The WIFI speed Rollercoaster


C

casey.o

I was using a local WIFI yesterday and downloaded about 4 gigs of stuff
again. While doing it, I was watching the download manager in Firefox,
and was wondering why there is such a rollercoaster in the speed?

Occasionally I will get as low as 70kbps, and the next moment I can hit
1.2megs ps. I've never exceeded 1.2 megs, but things really go fast at
that speed. Parti8cularly when I was downloading some huge files of
300megs or so, During those large downloads. I try not to do other
stuff on the internet, because every so foten I lose the connection and
have to start all over, or have to copy and replace the .PART file to
continue.

Normally, I'd think thaat speed variations are affected by other users
on the WIFI, but I was using this system from my car, after hours (when
the business is closed). Therefore, I was likely the only user,
particularly late at night. (The manager of the business knows I do
this, and dont care).

But I question why the speed is so variable. Is this speed change in
the entire internet, meaning what is getting to that particular WIFI
router is affected by their server? One other thing I noticed, is that
I was probably averaging 400kbps, but around 11:30pm, it suddenly gained
to around 700kbps, and for a half hour or so, it stayed right about
1meg. I was planning to go home, but when I hit that speed, I stayed
another hour and downloaded several more large files on my list. This
made me think that the time would be around the time everyone normally
shuts off their computers and goes to bed...... Thus, my guess is that
the server which pumps the data into the WIFI router is really the cause
of the speed, rather than after this router.

I should note that when I'm inside that building (during open hours), I
get the same speeds as I do outside. Of course I can park 6 feet away
from the large glass windows, in theier parking lot, so I'm as good as
being inside. And inside there is still that speed rollercoaster. Just
for grins, I used a credit card to buy some food when I was inside. I
know the credit card info is sent over the network, and I did see a
brief decline in speed when they ran my card. But whether that was from
usingf my C card, or just part of the normal rollercoaster is
questionable.

Then too, might weather conditions affect the connection, even if I'm
inside the building?

One thing I do know, is that even at 100bps, it's a considerable
improvement over dialup...... And 1meg ps, seems incredible.

----

One other thing, there is another "secured" WIFI in town, and it's in a
restaurant right next to a bar. Everyone in town knows the password for
that place, and will go to the bar to use WIFI while having a cold one.
But that place has the slowest WIFI I've ever used. Normal speed is 10
to 20kbps. That's almost as slow as dialup.... The fastest I ever got
on that WIFI is around 65kbps. So, I dont even use that one anymore.
Why it's so slow is beyond me????
 
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C

casey.o

Maybe they're throttling it. Or maybe enough users are on that it drops
that low, since you said everyone knows the password, and who knows how many
are outside in the parking lot.

By "throttling it" do you mean there is a method to limit the speed? If
that's true, I doubt the actual restaurant customers would be pleased.

This is a small rural area, and it's pretty obvious who is online.
There are usually only 1 or 2 people in the bar using it at once. The
bar has their own internet service but it's only for use by the owner
and bartenders, plus it runs their internet jukebox. I recall about a
year ago, the place was almost empty, so several bartenders were bored
and all connected to facebook. That's wghen the jukebox locked up, and
it had to be rebooted to get it working again. That took 20
minutes..... That gave me the opportunity to spout off "What ever
happened to the old record player jukeboxes?" A couple of the old
guys knew what I meant and laughed, but the young ones thought the end
of the world had occurred. Especially when the song just kept playing
the same line over and over, until the bar owner finally unplugged it,
because he could not even turn it to mute on it's remote.
When I was on dialup, I never got above 33.3 kbps, due to the poor landlines
out here. And, in fact, I dropped my landline service primarily because of
the noisy landlines: when it rained, all I got was static, and they even
switched the wire pairs twice on different occasions, so I said enough is
enough). But having landline service was a nice backup, as I don't really
care for cell phones. Cell phones are supposed to "free you". Yeah,
right. :)

I wish I could get 33.3 kbps DOWNLOAD SPEED. I have a feeling you mean
you connected at 33.3K, versus 56K. But that dont mean the download
speed is that fast. I normally connect at around 40K to 45K on a 56K
modem. I recall once connecting at 48K. I dont think anyone connects
at 56K. Right now, being friday evening, when all the kids are using
their computers, I can only get a 36K connection, but that's normal for
this time of day. Late at night, I usually get around 45K. But my
download speed rarely exceeds 5kbps.
 
C

casey.o

That's what I meant. I don't know it they would do that, however. But if
the Wi-Fi service were being abused by patrons (since you said everybody
knew the password, and I was assuming they shouldn't), there might be a
temptation to do so. At any rate, in retrospect, I guess that's probably
unlikely what's going on here.
I think if they were really concerned, they would just change the
password. I really think they dont really care that local people use
it. The password is probably just there to prevent EVERYONE from using
it. In a small town like this, stuff like that gets around fast.
---

Yes. And *never* higher than that, no matter how many times or days I
tried connecting. It's due to the lousy lines out here (which were
sometimes noisy on telephones too)


I can't recall now for sure. And often it would only connect at 28.8 kbps.
I was lucky when I got the 33.3 kbps connection. I probably monitored the
actual download speed in real time with an app, but I can't recall for sure,
but somehow I think I did that, and I would have noticed a huge discrepancy,
if there were one.


On your XP computer, I presume? Because 5 kbps is really terrible!! I
think you said your 98 computer did a lot better.

But you somehow see a huge difference between your connect speed and your
actual download speeds, but I don't recall seeing that.

My phone line runs almost a mile from the road, because that is how far
off the road I am. I'm surprised I do as good as I do. Last week my
phone line was inder water, because I know where it's located, and that
spot in my yard tends to pond up, in fact I plan to excavate that so the
water drains off, as soon as things dry up.

That is the speed I get on my Win98 machine. On Xp I'm lucky to get
half that! Sometimes on W98, I can get up to 7kbps during off hours.
That's the limit, but I dont think anyone on dialup can get much
better.....
 
B

Bob F

I was using a local WIFI yesterday and downloaded about 4 gigs of
stuff again. While doing it, I was watching the download manager in
Firefox, and was wondering why there is such a rollercoaster in the
speed?

Occasionally I will get as low as 70kbps, and the next moment I can
hit
1.2megs ps. I've never exceeded 1.2 megs, but things really go fast
at that speed. Parti8cularly when I was downloading some huge files
of 300megs or so, During those large downloads. I try not to do other
stuff on the internet, because every so foten I lose the connection
and have to start all over, or have to copy and replace the .PART
file to continue.

Normally, I'd think thaat speed variations are affected by other users
on the WIFI, but I was using this system from my car, after hours
(when the business is closed). Therefore, I was likely the only user,
particularly late at night. (The manager of the business knows I do
this, and dont care).

But I question why the speed is so variable. Is this speed change in
the entire internet, meaning what is getting to that particular WIFI
router is affected by their server? One other thing I noticed, is
that I was probably averaging 400kbps, but around 11:30pm, it
suddenly gained to around 700kbps, and for a half hour or so, it
stayed right about 1meg. I was planning to go home, but when I hit
that speed, I stayed another hour and downloaded several more large
files on my list. This made me think that the time would be around
the time everyone normally shuts off their computers and goes to
bed...... Thus, my guess is that the server which pumps the data
into the WIFI router is really the cause of the speed, rather than
after this router.

I should note that when I'm inside that building (during open hours),
I get the same speeds as I do outside. Of course I can park 6 feet
away from the large glass windows, in theier parking lot, so I'm as
good as being inside. And inside there is still that speed
rollercoaster. Just for grins, I used a credit card to buy some food
when I was inside. I know the credit card info is sent over the
network, and I did see a brief decline in speed when they ran my
card. But whether that was from usingf my C card, or just part of
the normal rollercoaster is questionable.

Then too, might weather conditions affect the connection, even if I'm
inside the building?

One thing I do know, is that even at 100bps, it's a considerable
improvement over dialup...... And 1meg ps, seems incredible.

----

One other thing, there is another "secured" WIFI in town, and it's in
a restaurant right next to a bar. Everyone in town knows the
password for that place, and will go to the bar to use WIFI while
having a cold one. But that place has the slowest WIFI I've ever
used. Normal speed is 10 to 20kbps. That's almost as slow as
dialup.... The fastest I ever got on that WIFI is around 65kbps.
So, I dont even use that one anymore. Why it's so slow is beyond
me????

Maybe they have slow DSL feeding their router.

Speed can depend on multiple things.

The speed of the connection to the router - cable, dsl, ???

The speed of the router's wireless technology. B, G, N

The speed of the server you are getting data from.

The other people sharing any of the above. One person doing a download like you
are can take half the bandwidth. A couple more can do that again.
 
C

casey.o

You mean anyone where you are? Because 7 kbps I would consider unusable!!
I mean, even at 28.8 kbps, it took a fairly long time to load web pages or
download files (for web pages, I'd say a couple of minutes or so, to get
them nearly fully loaded, and especially nowadays, since they're all so
"loaded" these days. This isn't 1998 anymore when the pages were a lot
"lighter", and more basic. :)

I only use it at home, it's a desktop computer.
Yea, the files keep getting bigger. But its better than no internet at
all. I DLd a 40meg video while I went to town tonite, so its no biggie.
The phone would be unused anyhow. If I want to DL lots of stuff, I use
a WIFI. I DLd almost 9 gigs this week. I had to unload my laptop
because I filled the harddrive.
 
C

casey.o

Maybe they have slow DSL feeding their router.

Speed can depend on multiple things.

The speed of the connection to the router - cable, dsl, ???

The speed of the router's wireless technology. B, G, N

The speed of the server you are getting data from.

The other people sharing any of the above. One person doing a download like you
are can take half the bandwidth. A couple more can do that again.

I felt like I was sucking the whole internet down yesterday when I was
getting around 1 meg per second. :)
I was loading up to 5 downloads at once to keep it going, but I'll pause
some so others can finish quickly.
On smallish files, I could not enter them fast enough to keep
continuously downloading......
 
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B

Bob F

I felt like I was sucking the whole internet down yesterday when I was
getting around 1 meg per second. :)
I was loading up to 5 downloads at once to keep it going, but I'll
pause some so others can finish quickly.
On smallish files, I could not enter them fast enough to keep
continuously downloading......

My cable modem with a wired connection seems to be limited to about 28.6 Mbps
Download and just under 6Mbps upload (speedtest.net), so you are nowhere near
the limits.

I assume you have checked into DSL possibilities. My father was getting slow
phone connections like you and saw a significant improvement with DSL.(but still
slow)
 
O

OldGuy

Get a download manager that can resume a download.
Many webites' servers support that feature.

Speed can be totally dependant on the other user's demands.
So your speed will vary.
most people are not doing large downloads.

When i go to some restaurants the speed is limited for each user.
Some restaurants do not put a user speed limit.

Choose your restaurants wisely, for food or download.
 
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C

casey.o

Get a download manager that can resume a download.
Many webites' servers support that feature.

Speed can be totally dependant on the other user's demands.
So your speed will vary.
most people are not doing large downloads.

When i go to some restaurants the speed is limited for each user.
Some restaurants do not put a user speed limit.

Choose your restaurants wisely, for food or download.

The best speed I ever got from a WIFI was at a campground. Some friends
were camping there and I went to visit and had my laptop along. I
foubnd oyut they had WIFI and I was getting speeds of over 2meg per
second.
 

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