Saturday, July 25, 2009


I have bought a "Pro" account with, which I like. Simple and useful. I'm especially impressed with the download speeds. I have two different broadband connections for redundancy, and on the fastest one (cable), I get between 2 and 3 MB/sec downloads!

I tested a 100MB file. When I uploaded it, it took exactly 20 minutes. When I downloaded the same file, it took exactly 45 seconds!

That is a huge lopsidedness. I forget, is there a solid technical reason for this, or is it just ISP politics to keep you from using too much bandwidth hosting video from home or whatever?


Bert said...

Bandwidth is limited by the physical medium, no matter what it is. Somewhere along the design, you have to decide how you are going to split what you have between up and down traffic.

In the early implementations of broadband, simplicity dictated that this allocation be fixed, and a ~6:1 ratio seemed like a good compromise for the casual user. It allowed for very fast downloads while still offering a quantum leap in upload speed.

However, now that the technology is solidly implanted, it would be technologically quite feasible to make dynamic bandwidth allocation part of some newer generation of the technology, but the business sees no real incentive in that.

Sounds just fine to traditional businesses to retain the means to shove more and more down your throat, especially as they have little interest in what you might have to say anyhow... Figuratively speaking, of course.

IMHO, ISPs are the ones who would (do?) oppose such a scheme with the most virulence. It suits them just fine that some bottleneck limits their subscribers ambitions! Otherwise, God forbid, they would have to beef up their networks!

Jan said...

Most broadband subscriptions are assymmetrical (that's what the 'A' in ADSL stands for BTW): you have more bandwidth for downloads than for uploads, which is fine for most people because the bulk of their traffic is incoming. There are subscriptions with big upload capacity, but those are more expensive. Check your ISP's pricelist or look into one that caters to professional users.

Other factors may also play, like that writing disks tends to be slower than reading and that many others are writing files to the same disks at the same time.

But take this with a boulder of salt, it's the weekend and my brain is on vacation. :-)

Ray said...

A speed test to a site in Seattle from here in Vancouver just now shows downloads at 355.8 Kb/sec and uploads at 87.6 Kb/sec. This means that I am downloading approximately
4 times faster than uploading.
I'm using an Acer Aspire PC with a quad-core AMD Phenom processor, and
an O/S of Windows 7. The ISP that I use is providing a connection with
3.0 Mb speed on its ADSL.

Ray said...

Short 'PS' on speed...

This also depends on how your computer is set up. With older Windows operating systems, we could adjust the tuning of the Receive Window, or RWIN, to increase the amounts of data it would accept in a given time. Windows Vista went to a different scheme, which was automatic and dynamic for RWIN tuning, and could not be manually adjusted. As a result, my self-tuned XP computer was just as fast as a newer Vista machine, because the Vista was being limited by its design settings. I don't know how Windows 7 has been set up, but it is faster than either of those others
by a significant amount.

In the past, new computers left the factory set for use on dial-up systems, and that was why they didn't do so well on higher speed ADSL systems - they were set too low to handle data quickly.

So the speed depends on both the computer you are using and the system you are using it on.

ttl said...

If you need fast uplink speeds, you need to order an SHDSL line rather than ADSL.

eolake said...

Thanks, didn't know that.

So far it's merely a small inconvenience, but you never know.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Under top conditions, in 20 minutes I can receive 4 MB with my "dial-up for bedouins". It means you dekadent kapitalist are komplainink about havink it only 25 times faster than I, and your bill probably doesn't run by the online minute, either.
I prefer not to calculate how much faster 45 seconds are, because with the current heatwave and my sinus allergies, I'm prone to getting dizzy easily...
Besides, the result with a quick mind calculus (25x20x60/45) is uncomfortably close to 666... Vade retro, Satanas!

"But take this with a boulder of salt"
Amen, Saint Jan.
"Ye are the salt of the earth" - [Mat 5:13]
That would imply some careful planning, to host such a crowd. Thank Brahma for the convenience of blogs! ;-)

"Windows Vista went to a different scheme"
SCHEME is the significant word with anything Vista!
(Was that OS's beta-name Hastala?)

"Vista was being limited by its design settings."
You got that right: Vista was DESIGNED to be limited! :-P
Plus, it's just the orthograph that would be used to write in Hebrew (or in Japanese?) the name of Hesta, pagan goddess of Hell.

And since this is a comment about speed settings, I was asked to type "hyperp".
(Hey! That's MISTER HyperP-04 to you, buster!)

Ray said...

@ Pascal...

"your bill probably doesn't run by the online minute"

My ADSL is on 24/7 and it costs me $39.19 Canadian including taxes each

GilsDesk said...

Upload speeds are shackled at ridiculously low ratios, if you ask me. It's time to standardise that better, and give us uploads as fast as downloads, unless it's peak time or something like that. I like what Bert said about dynamically allocating bandwidth.

As a person who uploads a lot of photos, it's insane that I often have to let my computer do that for hours, when it would literally take minutes to download the same photos.

eolake said...

I agree. 20 minutes compared to 45 seconds is ridiculous.

And I'm sure if I get a special line with faster uploads, it will cost at least ten times what I pay now.