Connection Speeds: What’s yours?

According to our site analytics, more than 96% of visitors to the VideoBox site have a high-speed internet connection (DSL or faster). That doesn’t surprise me in the least, considering how little a dial-up or ISDN user could probably get out of our site. What I’m wondering, though, is how many folks suspect their ISP of throttling (or limiting) their bandwidth usage. Comcast has been pretty reliably accused of throttling bit torrent users with the help of a company called Sandvine. ISPs all deny it to the bitter end, but there’s clearly something funny going on here, especially in the UK.

Have any of you ever noticed anything out of the ordinary when you’re trying to download a lot of scenes? Here is a link to a speed test. Check it out if you think you’re not getting the download speeds your ISP promised you. In fact, if you want a more accurate picture of the speeds you’re getting try it at different times of day and see how much it varies.
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24 Responses to “Connection Speeds: What’s yours?”

  1. Strangepork Says:

    Using the linked test, I got 4643 kb/s down, which seems awesome until you consider that I got a call a couple of months ago threatening to shut me down if I don’t reduce my usage. They refused to specify how much would be acceptable, leaving me to self-regulate my usage and still feel nervous and paranoid every time I consider downloading another DVD.

  2. Nova1972 Says:

    I have a 24Mbit/s Dl, 1Mb/s Ul, (3.000 Kbyt/s, 128 Kbyte/s). I limit Azureus at 80 Kbyte/s and while it uploads at that speed I have no problem navigating, or even speaking to skype, so upload speed has to be real.

    Download speed technically can reach 2.000 Kbyte/s, not 3.000 ( has something to do with…errr I thing the dslam?!?) and I usually reach, 1.600-1.700 (except for 1700-2200 when apparently everybody is navigating when I reach 1.000).

  3. Nova1972 Says:

    Greece

  4. fedor Says:

    6813kbps/ DL
    347 KPBS up

    Never had a problem.

    Time Warner will start throttling soon.

  5. hiflyin77 Says:

    Hey Alison, cyberhug. I got 11,176 kb/s which really surpised me. I did the test a couple of time with the same result. Unfortunetly for me I travel all the time so my connection varies all time. On another note, for some reason my comments don’t always show up the way I type them. What I mean is I try to write the way that fedor(in the comment above mine)does, but it never comes out. Also my smileys never work. Just little things, but if you, or anyone else on here has any tips, I’d appreciate it. Cheers

  6. alison Says:

    Strangepork – Just out of curiosity, who’s your provider?

    Nova1972 – I’ve heard that European ISPs are more open about limiting bandwidth. Have you found that to be true?

    fedor – I haven’t heard anything about Time Warner. I’d be interested to read more if you have a link or something though.

    hiflyin77 – Cyberhug. It’s weird…when users type comments (even if they include the same html that I do), they don’t come out right a lot of the time. I’ve asked our guy here to take a look at the wonky search bar, so I’ll probably ask him to check on that too.

  7. junker Says:

    I have Comcast and up until a couple of weeks ago it was around 5000kpbs. I guess they throttled my account because now I only get 900-1000. I didn’t even download that much stuff.

  8. ropeadope2 Says:

    Alison – This article is five weeks old but will give some insight to the direction that Time Warner may be headed going forward.
    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/time-warner-download-too-much-and-you-might-pay-30-a-movie/?ref=technology

  9. Atiba W Thomas Says:

    I have RCN Cable internent service, and I get downloads up to 20 Mbps, upload speeds of 1.5 Mbps. My average download speed from you guys iz 1.5 Mbps.

  10. Strangepork Says:

    I’m on Comcast. I have only been using it to download things that I have paid for or that are free & legally made available.
    Here is an editorial article about their secret bandwidth limits: http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/5161

    If you search for it, you’ll find all kinds of discussion about this issue. Comcast has no real competition in my neighborhood, and their threatening phone call has made me seriously consider moving to another area where I’ll have some choices.

  11. fedor Says:

    Alison

    Time Warner tests Internet usage-based billing; Company said it will try new billing with subscribers in Beaumont, Texas

    http://sbutki.newsvine.com/_news/2008/01/17/1235792-time-warner-tests-internet-usage-based-billing-company-said-it-will-try-new-billing-with-subscribers-in-beaumont-texas

  12. fedor Says:

    If that goes through I will be forced to cancel my account which I do not want to do. I really enjoy this site and so does my girlfriend (soon to be wife… she never browses as she leaves that to me but enjoys the DVD’s I make for us)

    The porn industry has so much more pull on such matters than anyone realizes so I hope they speak out against such restrictions.

  13. Strangepork Says:

    I am surprised by the lack of activism about such issues from companies that provide large download or streaming services. It’s not just porn anymore – what about iTunes movie store, Amazon Unbox, XBox Live Marketplace, NetFlix “Watch Instantly”, etc? Many big services base their success on the assumption that their users are not concerned about their total monthly bandwidth consumption.

  14. Bud Dickman Says:

    I get 10 Mbps from Charter. I pay for this speed so I don’t get limited. When I’m under speed and I can’t fix it, I call them up, they’ve been good.

  15. Nova1972 Says:

    Well here in greece ADSL is still young and there is not much talk about dl limits yet. In greece until late 2003, there was no ADSL at all, not even the 256/128.
    Fast internet is common only the last couple of years and either the problem is not yet that big, or they don’t want to scare potential customers. Also since fast internet is still young the companies still fight to the last customer so I don’t believe they are ready for something like that yet.

  16. Cromin Says:

    In the Uk here. I can download at 300k/s from everywhere but here most of the time. Oddly, I do get the top speeds out of yoVideobox if i set up a download to start bewfore i leave for work in the morning. Otherwise im lucky to get 20k/s

  17. Comcast Connex Says:

    3600 kbps (DL)
    1590 kpbs (UL)

    which equals

    450 kb/s
    ~200 kb/s

  18. Comcast Connex Says:

    kb/s = kilobytes per second

    kpbs = kilo-bits per second

  19. hiballer Says:

    Intresting article. All I know is my d/l speed went down to 50% of what it used to be here as of today and has stayed that way. I don’t have a clue as to why. Time will tell.

  20. Bob Says:

    There have been allegations that the ISPs optimize to give good results on speed test sites. Good results that are much faster than real usage.

    Two methods have been alleged. First that the ISPs make a list of all the most used speed test sites and give requests to those a higher priority. Second, the ISP can allow maximum speed for the first few megabytes of transfer, then throttle down for anything more. Since speed test sites generally only use a few megabytes for their test, this makes them look fast.

    Caveat emptor, I guess.

  21. hiballer Says:

    Did some checking by downloading large files from other sites. The only place my d/l speed has dropped way down is here!! I have always wondered why I got such good bandwidth here for the low price of the membership. I can live with a cut, I’ve been on this site maybe half dozen times in the last 2 years and always liked it. I move around a lot. What I like about VB is you allow the use of a d/l manager/accelerator. If I was downloading just thru a browser I’d be fucked here and I would never come back.
    I was on a site recently that has videos just like you do here. DVD res d/l’s for under $10.00 per month. Souns good huh. Well it was shit! They give you very little bandwidth and dont allow the d/l manager. So downloading a high res or dvd res vid takes for fucking ever and no way to resume the d/l if it times out. So you can spent 100 minutes d/ling a vid and loose it just to start over again, I wouldn’t even go back there again if they gave it away. VB your still the king for your prices in my opinion. Just don’t take the d/l manager privlage away next. Speed tests vary a lot depending on the direction you point it. Another good speedtest is at http://speakeasy.net/ No java platform and pretty accurate as well as the one you linked. Thanks for the good site VB.

  22. shaggy369uk Says:

    I use AOL as my ISP. They are wankers. I have one month left on my contract and then they are gettin booted abd I will try someone else. My connection speed is 8Mbit and I average about 6.6 ish. I am supposed to have unlimited usage yet they have a fair trade policy which states that residential users should not exceed 60GB per month in bandwidth usage.
    Thay obviously haven’t been on this site :(

  23. dustingart Says:

    D/L 13623kb/s (Freaking sweet)
    U/L 468kb/s (Kinda slow tonight, usually 750kb/s)

  24. dustingart Says:

    For your viewing pleasure,

    http://www.speedtest.net/result/242357688.png