Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetOther - Computers · 9 years ago

Why do I pay for 12 mb/s download speeds and yet only get 1.5 mb/s?

I'm downloading something right now from steam and I'm sure that they have high volume but still everything I download whether its steam, adobe or some other download it never breaks 2 mb/s, and no there is nothing wrong with my computer, no viruses, no crap nothing! PS i'm in San Diego...

3 Answers

  • Drew
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You're paying for 'up to 12 mb/s' download speed, which is really the same as saying that your car could go 'up to 100mph'. The conditions have to be perfect, and you wouldn't expect your car to constantly go at 100mph, only on a dry, flat, straight road. Similarly, your internet speed requires a series of conditions to be met for the fastest connection. Some of these you can improve, but most are out of your control.

    First, it's best to have the shortest possible distance between your router and your main phone socket. The cable between your local exchange and that socket is as high quality as your telephone provider can provide, and any extensions inside your house will be lower quality. The less cable between the router and the socket, the less time the data has to spend in a low-speed cable. If you need to have your computer further from the socket than the router, run an Ethernet extension from the router to the computer, so the router is near the socket. Ethernet cables are designed to carry high-speed data, so a long ethernet cable is better than a long phone cable. The best arrangement would be your computer and router together, the router connected by a short cord to the main phone socket, and the computer connected by a short Ethernet cord to your router.

    If you are connecting your computer to your router wirelessly, then think about using an Ethernet instead. If you have a laptop, then wireless is the best option, but it's always good to have an Ethernet cable around for when you want to download large files. Again, Ethernet is faster than wireless connection. If wireless is your only option, try changing the channel. Other people's wireless routers near your house can interfere with yours if they are on the same channel, slowing your connection. You'll need to find individual instructions on changing your channel in your router and PC instructions (you'll need to change both to the same channel, else the connection will lost).

    Next, streamline your browsing setup. Find a fast browser, I'd suggest Google Chrome. A good browser can make all the difference when using the internet, and there are many good free ones. Definitely steer clear of Internet Explorer. Also, when you are downloading a large file, make sure you are not putting too much extra load on your connection. Don't stream a HD video, or listen to a music streaming service at the same time as trying to download something. For every extra tab you have open you are taking connection time and resources away from the download.

    It's also worth noting that the speed of a download will be affected by the demand placed on the server you are downloading from. Steam is very popular, and many people will be trying to access it at the same time. The server can only allow access to its files shared on their site, so you'll have to wait. This leads on to my final point:

    Finally, you can alter your usage habits. Speeds are slowest when everyone is trying to connect at once. Try setting larger downloads to run overnight, as less people will be trying to access your local exchange at that time. There are various programs that can help you schedule tasks to occur at certain times on your PC, so you could set it to download a file at a time when you are not at home, making use of the time when everyone is at work, not using their home internet.

    (Also, as noted by another answerer, it depends on the measurement units you are using. Most services advertise in mb/s, or Megabits per Second. There are 8 Megabits to a Megabyte, or MB/s, so make sure you are measuring in the same units. As Megabits are the generally accepted standard for internet connection speed, nearly all online calculators will also measure in mb/s, so I doubt that's the issue.)

    I hope this helps.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Just because you have a 10mb/s connection doesnt mean you will get that speed. Speed depends on the distance of the servers you're connecting/downloading from even visiting a website can take longer as it all depends on the distance to the servers,the response time and also the upload speed of the other side of the connection. Also you could be affected by traffic shaping by your internet provider. Try and compare download speeds from the same source during the day and at night. If you notice a considerable difference then traffic shaping is active on your line.

  • Zarn
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    If you pay for 12 mbit / second, you will usually get something from 1 - 1.5 MByte / second. Do note that there's a difference between lower and upper case units in this case - 1 MB / s is about 10 Mbit / s.

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