Equal distribution of Bandwidth amongst several flatmates

By quanfused
Oct 26, 2008
  1. Hello All!
    I've just recently subscribed to the O2 Home Broadband Service and am currently living with three other internet users. We all use a secure wireless connection. Two laptops are Vista operated and the others are XP. The broadband package allows for us to have "unlimited usage", 8 meg download speed, 1.3 meg upload speed. I am always able to check my DSL connection and bandwidth speed (up/down) from my O2 account and true to their word, it always is the case.
    The problem is that during the day, my connection appears to be horrendously slow i.e. loading speeds, which proves to be highly irritating when trying to surf, research, or work etc. The signal strength is always maximal; I've run various scans and tests on my Laptop (Vista Home Premium - SP1) using AVG, ZoneAlarm, Spybot, Windows Defender, CCleaner; Defragmented recently; and I still have alot of space on my hard drive - So I 'think' I have exhausted every possible means of trying to resolve this issue or at least locating the cause of it all; sadly of no avail.
    My flatmates tend to download alot, which I suspect may be the reason. So I am writing to you guys to ask for a way, method in which I can see who is using up all the bandwidth, and if that is the case, how then will I be able to equally divide the Bandwidth so that we all get a fair share/ usage out of it.

    Some feedback/suggestions with regards to this query/plight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking your time to read this rather protracted post.

    Kindest regards,

  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    How are you checking?

    So you're saying they're "true to their word and always the case" means anytime you see a slow connection it must be your flatmates and not your service?? :confused:

    It could be your flatmates but also guessing could be
    1. More O2 users and more congestion for O2 to deal with during the day causing slower speeds (if they aren't handling the load to keep connection speeds up)
    2. Since it's DSL, it's running over phone lines. So part of your connection is (probably - i don't know O2) being carried over public phone wire to spot where it switches over to a dedicated O2 wire. Congestion and quality of those public wires are also an issue and can vary by time of day.
  3. quanfused

    quanfused TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry, forgive my lack of specificity...I'm not terribly computer literate nor wise. My O2 Broadband, as far as I can tell, works by them (O2) taking over our flat's BT phone line (British Telecommunications plc). Their website ( pretty much explains their modus operandi. I am able to check the "O2_ADSL2plus Connection" because I have an online administrators account which provides me with this and various other bits of information e.g. Uptime, Data Transferred (sent/recieved kB/kB), whose computers are connected etc... I can also run a "diagnostic test" on the phone line to make sure that it's not the line that is causing any problems. Everything appears to "working normally" when I check these avenues, so I don't think it's the service if that makes any sense..? The other day, when the connection was especially bad, I rang up the O2 customer help team, who then ran diagnostics tests on the line and found nothing unusual. They also added that the area in which I live in is "as good as it can get/ optimal" in terms of how far I am from my "Local Telephone Exchange" (again, if that makes any sense). All of which has flummoxed me.
    My flatmates do use the internet alot during the day - and it's whenever they're at home that the connection speed plummets. So I am just trying to figure out if all of this is a result of their downloading habits...and if so, would it be possible to equally divide the bandwidth so everyone gets a fair usage.
  4. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    So basically you want to shape the connection.

    There really is no easy way to do this. Some higher end routers have a priority system, but I have not heard good things about performance. What you really need is a gateway computer that connects to your router, then using a shaping software (many good options for *nix and a few for windows.) to shape the connection. Then run the line from the gateway to a switch. You may be able to install multiple nics and avoid the switch but I am not sure how to do that.

    It may get kind of tricky because some protocols are time sensitive and should not be shaped, whereas http and bittorrent are not.

    If this sounds fairly complicated to you, thats because it is. The best way would be to tell your flatmates to lay off the downloading.

    Here is the best picture I could find to illustrate what I am talking about.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,160   +599

    hum; You have an ISP connection at 8MB and all users connected using WiFi.

    Even if all users were downloading at the same time,
    there's no way that three users could saturate an 8MB link.

    Issues for this symptom could implicate
    1. The host which is not performing well
    2. Your ISP under specific workloads or maintenace schedules
    3. Your router or switch
  6. quanfused

    quanfused TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you all for your input. Twas much appreciated. At the very least, I've gained a better knowledge of how my Broadband operates.
    On a slightly separate note, could someone please enlighten me on what factors might affect Streaming speeds.

    Kindest regards,

  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,160   +599

    Internet throughput is influenced by
    1. the website hosting the resource and the current workload
    2. your ISP host and its workload
    3. the number of intermediate 'hops' between the above systems and their workloads
    4. finally, your LAN hardware/software and the ability to sustain a workload
    Out of all of this, you can only influence your connection to the ISP and the reliability of your hardware/software.

    This is a huge subject with lots of details that the computer science majors study and upon which they write papers.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    here's a few things to look at to start
    • Could you provide make/model of modem/router/wireless access point your computer connects to for access to O2? (Should be a tag on each telling you that info)
    • Can you run over a wired connection for awhile? Is best way to rule out any wireless issues (regardless of signal strength indicators)
    • Have a look at this link about Vista and slow network connections
    • Do you know if your flatmates also experience terribly slow speeds or just you on your computer?
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