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Sloowww Broadband
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Sloowww Broadband Reply with quote

I went into PC World around 5 months ago and bought 2 laptops and a USB modem stick. The laptops are the Advent 4211 and the Acer 5920 with 3GB RAM. The modem stick is on the '3' network.

Ok, the problem is basically my internet download speed is very slow. On occasions pages load in couple seconds, but mostly take 15 seconds and upwards. The 15 seconds is a generous approximation. Pages constantly crash as do downloads ie you tube videos, software app's, pdf's.

Example: I tried downloading 2 different you tube videos and both took over 30minutes to download. I have used the same laptops at a friends house in cornwall connecting to their wireless sky broadband and managed to download over 400 videos in one day. Bit excessive I know but had to get it done when I could.

Are these problems inherent to USB modem sticks in general, just the 3 network or am I being fobbed off. I'm fed up with this slow download speed it's more like dial up than broadband.

I have tried to contact 3 about this but they asked me to phone them. I haven't as 1. I need more info and 2. Idon't want to waste 5 waiting for a response each time I have to phone them. The way I see it is that they aren't supplying the service I signed up for, so I want to cancel it if they don't sort it out. Is that fair?

When I signed up I was shown I lived in a good signal area, I always have a good signal on 3G or HSDPA(?). Customer services emailed and said if connection was via GPRS I'd get poor performance but have never seen this appear. But why would that happen if I live in a good signal area anyway?

I hope you can give some advice on how to sorrt this cos I'm starting to wish I just signed up for virgin broadband!
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've no experience of 3G wireless broadband, but I can give some generic information. You should be able to connect to 2 types of network - HSDPA and GPRS. HSDPA on 3G can give a maximum download speed of 3.6Mbps - some networks allow up to 7.2Mbps. GPRS can give a maximum of 114kbps download speed. These figures are theoretical maximums and dependant upon how far you are from the mast and other environmental factors, you will probably get about 50% of these figures.

You say that you have a good HSDPA signal, so you should be getting a download speed of 1.5-2Mbps on average.

You can check your connection speed using a speed test site (such as http://home.cfl.rr.com/eaa/Bandwidth.htm), just don't use the internet for anything else while it is testing as this will affect the results.
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what you say about download speeds there must be something seriously wrong.
Quote:
HSDPA on 3G can give a maximum download speed of 3.6Mbps - some networks allow up to 7.2Mbps. GPRS can give a maximum of 114kbps download speed. These figures are theoretical maximums and dependant upon how far you are from the mast and other environmental factors, you will probably get about 50% of these figures.

You say that you have a good HSDPA signal, so you should be getting a download speed of 1.5-2Mbps on average.


When I tried downloading you tube videos it takes ages to actually start the download then informs of the speed - usually between 2 and 11 KBps the average is around 5-8 Shocked

Just in case you didn't notice, that KILObytes NOT MEGAbytes per second.

If the stick was faulty why is the replacement the same? So it can't be that. Could there be some problem with my settings in internet explorer or firefox? not that i've changed anything.

Also the problem are much more common on the advent 4211 rather than the acer 5920. When I asked you about a problem Ihad on my old win98 toshiba laptop with only 96MB RAM, you said that's plenty for internet, so why the slow speed with the 1GB advent and the 3GB acer?

I'll try the speed test and see how I get on, Thanks.
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The figures I gave were kilobits per second, and megabits per second, the download rates you got need to be multiplied by 8 to get it in kilobits per second. So 11KBps is 88kbps - which sounds like a GPRS connection.

I don't think the problem is with your hardware. Let us know what the speed tests come up with.
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I'm a bit confused -
Quote:
The figures I gave were kilobits per second, and megabits per second, the download rates you got need to be multiplied by 8 to get it in kilobits per second. So 11KBps is 88kbps - which sounds like a GPRS connection.


Why multiply by 8? I know there are 8 bits per byte is that what you mean? If so the distinction is usually made by making bit a lower case 'b' and a byte a capital 'B' as in 10kb=10kilobits and 10kB= 10 kilobytes. at least that's what they told me in college?

According to 3's Cust.Serv. the app window would display 'GPRS' if I used that connection - I've never seen it.

I'm currently downloading a you tube video. It started at 1.29pm,is half way (3.6 of 6.9MB) as at 1.52pm and says it's downloading at between 1 and 9 KBps - occasionly shoots to around 14 or 15 for few secs then goes back down.

I'm also bit puzzled about the speed test, do I just download and run the prgram from the site or is it run directly from the site somewhere?
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there are 8 bits in a byte, therefore 8 kilobits in a kilobyte, and 8 megabits in a megabyte. So multiplying by 8 will give you the figure in kilobits per second. You are correct in your nomenclature a lowercase b is for bits and an uppercase B is for bytes.

The speed test link has a load of links on it to various speed test sites - choose one that is local to you. If you are in the UK use this one:
http://www.numion.com/YourSpeed/Checkup.php?L=tw
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok thanks.

the results are as follows:
kilobit/sec (kilobyte/sec)
Surfspeed inside United Kingdom: 47.11 (5.88 ) 100%
Surfspeed average (worldwide): 40.71 (5.08 ) 100%
Surfspeed outside United Kingdom: 40.38 (5.04) 100%

does that mean anything to you?

As I started the test Iwas asked to install a firefox plugin but I still got a result despite unable to install is that a problem? It was something to do with java runtime environment.

I've just realised that you said I was correct about the capital B representing bytes, and the download indicates kB not kb so why do i need to times by 8 Confused
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It says that you have a slow internet connection! I don't think the message matters, if you don't have java installed it wouldn't work!

This does seem to be slower than you should expect, and with this performance it doesn't really qualify as broadband!

One possibility is packet loss - data set to you, or from you, does not reach it's destination. Try the following:
Arrow Click on Start then Run
Arrow Type in cmd and press Enter
Arrow In the box that comes up, type in ping bbc.co.uk -n 1000 and press Enter

This will send 1000 test packets of information to the BBC's server and time the responses. At the end it will display the statistics, please post these in your next post.
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It pinged! now i'm getting lots of replies with times, am i going to get 1000 replies? If so that's gonna take some time - I must have around 100 or so at present!
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SoftStag



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you will get 1000 replies, then it will give statistics when it's finished. Be patient, it will take some time Smile
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Errrmm...

As it was taking so long I decided to put some washing out, then i noticed the window has gone???

Should I do it again?

-----------------------

Ooops! I missed out type cmd in run box and typed the ping message in there instead. It's going again. Embarassed
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The window shouldn't have closed.... Try again.
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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