dramatic variation in ADSL connection speed

August 15, 2009 at 18:37:54
Specs: Windows XP
I live in Brazil. I have recently changed my
network speed for 10 MB from 5MB. Great!
Subsequently, I found that quite often I was
receiving only 1 MB. This was particularly
obvious since I listen most of the day to BBC,
and the programs are dropping, 'because of
lack of bandwidth'! I have called my provider
and they are essentially telling me that it is a
problem with my equipment. Their service is
supplied by radio, and I suppose there are
possible problems. Can anybody advise me
what to say to these people, since every time I
ask for a technician to check the line, they
charge me $15 if they consider it my fault (not their's). I have never had such repetitive drops. One minute I have lightning speed and the next quasi nothing. Are my modem
configurations the cause? Logic tells me that it
is the provider's fault. Can anybody help?

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#1
August 16, 2009 at 05:38:51
When I first started with Verizon fiber optic service, I didn't get the advertised speeds. I downloaded & ran a program called TCPOptimizer from speedguide.net. It fixed everything.

However, there were times when audio steams would drop & rebuffer. I had to change some settings in Winamp. What player do you use? Have you tried others?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
August 16, 2009 at 06:41:02
This was particularly obvious since I listen most of the day to BBC, and the programs are dropping, 'because of lack of bandwidth'!

I hate to break it to you but, a 1 Mbps connection is more than enough to allow a radio station to be streamed across the internet without issue. So if your radio station keeps dropping, you're having issues other than bandwidth. If you google "bandwidth test" you'll see numerous links come up. Try two or 3 of those and compare what they say you're getting to what you're paying for. If you're getting 60 to 80% of what you're paying for, you're doing well.

I have called my provider and they are essentially telling me that it is a problem with my equipment. Their service is
supplied by radio, and I suppose there are possible problems.

When you say, "supplied by radio" are you referring to a wireless highspeed internet connection?

If so, wireless isn't the most reliable medium and no matter how big your pipe, it's still susceptible to interference, latency and other issues that make it well......suck!

From the sounds of it, you may have a bad modem. If the modem is the property of the provider (as it is in my case with my DSL) then ask them nicely to replace it so as to rule that out as part of the problem. If the modem is your property, well, you'll still want to try another radio in hopes that is the issue. If you could borrow an identical unit from a friend and test it that would at least let you know (without spending cash up front) whether or not you need to replace your modem.

Other than that, I can't think of anything on your LAN aside from maybe a faulty SOHO router that may be causing this.


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#3
August 16, 2009 at 07:09:22
Thanks for the replies. When I say wireless, I am referring to
the method that I receive my broadband service. I do not
receive my connection via copper or fiber but via radio. I am
connected directly into my computer without a router.
Actually, here I have been receiving 10-12 MB and whilst there
are fluctiuations e.g. 7-10 MB during the day by beef is that
there appears to be wild variations, 5 -10 times a day when I
seem unable to to download anything and my BBC player
drops and messages 'insufficient bandwidth'. These moments
tend to last for a few minutes only and then the service
returns to the optimum speed but it is really irritating, as you
can imagine, when I phone my provider to complain and they
see nothing wrong by the time they check. What I don't
understand, until the upgrade, I was receiving 5 MB without
any problem. This problem only started with the upgrade to
10. So once again is the problem my modem, or the provider's
service?

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Related Solutions

#4
August 16, 2009 at 07:14:38
I use Realplayer or the Iplayer to listen to the BEEB .
I also use Chrome/Firefox as my browsers and It happens on
both.

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#5
August 16, 2009 at 09:36:27
One thing to consider is that there will be times when the
internet connection, upstream of you or your provider, gets
overloaded or "stalls." There is nothing you or they can do about
that. It's the nature of the beast. At that time you may be able
to receive local content quickly but anything at a distance,
especially overseas, may drop.

Will the company loan you another modem? It's worth a try.


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#6
August 17, 2009 at 08:03:10
There are actually, a number of things to consider.

First and foremost....where bandwidth is concerned it is important to note that you'll never get more than about 80% of your rated bandwidth. Which is to say, if you have a 10 Mbps connection to the internet, on your best download you won't exceed about 8 Mbps. The reason being, a certain amount of bandwidth is taken up by overhead.

I won't go into a long discussion about this because if you're not a network geek like I am, it won't make any sense. Just accept that this is true in all cases of TCP/IP networking on a contention based network.

What DanJ said above is very true. I'll add to that.

If the segment of the ISP's network you're on is really busy, then that will affect your bandwidth. If you share a segment with a lot of people running P-to-P software who share files 24/7, or, a bunch of them are all downloading big files all at the same time, that will eat up bandwidth too and cause lag/latency issues. If it's a peak time of day for internet usage, this will also cause issues.

What I don't understand, until the upgrade, I was receiving 5 MB without any problem. This problem only started with the upgrade to 10. So once again is the problem my modem, or the provider's service?

This is indicative of something that isn't caused by you. This is more likely something on the providers end. However, the person you're talking to on the support line is likely not much of a technician and just reading from a Q and A database. If your question isn't in the database, you don't get a reply. What you need to do is call your ISP's support line and ask to talk to their 2nd level support. This should be the guys (and/or gals) who actually do have a clue and are able to fix things. Talk to them, explain whats going on and how it just started since you upgraded to a higher bandwidth package. There just might be something they can do to reduce your latency and improve your connection rate.


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#7
August 17, 2009 at 12:09:43
Thanks a lot everybody. I'm not sure that anybody has really
answered my question satisfactorily. A couple of days ago I
had a visit from my provider's technician and he could find
nothing wrong with my modem configs but at the same time
had never heard of the sort of behavior I was experiencing. In
particular the brevity and repetitiveness of the spike and loss
of service and the consequent inability to actually verify my
experience. When there is a sustained drop in speed that can
be verified and fixed. My experienced seems to be
unverifiable.
Just for the record, as I said previously, I live in southern
Brazil, and surprisingly, generally, I have a good provider. I
often receive 10+ MB throughout the day, and not the pathetic
percentages that are supposedly supplied by most providers
in UK. I can get personal tech help on the phone 24/7 and a
visit within 24 hrs. No cost - so long as the problem is not my
equipment. And my upgrade doubled the speed but was
cheaper than the previous speed!

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#8
August 17, 2009 at 18:03:48
Why don't you want to try the program that I mentioned? TCPOptimizer

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#9
August 17, 2009 at 20:44:21
Will do Guapo. Thanks for reminding me.

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