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Why Virgin Media 50Mb is a waste of time

#1 User is offline marko

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    Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:40 AM

    To be honest, this won't just affect Virgin Media but at the minute (to the best of my knowledge) VM are the only one's offering a 50Mb download speed in the UK, but as others upgrade their networks it will obviously affect them also. BT are 'apparently' offering customers a 40Mb option, but as you will no doubt find out most people WILL NOT get this speed, or in reality anything near it.

    So why do I consider fast broadband a waste of time?. Problem is, your internet can be 50Mb, 100Mb, 1Gb, etc, but your speed is determined by a whole host of other factors. When I recently noticed my internet becoming slow and sluggish, I reported the matter to VM who told me to perform test downloads from their own servers. This, I felt, was pointless as I would never again download from their servers, nor browse just about anything from their network but instead would be browsing sites across the world.

    Their response to this is always the same, we have no control over anything 'outside' our own network. Now, to be fair this is true, but the reality of it is, what then, is the point in having a super fast internet connection if we can rarely achieve it's full potential when doing normal daily things like browsing the web?!.

    Having access to the VM forums, there are something close to 450 topics (and rising fast) in the 50Mb section, most of which are customers reporting problems with the service, and most complaints dealing with speed issue's and most having the same response, it's not us (VM) that is the problem, it's the rest of the world. These are the things that you do not get to hear about, the fact that your internet speed will only be as fast as the website you visit. The way it works is this - if the website you visit has an upload speed of say, 1Mb, then you will only ever be able to browse or download from that site at a maximum of 1Mb - as more people browse that site, you will be sharing that bandwidth with them. Regardless of how fast your internet connection is, you are limited to the upload speed and availability of that website!. Throw external network conditions and routing issues into the mix and you have a major poor browsing experience.

    When you raise this as a potential issue, the answer is always the same and you are told your internet is fine, they have checked it and confirmed everything is performing as it should. Do a speedtest from any of the speedtest sites, and you will be told these sites are not suitable to measure your true download speed for a variety of reasons, you can only get a true reading of your speed by downloading files from their own servers (thus not being routed out into the internet through someone else's network). Problem is, this is technically true as anything outside the ISP's network isn't their problem but for those (like me) who have already signed up for the 50Mb service and are paying a considerable amount for it, we're stuck with the fact that in reality many of the sites we visit will not be able to serve us with content at the speeds our internet service is capable of, and even if they can the ISP's have been known to over-subscribe lines which means at peak times you may even struggle to enjoy even the fastest of sites as everyone else in your street/area get themselves online!.

    In regards to BT's 40Mb service, this again, is a joke, as most people will not get those speeds and in reality you may be lucky to achieve 10Mb. BT uses ADSL, which goes directly through your phone line and as they attempt to push more speed down these wires the problems begin!. Unless your sat next to one of BT's local exchanges you can only hope that you will achieve a reasonable speed. If you're within (approx) a quarter or half a mile of a local exchange you could possibly get decent results, but don't count on it.

    So my advice for anyone considering upgrading their internet speed is not to bother because you will potentially be paying considerably more for the same speeds as your getting now. You may notice a difference with some sites and some downloads, but for me personally this accounts for a tiny percentage of the sites I use on a daily basis therefore in my opinion was a waste of time.
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    #2 Guest_KnowItAllHater_*

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    Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

    oh shut up!
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    #3 User is offline marko

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      Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:36 PM

      Pretty pointless post, but thought I'd amuse the other readers with your well thought out and intellectual thoughts ... ;) - Don't forget to ask mum or dad if it's OK to be on the internet :greeting:
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      #4 Guest_Guest_*

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      Posted 09 March 2010 - 01:31 PM

      Ok that's true what you said about that it will be fast as the page you visiting is -
      but what about if You want to host a web server ? - for me it's great deal.
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      #5 User is offline marko

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        Posted 09 March 2010 - 02:09 PM

        If you want to host a web server, then you will only be able to serve those browsing your site at your maximum upload speed - the biggest upload speed would be 1.5Mb from a 50Mb connection. This would mean users of your site could only download at 1.5Mbps, half this for 2 users downloading, quarter this for 4 users, and so on. My point is we could be directly connected to the backbone of the internet, it won't make a difference as most sites couldn't offer speeds that could match this - only the big players on the net are likely to be able to produce this kind of speed from their websites, unless we talk about CDNs where content then becomes more geographically available to each user but this is an expensive option for the webmaster, something we at FreewareBB have considered but couldn't possibly introduce just yet!.
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