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Question Download speeds slow across multiple devices, but fast for Usenet/Torrent ?

May 13, 2021
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So I am having an issue with my home network download speed and it's driving me nuts. I have noticed that it takes a long time to download various files on my Android phone while on my home network. Then I noticed it was the same on my Windows 10 (Home) laptop and my wife's MacBook Pro (all connect via wifi, 5GHz). It doesn't seem to be website dependent because I can download the same file from the same website from my work computer and it will finish in a few minutes (where it could take over an hour from my home network). I also have a media server that runs Armbian (Linux); the download speeds are slow on that when running something like apt update && apt upgrade, but this is also the device where I run my Usenet apps and those speeds download at anywhere from 1-3MB/s (as opposed to everything else downloading at 300 to 800kbps).

Some trouble shooting things I have tried:
  • resetting the modem/router/devices
  • updating any device firmware to latest versions
  • connecting my laptop directly to the router for a wired connection (there was no significant change in download speed)
  • connection my laptop directly to the cable modem, bypassing the router (there was a mild increase in speed, but not much)
  • ran speed tests from my laptop while on wifi and then on LAN; I ran tests from five different sites and they were ALL OVER THE PLACE. I ran each one a few times and this is what they stayed around:
    • Ookla wifi - 74Mbps | Ookla wired - 122Mbps
    • Speedof.me wifi - 6.11Mbps | Speedof.me wired - 6.17Mbps
    • Speedsmart wifi - 145Mbps | Speedsmart wired - 215Mbps
    • Fast.com wifi - 41Mbps | Fast.com wired - 63Mbps
    • Testmy.net wifi - 3.4Mbps | Testmy.net wired - 2.3Mbps
So I'm not really sure why our everyday downloading from browsers (or even apt update in Linux) is so dang slow when I seemingly can download way faster when using Usenet/Torrents (even when downloading torrents behind a VPN) or from another network. Any help with this is much appreciated. Here is some more information in regards to my ISP and equipment.
  • Modem: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
  • Router: Netgear Orbi Router RBR20
  • ISP: Comcast Cable blast! Internet - I think it is 200Mbps ( which makes the Speedsmart result of 215Mbps suspicious )
  • Windows 10 Home laptop: Alienware 15R2
  • Android phone: Oneplus 7 Pro
 
It is actually fairly common to get slightly above what you pay for on speedtest when you run on cable. They to a point do this so there is a little extra capacity when you have a bunch of your neighbors also using the network.

I am unclear what doesn't work. How did you get the speedtest numbers. The speedtest number is the best indicator if you have a network issue. If you get good numbers on speedtest but other locations do not download as fast it tends to be the other site or something with the way the data is being downloaded.

You are all over the place in your testing it can be caused by many different things. Coping files inside your house is going to be very different than coping files from the internet.

In general because speedtest runs good on any site it means your internet connection is good. What it leaves is some issue with software on your machine or you live in some area where your ISP has poor connections to other ISP. This is uncommon with someone as large as comcast but it is also why when you test to a speedtest server that is on comcast network it will outperform one hosted on another ISP.

What I would do is do consistent tests on your machines and see if you can find a pattern. Download very large files from a large provider like microsoft, something like a win10 install image. Microsoft has massive bandwidth and good connectivity to most the large ISP.

Torrent is going to be very inconsistent because the pool of machines you download from change constantly so it is hard to get good test results. You can't compare torrent downloads to most other forms of download because torrent is actually downloading parts of the file in parallel form multiple sources.
 

maikutech

Distinguished
So I am having an issue with my home network download speed and it's driving me nuts. I have noticed that it takes a long time to download various files on my Android phone while on my home network. Then I noticed it was the same on my Windows 10 (Home) laptop and my wife's MacBook Pro (all connect via wifi, 5GHz). It doesn't seem to be website dependent because I can download the same file from the same website from my work computer and it will finish in a few minutes (where it could take over an hour from my home network). I also have a media server that runs Armbian (Linux); the download speeds are slow on that when running something like apt update && apt upgrade, but this is also the device where I run my Usenet apps and those speeds download at anywhere from 1-3MB/s (as opposed to everything else downloading at 300 to 800kbps).

Some trouble shooting things I have tried:
  • resetting the modem/router/devices
  • updating any device firmware to latest versions
  • connecting my laptop directly to the router for a wired connection (there was no significant change in download speed)
  • connection my laptop directly to the cable modem, bypassing the router (there was a mild increase in speed, but not much)
  • ran speed tests from my laptop while on wifi and then on LAN; I ran tests from five different sites and they were ALL OVER THE PLACE. I ran each one a few times and this is what they stayed around:
    • Ookla wifi - 74Mbps | Ookla wired - 122Mbps
    • Speedof.me wifi - 6.11Mbps | Speedof.me wired - 6.17Mbps
    • Speedsmart wifi - 145Mbps | Speedsmart wired - 215Mbps
    • Fast.com wifi - 41Mbps | Fast.com wired - 63Mbps
    • Testmy.net wifi - 3.4Mbps | Testmy.net wired - 2.3Mbps
So I'm not really sure why our everyday downloading from browsers (or even apt update in Linux) is so dang slow when I seemingly can download way faster when using Usenet/Torrents (even when downloading torrents behind a VPN) or from another network. Any help with this is much appreciated. Here is some more information in regards to my ISP and equipment.
  • Modem: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
  • Router: Netgear Orbi Router RBR20
  • ISP: Comcast Cable blast! Internet - I think it is 200Mbps ( which makes the Speedsmart result of 215Mbps suspicious )
  • Windows 10 Home laptop: Alienware 15R2
  • Android phone: Oneplus 7 Pro
It might be the modem you are using or it could be the ethernet cable type you have.
Since you are with comcast, I would call them up tomorrow and ask to speak "technical" support not customer support.
Also comcast is keeping most people at a set speed limit, compared to the quoted "cabel blast speed" you were quoted when setting up internet service.
 

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