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Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

bazzer
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Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

3 days ago, I started backing up files totalling approx. 66GB from my computer to an online storage facility.

After 3 days, the backup is complete, but yesterday I began to wonder why it was taking so long and carried out random speed tests.

During the day and evening, I conducted several tests, each showed a significant decrease in both my download and upload speeds.

The max download speed was 6.18Mbps / upload 2.96Mbps.

This reminded me when a few years ago I did a much larger backup of files, totalling approx. 6TB from my computer to an online facility. That took over a month to do so, and I experienced a similar drop in download and upload speeds.

I have the Unlimited Fibre Extra product.

This morning the backup completed, and I ran another speed test which showed my internet speed is back to the levels I have previously been used to - Download 56.54Mbps / Upload 18.42Mbps

Why are my broadband speeds dropping so significantly when conducting these types of backup, and is PN doing something in the background when detecting above average usage?

12 REPLIES 12
jab1
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

@bazzer No doubt someone with more knowledge than me may expand on this for you if needed, but basically, if you are performing such a large transfer, that operation will be maxing out your bandwidth - speed tests performed during that time will consequently look dire.

John
bazzer
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

Thanks for your reply, John.

If that was the case, what's the point of having fibre?

66GB in this day is not huge, and for it to take 3 days to upload, can't be right.

jab1
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

There are a number of factors to be considered here - your connection speed, limits applied on intermediate hops and limits applied by the final destination - not an exhaustive list, but things which have just come off the top of my head. In other words just basic physics.

If you were doing other things online at the same time, this will also slow down the transfer rate.

John
Anonymous
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?


@bazzer wrote:

is PN doing something in the background when detecting above average usage?


 

No,  what you are seeing is typical for a broadband connection that doesn't have any "QoS" (Quality of Service) enabled when the upload direction is being overwhelmed.

 

 


@bazzer wrote:

 

Why are my broadband speeds dropping so significantly when conducting these types of backup


 

The download speeds achieved, both under normal use and when performing speed tests, are regulated by handshaking sent from your computer (and router) back to the server you are interacting with on the internet.  Essentially when you are doing a speed test,  your computer (and/or router) will be sending through the upload path alternate messages to "send more data" or "stop sending while I process what I've got".  Therefore if your upload path is being used anywhere near maximum capacity (as would be the case in uploading a massive backup), then those handshaking messages get delayed and the entire connection becomes exponentially dis-regulated, because those delays lead to message resends, and are multiplied by the increased latency.

 

Counter-intuitively, the solution is to put some sort of maximum speed limiter on your upload connection.  While yes the peak upload speed will get reduced by say 10%, because the slowdown on an overloaded upload path is exponential, by running your broadband connection at around 90% of it's capacity, you can actually get a greater throughput with a lower bandwidth, and can massively improve latency for everything using the connection.

 

 


@bazzer wrote:

 

I began to wonder why it was taking so long and carried out random speed tests.


 

Try running the DSLReports speedtest  and clicking on the green [DSL] button.

If your router is managing your upload path adequately, then you should see a resulting "BufferBloat" score of "A" or "A+", otherwise you have a starting point for solving your problem.

 

If your router does have a QoS setting or a upload rate limiter, then start by trying limiting the maximum upload rate to about 90% of your usual upload speedtest result (so 90% * 18.24Mb = 16.4Mb), and repeat the above test to see the improvement, and repeat as necessary changing the percentage (up or down) to achieve maximum throughput and minimum latency.

 

If your router doesn't have these controls, then does the software on your computer that performs the backup to the internet, have any sort of rate limiting ?  If so try setting that limit to say 80% of your upload speed (so 80% * 18.24Mb = 14.6Mb).

At least doing that means that you won't be saturating the upload connection, which means while a backup is in progress that your internet will be otherwise usable, and although you have artificially limited the backup speed by 20% the actual throughput loss will probably be less than 10%.

jab1
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

@Anonymous Thanks for that - much better put than my feeble attempt.😀

John
Anonymous
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

@jab1  I thought your answers were pretty good and more appropriate than my long winded explanation 😀

bazzer
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

Many thanks for the replies.

I will work through the post from Nibiru, and report back on my findings.

Thanks, Nibiru, for your comprehensive suggestions.

dvorak
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?


@bazzer wrote:

66GB in this day is not huge, and for it to take 3 days to upload, can't be right.


your upload speed is 2.5MB/s saturating your upstream solidly would take 2 days to upload so 3 isn’t too bad.

others have explained why saturating you upload impacts your download.

Which online backup do you use? 

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bazzer
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?


Try running the DSLReports speedtest  and clicking on the green [DSL] button.

If your router is managing your upload path adequately, then you should see a resulting "BufferBloat" score of "A" or "A+", otherwise you have a starting point for solving your problem.

 


@Anonymous Below is the result of the DSL test. I'm assuming this all looks good?

However, despite the backup completing this morning, I have still experienced a combination of very slow download / upload speeds, as well speeds that I consider to be normal.

7DC5A611-AC97-4CED-BE09-7D2F14DC22AD.png

bazzer
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?


@dvorak wrote:

@bazzer wrote:

66GB in this day is not huge, and for it to take 3 days to upload, can't be right.


your upload speed is 2.5MB/s saturating your upstream solidly would take 2 days to upload so 3 isn’t too bad.

others have explained why saturating you upload impacts your download.

Which online backup do you use? 


@dvorak  I'm backing up to OneDrive.

Browni
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?

@bazzer you can control Onedrive's upload/download speeds.

Link

bazzer
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Re: Is PN Throttling My Broadband?


@Browni wrote:

@bazzer you can control Onedrive's upload/download speeds.

Link


 

Thanks, @Browni 

I'll check it out.