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Downloading files from Usenet very slow (100kbps)

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Downloading files from Usenet very slow (100kbps)

I have started to use usenet for downloading files and noticed that the download speed is very slow at around 100kbps. It takes 1 hour to download 50mb.

My configuration is :-
I'm using Newbin 4.32 as the Newsgroup reader,
Windows XP,
BT Voyager Wireless Router.
2MB Broadband connection with free-online.
Newsserver : usenet.free-online.net

Can anyone offer any advise? Does something need tweeking at free-online?
4 REPLIES
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Downloading files from Usenet very slow (100kbps)

It is a pity no one has responded to you as I am having the same problem. It is very annoying!!
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Downloading files from Usenet very slow (100kbps)

Hi,

This is something that we have been aware of for a little while now, and we have had networks looking into a few different possibilities as far as our own usenet servers go.

The details of these changes to Usenet have now been signed off and work has already begun.

If you remember back a few months we announced our intention to set a 15GB limit on Usenet, the work to set this up has begun and once ready we will be able to move traffic to our Usenet platform into the silver traffic queue for Premier accounts (and equivalent legacy accounts) in the same way we've already done for Broadband PAYG/Lite accounts.

This will give a greatly improved Usenet service to our customers with the much improved speeds available to our servers at peak times.

At the moment I don't have a timescale, but will post this as soon as I do.
N/A

Downloading files from Usenet very slow (100kbps)

Jon,

Are you basically saying that poor usenet performance is a consequence of FOL's traffic shaping policies?

Over the past few weeks I've seen usenet performance at certain times drop to abysmal levels, though I use an external news provider rather than FOL's own usenet service. As an example, before posting this I tested downloading a random file. 254kB took 102 seconds, approximately half the speed I used to get from a dial-up connection in the distant past.

I'm satisfied the problem doesn't lie with my news provider - they've got a good reliability and performance record and aren't reporting any problems (and more importantly other customers aren't reporting problems). Significantly, the problems have only begun in the last month or so, when traffic priority seems to have been a major issue for PlusNet - apparently far more so than FOL Premier customers had been led to believe.

I understand the need to prioritise on-demand traffic ahead of p2p (and usenet) traffic, and accept that unsustainable usage is an issue that has to concern PN/FOL. However, when I read posts originating from PN stating "or the most part, where traffic is seeing a decrease in speed on our network it is down to a level of unsustainable usage" mere weeks after the introduction of a Sustainable Usage Policy I have to wonder if something isn't working as planned, or if you are once more failing to inform your customers of a significant change in the level of service provided.

What constitutes unsustainable usage? We have a guide of 30GB/month. 23 days into my current billing month my traffic has reached a little over 5GB, the vast majority of it off-peak (though I can't tell how much as you still haven't changed the View My Usage tool). If FOL's policies are such that usenet is intentionally unusable during peak hours - to the extent that I can't download headers - start being honest with your customers. At least then I'll know I'm moving elsewhere with good reason.

Peter Bruffell
JonathanW
Grafter
Posts: 2,648
Registered: 02-10-2007

Downloading files from Usenet very slow (100kbps)

Hi,

The recent slowness to external servers has been caused by a few different things. One of them is indeed the traffic shaping that will reduce the speeds at busy times when other traffic is given priority. The other is the general level of traffic that our customers have been generating, whch has seen bronze traffic degrade a little more than normal at extreamly busy times.

It isn't our policy to make usenet unuseable, and this is why we are going to be carrying out work to improve our usenet platform and offer a better service to our customers. As for external servers, access to these will remain on the bronze queue, and will still see slowdown at busy times on the network, however they should also still remain within useable levels.

Please keep in mind that the sustainable usage policy doesn't have an effect on your speeds unless you were to exceed your appropriate usage levels.

Additionally, some recent posts regarding usenet have refered to unsustainable levels on our usenet servers, rather than just on the network as a whole, which is another factor in us carrying out work to improve the usenet service for all.