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Upgrading ethernet adapter

Posted on 2005-04-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a Via Rhine II Fast Ethernet Adapter which is working ok.  My DSL internet connection is not really great though.  Typically I can download at between 250 - 350 KBs and when I test my modem at Toast I usually get 1800 to 2000 mbs.  I have tweaked some settings (Tcp receive window to 69120) but I would like to know if changing my Ethernet adapter will improve performance?   If so, can someone recommend one?  Or perhaps I should be looking at a different solution?  Many thanks..
Question by:victord66
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

jhance earned 375 total points
ID: 13841477
It seems really unlikely that your ethernet adapter is the bottleneck here.  A "Fast Ethernet" adapter is typically capable of 100 Mb/s operation.  I'm not sure what you mean by "1800 to 2000 mbs" but there is no DSL scheme in the world capable of anything approaching this speed.  In general, DSL will not be capable of any speed greater then about 2 Mb/s (2,000,000 b/s).  Most installations will be low.

So your ethernet adapter is able to run 50-100 times FASTER than your DSL is able to pass data.

Are you sure the OTHER end of what you're connecting to is not the limiting factor?
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 13841480
BTW, "b/s" is bits/second.  Mb/s is MEGA bits/sec.

Expert Comment

ID: 13844893
In these days of broadband internet access in the home, it is rare that you will find your download rates to be limited by the speed of your local connection.  Most likely you are being limited at the source of your downloads.  As such, changing your Network Interface card is not going to speed things up.  

Try going to a site that is known to have fast download servers... Microsoft perhaps.  Pick a large file and download it.  I just downloaded the Media Player 10 installer (approx 12 MB).  At an average rate of around 1M/S.  I say an average rate because it varies during the course of the download depending upon the load on the server.  Remember, I am not the only person trying to download files from this server.  I have to share the server's outgoing bandwidth with others. So, even though my Cable connection tests to be capable of 3MB/S  I am limited to the rate the server I am connected to is willing to feed data to me.

I know this is not the answer you were looking for, but I really don't think that there is anything wrong with your NIC.


Expert Comment

ID: 13845204
I agree that your NIC is probably fine...and I will tell you that 250-300 is actually a pretty good download speed in the grand scheme of things...

Everyone hinted on it, but when you download from someone else, imagine that 30 other people are downloading the same thing, so you take their internet speed & at least divide it by 30, so that's why your speed is lower.  I have bonded-T1s & I rarely see downloads over 1mbps, despite the fact that my connection is significantly faster than that.

Also, you may want to look at anything that may be slowing down your connection (ie, internet filters etc)

Author Comment

ID: 13849085
Thanks guys for your help and suggestions.  I think all of your comments were quite correct and I wish I could split the points, but I could only accept one answer.

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