Why is my download speed different from my connection speed?

Question

Despite a 56k modem my connection speed is limited by the phone line to 26400bps, sometimes as low as 19200 bps. But my actual download speed never exceeds 150KB/min. Shouldn't it be more even with 19200bps connection speed? Nobody could answer this question so far.

Thanks a lot!

Wolfgang Siebinger

Answer

This question was answered on June 21, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The 26400 and 19200 bps coneection is the connection speed between your modem and the ISP's There are many other factors involved in download speed besides just the modem-to-modem connection speed, including: the quality of the phone lines that your are connecting through (modems communicate with tone; any "line" noise will lower the connect speed), the load on the remote system; the speed of any network links (e.g., Internet congestion); the speed of the local computer-to-modem port (e.g., serial port speed); the load on the local system; quality of the communications software; and the transfer protocol (e.g., ZMODEM or FTP) All of these produce some amount of overhead that will vary the download speed from the modem-to-modem connection speed Also remember that when your modem connects and gives you a initial connection speed (i.e 19200bps), that speed will change thoughout the course of the time you stay online for that session.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on June 21, 1999