slow download speeds when connected to switch

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bt22, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. bt22 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    This is a long post, I apologize.

    I have a 10/100 switch with a Sony Blu-Ray player an Apple TV a Samsung LCD TV an iTunes Server and a MacBook Pro all connected via ethernet. I have an Airport Extreme distributing my WiFi and powering this switch. I decided to download the Dev Preview of Window's 8 and run it on my MacBook Pro in Bootcamp just to see how I liked it. I noted my MacBook Pro was downloading at about 140 to 200 kb per second. I called my internet provider and they ran me thru a speed test and I was getting about 6 megabits per second download. My Airport Extreme and my MacBook Pro are both gigabit ethernet so I decided to connect my MacBook Pro to an open port on my Airport Extreme and my download sped up to about 700 kb per second. I also have a Window's 7 machine and I was able to get 500 to 600 kb download speeds running thru this same switch. I have honestly researched this the best I could and I seen post about issues with OS X Lion and WiFi, but I can't find anything about Ethernet connections. I forgot to mention my MacBook Pro is on 10.7.1. I am just trying to figure out why my MacBook Pro slows down so much when connected via ethernet running thru an unmanaged switch. I did swap out switches and got the same basic result. My knowledge of networks and such is very limited. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    First, please define your terms. What do you mean by "kb per second". KiloBYTES or KiloBITS? 200 kiloBYTES = 1.6 megaBITS.

    Next, a speed test cannot predict download speed. A speed test will test your speed to a particular test server. Real servers, doing real work (as opposed to sending test data) especially under heavy load at the time of a software version release (e.g. Windows 8 Preview) might be much slower.

    600kbytes/sec = 4.8 mbit/sec. This is still WAY less than the limit of 100-base-T (which is less than 100 mbit/sec, but still way higher than 4.8).

    A switch is very unlikely to be causing your issue, especially since you swapped-out the switch and got the same results.

    When you ran the speed test, how was your MacBook connected? Is there any difference in the speed test depending on how you connect your macbook?

    Finally, where is your Internet connected? You didn't say.
  3. bt22 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    I was using an Ethernet connection at all times for all computers. I am not sure which KB it is. I was going by the info displayed on the Mac Download block.
  4. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    We've had really slow downloads from Microsoft before. It depends what cluster you are hitting and how much traffic is on it. Sometimes it's so slow that we stop and download later. Sometime too, we can stop a download and restart it and *ZANG* the speed is a whole lot faster.

    I remember after XP SP3 came out and it took nearly an hour to get it, after trying a few times. I just left it struggling by itself...

    Well, plus it's the internet and I never trust the speed tests that ISP's use. I had heard that some ISP's had a 'favorite' speed test that they setup as a priority for their routers and switches so that they looked good and they could dismiss whining customers complaining about their slow downloads...

    Well, and yes, a switch is better than a hub but that doesn't mean that a switch can't be compromised and get swamped with traffic or bad packets. Also, believe it or not, there can still be (although probably not in this case, but for general knowledge) compatibility issues. We have very infrequently, but have run into switches that won't work with other switches. Some kind of compatibility issue determining the speed and duplex settings. Neither switch showed anything unusual externally but traffic was very incredibly slow, and got slower.

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