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Old 21-02-14, 19:54   #1
 
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Computers Download Speed Slower Than What You Pay For?

Why is My Download Speed Slower Than the Internet I Pay For?



Your ISP advertises a 40Mb connection, but that doesn’t look anything like the download speed you see when you’re grabbing a big file.
What’s the deal? Are you not getting all the bandwidth you’re paying for?


Quote:


Dear HTG,
The package deal I have through my local ISP is for a 40Mb connection (that’s the wording they use). When I download files I get around 4.5-5 (and definitely not 40!) Now… this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, because I can download everything I want pretty quickly, YouTube doesn’t stutter or anything, I never have to wait to load my email or web page, etc. But if I’m paying for a 40Mb connection why am I not getting a 40Mb connection?
Sincerely,
Bandwidth Confused
This is a fun question because it allows us to discuss and clear up a common misconception, and learn a little bit about computer history along the way

Let’s start by delving back into the history of computer networks. Data transfer over networks has always been measured in bits. A bit is the smallest and most basic unit of measurement in computing and digital communications. Bits are most commonly represented in the binary system, via 0 and 1. Bit, in fact, is a contraction of the the longer phrase “Binary Digit”.

The speed of a network is denoted using a bit-per-second notation written bits/second and almost always shortened to b/s.

Originally, networks were so slow that their speed was measured in just bits. Then, the network speeds increased and we started using the prefix kilo to denote thousands of bits. Nearly everyone throughout the 1990s connected to their ISPs using 56k modems (or, 56 Kb/s). Then, with the advent and adoption of broadband technology like DSL and cable modems, speeds increased again and we started talking about speeds in terms of not just bits or kilobits, but megabits, and consumers started seeing connection speeds framed in terms of MB/s.

Now, here’s where things get confusing for the average non-geeky-Joe. Computer storage is not measured in bits, it’s measured in bytes. A bit, as we’ve established, is the tiniest unit of measurement in the digital kingdom, that primordial 1 or 0. A byte, however, is a unit of digital information that (in nearly every computer system and most certainly in the Windows, Linux, or OS X system you’re using) is eight bits long. Another term, used by computer scientists to avoid confusion over the different size byte structures out there in the world, is octet. In other words, the byte system that your operating system uses is a bunch of bits strung together in groups of eight.

This difference is where, on the surface, it all seems to fall apart. You see, you have a broadband connection that is capable of 40 megabits per second (under ideal conditions, 40,000,000 bits come down the line). However, as we just learned, a byte is 8 bits. Your operating system and all the apps on it (web browsers, download helpers, torrent clients, etc.) all measure data transmission and volume in bytes not bits. If we divide the speed of your connection (measured in bits) by 8, we arrive at something resembling the download speed you’re seeing in your speed tests: 40,000,000 bits becomes 5,000,000 bytes. Divide those values by a million to get us back to a more comfortable mega denotation and they become 40 megabits and 5 megabytes, respectively.
Slap on the per-second label to indicate we’re talking about data transmission speeds and suddenly we have the speed your ISP is advertising (40 Mb/s) and the speed you’re seeing when you max your connection (5 MB/s).

Although it’s certainly confusing to consumers, you are in fact getting exactly what you’re paying for (and can even pat yourself on the back because you’re getting downloads speeds consistently at the edge of what your internet package supports).
Geek Jason Fitzpatrick


RELATED:


How To Find the Fastest ISP in Your Area




If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have a choice of different Internet service providers in your area.
Don’t just trust the advertised speeds — look at the data to find the fastest ISP near you.

The speeds ISPs quote are always “up to” a certain speed, so you can’t just choose based on the extremely optimistic speeds they advertise. Look at the results of actual, real-world speed tests for a more realistic picture.

Ookla Net Index

If you’ve ever wanted to test your Internet connection’s speed, you probably used Ookla’s popular: Speedtest.net.

Ookla’s Net Index takes all the data from Speedtest.net and organizes it, making it easy to browse.

Click the “Go to my location” link and you’ll be taken to a page listing the ISPs that operate in your area. You can also just look up a specific city. The ISPs are ranked based on the recent Speedtest.net download speed results of their subscribers, so you can see which ISPs are actually the fastest.

This site also allows you to compare the difference in average Internet speeds between different countries, regions, and even cities. You can also view rankings based on upload speeds, connection quality, value for price, and how well real-world ISP speeds correspond to the speeds those ISPs promise in their advertisements.
(Yes, you probably aren’t getting the Internet speeds you’re paying for.)





Netflix ISP Speed Index

Studies have found that Netflix often accounts for more than 30% of Internet download traffic in North America. Netflix is a big player in terms of Internet bandwidth, and they want connections to be as fast as possible so they can provide high-quality streaming video. That’s why Netflix publishes an ISP Speed Index site, where they rank Internet service providers based on their average Netflix streaming speed.
Netflix ranks providers by their speed, highlighting the fastest ISP — Google Fiber in the USA, unsurprisingly — and shaming the slowest provider. These rankings can help you get some idea of what ISP offers the fastest speeds — for watching Netflix, at least.

Take a big grain of salt with these results. They’re country-wide, so they won’t show smaller ISPs in your area that may be faster than the big national ones. They also only take Netflix results into account — the speeds shown here are slower than the speeds shown on Speedtest.net because Netflix isn’t completely saturating each connection. This really only tells you how fast Netflix streams on these connections.





YouTube Video Quality Report


YouTube and Netflix combined often make up over 50% of peak Internet activity in North America, according to various studies. So it makes sense that Google publishes their own ISP report. Their reports don’t display a speed, but they do allow you to compare providers in your area and see what quality of YouTube streams their connections can handle.
As with the Netflix report card, this data is only about video streams from one specific site, so you should take it with a big grain of salt. But it does help you get an idea whether an ISP is on the slower side or the faster side. And, if you’re like most people, you probably watch YouTube — so wouldn’t you prefer a connection that can stream YouTube at higher quality? This site helps you ensure you choose a connection that’s fast enough to stream YouTube at a higher quality, not one that’s so slow you’ll only be able to stream low-quality videos.



Bear in mind that the speeds reported on these sites are averages of the speeds customers experience in the real world. An ISP that has many customers paying for the slowest possible connection may appear to have low speeds, but it may offer more expensive connections with faster speeds than the average shown above.

When it comes to the average country-wide rankings shown on the Netflix ISP Speed Index, a big ISP that operates across the entire country may be faster or slower in your area. Still, imperfect data is better than no data at all.
Geek Chris Hoffman
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Old 24-02-14, 09:04   #2
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Default Re: Download Speed Slower Than What You Pay For?

Telstra: 16.9 download & 9.6 Upload
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Old 10-03-14, 04:23   #3
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Default Re: Download Speed Slower Than What You Pay For?

Comcast and Netflix reach interconnection agreement ZDNet.

ww.zdnet.com/comcast-and-netflix-reach-interconnection-agreement-7000026639/

I can't copy/paste the whole page, I need a mouse for that....
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