Tobold's Blog
Saturday, March 21, 2009
 
Quadrupling my ADSL speed

I have the new computer for a week now, and I'm quite happy with it. But of course with all the installing of stuff, and often needing new versions for Vista, I'm doing a lot of downloading. So I got a bit annoyed that downloading wasn't faster, and decided to check whether I'm getting the internet download speed I'm paying for. So I headed over to Speedtest.net, and got a somewhat disappointing 1.7 Megabit per second. I was sure my ISP had promised me more than that!

I dived into the website of my ISP and tried to find the terms and conditions. And found something rather curious. With my subscription plan I should have 12 Megabit per second (that would be 1.5 Megabyte per second, over 5 Gigabyte per hour). But there was a little footnote leading to some very small print saying that by default I only get 4 Mbit per second, until I call a service number and specifically ask for a free upgrade to 12 Mbit. Grrrrrr! I bet they are counting on not many customers finding that info!

So I called them, and a few days later a technician called me back and told me it was done. I did the speedtest again, and now I get 6.7 Mbit per second. Still only half of what is advertised, but 4 times as fast as before. I remember hearing about stuff like parity bits and check bits making actual speed always slower than nominal speed. Anyway. the next software I downloaded really reached 800 kbyte per second download speed, nearly 3 GByte per hour, and that is a speed I can live with. Teaches you to always read the small print!
Comments:
Teaches you also not to believe in Advertisements. Why are you (and others) happy with those 6,7Mbit out of the promised 12? Shouldn't you actually call your lawyer to get what you are paying for?
 
Wait until you find out how many bytes fit on your 1 Terrabyte hard drive. Hint: It's not 1 Terrabyte.
 
You're never going to get the full broadband speed advertised unless you live right on top of your country's exchange. That's why all of the ISPs (at least in the UK) now say "Up to xxMb)" and they are very careful with what they promise.

You also need to take into account the server you are connecting too. If I run a speedtest using Speedtest.net, I get speeds much closer to my promised max but if I run it using ZDNet speedtest, it's a lot lower.

Finally, ever tried testing your upload speed? Now that's a shocker :)
 
Currently am at odds with my ISP, so much so that they are promising me a 10mbs from May, up from the current 2mbs. ISPs never reward loyalty, they only ever reward new customers that they poach from other ISPs.
 
The speeds announced as "up to" are just theoretical speeds. Usually it's between 25% and 50% of that. I've personally got 100 Mbit DL but only reach around 25-30 Mbit in speedtests.
 
So how's the new computer in terms of sound and heat after you turn it on? What about after a few hours of playing WoW?
 
So how's the new computer in terms of sound and heat after you turn it on? What about after a few hours of playing WoW?

More silent than the previous one, even after hours of use. That has probably a lot to do with that 200 mm fan, and the case being relatively open and well aired.

Finally, ever tried testing your upload speed? Now that's a shocker :)

It sure is if you have ADSL, because the "A" stands for lousy upload speed. :)
 
Other people may hate them, but I use Virgin Media (formerly Telewest), and apart from the odd outage which doesn't really happen very often, I have no complaints - the speed is right about where it should be - we have a 10mb connection, and using speedtest we get between 9.5 and 10mb - I tested various locations around the world. Obviously a little slower where more distance is involved, but who in their right mind is going to download something from America when there is likely to be a perfectly good mirror more locally (and therefore with the better download speed)
 
Tobold, i work for an ISP myself, and what the others said is true. You will never get the "theoretical" max speed your ISP is advertising, cause in theory you could have that speed, if you were the only one on the Internet...they ARE giving you what you're paying for, which is essentially the possibility of downloading at 12MB, your modem can =)
 
Sheesh, "live with" 6.7 Mbps? I just tested mine, and I'm getting 754 kbps down. Broadband in the States, especially DSL, really blows.
 
By the way, I also managed to increase the speed of broadband at my parents place, where the problem was the quality of the WiFi connection. Replaced the tiny WiFi antenna on the computer by a bigger one, and the connection got much faster. It's not always the ISP's fault.
 
I think you might have the same isp as me - if so did you also notice the hidden
10 free itunes songs you can get every 2 months?
 
did you also notice the hidden 10 free itunes songs you can get every 2 months?

Yes, getting those for over a year already.
 
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