Platform: Windows XP, Windows Vista
Number of downloads: 586
We often receive letters from our magazine readers stating that a download from x server is running slowly and they can’t figure why, as they have an ultra-fast 25Mb/s broadband connection. It’s not that they are expecting a 1:1 connection to a remote server, but people fail to understand that the Internet bottleneck isn’t always their connection or users on their local network, but the server (and location) from where they are downloading their software.
It affects everyone, including heavyweight software developers. If you release popular software and 100 people attempt to download from your server, server bandwidth is shared between these 100 users. This means that even an ultra-fast server will offer you a slow connection. Worse, if the server is located on the other side of the world, the traffic has to travel via various continents, with each of these continents using varying bandwidth restrictions. What could be mega-fast in the States may be a lot slower if the server is in Turkey.
DownTester is a tool you can use to analyse your current broadband connection with various remote servers and territories, across the world. You can see how it performs downloading from, say, Japan compared to Germany. This may help in sourcing software from specific locations in the future.