Broadband forum: Where is all my bandwidth going? And how do I tell?

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) December 13, 2013 3:13 PM PST

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Where is all my bandwidth going? And how do I tell?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 12/13/13 3:13 PM

Question:

Where is all my bandwidth going? And how do I tell?


I don't have fiber to the home, so I am limited to my cable Internet connection. I'm currently paying for the fastest residential Internet my cable provider offers. Using Speedtest.net, I routinely get 20Mbps down and 4Mbps up. Advertised speeds exactly. We have TWC/Road Runner in the San Antonio area.

We have wired Gigabit Ethernet in the house.
iMac (Mavericks) (on all the time)
Sony PC (Windows 8.1) (on all the time)
HP LaserJet P2055dn (on all the time)
Two DirecTV HD DVRs (standby or on all the time)
Apple TV
Xbox 360

Two "Smart" TVs
Pioneer AV Receiver (AirPlay)
Two Sony BluRay players (one is a combo AV receiver)
Apple Gigabit Router (on all the time)
File Transporter (on all the time)

All of these are wired. Occasionally we'll connect a laptop, usually a MacBook Air or Pro, to the Ethernet instead of just connecting wirelessly. We have two iPhones and an iPad connected wirelessly to the network when they are home. We rarely connect the laptops to the network wirelessly -- usually just pick up the iPad. Then of course there are the apps (that I know about) that are running on the desktops. Dropbox, SkyDrive, FileTransporter, and iTunes. We hope to eliminate (or consolidate) and only use SkyDrive, once our workplace adopts it/allows it in addition to Dropbox. Until then, we are using all three Dropbox-style apps.

I think the performance issues we are having are community-related, and not necessarily our own doing. I have taken the time and effort to go around and unhook each device and retest. I really thought DirecTV was the hog, but disconnecting both simultaneously did nothing to the network speed. At various times tonight, after 6 p.m., the network seems to really slow down. Netflix, for example, will often go from a nice near-HD resolution to really bad, pixelated/JPEG artifact-looking quality to keep up. A DirecTV on demand that comes through the Internet might take 30 minutes before we get the "ready to watch" prompt. Off the satellite, voila, instant movie.

Even during this time, Speedtest shows advertised speeds. Hmmm. Download something and it sure seems slow.

Is it me, or my cable provider, reaching capacity?

Thanks.

-Submitted by: Jack P.

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