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Thread: High speed (100Mbps+) NSPs?

  1. #1
    As per the title really. I've been with Giga since time immemorial and am on a $19.99 for life deal so it's not too bad at all. I've never been affected by DMCA or other issues, so they do me nicely.

    However, I've had the opportunity to revisit Astraweb this month and I have to say they've come a long way after all the issues I had the last couple of times I tried them. I'm getting my 50.5 Mbps rock solid with great completion, so I'm thinking of ditching Giga and moving over to get essentially the same service (hopefully) at half the price.

    My only worry is that my ISP is rolling out 100Mbps in the next couple of months, and then on to 200 and even 400Mbps in a few years. With Giga, I wouldn't worry as despite their niggles and faults they certainly don't lack for consistent bandwidth.

    Trying to leave any fanboyism aside (please), what are Astra - and any others you might have experience of - like at supplying real high speeds, consistently? There's not much around online about this but the odd report I did find suggest Astra manage about 90Mbps out of a 100Mbps+ line. Obviously I'm hoping this isn't the case across the board (eg the guy's connection/setup was at fault rather than Astra).

    Does anyone have any personal experience of this, who could offer some insight? No point paying for mega MB/sec and an NSP only to watch your downloads choke along at a fraction of your line speed.

    TIA.

  2. Newsgroups   -   #2
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    I've never used anything that fast myself, but I suspect that Astraweb's 20 connection limit (compared to Giganews Diamond's 50 conns.) could be the limiting factor when on extremely high-speed internet. (Last time I checked, I believe I got MUCH better speed [using a single connection] to Astraweb than Giganews, but I'm close to their San Francisco server)

    2 questions:

    Which was faster for you *per connection* Astraweb or giganews?

    How many connections do you need with Astraweb now?

    For instance, if it is taking all 20 connections to max out a 50megabit on Astraweb currently, then I suspect there's a good chance that at 100 megabits, you'll be hurting for speed. (I'm just speculating that you will probably need more connections to max out a future 100Mbit/sec line than your current 50, but I could be wrong. )

  3. Newsgroups   -   #3
    Quote Originally Posted by zot View Post
    2 questions:

    Which was faster for you *per connection* Astraweb or giganews?

    How many connections do you need with Astraweb now?

    For instance, if it is taking all 20 connections to max out a 50megabit on Astraweb currently, then I suspect there's a good chance that at 100 megabits, you'll be hurting for speed. (I'm just speculating that you will probably need more connections to max out a future 100Mbit/sec line than your current 50, but I could be wrong. )
    I was surprised to find that Astra seems to get better speed per connection, and works just as well as Giganews at maxing my line with no 'yo-yoing' or 'hiccups' in the bandwidth graphs. Currently with either provider I need 10 connections to get a rock solid 50.5 Mbps in Windows, but under Linux that falls to 6 to 8 connections (better networking in Linux lol). So in theory, provided they can support it at their end, Astra should be able to give me at least 100Mbps on 20 connections under Windows. It's once I get to 200 and even 400Mbps in future that worries me. I'm certain Giga would manage just fine, but Astra has me hesitating. Especially, as you say, due to the 20 connection limit.

    With a great ISP on a fibre line, high speeds should be viable on even a couple of connections. But alas in the real world (at least in the UK) we need more connections to get consistent throughput. Also, of course, it depends on the NSP's server config on what their limit per connection is set to, if anything. Here's what I get from Astra at the moment off 10 connections under Windows (I always use SSL servers btw):



    As you can see, not much of a problem.
    Last edited by RainmakerRaw; 02-21-2011 at 08:02 PM.

  4. Newsgroups   -   #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmakerRaw View Post
    Astra should be able to give me at least 100Mbps on 20 connections under Windows. It's once I get to 200 and even 400Mbps in future that worries me.
    Many of us in The States can only dream of being able to get *one-tenth* of that speed.

    It would seem that from what you've said, Astraweb would be the better choice for you right now at your current 50megabit, and probably even when you transition to 100mbs, but beyond that is unknown. Well, I tend to live day-to-day and do what makes sense now, rather than what I think might possibly happen sometime in the distant future. My advice is to make the best choice NOW and don't be afraid to leave if things ever turn bad. (it's not like a marriage, and it only takes a few minutes to switch at the end of any month)

    Anything over 100megabit/sec is probably uncharted territory, but I think one thing is certain: When lot of users of American NSPs have 100/200/400 megabit connections, they're going to start implementing bandwidth-tiered pricing -- just like all the Dutch NSPs did about 2 or 3 years ago.

    You seem to have more faith in Giganews being a potentially faster provider than Astraweb -- even if the facts would suggest otherwise. I suspect that there is probably less potential speed difference between providers' European servers than the US ones (Giganews and Astraweb's servers are located on opposite ends of the continent) since all the EU server farms are in Amsterdam.

  5. Newsgroups   -   #5
    I know where you're coming from, and you're correct of course. I only worry because if Astra turn out not to be able to support the higher speeds I'm left with the prospect of returning to Giga at ridiculous $25 to $35 a month charges instead of the $19.99 I pay now. It's half price for Astra, but the gamble comes where I might end up paying double in the long run. Hence this thread.

  6. Newsgroups   -   #6
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    If in the future, Astraweb's 20 connections fail to max out a 200 or 400 megabit line, you could always buy two Astraweb accounts for the cost of one Giganews account. Or Newshosting, UNS, UsenetNow, Supernews, many others running long-term specials at $10/month, so you could combine 2 NSP accounts (as some people here are already doing) and still come out ahead. (Supernews, of course, is a re-badged Giganews service with restricted retention)

    So to me, at least, the choice is obvious.

    But besides that, how can we be sure that Giganews prices will remain high in the future, or that they won't run any more specials? I predict that Giganews will eventually come more in line with the prices of other providers (notice how that Giganews price increase keeps getting delayed) as more and more people come to realize that they're not worth 2x or 3x the price.

  7. Newsgroups   -   #7
    D'ya know zot, I hadn't even thought of that. That just shows you what sleep deprivation does to the mind Good idea mate, that'll work. Out of curiosity I grabbed a Newshosting trial to add to the Giga and Astra accounts I have access to atm, and they all maxed my line but per connection they were like this:

    Newshosting: 300 to 400 KB/sec (up/down a lot)
    Giganews: 800 to 900 KB/sec (pretty stable)
    Astraweb: 1.0 to 1.2 MB/sec (solid)

    Even better than I thought. I've cancelled my Giga account and got the usual "sorry to see you go, other NSPs suck you're welcome back when you realise how crap they are" mail but I deleted that.

    Thanks for the input mate, cheers.

  8. Newsgroups   -   #8
    i must say you are lucky one =))

    I myself utilize two ISps to get ~100 mbit speed from usenet with 2 AW's accounts( i need two accounts since ive got 2 different Ips')

    As for your question it really depends also heavily on the route between your ISp and NSP., not only on ISP\NSP.

  9. Newsgroups   -   #9
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    Although Comcast and Verizon/FIOS have occasionally 'announced' such ultra-speed tiers of service, the only actual direct 'service to the home/business' in the US has been.... municipal ISP/Fiber projects like Chattanooga, TN, and Lafyette, LA, and a couple others that are still in the 'start-up' mode at present. The one muni project in my neck of the woods that managed to skirt the Republican State law against competing against the telco/cableco duopolies (started up right before the law was put into effect, so was 'grandfathered') is prohibited from offering speeds in excess of what Comcast has (50/10 with Docsis3.0).

    Verizon/FIOS has fled our area, and the folks they sold the plant to (Frontier Communications) is rapidly trying to shut it down (latest tactic is jumping rates 40+%). Comcast is trying out >100Mb/s Docsis3.0 tiers in a couple places around the country, just not here as of yet (and I'll be sitting down when I see the rates!)

    But you've got to really be 'hooked' on usenet big time to handle that fire hose of a rate. I've seen that Astraweb/US (plant in San Jose, CA), seems to top out at around 750Kb/s per 'connecton', SSL or not. So, maxes out at some 15Mb/s with 20 connections; now, whether that is due to their (Astraweb's) plant or my internet connection to it (<10 hops), is the question of the day. What you''ll have to do is put your program at 1 connection, ramp it up to as high a level as you can, look at the throughput, and then start adding additional connections, to get a grip on maybe where in the 'system' there is any constriction.

    Sounds like great fun to me!

  10. Newsgroups   -   #10
    I don't monitor it too closely, but AW maxes out my line at 5MB/s on only 10 or 11 connections and I'm all the way across the country in NY.

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