Broadband speeds accepted highs/lows

  compumac 19:40 19 Oct 2008

With regard to download speeds, what are the normal expected differences between the highs and lows?
I have an IP profile of 7150kbps and after the first ten days it settled down to around the 6500kbps mark. Now and again I find that the internet access seems slow and if I run a speed test using any/all - Namesco Broadband Tester, Thinkbroadband Tester, BT Speed Tester, Broadband SpeedTest on ZNet UK, (I get wildly different results over a 20 minute time frame), but all indicate an extreme drop to between 2,000 and 4,000 kbps and does not return to the normal speed of 6500 until perhaps the next day.
Is this the norm or should I be communicating with my ISP BT Broadband Option1?

  birdface 20:02 19 Oct 2008

As long as I have Kerio firewall running I cannot get a proper speed check on any of them.If i turn the Firewall off and they seem to work Ok.So maybe something on your computer that is stopping them working properly.

  Technotiger 20:03 19 Oct 2008

I think you are doing very well getting those sort of speeds. Certainly no reason whatsoever to even consider contacting BT.

  compumac 20:29 19 Oct 2008

I am happy at the speeds, but should there be that much fluctuation?

  Technotiger 20:35 19 Oct 2008

Quite normal - speeds affected by all sorts of things, not least time of day/night and how busy the broadband is. Also depends partly on your contention ratio, ie how many people share your bit of bandwidth - in my case it is 50:1, so at any time I am on-line 49 other people can be sharing my bandwidth, this of course slows things down quite a bit.

  Technotiger 20:39 19 Oct 2008

There are many things which can affect the speed of your broadband service; the type of wires your signal comes through, the distance you live from the exchange, the speed of the package you initially signed up for. But there's one factor which isn't widely known but can adversely affect your speed a great deal; bandwidth hogs.

Each broadband service has a contention rate. This is normally either 20:1 or 50:1 and indicates the amount of people you share your service with. For example, a contention rate of 50:1 means that you and 49 other people are sharing the same bandwidth, resulting in a slower download speed than someone with a contention rate of 20:1. This isn't a problem if everyone goes on at different times and isn't greedy, but bandwidth hogs tend to leave their broadband connected constantly, downloading big files such as music, films or even watching TV over the net. The result? The hogs get more than their fair share of the bandwidth and everyone else has to suffer with abnormally low speeds.

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