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Discrepancy between actual and reported download speed

By YoshikiUK ยท 5 replies
Jun 11, 2011
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  1. Hi guys, I have recently (10 days ago) changed ISPs and have been getting good speeds as opposed to what I was getting with my old ISP. I have Netmeter on my PC which tracks bandwidth usage and also shows in real time the speed of downloads. However, when downloading something such as a torrent, I am getting about 3mbps reported from the torrent programme, but 4mbps reported by netmeter. I am not using the internet for anything else apart from downloading the torrent. I am wondering why there is a 1mbps difference between the actual download speed and what netmeter is telling me I am getting.

    Could that extra 1mbps be being used elsewhere? I'm not sure what it could be, steam is closed, itunes is closed, web browser is closed, no other things are being downloaded. I would expect that if netmeter says 400-500 kbps that my torrent programme would also be reporting the same number, but it is staying at 300kbps. Any ideas, or is netmeter just over estimating the D/L speed?
  2. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 514

    Just a quick input:
    Doesn't torrent programs also upload data? Perhaps that is where your missing 1mbps is going.

    I'm not familiar with Netmeter, but I know that some (cheap) programs actually treats the upload and download as the same thing, and instead calls this "Network speed" or "Network flow".
  3. YoshikiUK

    YoshikiUK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, i don't think that is it because netmeter has a separate box for upload. So DL and UL are separate. I think it is just netmeter because i paused the torrent so it is now not downloading and now netmeter says there is only a few kbps downloading (which is my internet browsing). If there was something else using the other mb when it would still say there was 1mb downloading. So it must just be overestimating the speed.

    Edit: Heh, i just started the download again and netmeter immediately jumped to 500kbps when the torrent was just starting to speed up, I think it is confused by the data being transmitted via torrent. I shouldn't be getting over 4mbps anyway as that is my max speed and in reality the max is probably only 3.5, so yeah, netmeter sucks. But i just wanted to check that i was downloading the maximum i could.
  4. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 514

    Yeah, that is in fact a pretty good guess.

    It is possible that torrents are tough to estimate as the fluctuate all the time. The program which monitors this (the torrenting program) is probably better suited to monitor this,

    Oh and also, one should keep torrenting and other generally illegal requests off TechSpot, but as we are talking about Netmeter and upload vs download speeds here, I guess it's OK to mention the difficulties of measuring torrenting speeds.

    Although just keep in mind that I'm not fond of illegal torrenting :haha: ;)
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,380   +3,602

    I would expect that download speed might be partly predicated on how many individuals are contributing to the data flow, (torrent if you prefer), and what the speed of their connection is.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    I don't know the answer to your question.. but you might also try NetLimiter. It will breakdown bandwidth per process if that might give any clues.

    p.s. i've only played with NetLimiter a couple times so can't attest to its accuracy, etc. but it's freeware so may be worth a try.. let us know if it help's solve your puzzle :)

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