dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


how-to block ads

Search Topic:
share rss forum feed


Benton, AR

Slow download speeds

So this is what I'm facing. I have the basic AT&T DSL service which claims speeds of 768k bps. In the few years I have had this service, I max out at 160k bps tops. I live in a small town about 20 minutes outside of Little Rock in Arkansas so I wasn't expecting to be blown away with the speeds here but this is pretty bad.

I ran 3 speed tests (flash) and all of them came back with results of 700+ kbps which blew my mind since I've never seen a download even touch 165. I ran the tweak test and it had some suggested tweaks but I'm on Windows 8 and there's not an option for that OS so those suggestions are probably off. After seeing the speed tests come back with speeds like that, I loaded up Steam and started to download a game. 140-150 max. Loaded up my World of Warcraft downloader, 165 max.

I don't really know what the issue is. Obviously my connection is capable of producing the advertised speeds if the speed test can reliably hit 700+ but the second I try and download something from another source, I'm right back to the slow speeds I've been getting.

»/tweakr/block: ··· a=normal

Links to my recent speedtest and tweak test. Any help or input would be great.

Btrieve Guy
Oklahoma City, OK
·AT&T Southwest
You may be getting tripped up by the difference between bits and bytes.

Almost all ISPs rate the speed of connections in bits per second, while most downloading monitors report bytes per second. It normally takes eight bits to make a byte, so for a speed of 768 bits/sec I would expect no more than 96 bytes/sec in a download.

In practice, other things are also involved; downloads can be compressed to provide an apparent speed increase. The techniques that AT&T uses introduce some overhead, which normally cuts the maximum speed back down. My own connection in OKC is rated at 3008 bits/sec and I normally get only about 250 bytes/sec in a download. The consistent 150-160 you are getting is what I used to get on a 1536 bits/sec plan.

And the reported 777 you got on the speed test can be way low for your line; speed test results are greatly affected by the amount of other traffic at the other end of your connection, and along the way in between, not to mention any other programs that may be running on your machine at the time. I've gotten variations as large as 2-to-1 from speed tests run immediately after each other!
Jim Kyle