Very slow downloads over cable, Mac & Firefox

By macx
Jan 1, 2008
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  1. Had this problem with tiger, is continuing with leopard.
    on a G5 iMac

    Using firefox, also does this with safari.

    Not much faster than dial-up

    Anything we can tweak in either the OS or the browser?

    We have charter cable and do have tv and phone also,
    but I just tried to download a 590kb file and it took
    over 2 minutes!! and that was without the tv or phone
    in use.

    We've complained to Charter but to no avail.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Actually the Internet speed is governed by your ISP.
    But in saying that, there are a number of local (your end) factors that can cause this

    Wireless
    Router configuration
    Network setup
    Virus and Spyware
    Faulty hardware

    How is your system configured:
    Is your ethernet cable plugged directly from your computer to the modem
    Or are you going through a router
    Are there other computers on your network also connecting to the Internet

    Sorry about all the questions - but you also be getting an understanding of the cause of this slowness from these questions.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    Where are you downloading the file from? Usually the bottleneck is not your internet connection but some other point between you and the server.

    And yes.. What is you network like? Have you tried with some other computer?
  4. macx

    macx TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 743

    Not wireless, cable.

    Router, one computer on it.
    Same router we've had for several years,
    this slow down problem has just been evident
    but getting steadily worse over last several months.

    Have tried other computers with same result.
    Both PC and Mac, both of which worked fine
    previously even when 3 computers on that same router
    at the same time, now just this one.

    Same anti virus in use for awhile, same as
    used on the other mac tried. Worked fine before.

    Both macs recently tried are relatively new
    G5 iMacs.

    We've been having similar problems with the tv
    also - can hardly watch HD cuz the picture breaks
    up then both the picture and the sound stalls.

    Going to non HD it's better but still flickers on occasion.

    Was having same problem with Tiger, both Macs,
    now we have Leopard but no change with the Leopard.
    Worked OK for several years with Tiger, and with
    2 Macs plus 1 PC on it. Now it's worse with just 1
    computer on it.

    I believe the ISP is splitting the bandwidth up too much.

    I work away from home and was in an apartment in a small
    town recently and talked to the installer for the building.
    I got phone + internet + tv and he said he re-allocated more
    bandwidth to me cuz I had more things than others in the
    building, he said three's only so much bandwidth coming
    into a building or, in our case here, into our subdivision.

    The problems are more noticeable during peak hours and
    especially over the past holiday weekends with everyone
    home.

    Doesn't matter if I'm actually trying to download something
    or just open up the home page.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Well to be fully confirmed it's not you, so as to complain to ISP
    You would need to take your computer physically to another location (with the same server and speed account)

    I think in this case I'd fault to your local phone line company first (to check the line)
    And then back to the ISP

    I agree that in these larger buildings with lots of users on the same bandwidth line, that the speed can be significantly be slowed.
    Difficult for the ISP to fix in this case.
  6. macx

    macx TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 743

    We're hooked to cable, not to any phone land line.

    i did a search for something like Download Speed problems
    with charter and came up with numerous blogs FULL of
    complaints of the same thing from all over the country -
    people getting very slow download speeds both on internet
    and on tv.

    Problem is they dont provide enuf bandwidth when the bring
    it out to an area, whether it's a building or a subdivision.
    they split whatever the main feed is into a given area up among all
    customers in that area or bldg, so the more users that share the
    same bandwidth the slower it goes for all of them.

    One of the iMacs we checked with was our daughter's. Same problem
    But at her place, in town, it downloads much faster.
    We're in a subdivision in a small town about 6 miles from the major
    town in the area where all the feeds come from.

    We're paying for the middle download speed, forget the #, but our
    downloads this weekend were nearly as slow as dialup. Our download
    manager this afternoon showed we were only downloading at from
    10 to 25 kbps, not mbps! And I think we're paying for something like 20 mbps!
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    I'd be upset too.
    Cable of course - sorry

    Anyway how many times have approached your providor, also are others there in the building having the exact same issue as you
    Many people protesting is better than one !
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