downloads capped on wireless PC

July 12, 2011 at 02:39:38
Specs: Windows XP SP3
hi. i am on a 4Mbps internet line. i have a strange situation which i hope somebody here would be able to figure out and tell me what's going on.

i have 3 PCs connected to the internet through a router. i noticed that direct downloads on the 2 PCs that are connected to the router wirelessly are capped at about 50-60kbps/sec per download. just to clarify, i can still achieve a full speed of 400kbps in total, but just that each download is capped at 50-60kbps.

however, on the PC that is connected directly to the router via ethernet cable i am able to download well over 150kbps per download.

so i don't think it's my ISP that is capping my downloads here, but i can't figure out why downloads would be capped on the wireless PCs. is it some settings on my router? i have everything pretty much set on default. the modem is a D-Link 2640B.

any help is appreciated. i really want to solve this issue! thanks!


eg. if i download 1 file, the transfer rate is capped at 50-60kb/s.

if i download 2 files, each file is capped at 50-60kb/s.
the total download speed is 100-120kb/s.

if i download 8 files, each file is capped at 50-60kb/s.
the total download speed is 400-480kb/s.

on the ethernet PC, there is no limit to the transfer rate for each download. eg. if i download 1 file it can reach over 150kb/s.


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#1
July 12, 2011 at 07:21:14
Wireless is inherently susceptible to lag and latency. In the case of downloading, this translates to slower download speeds than wired connections.

Also, if both of your wireless clients are downloading from the same server/website, then it could be the other end throttling you.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
July 12, 2011 at 08:06:22
hi curt. thanks for the reply. i understand that wireless is and always will be slower and less dependable than a wired connection. however my situation is perplexing because i am able to reach my maximum speed of 400kb/s on the wireless PCs. that isn't a problem. the issue is my downloads are limited to only 50-60kbps each.

at first i thought it could be my ISP or the file host server throttling my speed. however, when i download the same file from the same server with my ethernet PC, the transfer rate for the download can reach over 150kb/s.

i'm not sure why this is happening.


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#3
July 12, 2011 at 10:20:02
Well, aside from server or ISP throttling I can't think of anything doing this to you unless it's something the router is doing. At this point, I'd check the specs on the router, if it's not a "feature" then it has to be the ISP or server. If it is a "feature" then you should be able to turn the wireless cap off.

If you can get your hands on another router (different make/model) I would do so and test with it. This would also let you know if it's your router or not.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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Related Solutions

#4
July 12, 2011 at 22:23:39
hi curt. thanks again for the feedback. i did some further investigating.

i've tried setting up a different modem/router but the problem remains the same.

i've tried connecting the wireless PC to the router via ethernet cable. as expected, once connected the PC can download over 150kb/s per download. there is no cap on the transfer rate.

this is so weird... i've another friend who's on the same ISP as me and he said he noticed the same issue with his PCs as well.


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#5
July 13, 2011 at 07:21:47
Having the exact same issue with a completely different router is indicative that the problem can't be on your end.

However, I'm left wondering how an ISP could arrange for a cap on download bandwidth for a wirelessly connected client in a customers home. All the ISP should be able to see is the WAN (external) interface of the router. The router itself, utlizing NAT, handles all LAN (internal) traffic.

I can't think of any way for your provider to be able to differentiate between one client and another since all they see is the one stream of data from the router itself.

Very wierd!

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#6
July 14, 2011 at 09:36:51
hi curt,

**BREAKING DISCOVERY**

i was curious if my problem could possibly be an OS issue because all my PCs are running XP so i borrowed my dad's laptop which is on Vista and connected it (wirelessly) to my home network. surprisingly, the laptop was able to download without any limit!!

i managed to find 2 test files links that are useful for download testing which i used to test.

ftp://ftp1.optonline.net/test64
http://test.fileburst.com/50mb-test...

on both my ethernet PC (running XP SP3) and my dad's wireless laptop (running Vista) the downloads were transferring at over 200kb/s.

on my other two wireless PCs (running XP SP3) the downloads were capped at 50-60kbps.

i think this is a significant discovery, although i don't know what it all means. so we know it's probably an XP issue related to wireless connections but i'm not sure what else to check.

any idea? i feel i'm getting closer.... thanks for the help!


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#7
July 14, 2011 at 12:18:59
I can't think of any setting offhand in XP that would cap wireless downloads. What I can tell you for sure is, the setting would be on the wireless adapter only so that's where I would look.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#8
July 14, 2011 at 19:20:09
i checked my wireless adapter settings however i don't understand most of it. there was nothing that stuck out which could possibly impose a download limit, except QoS. i tried disabling it but no change. any tips on what i should look out for?


*** MORE DISCOVERY ***

eventhough downloads are capped at 50-60kb/s each on my wireless PC, it just occurred to me that i am able to stream 1080p files on youtube and vimeo smoothly. these videos clearly require more than 50-60kb/s bandwidth to stream so it got me thinking.

i used this website keepvid.com to extract download links from some 1080p videps on youtube and vimeo. the site's application returned me URL download links like the ones below:

http://o-o.preferred.tm-jhb1.v21.ls...

http://av.vimeo.com/14824/394/58516...

here's the thing. when i download those files on my wireless PCs, i don't get capped! the downloads transfer at maximum speed... touching 430kb/s!

i'm not sure what this indicates, but since the vimeo download link is an mp4 file i thought maybe the downloads are being capped by file type. so i tried downloading another mp4 file from a direct http link. i found the following file:

http://www.yo-yo.org/mp4/yu5.mp4

however no such luck. when i try to download the mp4 the download is capped again at 50-60kb/s.

only other thing i thought of was QoS settings. i tried disabling QoS on my router, no change. as mentioned, i also tried disabling QoS on my wireless adapter but it didn't help either.


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