the Internet is generally faster at that time - large swathes of America are going offline and most of the UK is also still asleep. I addition you probably aren't contending with anyone for bandwidth on your gateway.
bloo meeny: more likely to be the school kids avoiding the homework!
Halmer: With ADSL you have a number of people sharing a connection - this is known as the contention ratio. The more people that connect the more demand there is and so the slower the service is for everyone. It is exactly the same as what happens on the roads. During rush hour things still get though just at a slower pace, during the night the trafic moves more freely.
As a significant number of internet users will be US based the hours that they are asleep there will be less demand on the internet system as a whole. It was much more noticable pre-broadband days when downloading large files.
There isn't however much you can do about it!
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