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Capped download speeds

Last response: in Networking
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August 7, 2004 7:15:47 AM

I have recently made a change in internet service and am now subscribed to Comcast cable. Things seem to be okay except for downloads. Whenever I download a file from any online site, I'm recieving speeds on average from 60 KB/s - 110 KB/s. The problem is that my connection is supposedly 3 Megs down / 256 Kb up. When running speed tests (dslreports and toast.net), I am averaging 1,800 Kb - 2,500 Kb (rare instances I have seen the speed as low as 900 Kb and as high as 2,980 Kb). Also, when downloading I can run multiple downloads that obtain the 60 - 110 KB speeds at the same time. I have attemped downloads on 3 different PCs and a Laptop, each having the same issues.

It's a new network setup that I am using, and would appreciate any advice on where to look first on troubleshooting this issue. The network setup contains the following: RCA cable modem supplied by Comcast, D-Link 4-port Router / wireless access point, I believe a Linksys 4-port router that has been converted into a standalone switch by looping an ethernet cable back into itself (this was done to bypass the dhcp issues of using 2 routers), a wired printserver, and possibly another switch.

I would appreciate any advice or input on what might be causing this issue. The last thing that I need to try is direct connecting a PC to the RCA modem itself and seeing if the problem still persists, or if I can obtain maximum speeds. I guess this might have been a little early to post, but I feel confident the issue rests with the network setup, though there could always be some sort of issue with the modem, cable line, quality of service, etc.

*Fixed a few KB vs Kb errors. Was tired when originally posted. :-)<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by cluelessuser on 08/07/04 04:50 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

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August 7, 2004 8:08:54 AM

Do you have your numbers straight?

You're right, Comcast should be around 3Megabits/second down, and 256 Kilobits/second up.

Now, those are in bits, which equate to around 400KB/second down, and 30KB/second up. Now, remember, 1024KB=1MB. So, idealy, you should be downloading, slightly below half a Meg/second.

Not all sites can let you download at such high speeds, but usually the big ones can. Here's a link from Norton, try it, and tell me the speed you get:

<A HREF="http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/download/..." target="_new">http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/download/...;/A>

These are just virus definitions update (right-click, save as).
August 7, 2004 3:34:11 PM

you also need to rember it's like a grarden hose the more holes you poke into it the less pressure, you might have lots on traffic on your banwidth from neighbors
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August 7, 2004 8:46:02 PM

I am aware of the bits to bytes ratio. And I'm aware that the more endusers connecting at the same time via the same node can cause slowdown in performance (though Comcast supposedly just completed an 18 million dollar upgrade to this area but who knows what that means). I would be fine with that if I were recieving download speeds that ranged from that 60 KB/s - 110 KB/s range up to 350+ KB/s. But it never does, it is always within that low range. I can even run 2-3 downloads, and have all 3 downloading at 60 KB/s - 110 KB/s. Speed tests show that I can obtain speeds of 2,500+ Kb/s (not KB), but for some reason, my downloads are being 'capped'.

I've considered viruses, or a bad connection on the network. That is why I have tried out 3 different PCs (one PC was used just after a complete reformat) along with a wireless laptop. I even connected to different switches, etc. just to make sure it wasn't a faulty port connection. I still need to attempt a direct connect to the RCA cable modem, just to rule out bad service, but I won't be able to attempt that until later today.

Again, thank you for the input so far. I'll keep trying to rack my brain over the issue and hopefully get it resolved.
August 8, 2004 4:20:53 AM

Well, it wasn't the modem or the local area being bogged down with too many users. I isolated the problem to the network configuration and have been able to resolve the issue with some creative thinking. ;-)
August 8, 2004 7:31:24 PM

Pleae post what you found... this issue sounded odd to me and I realy would like to know what you found...

I thought I read your first post correctly, what your saying in it was not the problem of having too many on at once or to many dsl/cable modems sold in your area.

kevin

Flagg CNE MCSE CCNA
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