note that Verizon just signed an agreement with Netflix so I'd expect some miraculous/coincidental improvement there in the next few months...
     
  12. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #12
    If? As of this year, it already is. All that remains of it is our ex-cable lobbyist head of the FCC threatening carriers with it if they get out of line, and that's usually followed by a sly wink and a nudge.
     
  13. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #13
    You may be right, I'm trying to stay positive (but it gets more difficult as time goes on)...
     
  14. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #14
    who's doing packet shaping in the US? everyone has caching servers for youtube and whatever but that's not packet shaping. caching websites has ben around for 15 some years if not longer

    the whole bandwidth deal with comcast/verizon and L3/cogent is as much L3 and cogent fault. everyone has paid and free links with each other for different types of traffic and L3 and cogent chose to send too much traffic over the free links knowing they wouldn't be able to handle it. and they are not only losing their biggest customer, they will probably start to lose other big customers if the ISP's start to peer with other content providers
     
  15. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #15
    Many - if not most - of the customers my previous company had were trying all sorts of methods, blocking, shaping, you name it.

    I won't name any due to NDA, but they're household names.
     
  16. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #16

    Home.isp or wireless?
    I know that wireless service is firewalled and proxied to hell
     

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