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undejjFlag for United States of America

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Why is my network throughput so different from my provider's bandwidth?

Last week, we had installed a 50 MB Ethernet circuit for internet. The technician tested the circuit by attaching his Ethernet cable to the Cisco ME 3400E Ethernet Access Switch (CPE). The circuit tested at 56 MB down and 46 MB up.

I have connected the CPE to a Netgear JGS524 Gigabit Ethernet Switch. When I connect to the Netgear switch with my laptop and set a static IP, I go to testmy.net and my speeds are 9 Mbps down and 750 Kbps up.

A SonicWall NSA 240 is also connected to the Netgear switch and when I connect my laptop to the SonicWall and test, my speeds are 1 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. SonicWall IPS Throughput is stated as 195 Mbps and Gateway Anti-Virus Throughput as 115 Mbps.

I am confused why I cannot approach the rated speed of the Ethernet circuit. Please explain.
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hypercube
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<Cisco ME 3400E> <Netgear JGS524 GB Sw> <Laptop>

The Cisco is delivering 50MB or 500Mbps.
The Netgear is capable of supporting this it seems but is going to be heavily loaded and may not be capable on a sustained basis.
If the laptop has a wired 100Mbps ethernet connection then that's around 10MBps.
(I use 10 instead of 8 here in going from Bytes to bits to allow for unspecified overhead).
If the laptop is wireless then all bets are off!  You may be lucky to get 3mbps.

I would not trust testmy.net entirely.  It seems to generate low numbers compared to speakeasy for example.

You might plug in a computer to the switch and see what sort of transfer rates you get from that computer to the laptop.
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digitap
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digitap - I had the SonicWall WAN port already manually set to 100MB/Full. I did try your MTU test and came up with 1472 + 28 = 1500 so I left the MTU at its default value of 1500. Also, Performance Optimize was already set.

After hours I am going to bypass the Netgear switch to see if that makes a difference. It is an unmanaged switch. The ISP's instructions were to manually set the equipment to 100MB/Full, which I did with the SonicWall. However, the Netgear switch is inline between the CPE and the SonicWall and there is no way to manually set the port speed/duplex on the Netgear. However, its LEDs indicate that those ports are operating at 100MB/Full.
Great...thanks for checking. Good luck with your test.
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I finally had a chance to test thoroughly tonight. The Netgear inline was the issue. Even though I had the SonicWall set manually to 100 Full and the Netgear ports were displaying 100 Full, as soon as I removed the Netgear from the equation, I clocked speeds approaching the rated bandwidth of the circuit. Although the Netgear was at 100 Full, it was an auto negotiated speed and the ISP stated that 100 Full could not be negotiated - it must be manually set. That appears to have been the issue. Thanks for your input!
You're welcome! Thanks for the points!