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What affects internet speed?

  1. Sep 28, 2008 #1
    what affects internet speed?

    my internet slows down significantly at night. i have done a speed test which indicates its actually faster but everything i do on the internet after around 8pm takes over twice as long. I'm assuming its a program slowing the connection and using up the bandwidth but what program?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2008 #2
    What type of connection do you have? If you have cable you are sharing a pool of bandwith along with everyone else in your block( not a street block, but a block of customers to the isp). The after 8pm drop might indicate more people are on during this time.

    Also what activity are you doing at 8pm that might be different then what you do earlier in the day. "everything i do on the internet" is vague.
  4. Sep 29, 2008 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    By "slowness" do you mean having to wait for a page to come up when you click on a link, or do large files take longer to download, or both?

    If it's the first but not the second, then the problem might be that your ISP's name server is overloaded in the evening. When you access a new page, your computer has to look up the numeric IP address that corresponds to a domain name like physicsforums.com, using your ISP's name server.

    Where I work, the raw connection speed is much faster than at home, so I can download large files faster at work. However, at work it takes longer for pages to load, especially when it's a complicated page with images and other pieces from more than one server. I think my school's name server doesn't have as much "horsepower" as it really should have. The ISP that I use at home has more resources.
  5. Sep 29, 2008 #4
    Another possibility is that the time zone difference between you and the sites you're accessing is great enough that it's daytime wherever they are.
  6. Sep 30, 2008 #5
    cheers jtbell and CaptainQuasar. your probably both right. shame theres not much i can do about it except mabye change my isp.
  7. Sep 30, 2008 #6


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    Homework Helper

    It could be bandwidth issues at your end or an issue at the web sites you typically visit.

    Try downloading something from Microsoft. I'm currently using Cox cable (Southern California), but there aren't many others nearby using cable modems, and although the stated download rate is 12 megabits per second, I've seen over 2 megabytes / second downloads from Microsoft, although Cox may be caching some of these (my last download was Virtual PC 2007 SP1 which wouldn't seem to be that popular), or there's some compression going on (2 megabytes would be 16 megabits per second), or Cox had yet again bumped up the speed (it's just a paramater in a cable modem set by the ISP via software commands). Note that Cox limits upload speed to about 10% of the download speed (to discourage people hosting servers).

    If you're referring to lag in online gaming, it's the distance and number of nodes involved between you, the server, and/or other players. The time it takes for information to propagate isn't affected by bandwidth (if the information packets are relatively small). Satellites, being 22,000 miles up, add about 1/4 second of lag (22,000 miles x 2 / (186,000 miles / second), for each transfer of information.

    The current limit for USA (DOCSIS 1.1 or 2.0) cable modems is 38.7 megabits / seconds download, 9 (DOCSIS 1.1) or 27 (DOCSIS 2.0) megabits / second upload. This would consume all of a 6 mhz channel on a cable. My cable modem supports 88mhz to 860mhz, being able to select 1 of up to 128 channels.
  8. Oct 1, 2008 #7
    i am a newy in computers compare with you guys so i will like to ask you something
    is nod antivirus better than spybot search and destroy?
  9. Oct 1, 2008 #8
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