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Reader Comment: Site Download Speed

Yair T writes:

When trying to watch pictures on your site the speed of the downloading an image is very slow And many times it simply takes very long time. It never happened to me with your site on the past and it is like this for few days. I tested multiple times at different hours , download speed is very low. Please advise.

DIGLLOYD: slow download speed sure is frustrating.

Tip: many users run WiFi at home. In my experience even 5 to 10 feet from the WiFi router, all sorts of external factors can cause all kinds of hiccups that cause speed to range from fast to unreliable, which is why I never use WiFi at home. Use wired gigabit ethernet to a gigabit ethernet switch or router instead. Any testing that involves WiFi and not just the internet connection is an end to end test that introduces too many variables to diagnose root cause.

All three of my web sites are hosted on my own server in a secured-with-guard data center in Sunnyvale, CA on a dedicated/guaranteed 100 megabit link by Etheric Networks (they do mainly wireless, but my server is in a wired high security server room). I go to no small expense to do this so my subscribers enjoy a quality experience. Uptime of that server has been 99.99% for three years, the only downtime when my firewall went wonky one day.

Occassionally more than one user is hitting my server simultaneously with high bandwidth requirements, but in monitoring my server, the bandwidth is 95% unused on average. So I don't think it is a contention issue.

I tested speed this morning with the 50 megapixel GFX images I posted recently; I'm seeing 4 to 5 megabytes per second (32 to 40 megabits per second) real throughput down to my personal computer using my 75 megabit Comcast Business Internet link. That speed from my web site is faster than virtually all large commercial web sites that I use with that same Comcast link. About the only site that is consistently fast is Apple, which will saturate my link. So I’m not sure what to say on this matter except that I cannot see any problem on my end. I also see 2 to 3 megabytes per second from my site over LTE via my cell phone personal hot spot.

The 50-megapixel image aperture series with 10 to 14 megabyte images per aperture are coming down in 8 to 15 seconds for the entire series of 4/5/6 images. That’s an end-to-end test and is very fast by comparison with commercial web sites I use.

Many ISPs claim speed; many do not actually have it—bandwidth tests are misleading, done to dedicated test servers on backbone links. So I look at only real-world speed. For example, I tried doubling my Comcast Business Internet link speed. It helped in a few cases (like multi-gigabyte Apple downloads), but 99% of the web sites I use ran no faster.

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