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Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

Is Comcast throttling Usenet downloads suddenly? What gives?

I've received a recent speed bump (Performance tier) to 21/4 Mbps, but suddenly my top Usenet download speed (which heretofore was always right up there at my download speed limit) is suddenly down to less than 1/3 of that. I've written my Usenet provider a support email, but has anyone else observed something similar?


luckmann

join:2004-06-27
Albuquerque, NM

1 edit

Since the upgrade (blast 50/10) I haven't noticed a slowdown in Usenet. Probably a problem on the provider end. Did you try changing the port you use to access? Most providers offer ports other than 119.


nysports4evr
Premium
join:2010-01-23
kudos:1
reply to Papageno

Pretty sure they're not throttling usenet, but you could always try using SSL (assuming your provider supports it), that would bypass any throttling.


Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

I tried that--wasn't making any difference. Probably had more to do with general time-of-day related network congestion. I used speedtest to check between here and NE Virginia (the usenet server in question is in Washington DC) and the results were around 1/3 of my local download speed.



vaporwick

@datafoundry.com
reply to Papageno

I think they are - I'm using a VPN to Usenet and still getting poor download speeds


KirkyInCT

join:2008-11-04
Higganum, CT
kudos:1
reply to Papageno

No throttling here...



ClockerXP

join:2001-05-24
Sterling Heights, MI
kudos:1

No problems here with throttling.



graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2

No throttling here.



ChiCom

@bankofamerica.com
reply to Papageno

If you're using software tool to download, try increasing the number of connections to the usenet server.

I have RCN right now and switching to Comcast in a couple weeks due to moving. I couldn't get more than 45Mbps with 20 connections. As soon as I upped the number of connections over 30, I had 70+Mbps out of my 75Mbps speed limit.


nysports4evr
Premium
join:2010-01-23
kudos:1
reply to vaporwick

said by vaporwick :

I think they are - I'm using a VPN to Usenet and still getting poor download speeds

It's impossible to identify Usenet traffic through a VPN.

Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR
reply to ChiCom

I'm fairly certain that the slow download speed was attributable to general network congestion between Portland OR and coastal Virginia at that time of day--late afternoon (I did a speedtest.net check to a server out there at that time and instead of 21 Mpbs I was getting about 6.5).

Later that night everything was back to normal.



Glogg

@comcast.net

I've noticed some irregularities here in Portland too since the upgrade.

I think it's a bit silly to blame the user for slowdowns when the only change was a modem reset. So I'm not sure how changing software or options is really the solution to getting speeds you were getting before.

The speeds here are less reliable during the day. It also seems like the connection has to "warm up" in two different ways sometimes. In one way the download speed just doesn't reach capacity as fast as it use to. This could be powerboost related.

Secondly, it does seems like connections are throttled to certain bandwidths. I'm on 50Mbps Blast, but sometimes I'll start downloading and get limited to around 16Mbps. It could be a coincidence from network congestion, but it's a number I see fairly often. Then after awhile (~30 mins) it'll just shoot up to the speed I expect. Tested across multiple servers, and they all just go up in speed, so it's my connection.

The speed increase is great, but there's definitely some bugs they need to work out. If they're not bugs, then the speed increase came with some downsides.



ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
reply to Papageno

Have you tried using an eu server if they have one?


djoye

join:2009-08-15
Murfreesboro, TN
reply to Papageno

I get around 13 MBytes/s with the recent 100 Mbit upgrade. Sometimes my speed seems to hurt so I change the port number because my provider offers a number of different ports to connect on. Most of the time it's fine.

Also, I've noticed that if I don't have enough connections made then my client doesn't download as fast. You can find out from your provider how many connections they allow. Look in your client settings to make sure you're making enough connections.
--
Zoom 5341


kmax

join:2009-03-27

Noticed the same thing actually the day after I got the "bump" in speed.

Sometimes it would peg the 50 Mbit connection, but most of the time it was bouncing between 15 and 30. In the past it would drill the whole 25Mbit connection the entire download.


rmdir

join:2003-03-13
Chicago, IL

Who's your host? I have business class, Astraweb and with my 27/7 I get sustained 30.7 down according to newsleecher with 10 connections.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3
reply to Papageno

The only thing I've heard of is reports from my friend who is seeing weird timeout issues with his specific OS (FreeBSD) on multiple news servers. I suspect it's the "harsh" traffic shaping being done in some areas where powerboost has gone from uncapped to capped. The "harsh" shaping is accomplished basically by packet loss to make the TCP stack back off and ramp back up, and the packet loss seems to adversely affect persistent sockets (like what NNTP appears to use).

The issue above doesn't seem to affect his raw speeds though. I tested it with his info on my connection (also a 27/7 business class) and it pegged it but at the end of a download it hangs for a long time as sockets timeout. But throughput during 99% of it seems to be at full speeds, at least during my minimal testing for him.
--
"I drank what?" -Socrates


wbynum

join:2013-06-08
reply to Papageno

Comcrap has always throttled my Usenet downloads. Consistently get ~450 KB/s. If I download the same posts using a VPS I have I get ~2 MB/s, which is around my Usenet provider cap of 20 mb/s.

I am using SSL, port 443 etc for the Usenet connection. If I download something like an ISO from a linux distro site I get my full cable modem bandwidth. My only thoughts is Comcrap is throttling based on Usenet hostnames or endpoint IP addresses.

To make matters worse, my intro year is up with Comcrap so they have now doubled my billed to $67 per month for supposedly 12 mb/s download speed. Need to find a better provider. Maybe a DSL re-seller or something.


wbynum

join:2013-06-08
reply to Papageno

Any suggestions to get around Comcast usenet throttling beyond the normal SSL, port 443 config? I've thought about just setting up a VPN connection on my VPS box and connecting through there. Annoying though to use double bandwidth just because of Comcast BS throttling.

Expand your moderator at work


jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:2
reply to wbynum

Re: Is Comcast throttling Usenet downloads suddenly? What gives?

said by wbynum:

Any suggestions to get around Comcast usenet throttling beyond the normal SSL, port 443 config? I've thought about just setting up a VPN connection on my VPS box and connecting through there. Annoying though to use double bandwidth just because of Comcast BS throttling.

Comcast does not throttle Usenet, period. Every time I see a thread about this it is the Usenet provider, a home gateway device, someone's personal firewall software, etc.
--
JL
Comcast


Similar examples that were not throttling:
»[Speed] Slow downloads all of a sudden, especially usenet
»Comcast throttling USENET

wbynum

join:2013-06-08

Completely, 100% disagree. With my Blast 50 mbps internet if I connect directly to my Usenet provider I get ~2.6 MB/s. If I connect to my Usenet provider though a tunnel to a VPS of mine from the same computer/sabnzbd install I get ~6 MB/s. This is consistently reproducible.

Best I can tell is Comcast must be throttling based on IP as that is all they would see that would identify Usenet traffic when using SSL over port 443. Really would not be that difficult as pretty much all Usenet providers are just re-sellers nowdays for Highwinds, etc.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3

Um, I think Jason would know if they were throttling.

Just because point A-(vpn)-B is fast does not mean A-B is being throttled, it just means A->(vpn)->B is fast and there is something going on between A and B directly. Doesn't mean it's being throttled, it could just be the route you're taking or for all you know it's the news provider doing something due to too much traffic from Comcast in your area. You are concluding throttling with anecdotal evidence.
--
"I drank what?" -Socrates


ViRGEdx

join:2002-10-25
reply to wbynum

said by wbynum:

Completely, 100% disagree. With my Blast 50 mbps internet if I connect directly to my Usenet provider I get ~2.6 MB/s. If I connect to my Usenet provider though a tunnel to a VPS of mine from the same computer/sabnzbd install I get ~6 MB/s. This is consistently reproducible.

Best I can tell is Comcast must be throttling based on IP as that is all they would see that would identify Usenet traffic when using SSL over port 443. Really would not be that difficult as pretty much all Usenet providers are just re-sellers nowdays for Highwinds, etc.

Although I like a good throttling conspiracy as much as the next guy, it's more likely that the route in question is congested. Going through your VPN host almost certainly results in a different route.

wbynum

join:2013-06-08
reply to pflog

Sure it's not concrete evidence but at least I made some effort to prove the throttling.

Note that I have seen this same behavior with at least THREE Usenet providers, while going through Comcast, over the last year. It's highly unlikely that it is route issues to every Usenet provider I have tried using different backend servers (Highwinds, Supernews, NL servers, etc). Never had any issue like this with Charter in a different part of the country.

Also, that's a pretty big stretch to think a possible cause is a Usenet provider would be throttling only Comcast traffic but not other traffic. Please show me one post where this is proven to be the case.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3

Since this is not being complained about en masse, IMHO the burden of proof is on you not on us.

If you would like, I can test your news server from here. If you're willing, IM me and we can test it out. I realize this would require a degree of trust on your part, but if you look at my history here I think you will see I am an upstanding member of the community here

I'm just one of those guys that does not like to see problems go unsolved (comes with my job I suppose), so if I can help rule things out for you, I would be happy to help.
--
"I drank what?" -Socrates


generix

join:2004-09-21
Savannah, GA
reply to Papageno

As a regular Usenet (over SSL) user, I have not seen any issues with speed either on Performance or Blast related to Comcast.

I get my full ~6.8MB/s download speed on Blast no matter the time of day. I got the full ~2.0MB/s (pre-upgrades) consistently with the same Usenet provider as well.


wbynum

join:2013-06-08
reply to pflog

I appreciate the offers for help. To be honest though I'm not sure what would be proven by testing the usenet connection from a different part of the country. Just as it could be a route problem from my end (unlikely IMO), Comcast could have throttling on in some markets but not others.

I did some Googling on the subject and there are quite a few threads out there on different forums about Usenet being throttled on Comcast. I supposed I will just keep tunneling through the idle VPS I have. Plenty of bandwidth there for my monthly needs.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3

It is about 1000x more likely a geographic routing/congestion problem than "selective throttling".

But by all means, continue to believe your conspiracy theory.
--
"I drank what?" -Socrates


wbynum

join:2013-06-08

The 1000x statement is plain ridiculous considering plenty of ISP's have throttled various connections in the past. As stated earlier, kind of hard to explain it as routing congestion problems when it consistently has happened with multiple Usenet providers, yet it magically stops happening when I connect to a non-Usenet server IP address.

Anyways, short of someone from Comcast actually analyzing my connection/packet flow, not much point going around in a circle on this topic.