Line performance problems? – what might make the line appear slow

If you find that the Internet page download speed is rather slow, despite your new high speed ADSL interconnection connection, this may be down to any one of a number of reasons:


4    Overloaded (overbooked) backhaul capacity connecting your local exchange to the public Internet


4    Capacity limitations or traffic overload in the networks and peering points between the networks making up the Internet itself


4    Limited streaming capacity of the remote server (e.g. web server)


4    Limited upstream bitrate from the remote server to the Internet (Some web servers are connected by means of DSL connections – in this case they may not be able to deliver data faster than 128 kbit/s).


4    Poor application design – computer applications which are unduly ‘interactive’ or demand repeated ‘acknowledgement (ACK)’ messages are likely to be preceived by users as reacting very slowly. ADSL line configuration parameters (in particular, by having your ADSL service provider activate the ‘FastPath’ feature) may help in some cases. Gamers can benefit from the ‘FastPath’ feature. Otherwise the software may require re-design to improve the speed of performance.


4    A fault on your DSL connection or at your service providers DSLAM. However: the normal effect of a fault on you connection is not simply to reduce the data transfer speed but to cause complete loss of service.


To trace the exact location of the problem within the network, it may be useful to employ a PING-tool to detect the network connection or node which is the main source of the packet delay (latency). Typically you input the Internet address or web-style address of the server or other device you are trying to communicate with and the PING-tool then sends and receives repeated messages to the device in order to measure the overall round-trip-time (RTT) to each of the network nodes along the entire length of the connection – displaying the results in a table or graphic.


Recommended PING-tools:

For Windows users:  WinMTR

For LINUX users:      SmokePING