Slow download speed PLEASE HELP!

  c4llum 16:48 31 Mar 2012

So my problem is this; I am with bt on the "up to 8Mb/s" unlimited plan (fibre is not available in my area, sadly). Although my exchange is upgrading to adsl2+ on April 2nd which will upgrade me to "up to 20Mb/s". I am very close to my exchange and when i run speed tests (primarily although other speedtests give the same results) they say that my download speed is about 6.7 Mb/s (higher when not at peak times like right now). Except when i download files (games through steam, torrents and just general files online through my browser) i never pass 850Kb/s and am usually at about 750Kb/s. Is this normal? and if it is what causes it? or am i just being screwed by my isp? i also get an absolutely terrible upload speed of 0.27Mb/s. Now luckily i don't upload all that often and i know that upload if often significantly less than download but 0.27Mb/s, really? again is this to be expected? oh and i get a good ping of 35-47ms (usually 35) although this can fluctuate wildly. Any and all help is welcome. Thanks in advance.

  Ian in Northampton 17:29 31 Mar 2012

I don't think I've ever seen a file download at anything close to the reported speed of the line. The numbers you quote seem entirely normal to me - and my line speed-tests at about the same speed yours does. The issue with downloads is almost certainly the speed at which the host can 'serve' your file. As far as upload speeds are concerned - yes, what you're seeing is entirely normal/usual, at least in my experience. I really don't think you've got a problem - and no, your ISP isn't screwing you (at least, not on download/upload speeds... :-) )

  c4llum 17:48 31 Mar 2012

Ok but i download hundreds of gigabytes of data a month (hence the unlimited plan) and so if it is the speed that the host can "serve" you the file that hampers the download then why do i get the same speed across all downloads? never getting one max out my connection? surely considering all the files i download from all the different sources i would have gotten one at some point who's server is not busy and is close by right?

  john bunyan 18:28 31 Mar 2012

Are you downloading from bittorrent sites? I do not use these but I understand they share downloading among many. Do you get quicker downloads when, for example, downloading a free programme? I agree with Ian that the speed of physical file downloads is much slower than the test results.

  Peter 19:10 31 Mar 2012


How are you measuring your speeds? Are you possibly confusing bits with Bytes when measuring your download and upload speeds?

Remember that an 8 Megabit download speed equates to 1 Mega Byte download, at best, and that the usual 300 Kbps upload speed that you usually get (at best) with an 8 Mbps download speed will equate to about 38 K B ps.


  c4llum 19:34 31 Mar 2012

@ john bunyan As i stated in my original post my download speed (max of 850Kb/s) is across all downloads that includes bit torrent but also downloading free files from the web. When i say across every download i mean EVERY DOWNLOAD

@Peter Did you read my original post? i am measuring my speeds though and i also tried a couple of other speedtesters. And no i am not confusing bits with Bytes.

  lotvic 20:41 31 Mar 2012

Could this possibly explain the speeds?

BT Broadband usage policy *"2. What is BT's traffic management policy? P2P refers to certain applications that enable files and program sharing between groups of people logged on to a P2P network. Because they use uploads and downloads and are often left running 24/7, they consume significant bandwidth, even when being used by just a small number of customers. Because a lot of P2P traffic is not time-critical - for example, downloading and uploading TV programmes or movies for later viewing - we treat P2P traffic differently from time-critical traffic (such as surfing, streaming or internet telephony) and apply speed restrictions to all P2P traffic. We manage these restrictions daily based on the demands on the network, but downstream restrictions will typically be in place 4pm - midnight on weekdays and 9am - midnight on the weekend. Upstream restrictions may be in place at other times."*

  lotvic 20:44 31 Mar 2012

BTCare Community Forums quite a few threads on Speeds

  c4llum 20:47 31 Mar 2012

@lotvic Can you read? i really must wonder. As i have previously stated (several times now) this speed carries across ALL applications not just bit torrent (P2P)but everything else as well. Besides i use btguard to anonymize my bit torrent traffic.

  john bunyan 22:25 31 Mar 2012


We have tried and failed to help you in spite of carefully reading your post. All I can say is that Like others have said , your speedtests seem ok . I have similar speeds to you.Incidentally do you have any problem with iPlayer etc? I do not have any problems of the type you mention, but am a light downloader. I can only suggest you get BT to help. If you like, suggest a download and I will time it on my PC to compare speed in practice with your PC. I use W7, IE9 and get about a nominal 8 Mbps on a up to 8 Mbps (ADSL2 Exchange enabled)

  lotvic 22:46 31 Mar 2012

Sure, can read a little and do simple sums :) Humour me, What software/means are you using to monitor download speeds that make you say "this speed carries across ALL applications...." (and as per your first post)?

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