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>> What speed downloads will I get with broadband?

The speed of access depends on many things - 'theoretically' you could achieve 'up to' the following download speeds:

500 Kbit/s Broadband
'up to' 55 K per second
1000 Kbit/s Broadband
'up to' 110 K per second
2000 Kbit/s Broadband
'up to' 220 K per second

Compared to the following 'typical' figures for older style connections:

33.6 Kbit/s Modem
'around' 3-4 K per second
56 Kbit/s Modem
'around' 4-5 K per second
64 Kbit/s ISDN
'around' 5-7 K per second

We aim to provide you with the best performance possible - we take our connectivity ONLY from major backbone providers to give the most direct (and therefore fastest and most reliable) connections onto the Internet. In addition we use network switches, routers and servers from the best vendors like Cisco, Hewlett Packard and Sun.

However, 'realistically' you are unlikely to achieve these types of figures consistently due to various factors - including:

  • Remote Site Speed - the remote site you are downloading from may be busy and unable to supply the download at full speed. In addition some sites will actually use 'traffic shaping' to restrict the speed at which single users can download from their site to help ensure a fair level of service for all their users.
  • Network Congestion - sometimes the interconnecting networks are unable to cope with the levels of traffic at peak times causing some slowdown.
  • Other Applications - you may be running other applications (for instance checking your mail etc.) at the same time which can degrade download performance.
  • Other Users - if you have more than one machine through your broadband connection (for instance if you are on a network), if someone else is also using the connection it will cause your download to be slower than you might expect.
  • ADSL Link Distance - if you are a long way from the exchange it is possible that BT have installed your circuit using RADSL - this technology is only available for 500 Kbit/s circuits and is used to extend the maximum range for broadband services. However, it 'can' be a cause of degrade in performance especially on upload speed. Unfortunately there is very little that can be done as without it you would not be able to receive broadband services at all!
  • ADSL Equipment - ensure you are using the latest drivers for your ADSL equipment and operating system. We have seen this to be important most frequently with ADSL modems connected via USB. Also with USB modems you are best not to use unpowered USB hubs - instead connect direct to your computer or via a powered USB hub.

If you require a 'guaranteed' high-speed connection to the Internet you would probably require a leased line instead of ADSL broadband. Get Online Broadband do not currently supply these circuits due to their very high cost - for example BTnet charge £2100 for installation and £16936 per year (all plus VAT - price correct as of January 2003 - see here for details!) for a 512 kbit/s service!

If you have any questions please contact us!

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