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DSL Speed Problem Leads to the Mac

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by RecalcitrantRon, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. I am supposed to get DSL speeds of 3MB/s down and 756 Kb/s up. I get in the 370s to 390s Kb/s down and 70-80 Kb/s up. This is monitored via iStat on both my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. I contacted Surewest, my DSL provider. They said I was pulling the proper speeds and to run a speed test which I did at www.speedtest.net which also showed the proper speeds.

    My configuration is as follows:

    Line from the wall into the Surewest router to a D-Link DES-1105
    10/100 Ethernet Switch. From the Switch, I connect directly to my Apple Mac Pro and separately to an Apple Airport Express Wireless for my laptop. Speeds are consistent on both the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. I tried rebooting the router, no change. I removed the switch and went directly from the router into the MacPro, no change. I also tried this with the MacBook Pro, also no change.

    All roads appear to lead to the Macs. Any advice on what settings I should look at to see if the Macs are indeed the problem?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I am beginning to wonder if it is iStat. I ran the speed test at both sites and they both report the correct speeds, but iStat says it is much slower at the very same time.
  3. Ron
    did speed test also show your speeds in Kb/s area? Do you also know how far you are from the central office, the farther away the slower the signal strength.I have a imac 24 and have never heard that a mac would be the problem.
    I would hook the macpro directly to the router and run the test again using the closest point given. It could be the switch just isn't working right. Also know anybody with a pc that bring it over and run the test there.
  4. Speed test run from two different testing sites shows the correct speeds. I already removed the switch from the equation and it made no difference.

  5. Is your mac measuring Kilo Bytes or Kilo bits? Computers measure (KB) Kilo Bytes (big "B") and data communications is measured in (Kb) Kilo bits (little "b")

    If you multiply the computer Bytes x 8 = bits you are getting what they say you should get.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2009
  6. genera


    Oct 6, 2005
    Any chance you're confusing units of measure . . . Bytes and bits?
  7. iStat says "KB/s" so I presume I am getting what I am supposed to get. Well, nothing like a healthy dose of ignorance to waste the afternoon. Oy!
  8. iStat is only monitoring current network activity, so it will only be as fast as the server allows. Speedtest servers are WAY faster than most servers you'll connect to during typical use of the internet.
  9. Gort


    Mar 10, 2008
    IIRC, the menu version of iStat also reports peak bandwidth, the widget version does not. This may be closer to what you are looking for.
  10. It all depends if the measurements are done in Bytes or bits. If you multiply Ron's istat results by 8 you get very close to the throughput they say he should be getting. It sounds likely the measurement is in Bytes. Bits is the data communication industry standard for measuring throughput. Bytes is the computer industry standard measurement.

    This also doesn't account for data communication overhead. The stated line speed most likely includes the packet overhead, the computer measurement may not so there may always be a small difference.
  11. Thanks folks. It appears that I do not have a problem here, just my ignorance.
  12. mike367


    Mar 22, 2008
    Hey Ron sorry im late to this thread. I install high speed internet as well as T's for the phone co., I may be able to help. 1.Call a trouble into the ISP and explain to them you are not getting the advertised speed. Make sure its making it to the side of your house. 2. Running your data through an alarm system or tty device will slow it down as well as alot of bridge taps within the house. We have also found that using the power strip in and out connection causes speed issues to. The best way to get the most from your connection (provided its reaching the side of the house) is to run a direct line from the phone co. hand off to the outlet that serves your computer or router. Also if you dont have filters on your phone this will slow things, even a defective filter. We install whole house filters in the basement and run a direct wire to the computer from the data side. Hope this helps, if you need more help pm me and i will give ya my cell #. Mike
  13. Hi Mike. Thanks for the input and the kind offer of help. I did call my provider and they said they showed I was getting the speeds i was supposed to. I also ran speed tests at two different testing sites and they also said I was getting what I was supposed to. Some of the other folks here said I might be having a what I will call byte v. bit dysphoria in the readings I was getting off of iStat and from the best I can tell, they are correct and this was a matter of my own ignorance as opposed to a real issue.
  14. Tim W

    Tim W

    Mar 10, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    ISP's always seem to quote in bits per second, whilst most computer software reports in bytes per second. Just need to remember to multiply by 8.

    Also achieving the ISP quoted speeds can be very difficult depending on where you are connecting to on the internet. Heavy duty sites like MS update and apple update tend to give the best speeds as they have enough bandwidth and server horsepower.
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