Tag Archives: bandwidth

Netflix Knows the Fastest ISPs

When it comes to figuring out which ISP has the best Internet speeds, Netflix knows the numbers. The company is a great source for this type of information, considering their service helps users everywhere stream movies and television content right into their homes. “We find ourselves in the unique position,” wrote Ken Florance, director of content delivery at Netflix, “of having insight into the performance of hundreds of millions of long duration, high-definition video streams delivered over the Internet.”

When you check your own speeds via a service such as SpeedTest, you’re testing short bursts of activity. Netflix, though, is testing data at sustained transfer over time. “The throughput we are able to achieve with these streams can tell us a great deal about the actual capacity our subscribers are able to sustain to their homes. In the charts below, we’re using a time-weighted bitrate metric to represent the effective data throughput our subscribers receive over many of the top ISPs.”

Taking a look at the top sixteen Internet Service Providers (as listed by Netflix), one might be a tad surprised at the results. The chart clearly shows that Charter sustained the best overall results, with Comcast coming in a close second. Cox, Time-Warner and Cablevision round out the top five providers. At the bottom of the list, you’ll find ClearWire all by its lonesome. That isn’t very shocking.

Where does your ISP fall in this list?

Bandwidth Monitoring and Capping

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – I push out tons of GBs of data every day. In my house, I personally don’t want a bandwidth cap. However, I do believe in it as a whole. I would actually be even more in favor of it if there were a way to buy even more bandwidth.

Xedlos emailed me to ask if there is a way to monitor his bandwidth usage, and wonders how I feel about bandwidth capping in general.

The good news is that there is a free, or should I say open source, program called FreeMeter. Using this, you can measure the amount of data going out and coming in, your connection and upload/download speeds, and even your memory usage. You can enable logging, set limits and graphical presentation. This is a very easy way to keep track of what your Internet is doing.

Now, as for how I personally feel about bandwidth capping. As I already said, for MY house, I don’t want it. But when you look at this as a whole, it’s generally a good thing. When it comes to a network leg, and you have a certain user who might say…. stream live 24 hours a day… that person would eat up a large chunk of the bandwidth. Of course, no one I know would do that. Yeah…

I would be more open to the idea of bandwidth capping if I could purchase more bandwidth. I believe if an ISP is going to limit the amount that any normal user can have access to, then that user should be allowed to purchase more bandwidth above and beyond those limits. Heck, I’d pay twice as much for more space… and more speed!
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Bandwidth Throttling

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – There are ways to adjust bandwidth on an application by application basis, or even a device by device basis. Unfortunately, it’s basically not possible to limit bandwidth by website. There are ways you can assign priority to certain applications to allocate your bandwidth where you need it most.

If you’re like me, you probably have more than five different programs running accessing the internet. We’re chatting, IM’ing, browsing web pages, and checking our emails. You have a limited amount of bandwidth to use. You can only squeeze so much data through, no matter how hard you may try.

Unfortunately, I know of no way to limit the amount of bandwidth by website. However, I use a handy little tool called Thibor15c with my Linksys router to manage my bandwidth by application. I can assign priority to the applications I need most. For instance, my Vonage is the most important when I have a phone call coming in. You can choose to have XBox at the top of your list, or any other program that accesses the Internet you may need.

Another way to not necessarily control your bandwidth….but to make your surfing experience much faster….is to use this wonderful free program called Open DNS. What Open DNS does is to caches the DNS info for websites, and shortens the time it takes them to load. It also has cool little features like allowing you to define shortcuts in your address bar. For instance, if I type the letters gg into my address bar, my browser will automatically go to the website I have assigned to that shortcut. You can also set up shortcuts for typos…to correct them, of course. Have you ever accidentally forgotten the letter o in the .com extension of a web address? This typo feature will automatically add that letter o back in, and take you to the right place.

I’m definitely interested in hearing from you if you know of any ways to limit bandwidth on a website by website basis. You can always find us live in our chat room at live.pirillo.com or you can email me at [email protected]

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MoveDigital is Moving Forward

You’ve probably seen the news – Senator Edwards is using BitTorrent to distribute video now! Like Dave says, it’s a big deal. I didn’t realize that Gary Lerhaupt had the Senator lined up when he emailed me about his new MoveDigital service last night. Not sure if the following points are available anywhere else, but… here are seven things you can do with MoveDigital (as relayed by Gary himself):

  • Sign in with your Prodigem account or create a new account (all Prodigem users get a free year of service).
  • Upload your files to be served as direct downloads.
  • Convert your video and audio to mobile phone format (3GP) so that they can be streamed directly from your MoveDigital mobile page.
  • Create torrents of all your stuff.
  • Use the rectangular Web widget (the rectangle to the left of each file you upload) to easily reblog your links. The HTML for the embed can be found from the Share button.
  • Once you you have your widget on your blog, people can click the Share button to directly add bandwidth into your account to help you out (each 5GB they add, adds 1 to their own account) – aka social bandwidth sharing.
  • Enjoy the fact that bandwidth on our service acts like prepaid cell phone minutes with unlimited rollover. That is, it doesn’t recycle at the end of the month and it only disappears when you use it. Moreover, for direct downloads we only charge you for bandwidth for files which are completely transferred. If someone stops half way through, no bandwidth is considered used (though torrent and mobile hosting are done per byte).

Windows Vista: Download vs. DVD

A few minutes ago, in an online group chat, Microsoft Windows Featured Community leaders received the following stream of information regarding the number of sanctioned downloads for Windows Vista Beta 2. This report comes directly from Microsoft’s own Aaron Coldiron:

Yes, you can immediately publish what I’m about to tell you. You are literally the first to hear this – but I probably won’t be able to satisfy all your appetite for questions. πŸ˜‰ I wanted to update you on downloads for the Windows Vista Beta 2. Demand for Beta 2 has been huge – which we expected. But, we are hitting ceilings on bandwidth. Right now we are serving out product keys 10x faster than we can serve the downloads. Already this is the biggest software download event in history. There’s two points I want to give you:

  1. We are pumping out bits as fast as we can. If we pushed out bits any faster there would be a measurable impact for the Internet. So, we are literally saying that if we increased our bandwidth any further there’s a possibility of taking down the Internet – people might have problems with World Cup viewing, etc. That would [sic] be bad. So, it isn’t that we weren’t anticipating demand – we were and are – it is that we are at the threshold of what the Internet can bear.
  2. We want to encourage people who can wait to order the DVD. The DVD guarantees you RC1 upgrade (as long as you activate). DVDs will take about 1 – 4 weeks to arrive depending where in the world you live. And, I want to emphasize that we aren’t making money on the DVDs. We are just charging for cost of goods and shipping. Along with that – people who have PID keys may have a wait on their hands to get the download. This could be several days to even up to a week or more in some cases. That speaks to why ordering the DVD might be a good option. People who already have PID keys and want to get the DVD just need to go back to the GetReady site and go through the process there. They will get a new PID key.

When I asked why they couldn’t just seed it as a torrent (BitTorrent), Aaron responded:

There are legal and privacy issues which unfortunately make that not an option for Microsoft to officially sponsor a BitTorrent. I really wish we could do it, but we can’t. If someone [seeds or downloads a torrent] we can’t guarantee that they’ve got an unaltered copy, etc.

Even though Microsoft can’t sanction the seeding of a Windows Vista Beta 2 torrent, they’re probably not going to do anything to stop it from happening. I do hope that someone will officially produce an MD5 hash so that users can compare checksums! Aaron continued:

Stats – right now we don’t have any specific stats to share. Let me just say that demand is on the upper ends of our projections. We’ve been pretty clear in all our messaging that this beta will be limited. Limited in the # of people. I can’t give you any direction on this at this time. So, no comment.

The Internet needs to decide: Windows Vista Beta 2 or World Cup? πŸ™‚

BlogWare Export / WordPress Import

I was banging my head up against the wall with BlogWare. For a novice user, it’s fine – but in the time I moved to it (from MovableType, originally), so much had happened with WordPress development. I’ve been scouring the Web for the “must have” plugins, and am finding them relatively easy to implement and tweak. There’s still a learning curve here, but I’m much happier now that I’m away from BlogWare’s “you have exceeded your bandwidth” notices that just started to pop up due to my alleged popularity. I’m still snagged by BlogWare bloopers, including not having flexible export options. That said, Shayne was able to customize an existing script to get most everything he could out of the old system and into WordPress. I now wish to share with the world the BlogWare Import Plugin for WordPress (created by Gada.be’s very own Shayne Sweeney). I hope Matt puts it into future installs.