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Improving Your DSL Connection
By: Gabor Bernat
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    Table of Contents:
  • Improving Your DSL Connection
  • The Theory
  • More Factors to Consider
  • Solutions
  • cFosSpeed
  • Conclusions

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    Improving Your DSL Connection - More Factors to Consider

    (Page 3 of 6 )

    The time has come for us to see the factors that influence your bandwidth. You should know the difference between b and B. The first stands for bit and the second for Byte. A bit is equal to one-eighth of a byte; eight bits equals one byte. For some obvious marketing reason the bit is used more; psychologically, the higher the better. However, in the world of computers, the KB is more used.

    Therefore, if you sign up for a contract with 1 Mbit/s then you should expect a bandwidth of 128 KB/S. That's the theory at least; in practice, it's more trouble for DSL. Communications equipment vendors use ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), ignoring the content type of the data. ATM is a protocol for transferring data between two points. The Internet uses IP as the protocol for communicating, therefore, and in particular, TCP/IP.

    This way the data is going over your DSL line via TCP/IP over ATM. TCP grants you overhead in transmission that can go down to three percent, while ATM overhead is even more, ten percent usually. So you may experience a speed penalty of about 13 percent compared to what you signed up for. Following the previous situation, a 1 Mbit/s connection in practice would result in a 1024/8 - (1024/8) * 13/(100) = 1024/8 * (87/100) = 111.36 KB/S sped limit under ideal conditions. Thus, 87 percent efficiency is the speed you should look for if you are under the 2 km distance from the server. If you are further away, you can expect a considerably higher speed drop.

    Now that we've alluded to the speed that's offered by your ISP, we need to look at some further issues that can lead you into errors regarding your download speed. If you don't have a dedicated download manager, the integrated one in most browsers fails to indicate the correct speed upon the start of the download. Look at the start speed:

    This is due to the fact that data can buffer up before the timers are started. This causes exaggerated readings, especially when only the beginning segment of the file has been received. The speed you are really using is obviously the second one.

    This problem with your download speed can be caused also by one or more viruses inhabiting your system, so scan your PC if you experience a download speed drop. If you experience some issues that can be caused by a faulty OS configuration, make sure you visit the DSLReports site. It is dedicated to these kinds of problems and you can make a test at the following link: http://www.dslreports.com/tweaks.

    After finishing the tests the result will show you both the problem in your connection and how to resolve it by providing a very BIG database with many FAQs explaining the problems along with their solutions. Make sure you don't miss this site.

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