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watercooled
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Very poor HTTP download speed

This has been an issue for quite some time now but it seems to be getting worse over time. Basically, downloads for things like Speedtest, Steam etc seem OK, presumably as they use multiple download streams. However, straightforward HTTP downloads never get close to maxing my connection speed at any time of the day or night.

For example, downloading an Ubuntu iso from one of the local mirrors as it's a good large file to test with (but the issue applies to nearly all downloads, not just this one), no PC or browser is able to get past about 2.5MB/s at the moment (so 20-odd megabits), while we're paying for 200Mbits.

To check, I asked a friend on BT Infinity 2 (so 76ish megabits advertised) managed to download exactly the same file from the same mirror at the full line speed, so it's NOT an issue with the mirror itself.

A few years back on 20, 60, 100 meg I was always able to hit that speed on at least some mirrors for downloads like this. Now speeds are universally a joke, frankly. It's not a local issue and I can hit that 200 meg on Speedtest with no problems, and it's usually also fine on things like Steam which seem to download using a load of parallel streams from multiple servers.

So what's going on here? We've just recently 'upgraded' from 100 to 200 and saw zero improvement in the vast majority of downloads. Not impressed when a friend over the road on a 'slower' BT package gets vastly superior download speeds on most actual downloads and we're really not prepared to put up with it for much longer.

So is this a known issue, and is it likely to improve any time soon?

Thanks

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legacy1
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

What OS do you have?

Run this see what it lists and shows
http://www.speedguide.net/analyzer.php

Try a Download Manager
http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/

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watercooled
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

Hi and thanks for your reply.

I'm on Windows 7 and I haven't touched TCP settings (so window auto-tuning etc are enabled) , this issue also affects every system on the LAN which rules out bad network settings on one system. And of course I'm using wired GigE, etc. Another friend living nearby uses VM so I'll check if he is affected tomorrow.

I've been considering using a download manager but it seems to be a category of software notorious for adware, unnecessary bloat, etc (although the one you linked looks like a decent one having quickly read about it, so I'll probably give it a try). And I never used to have this limitation with HTTP downloads (and nor do people on BT's VDSL) - there might have been the odd server I couldn't max my connection with, but now it's essentially every HTTP download I've tried limited to around 2-3MB/s.

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legacy1
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

I have a theory about that and it depends if Docsis channel bonding works in the same way LAG (Link aggregation) works and QoS per channel. But I was thinking the Docsis channel bonding just lets packets of the same flow go across all channels due to Docsis downstream per channel being about 50Mb each on QAM 256 but if it is a type of LAG that Docsis is using its likely a Dest IP and Dest TCP/UDP Port hash type which is why many TCP connections for a download is faster.

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watercooled
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

Good point about channel bonding, however I'm almost certain I used to get ~100Mb on single stream downloads which exceeds the throughput of a single QAM256 channel. But now I'm getting just 20Mb which is far less than even a single channel. It's possible VM have modified some configuration on the CMTS side which can hopefully be fixed.

Thanks again!
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legacy1
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

It does not have to be VM end that rate limits per TCP connection it can be any where. What speeds are you getting with free Download Manager on one TCP connection for Ubuntu iso? Then press + to add another you have to wait a bit for free Download Manager to pre-allocate disk space before it gets going.

Try this speedtest it does 1x TCP and 6x TCP test.
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/speedtest2.html

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watercooled
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

It's not at my end nor the mirrors', which leaves VM, or its peering/transit partners. But given this applies to every single http download I've tried recently it doesn't even seem like a single peering link can be blamed with congestion. Even servers reachable over different routes (checked with traceroute) offer *very* similar (bad) performance, further reinforcing that.

I can get close to line speed with FDM set manually to 20+ chunks, and I never expected any different, but of course only on servers which allow that many download streams.

I'm at work at the moment so can't post speed test results but from memory it tells much the same story as my own testing; single stream is terrible, multiple streams increases performance. I'll post results when I get home this evening.
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed


watercooled wrote:

I can get close to line speed with FDM set manually to 20+ chunks, and I never expected any different, but of course only on servers which allow that many download streams.

You should only need about 8 connections to hit 200Mb for download that Ubuntu iso from their servers if you need more then 8 then yes there is a problem excluding high load in your area or peek times.

 

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watercooled
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

OK so here's a TBB speed test result: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/results.html?id=145400218048849968693

The x6 result is lower than usual which could be due to congestion but the single stream is roughly where it always is for me. As usual, Speedtest.net doesn't show a problem.

 

Edit: Out of interest, how are you finding performance yourself? Just wondering how big of an area this is affecting. I'm in the Knowsley region.

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watercooled
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Re: Very poor HTTP download speed

Oh and just to add I'm also getting the following error message on the TBB test:

Your HTTPx6 speed is vastly different to the tbbx1 result
This suggests an RWIN, congestion or other problem

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