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Why does my download rates slowly drop?  (curious)

By Darminato ยท 15 replies
Feb 5, 2003
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  1. Whenever I'm downloading something (like from Fileplanet), it always starts off at pretty high speeds, like around 300k per second. But it slowly drops down to around 200k and hovers around there.

    I'm curious as to why it drops to a stable speed and then stays there, instead of screaming all the time.


  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,248   +508

    What's your download cap? If it's 1.5 mbit then it would make sense that you get a burst which is above your max and you slowly drop down to your max as your downloader is constantly calculating download speed by the amount of the file received/time. 1.5 mbit would be just under 200K/sec - about 187 K/sec. Calculating in your burst speed at the beginning you may get just over that if you maintain your max speed. Just a thought, I'm not sure that this is the correct answer to your question but you may wanna check your current cable modem/dsl config file by going to

  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    Here's the best explanation I can think of.

    While you are downloading, before you click the "save" button... Internet Explorer is already downloading the file into a temporary directory.

    By the time you click on "Save As", Internet Explorer has already downloaded a small portion of the file and this causes IE to report a much higher speed than it should because it gets a head start...

    At least this is one reason why this would happen.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Does that really happen Rick? I thought maybe that was the cause once too, but if that was true it must limit to a certain percentage of the file because I doubt that if you leave that save as box open it downloads the whole file.
    Also the other day when I was at home I was getting stuff off Kazaa (freeware of course :)) and I was watchign it come in at over 10k/sec and so I clicked the connection status in the bottom of the screen and watched those numbers go up by over 10k/sec too. Unexplainable because 56k modems connected at 52000bps can't physically dl that fast. And this was sustained transfer too, for several minutes, sometimes long enough sustain it over a 5 meg file.
  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 660

    Do you have compression turned on, or does your ISP support compression. I regularly get 10kb/s on a 56k modem when downloading from News Servers, simply because the files are encoded as text, and the modem can compress and decompress text to around half its original size, so essentially it is downloading at 5kb/s, but because of the compression the newsreader has calculated that I have downloaded twice as much in a given second.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    No, that little dial up thing shows % compression and I had 0% downloaded and 2% uploaded.
  7. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    No, rick is right, IE will quite literally download the entire file before you've ever even clicked save. It begins the download automatically, but then does not take into consideration the time/speed of the already downloaded portion when calculating average speed. I personally find that annoying.
  8. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    Remember that the 10k/sec reported is the actual size of the data being received - Not neccessarily the transfer rate - Especially in the case of files that are uncompressed. If you send a text file to a friend from 56k to 56k, you may see transfer speeds of 12k/sec with hardware modems that support hardware compression. Also, the "Compression" is not software at all - It would be difficult, very difficult, to determine exactly how much data was being compressed and how much wasn't. Also, remember that certain fileshare apps such as KaZaa have been known to misreport actual download speeds. A friend of mine was getting "14.2k/sec" when downloading a video file - And of course it turned out to be false, but kazaa insisted that was the download rate.
  9. Mr.Guvernment

    Mr.Guvernment TS Rookie Posts: 76

    56k modems can go well above the usal 5-8kb most people see, from what i have been told, it is all the ISP that is limiting it.

    i know in Antigua at times i would get a steady 18KB (not kb) from some places i downloaded from.
  10. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    They could only go above that "theoretical" limit in direct modem to modem connections (ala null-modem) or in-house RAS. It isn't the ISP, it is the FCC which limits the transfer rate - And they mean business. The FCC limits transfer to I believe 53.3kbp/s, which means you won't even get a full 56k of true transfer. This is also altered by location too.
  11. Mr.Guvernment

    Mr.Guvernment TS Rookie Posts: 76

    i wish i knew the full details like that..lol
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    I too, have downloaded up to 12kb/sec.. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but it has happened perhaps 4 times in my life. Each time was during FTP transfers, spanning over three different programs, all dealing with ZIP files (rules out compression).

    When I looked at my internet connection box, the data recieved was going up phenominally... It was adding 10kb to my total "recieved data" every second, instead of my usual 4kb. I watched it in real time... Amazing.
  13. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    Every once in a while you will experience something "impossible" in computing...

    A few years back, I was running win2k on a 486, using it as my web/ICQ/IRC machine. While listening to net radio, ICQ and IE both generated a critical error and brought up that generic win2k close program box.

    I chose to ignore it, because the net radio was still working in the background. I also didn't close it because ICQ was receiving a file, in hopes that it wouldn't totally die until the file was finished. After a few minutes I began to wonder... I moved the error dialog boxes down into the lower right hand corner so that only a few pixels were visible.

    For about four more days afterwards, I would get a new "ILLEGAL OPERATION" dialog boxes that I would just move aside. I also got a few others such as "This program has generated errors and must be shut down..." Again I chose to ignore them.

    I left those error boxes down in that corner, with those programs working just fine, for three months. When I finally decided to shut down - Those error boxes had dissapeared. They were nowhere to be found, and all the programs that had "Crashed" were still working just fine, like nothing had ever happened.
  14. conradguerrero

    conradguerrero TS Rookie Posts: 307


    networking uses kilobits per second not kilobytes. so 18 kilobytes would be 188 kilobites per second. no cat 1 cable could ever reach that speed on a regular phone modem.
  15. conradguerrero

    conradguerrero TS Rookie Posts: 307

    there's also the problem of propagation, when utp signals change as they travel down wires. as signals travel, they attenuate or grow weaker.
    moving electrons within a wire generate electromagnetic noise, which can make a signal unreadable.
    this is experienced more so if the wires are longer than 100 metres.
  16. richnikes

    richnikes TS Rookie

    My modem is locked at 645000000 Hz, which i have no clue is. But for some reason, about a week ago, my computer was downloading at 1mb a sec, but now it just downloads at about 100kb a sec. Can someone tell me why it dropped drastically?

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