I am only getting an average of 200Kb per sec download speeds

Hi,
I upgraded to a 20mb modem about four months ago and am only averageng low download speeds.
In this time I have twice managed to download at 1.1mb per sec ,but that is the fastest I  Have got too,
Even microsoft sites are slow,do you know if this is because the servers that i am downloading from cannot handle this speed or should I be looking at my computer.
Cheers
Mark
Ps this is a cable modem.
hto123Asked:
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PeteJThomasConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Mark,

First thing to point out is that your line speed will be measured in megabits per second, not megabytes. There are 8bits to each byte, meaning that when a download window shows you downloading a file at 1.1 megabytes per second, that is actually around 8.8 megabits per second, and is therefore around half your maximum line speed.

Anyway, the easiest way to measure the actual bandwidth you're receiving is to use one of the test sites like http://www.speedtest.net/

This will give you a good idea of the highest speeds you can actually download at - Do NOT expect it to be 20mbps (the advertised speed of your line) as you never get the maximum, thanks to contention ratios and many many other factors.

9 times out of 10 the problem lies at the other end, where they are not capable of sending files at the same speed that you can download them. MS sites often give good speed, but not always.

Pay for download services like newgroups (UseNeXt for example) have always served me well (I have an 8mbps (mega bit per sec) line, and can get up to 900 KB/sec (being KilaBytes per sec) through UseNeXt which is pretty much my maximum anyway (7.2mbps).

You can use a trial account with UseNeXt to download something if you want, so you can actually put what the speed test site tells you into practise and see it for yourself. However that's up to you, as it may be too much hastle for you...

Give the speedtest.net a try and let me know what it shows you...

Pete
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Nick DennyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Mark

This must be Virginmedia's XL connection?
I use this too and regularly obtain the full 20mbit speed.
If you use this simple test site, this goes direct to the Vigin Media servers and is a truer reflection on your speed:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.d.h.walker/speedtest.html?1193670131827
and click where it says "here".

Also are you aware of the capping system in place for this service. ss download amount gets exceeding during peak times (3GB)?
See here for more info:
http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

Speed can be painfully slow at certain times of the day too because of, as mentioned, the contention on the lines (i.e. shared usage).
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hto123Author Commented:
Thanks very much for your help
Mark
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