Download/Upload question

13 years 2 months ago #26450 by DiDi
I am not getting this. In my last house, I could use Speedtest and it would tell me I was Downloading at 5Mbps and Uploading at 500. I have moved town and exchange and it is telling me I am downloading at 2.06Mbps but I can't see any difference or delay to get the reduced speed result. It is flying as far as I am concerned (no amie this is rural nz!) and I am happy but confused. Can anyone explain why this is reading the way it is?

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13 years 2 months ago #367603 by ame
Replied by ame on topic Download/Upload question
It is possible that your network is really fast, but that your PC (or whatever software you use) cannot fully utilise it. The best analogy might be that your PC can process the information like water through a drinking straw. At your last place, a mighty river was flowing into your house, but you were drinking through the straw. At your new place, it is but a flowing stream, but still you are using a straw, so you see no difference.

The analogy works for slow websites too. You may have a mighty river of data[1] coming to your house, but if the guy at the other end is putting information in through a straw you won't get it any faster.

Now, if you have a faster PC or better software (some browsers are faster than others) then you have a bigger straw and you could reach a point where you would notice the difference between the old place and the new place, but obviously right now your connection is 'fast enough'.


[1] Actually, the correct phrase is "a mighty sewer pipe delivering filth directly to your living room", but it depends on what kind of website you like.

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13 years 2 months ago #367647 by Organix
Replied by Organix on topic Download/Upload question
Another variable is that you haven't mentioned the new upload speed. The way I've had it explained is that each 'parcel' of download requires a 'Yeah, got that, next please' before the next one is received. If that reply is slow then it will slow down the whole download process (and will also cause freezing of outgoing video feed).

Harm Less
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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13 years 2 months ago #367690 by kiwi_jon
Replied by kiwi_jon on topic Download/Upload question

Thats is correct Organix. However the speed of the upload link isn't a factor as the acknowledgement/return packets are very small. What is a factor is latency (also known as ping time) i.e the time it takes for the packet to reach its destination. Latency can vary enormously depending on the route the packet takes and the number of routers it passes through. For example if I ping I get a ping time of 45ms (millisecs) and if I ping a server I look after in the US I get 240ms. The US server would load slower than a server in NZ assuming it had the same content. It is low latency that online gamers strive for rather than speed.

Generally when browsing websites there will be no appreciable difference between having a download speed of 2mb or 20mb, unless the site is graphics intensive or contains flash content which needs to be downloaded.

Most browsers will cache webpages you have been to before so that when you go to that site again it is loaded from the cache and only changed content is downloaded. Most ISP's also utilise caching proxy servers so all your web requests are routed to the caching proxy server and if the page exists on the server then it is pulled from there other wise it is pulled from the web. Cached pages have a finite lifetime before they are downloaded completely again.

There are also other factors such a DNS (Domain Name System) resolution time to factor in but that is a topic in itself.

Where you will notice the difference in download speed is when you are downloading a file, music, program, movie etc from the internet. The faster speed will download quicker than the slower one. Streaming video will also perform better on a faster link with less buffering required.

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