Friday, March 20, 2009

Quadrupling my ADSL speed

I have the new computer for a week now, and I'm quite happy with it. But of course with all the installing of stuff, and often needing new versions for Vista, I'm doing a lot of downloading. So I got a bit annoyed that downloading wasn't faster, and decided to check whether I'm getting the internet download speed I'm paying for. So I headed over to, and got a somewhat disappointing 1.7 Megabit per second. I was sure my ISP had promised me more than that!

I dived into the website of my ISP and tried to find the terms and conditions. And found something rather curious. With my subscription plan I should have 12 Megabit per second (that would be 1.5 Megabyte per second, over 5 Gigabyte per hour). But there was a little footnote leading to some very small print saying that by default I only get 4 Mbit per second, until I call a service number and specifically ask for a free upgrade to 12 Mbit. Grrrrrr! I bet they are counting on not many customers finding that info!

So I called them, and a few days later a technician called me back and told me it was done. I did the speedtest again, and now I get 6.7 Mbit per second. Still only half of what is advertised, but 4 times as fast as before. I remember hearing about stuff like parity bits and check bits making actual speed always slower than nominal speed. Anyway. the next software I downloaded really reached 800 kbyte per second download speed, nearly 3 GByte per hour, and that is a speed I can live with. Teaches you to always read the small print!

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